Monday, January 4, 2010

Treating SAD at the SPA

The following contains excerpts from an article on Treating SAD, Bev Gray, RA, CH

This time of year in New England can seem never ending and bleak. With our shorter days and colder temperatures forcing us inside it's no wonder our bodies are looking for a little pick-me-up!

Studies have shown that our limited sun exposure can lead to S.A.D. or Seasonal Affective Disorder. S.A.D. symptoms may include "fatigue, oversleeping, sadness, depression, irritation, decreased sex drive, and loss of pleasure and interest in life".

"A holistic approach to treating SAD includes light therapy, dietary changes, nutrient supplementation, exercise, and the use of essential oils." Lucky for you, we offer 3 different Traditional Aromatherapy treatments where you can choose the essential oils that best suit you. Below is a list of relevant essential oils from Treating SAD.

Essential Oils for SAD

Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) has a fresh, sweet, fruity scent (it’s often described as being like sunshine in a bottle), and has an uplifting, cheerful effect. Bergamot can help with anxiety, stress, tension, agitation, depression, and insomnia. Bergamot can be used in a diffuser, bath, or on the skin with a carrier oil (do not apply directly to skin). May increase photosensitivity.

Lemon (Citrus limonum) has the unmistakable smell of fresh lemons. The oil can stimulate the white blood cells that defend the body against infection. Lemon is refreshing and cooling, brings clarity to mind and emotions, restores vitality, and encourages clear thinking. Its antimicrobial properties and fresh scent also make lemon a great household cleanser and air freshener. Use as an inhalant or with a diffuser, or on skin with a carrier oil in massage oil or bath. May irritate sensitive skin. When used in skin care, use at low dilution. When used in bath, always use with a carrier oil. It may increase photosensitivity.

Neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara) has a light, sweet floral fragrance. It is extracted from the flowers of bitter orange. Neroli has a balancing tonic effect on the nervous system and can be relaxing and uplifting. It is great for treating anxiety, nervous tension, and depression. Its ability to stimulate new cell growth makes it very valuable in skin care. Use as an inhalant or with a diffusor, or on skin with a carrier. Excellent for massage.

Jasmine’s (Jasminum grandiflorum) heady aroma is considered emotionally warming and is very useful for relieving sexual anxiety and fear. The oil is very relaxing and promotes happiness and relaxation due to the esters it contains. Use as an inhalant or with a diffusor, in a massage oil, or in a bath.

Information is courtesy of Bev Gray, RA, CH, is a Yukoner, skilled herbalist, and registered aromatherapist who loves to share her passion for medicinal and aromatic plants. She owns Aroma Borealis Herb Shop in Whitehorse, Yukon ( and is the recent recipient of the Yukon Business Person of the Year Award.

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