BulletScents of Peace July 2012 NewsletterBullet

deep breath

Deep Breath by Melanie Weidner 2004 courtesy of www.ListenForJoy.com

Kia Ora, whanau. For my Kiwi readers, its the middle of winter here in New Zealand.  Ah, winter.  It can be depressing feeling caged up inside with the cold weather outside, the lack of sunshine and much needed vitamin D and less motivation to get outside and exercise. Seasonal Affective Disorder (its acronym the definition of ironic) is real. So what can we do?  Rather than hibernate and get depressed I decided that I will catch up on my sleep by going to bed earlier.  Having a 6 month old baby, I've been getting used to getting up about between 5 and 5:30am every day, I just hadn't adjusted my going to bed time accordingly and my sanity was starting to take a toll of this for the last several months.  So, I decided to make the most out of the fewer daylight hours and get into bed earlier.  My brain and body are pretty exhausted by 8pm anyway so its not like I'm missing out on doing anything productive at that time of the night.  As it turns out, just sneaking in an extra hour of sleep each night for the last few weeks has helped considerably.  I actually look forward to getting into my bed, electric blanket on and at the ready and diving into a good book.  Its really worked mind miracles for me and it is nice having a bedtime routine like my daughter. 

Just Breathe
Another pre-sleep routine I'm focusing on at the moment is deep breathing.   I read an interesting article recently where a well-known pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, Dr. Andrew Weil stated, "If I had to limit my advice on a healthier living to just one tip, it would be to learn to breathe correctly".  It turns out that getting more oxygen, simply by changing the way we breathe can facilitate healing from a startling number of serious conditions including chronic pain, asthma, digestive issues, depression and wide-range of stress-related illnesses. The benefits of consciously breathing correctly has long been known by yogis and those who meditate for centuries but it seems that medical science is now catching up with conclusive evidence on the subject.  It is now known that breathing properly is essential to health.  Newborn babies come into the world breathing accurately but as we age, stresses (physical, mental and emotional) make us breathe much shallower as if we are flight or fight mode.  One way to combat this and receive the benefits of proper breathing is to regularly practice mindful breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing is one simple exercise that you can try.  Simply sit or lie comfortably and place one hand on your lower belly, one hand on your upper chest.  Inhale deeply through your nose, feeling your lower belly push out. Exhale through your mouth, lips pursed and feel your rib cage contract as you empty all the air in your lungs.  Do this exercise for about five minutes as many times per day as possible. Of course essential oils can enhance the experience.  Put a few drops of your favourite essential oil in a diffuser or just put a few drops on a tissue and place where you will be doing the breathing practice. I like to do this in the early morning using an uplifting essential oil (try lemongrass, peppermint, or grapefruit) and then again just before I go to sleep at night using lavender, ylang-ylang or bergamot.  Bliss!!

soy candle
Light up your Life-Aromatherapy Soy Candles on Sale!!

On special are our aromatherapy soy candles a beautiful addition to any home or office to add a subtle scent to the room. 
We have these in Energising (Lemongrass and Pink Grapefruit), Tranquillity (Lavender and Vanilla) and Oregon Dreams blends.
Normally $21 these are now only $12 each. 
Note: Not available to retail shops and prices only good while stocks last so order today.

Supplements for Healthy Skin?
I'm sure by now you know that what you put on your skin will go into your body.  In addition to using products which contain essential oils and vitamins for bath and body, you may also be curious about taking supplements which contain other vitamins and antioxidants to help improve the health and quality of skin from the inside.  Below is a rundown on some of these supplements and what they can do for you:
Vitamin C, E and selenium are antioxidants that help protect skin from sun damage
Vitamin A, also known as retinol, is key for cell growth and is often added to anti-aging treatments
Coenzyme Q10, also known as CoQ10 acts as an antioxidant, which helps protect cells from damage
Its important to get professional advice about which and how much of these supplements would be beneficial and safe for you as everyone is different.

Aromatherapy Tip: Make your own Sugar Scrub
An aromatherapy bath is a must for relaxing and unwinding the stresses of the day away, especially in winter.  Its very simple and inexpensive to create your own sugar scrub to exfoliate your skin and the essential oils in this recipe will provide the aromatherapy aspect of your bath.  You will need: 1 cup sugar (plain white sugar is fine but you can also use brown sugar or raw sugar for bigger granules), 1/2 cup of body oil (any vegetable or nut-based oil is best such as olive oil, coconut oil or almond oil), five drops of essential oil of choice.  I recommend Neroli, Bergamot, Lavender, Rose, or Jasmine for a relaxing soak at night.  Simply combine all ingredients in a glass jar with a lid and leave for 24 hours to allow the oils to absorb into the sugar.  Apply a good handful in circular motions all over your body, spending extra time massaging dry or rough areas such as feet and elbows.  After the bath your skin will smell divine and glow with moisture.

As always, I welcome your questions, comments and feedback so feel free to contact me anytime.  I'm off to enjoy an aromatherapy sugar scrub with soy candles then jump into bed early. :)  Till next time...

Peace, Darcy

 Creative Director, Owner & Operator, Scents of Peace