Posts tagged ‘aromatherapy’

December 9, 2013

A Holistic Christmas Gift

by lrmetcalfe

If you’re looking for something a little different for your friend’s and family’s Christmas gifts this year, check out our holistic suggestions…weleda


A Pampering Treat

Why not treat your loved ones to a gift voucher for a massage or other complimentary therapy treatment. You can purchase vouchers from your local spa, health club or mobile therapist. Enliven Holistics provide mobile treatments in Birmingham, email me for more information: or find a therapist in your area


Aromatherapy Gifts

Mix up your own bath oils and massage blends for your friends.

Almond and grapeseed oil, make great bases, add a blend of your favourite smelling essential oils (up to 10 drops for 50ml) and pour into a bottle. There are some beautiful bottles and containers on the market to make your gift look special, take a look at or for oils and bottles.


Natural Beauty Care

For those who love to look after their hair and skin the natural way, there are many organic and eco-friendly beauty products on the market.

My favourite gift sets include:

  • Burt’s Bees Essential Burt’s Bees Kit
  • Jason Organics Lavender Gift Set
  • Weleda Mini Body Oils Gift Set


Charitable Gifts

Why not buy your loved one the gift of helping another. There are many great Christmas ideas from charities which will benefit other people or important causes.

You could ‘adopt a hive’, this charity relies on donations to increase bee populations. Alternatively, Farm Africa, encourage gift-buyers to sponsor chickens or goats, providing a sustainable form of charity to people in Africa.

Check out Present Aid for more ideas…

I hope I have given you a few ideas…Happy Shopping!

February 5, 2013

All about…..Ear Candling

by lrmetcalfe

Ear candling is one of my favorite treatments to give and to receive. However when a client views my treatment list and reads ‘ear candling’ a confused even baffled look often appears on their face.

Ear candling, also known as ear coning, Hopi ear candling and thermal auricular therapy, is, in my experience a relaxing and soothing treatment which has a variety of health benefits and applications. However it is a treatment which is often misunderstood and is surrounded by myths.

As a practitioner I take a ‘common sense’ approach to my treatments and try and focus on the physical benefits to my clients. So in this article I will try and dispel many of the myths that surround ear candling and focus on my findings and experiences during ear candling treatments.

What happens during an ear candling treatment?

Before all treatments the client’s suitability will be assessed and a consultation carried out.

During an ear candling treatment a specially designed hollow ‘candle’ is inserted into the ear, the client lies on one side on the treatment couch as the candle burns down. The therapist holds the candle in place throughout and the client may hear popping and fizzing noises as the candle burns. The candle is extinguished before it burns down past the ‘safety line’, the c


lient then turns over and the process is repeated on the other ear. Common practice is to follow this with a draining facial massage. The practitioner will then open the candles to assess their contents, from this and various other factors the practitioner will assess whether follow up treatments are required.

Is it just a normal candle?

During a treatment a specially designed ‘ear candle’ is used.  The candle is hollow and made of linen/cotton, beeswax, honey extracts, sage, St. John’s Wort, chamomile and beta carotene. Other candles may come in different shapes and contain additional essential oils, but these are the ingredients for the basic and most popular candle. At the base of the candle there is a red line which is the line down to which the candle will be burnt. Also at the base, inside the candle is a plastic filter, this stops any contents from the candle from entering the ear.

Isn’t the fire dangerous?

The candle burns down slowly and is extinguished in a bowl of water, before it reaches the red safety line (this shows the limit the candle should be burnt to).

Safety precautions are taken, for instance: clients with long hair will tie back their hair and clothing which may get in the way during the treatment is removed.

When performed correctly by a qualified professional the treatment poses no danger.

You can buy ear candles in a health shop, can’t I just get my friend to do it for me?

The process is much safer and more effective when performed by a qualified practitioner:

  • There are contraindications to the treatment which anyone who has not received training may not be aware of.
  •  The correct technique may not be used as the candle needs to be held in a particular position.
  • The results of the treatment would not be properly assessed.
  • Practitioners often follow ear candling with a facial massage which enhances its benefits and is a relaxing end to the therapy.

Why are they called Hopi ear candles?

Often the candles are known as ‘Hopi’ ear candles and the treatment referred to as Hopi ear candling. Unfortunately this is an inaccuracy and is due to marketing by one producer of ear candles who named their candles ‘Hopi’ and claim that the use of ear candles originated with the Hopi tribe. However, there is no such treatment within traditional Hopi healing practices. Vanessa Charles, public relations officer for the Hopi Tribal Council, has stated that ear candling “is not and has never been a practice conducted by the Hopi tribe or the Hopi people”.

Who should have the treatment?

As long as you do not have any contraindications then the treatment is a relaxing experience for all, however it may be especially useful for the following conditions:

  • Sinusitis
  • Hayfever
  • Migraines and headaches
  • Excessive or compacted ear wax
  • Snoring
  • Tinnitus
  • Loss or reduction of smell

Is there any reason why I can’t have the treatment?

There are various contraindications to the treatment and if you are unsure as to whether you should have the treatment you should speak to your GP first.

The contraindications are as follows and should be checked before treatment:

  • Allergies to any of the candle’s ingredients
  • Perforated ear drum in the last 6 months
  • Grommet fitted in the ear drum, or if the grommet has fallen out in the last 6 months
  • If the client is under specific medical supervision
  • Recent severe dental work
  • Pregnancy
  • Epilepsy
  • Fever or infection
  • Skin condition in or around the ear (eczema, psoriasis)
  • Cochlear implant or hearing aid in position
  • If a mastoidectomy has taken place
  • Not suitable for children under the age of 3

How do you assess the treatment?                              

I assess the treatment using following criteria:

  • The time the candles take to burn down for each ear
  • The contents of each candle
  • Whether the sizzling sounds could be heard by the receiver
  • The feedback from the client immediately after the treatment
  • The feedback from the client following the treatment

Dependent on the findings I will decide with the client if further treatment is required.

Do the candles suck out the ear wax from my ears?

At the end of the treatment the candles will be opened and their contents assessed. Depending on the condition of the ears, the contents of the candle will vary.

Many practitioners maintain that the orange waxy substance often found in the ear candles is ear wax, however this is not possible; ear candling does not have a vacuum-like effect on the ears. The candle will only contain the remains of its ingredients which have not fully burnt away.  The following residues may be found in the candle:

  • yellow powder (candle herbal residue)
  • orange/brown wax (beeswax from the candle)

My experiences

Of all the treatments I offer, and all the treatments I have received from fellow therapists, ear candling is the treatment I cannot live without.

I suffer from allergic sinusitis which is caused like hayfever, by pollen in the Spring months. Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses and my symptoms include painful headaches, an aching neck, runny or blocked nose, pain behind my eyes and at the top of my nose, and a tickly feeling in my nose.

Every time I start to suffer I ask a fellow therapist for an ear candling treatment. Sometimes my symptoms are relieved straight away other times it may take a day or two to take effect; however I always find the treatment useful and incredibly relaxing.

I hope this has enlightened you to the effects of this soothing, beneficial treatment.

August 2, 2012

The Aromatherapy Medicine Chest

by lrmetcalfe

Essential Oils and a simple base oil can provide a variety of remedies to everyday complaints.

Firstly keep a base or carrier oil handy, most essential oils must be combined with a base oil to dilute them. The cheapest and easiest to find of the base oils are almond oil or a good quality olive oil, these can both be found at your local supermarket.

The essential oils can be found at your local health shop or at some larger pharmacies. Once purchased they last for a long time and can be used for a wide variety of problems. Keep these five essential oils stored in a cool dark place with your first aid kit and you may be surprised at how effective these remedies can be.

One of the most popular and well-known essential oils. For stress dot a little on your wrists and temples for a soothing effect; dot on your pillow or add 5 drops to an evening bath if you can’t sleep at night.
For burns or insect bites apply neat to the affected area 3 times a day. Or add a few drops to a plain emollient cream for eczema or dermatitis.

Tea Tree
A valuable part of any first aid kit as it has anti-septic, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties.
Dab onto spots and boils, or for wide-spread acne, add a few drops to a plain facial wash or shower gel and use daily.
As an anti-fungal apply tea tree oil using cotton wool to athlete’s foot, fungal nail infections or ringworm. Sufferers of vaginal thrush can add a few drops to their bath to soothe the irritation.
At the onset of a sore throat or a mouth ulcer gargle with warm water to which 4 drops of tea tree oil has been added.
To prevent head lice, add tea tree oil to a plain shampoo and conditioner or rub a little oil behind the ears, around the hair line.

Rosemary is excellent for soothing aching muscles when added to a base oil and used for massage, alternatively add 5 drops to a hot bath.
A good tonic for the hair, warm your base oil and a few drops of rosemary, rub into the scalp to encourage hair growth, release tension in the head and to prevent dandruff.
For colds, flu or sinus problems add a couple of drops to a bowl of hot water and inhale the steam to clear the catarrh.
Dot onto your wrists and temples whilst studying or during an exam as Rosemary is believed to keep the mind clear and alert.

Roman Chamomile
A good essential oil to use with children and babies, as it is mild and gentle. Use a drop in a child’s bath at night to soothe them to sleep. Stomach ache, colic or indigestion can be eased by adding a couple of drops of chamomile to a base oil and massaging gently into the stomach and lower back in a clockwise direction.
Roman Chamomile is a useful oil for skin care, especially in cases where the skin is inflamed, dry, sore or sensitive, add a few drops to a plain lotion or base oil and massage daily into the affected area.

Peppermint Oil
A popular and well- known essential oil. Great for treating digestive complaints, add to a base oil and massage gently into the stomach in a clockwise direction to ease constipation.
Peppermint can be combined with a base oil or petroleum jelly and rubbed onto the chest to clear catarrh during a cold or flu alternatively add 3 drops in the bath or use for steam inhalation.
A few drops of Peppermint sniffed from a tissue may alleviate nausea or the symptoms of shock.
Combined with lavender, peppermint can ease a headache or migraine; add a drop of each to a base oil massage into the scalp and neck and dot on the temples.

Essential oils should be used in small amounts and should usually be diluted before use. Always complete a ‘patch test’ before using an essential oil for the first time. Some essential oils are not suitable for use during pregnancy, on young children or on those who suffer from epilepsy or other medical conditions. If in doubt please consult your doctor first.