As an aromatherapist and massage therapist based in Colchester, I face quite a few weather-related challenges at this time of year. Being perched right on top of a hill brings with it plenty of benefits and I'm very grateful for the lovely clean air and nearby woodlands. But we often get terrible winter weather. Frosts hang around for days, ice takes forever to melt and when it snows... well let's just say we keep the kitchen cupboards well stocked at this time of year!
Luckily, armed with my heated massage table and a LOT of gritting salt I've managed to run most of my appointments to schedule so far this year but I have to say I'm getting pretty fed up with winter and all the problems it brings.
But at least as an aromatherapist I do have a wonderful tool at my disposal - my trusty box of essential oils. I use the oils in all kinds of ways to help get through the chilly weather and I thought I'd share with you some of the blends I rely on for all the everyday problems winter brings with it. Do give them a try if you're feeling the effects of the deep mid winter too.
Blend for Chapped Hands
Cold air, icy winds and the drying effects of central heating can often mean our skin becomes chapped and sore at this time of year. If you're suffering from dry, cracked skin on your hands, try this soothing hand cream to help relieve the symptoms.
Blend the following ingredients together well in a sterilised glass jar. If possible the jar should be made from dark glass to stop light getting in. use whenever your hands feel dry or sore.
30ml aqueous cream
7 drops Benzoin essential oil
4 drops Roman Chamomile essential oil
4 drops Sandalwood essential oil
Blend for treating a Cold
There can't be many of us that have made it this far through winter without succumbing to at least one cold virus. Unfortunately I don't have any miracle cures for you but this is my go-to blend whenever I have a stuffy nose and scratchy throat. I find it's really effective for clearing the airways and I always feel instantly better after using it.
The below blend is for a steam inhalation as to me it makes sense to get the oils into the respiratory system as directly as possible. However you could also try doubling the amount of drops and using them in a hot bath. Just make sure you mix the oils with a spoonful of whole milk to ensure they disperse in the water.
Add the following oils to a large bowl of boiling water. Lean over the bowl, cover your head with a towel to stop the steam escaping and breathe in the vapours for a few minutes. Repeat once a day as needed.
2 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
1 drop Bergamot essential oil
1 drop Tea Tree essential oil
Blend for Sore and Aching Muscles
Cold weather, slipping around on frozen pavements and the rigours of the January workout regime can leave many of us with muscular aches and pains at this time of year. If you're suffering, try this wonderfully warming bath blend to help you relax and soak away any discomfort. Or it's great if you just want to warm up a bit too!
Blend the following oils with a spoonful of whole milk then add to a warm bath. Swirl around with your hands to disperse the mixture in the water.
2 drops Ginger essential oil
3 drops Marjoram essential oil
3 drops Lavender essential oil
Essential oils have so many wonderful uses and I hope these ideas encourage you to give them a try this winter - you may be surprised at just how much they can help you!
Note: As with all use of essential oils, there are some safety precautions to consider. Essential oils are extremely strong and should NEVER be applied neat to the skin or taken internally unless advised by a fully qualified aromatherapist or health professional. If you have sensitive skin it's a good idea to perform a patch test with your chosen oils, making sure they're properly diluted in a base oil. If there's no reaction after 24 hours then you can safely use the oils.
If you are pregnant or have underlying health issues it's always a good idea to seek the advice of a qualified aromatherapist to find out which oils are suitable or even speak to a health professional for advice. Extra precautions should be used when treating the elderly or the very young. Once again, it's best to get advice on the most suitable oils to choose.
I am the founder and owner of Calme Therapies, based in Colchester, Essex. I am a qualified aromatherapist, massage therapist and relaxation therapist and I specialise in working with clients suffering from stress and tension.
If you would like to find out more, make an enquiry or book a treatment please contact me.