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Less Stress: Aromatherapy

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You’ve probably seen one of those aromatherapy displays in health food stores and thought, “One of these days, I’m going to learn something about aromatherapy.” I admit that confronting the 40-odd different oils put me off aromatherapy for a long time. Too many options paralyzed me into indecision. I’d open a couple of samplers, sniff, put them back, forget which scent went with which name, wonder if I should get a diffuser or try them in a bath, get genuinely confused, and leave the whole display behind.

Here we’re going to keep it simple and quickly eliminate 35 of the 40 oils–not that they don’t serve good purposes. If after trying the first five you decide to take up aromatherapy seriously, you can always explore the other scents. But good oils cost about ten dollars a bottle, so informed buying is a worthy idea. The five oils that alleviate stress, tension, frazzled nerves, and the like are lavender, geranium, melissa, clary sage, and the unpronounceable ylang ylang. Breathe a little bit of each and see if one calls out to you. If you need some direction and you’re going to try a single oil for relaxation, start with lavender.

While you’re still in the store, get a small bottle of unscented carrier oil, like sweet almond oil (you’ll need it later) and a simple diffuser. The easiest diffuser is a device that positions a shallow dish above a candle. A few drops of the oil placed in the dish and heated will fill a room with the oil’s aroma.

At home with a few bottles, here’s what to do next:
• Open the bottle and inhale the scent, or shake a drop or two into a handkerchief and carry it with you, breathing deeply of it when tension knocks. For a less intense but still pleasant effect, use your candle diffuser. People with too much money can opt to buy electrical diffusers that disperse microparticles of the oil throughout a room.

• Make an aromatherapy massage oil by adding a few drops to a small amount of the carrier oil. Gently rub it into your tense muscles, like your neck and upper back. Then lie down and listen to some soft music. If you’re planning a visit to a massage therapist, take your personalized massage oil with you.

• Add the oils to your bath Adding 8 to 15 drops of an essential oil to your bath after the water has finished running creates a relaxing atmosphere and allows the oil to seep into your skin. It’s best not to use soap in an aromatherapy bath, because it may interfere with the oil absorption.

Since the bath is my personal favorite, I’ll offer a few steps to an incredibly relaxing bath.
A slow warm soak can make bath time the most peaceful part of your day, an escape from noise, worry, and tension. Your muscles relax and your mind wanders. And with a few simple touches, you can transform an already pleasurable experience into a heavenly one.

• Plan ahead This is your time. Turn off your phone, get a sitter for the kids, ask your partner to take a hike. Don’t rush through your bath because dinner needs to be prepared or you’ve got theater tickets.

• Get the bathroom ready before you undress You want everything as comfy as possible before you slide into the tub. Have towels at hand and a robe too. Light a candle. Music is lovely and a glass of wine too.

• Test the water temperature Use your foot, not your hand. Your foot is far more sensitive to temperature.

• Two useful items From a bath and bed store, buy a drain block and a back pillow. You’ll be able to fill the tub and lean back with something soft to support your neck.

• With the tub full, add your essential oils The hot water and the warm, steamy room will yield the richest effect from a just few drops added to your bath. As you soak, the oils will soften your skin while the scented air calms your mind. Try one oil alone, or combine two or more. Close your eyes, inhale, and empty your mind. Combine your bath with guided imagery or meditation for an extraordinary escape from your hectic life.

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**Vaginal Rejuvenation
July 25th, 6:30pm – 8:00pm    

Registration Fee: $65
Mari Stecker, LAc & Renee Zambo, RYT

Are you experiencing vaginal dryness? Or pain with intercourse? Have you been told you have vaginal atrophy due to menopauseAre you frustrated because you believe your sex life is overWell, it doesn’t have to be!

Come learn easy, non-pharmaceutical, non-hormonal, low cost techniques that you can do at home to help alleviate vaginal dryness, atrophy, thinning of vaginal skin and/or painful intercourse.

This class is appropriate for any woman who is experiencing discomfort during intercourse, pelvic exams or daily activities due to vaginal dryness and atrophy as well as women who are experiencing vaginal changes due to perimenopause, menopause, cancer treatments, hysterectomy or medications.

This class will include information on specific instructions for self-treatments that can be done at home as well as yoga postures and meditation that focus on the pelvic region.

Movement and breath will draw awareness to the pelvic floor, and facilitate both the full relaxation and activation of pelvic floor muscles. A short guided meditation will reconnect awareness to the feminine energy held within the pelvis.

This workshop is currently Sold Out! Please call the Center at (773) 296-6700 to be placed on a standby list. The workshop will be repeated in the Fall.

 

**An Introduction to Healing Touch
Wednesday, July 26th
5:30-6pm – Light refreshments
6-7:30pm – Workshop
Registration Fee: $40

Would you like to find relief from pain and anxiety without medicine?
Are you interested in releasing old patterns and stepping into a new sense of health and vitality?
Would you like to experience optimum performance with more focus, creativity, purpose, and meaning in your life?

Introduction to Healing Touch; A Gift for Self and Others
with WholeHealth Chicago’s Healing Touch Practitioner, Katie Oberlin, HTCP/I

The workshop offers:

  • an overview of energy medicine
  • specific methods that can be administered to others and utilized for self care
  • support for health and well being in body, mind, and spirit

Space is limited and registration is required.
Register online or call WholeHealth Chicago at 773-296-6700

 

**Yoga Therapy for Sleep Disturbance
Wednesday, August 16th
6pm – 7:30pm
Registration Fee: $60 (take home materials included)
Instructor: WholeHealth Chicago’s Yoga Therapist Renee Zambo, RYT

From getting to sleep to staying asleep, sleep disturbances plague many of us. Our brains and bodies require a complete cycle of thorough rest to properly detox and rejuvenate.

Yoga Therapy for Sleep Disturbance will discuss underlying causes for sleep disturbance, and ways to properly unwind at the close of a day. Specific methods to support participants with conditions such as chronic pain, high blood pressure, and elevated stress will be highlighted for improving rest and recovery.  Read more>>

Space is limited and registration is required.
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**Join us for a demonstration of Taoist Tai Chi® internal arts of health
Saturday, August 26th at 11:00AM – 12:00PM
There is no fee for this program
WholeHealth Chicago
2265 North Clybourn Ave.
773-296-6700

This demonstration of Taoist Tai Chi® arts will give you an opportunity to learn more about this ancient path to good health of body and mind. Taoist Tai Chi® arts help to promote a healthy, balanced life style and a simple way to manage stress. Taoist Tai Chi® arts offers a chance to discover a powerful adaptable, and accessible tool for all ages, including seniors, and people with specific health concerns. These arts can be used to help people take responsibility for their health on its own or as a complement to medical treatment they may be receiving.

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