By Hillary Arrieta,
LMT, MTI, and Certified Aromatherapist.
It's summer, and I love walking and hiking in nature on warm, dry days. If it were up to me, I'd probably spend most of my time outdoors. However, mosquitoes are a problem everywhere you go. Sometimes these Texas summers require early morning or evening hikes, which can be an issue because those are the times of the day when they are the most active.
A few years back, I was at an outdoor meditation retreat where I forgot about these pesky and unrelenting creatures. I came away with welts that were so itchy and miserable that I decided to blend something that could take the sting out and give me some relief. This aromatherapy recipe worked like a charm! I always make sure to have some of it handy for the summertime.
For this recipe, you will need to gather essential oils of:
Four drops Spike Lavender (Lavandula latifolia)
Four drops Blue Tansy (Tanacetum annuum)
Two drops of Tulsi (holy basil) (Ocimum sanctum ct eugenol)
Three drops of Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
One ounce PET plastic flip-top bottle.
One ounce of any of the following:
Organic, unscented lotion, aloe vera juice (an excellent, cooling option), or your choice of natural, cold-pressed seed or vegetable oil.
Fill the bottle almost to the top with your carrier product. Drop by drop, add your essential oils. Shake to mix and apply to the itchy bites as needed. Avoid the area if the skin is broken and bleeding.
Pro tip: Add your blend to a glass roller bottle for on-the-go convenience. I find glass roller-ball bottles at Natural grocers for a very reasonable price.
If you don't have any of this stuff and aren't interested in blending oils, try an old folk remedy of using a banana peel! Just peel the banana and place the inside part of the skin on the bites. That should ease the itch.
If you tried this recipe, Leave your results in the comments section! I'd love to hear how it worked for you.
Hi! I’m Hillary Arrieta and I help people improve their lives by offering holistic solutions to ease stress, eliminate pain, and inspire self care practices. I own The Heeling Hut in Plano, Texas and specialize in unique and effective massage and meditation techniques such as Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage and iRest® Yoga Nidra. At The Heeling Hut, You'll find the Best Massage and Ashiatsu in the Dallas area for pain and stress management.
This summer has been a hot one. Yes, it’s Texas but the humidity and heat takes it's toll on me every year. It's nice to have refreshing beverages and a cool place to retreat to in the height of the afternoon. It's a perfect time for Hibiscus berry sun tea.
I learned about this delicious treat during an aromatic beauty care class at The Barefoot Dragonfly in Austin. The Barefoot Dragonfly is owned by Amy Kreydin, one of my favorite aromatherapists. Amy Is an ARCB Board Certified Reflexologist and CCAP Clinical Aromatherapist, who specializes in working with pediatrics, women’s health, autoimmune conditions, and chronic health issues.
We had a wonderful afternoon learning and sipping on this really delicious tea. I’m so thankful that she shared her recipe with me so that I could enjoy it all season.
Let's learn more about these herbs first before diving into the recipe. We're using Hibiscus flowers, Hawthorn berries, Elderberries, and some raw honey. Adding the frozen berry mix adds to the refreshing qualities of this tea and makes it takes really great!
*loose herbs can be found at natural grocers or ordered online from Herbiary or mountain rose herbs.*
You will need:
•1 part dried hibiscus flowers,
•1 part hawthorn berry,
•1 part elderberry,
• Filtered water,
•1 cup frozen berries,
• Raw honey to taste,
• Glass pitcher,
•Cloth tea bag or cheesecloth.
Directions: Place the dried hibiscus, elderberry, and hawthorn berries in the tea bag or cheesecloth and float them in a pitcher of filtered water. Set the pitcher out in the sun or a sunny window to brew for an hour or two. Bring the pitcher in and remove the tea bag/cheese cloth. Pour the frozen berries into the pitcher and place in the fridge to chill. Drink over ice and add raw honey to taste.
Miss Luna guarding my brew!
Did you try the recipe? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Guest Blog Post By
Michele Miller Cook of Body Ache Escape Massage Center in Pickerington, OH.
As you all may have figured out, I am an avid reader. My latest read is Sleep Smarter: 21 Proven Tips to Sleep Your Way To a Better Body, Better Health and Bigger Success by Shawn Stevenson. I wanted to do a run down of the points here. It’s some really good stuff!
1. Know the Value of Sleep– It is proven that lack of sleep actually makes you dumber and slower.
2. Get more Sunlight during the day– best sunlight is between 6-8:30am. This helps produce melatonin, the sleep hormone.
3. Avoid any screens before bed– Don’t look at your cell phones or computers for 90 minutes before bed. If you must, download an app designed to block the blue light. One is f.lux.
4. Have a caffeine curfew– If you want to be asleep by 10pm, avoid caffeine after 2pm.
5. Be Cool– Ideal sleeping temperature is 60-68 degrees.
6. Get to Bed at the Right Time– Ideal bedtime is 10pm.
7. Rub the “anti-stress” Mineral into Your Skin Each Day- 80% of the population is deficient in magnesium. Get a magnesium spray and use it before bedtime.
8.Create a Sleep Sanctuary– Only sleep and sex in your bedroom! Get a air ionizer or humidifier. Get a plant…like a Snake Plant.
9. Get it Blacked Out- Get Blackout Curtains. Block all your electronic lights. It made a big difference in my room when I unplugged my alarm clock.
10. Train Hard– Workout in the morning. Morning exercisers had up to 75% more time in the reparative stage of sleep.
11. Get your “friends” out of your room– get your ipads, cell phones, tvs, laptops, etc. out of your bedroom.
12. Lose Weight & don’t find it again– Insulin is a huge factor in getting the right sleep.
13. Go easy on the bottle– when you drink you don’t go through the full cycles of sleep. This is part of why hangovers occur. So have an alcohol curfew and drink lots of water!
14. Play your position– There are pros and cons to every sleep position. Figure out which one is best for you.
15. Calm your inner chatter- Practice Meditation!
16. Use Smart Supplementation– Chamomile, Kava Kava, Valerian, 5Htp, Gaba and L-Tryptophan are all supplements to look into to aid in sleep quality.
17. Be Early to Rise– Humans are not nocturnal creatures. Rise early to set the right circadian rhythm.
18. Dress for the Occasion- Wear fewer and looser clothes to bed to help with temperature control.
19. Get Grounded– Get your feet on the earth as much as possible. Getting grounded helps prevent free radicals which causes inflammation.
20. Ritualize your night– A bedtime routine will help you fall asleep faster. Read, take a bath, journal or meditate.
By Hillary Arrieta, Dallas Texas Massage Therapist.
Have you ever heard of a self-massage technique called Maya abdominal massage? If you have, you may have been like me and dismissed it in the past. It recently popped up again when I was studying about uterine health in one of my herbalism classes. This time, I made a point to learn it and started to use it in my everyday wellness routine.
After having this first-hand experience, I can only say that I wished I had started sooner. Like most women, I've had my fair share of womb woes, including painful ovarian cysts that have cause some scary symptoms. Finding this self-care technique empowered me to feel like I could take charge of my well-being in this department.
Where does this technique come from initially? Dr. Rosita Arvigo, N.D, developed the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy. Based on her time studying under the Maya healer, Don Elijio Panti, as well as her education as a naturopathic physician.
The Maya believe a woman's center is her uterus. Don Elijio Panti, the great shaman of Belize, is often quoted saying, " If a woman's uterus is out of balance, so is she."
The uterus is situated in the lower abdomen and is held in place by muscles, ligaments, and the vaginal wall. Over time, these muscles and ligaments can weaken and cause the uterus to tilt.
Rosita explains that by gently repositioning internal organs that have shifted due to this weakness and toning the muscles with these massage techniques, the aim is to improve lymph and blood flow, nerve function, and the body's flow of qi. Women with a tilted uterus can experience issues that range from painful periods to blood flow issues.
Here are my teachers' instructions on taking a natural approach to healing your womb with Maya abdominal massage.
Did you give this technique a try?
What did you think?
Leave a comment.
Hi! I’m Hillary Arrieta and I help people improve their lives by offering holistic solutions to ease stress, eliminate pain, and inspire self care practices.
I own The Heeling Hut in Plano, TX. Where I teach workshops, write, and specialize in unique and effective massage and meditation techniques such as Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage and iRest® Yoga Nidra. At The Heeling Hut you'll find the best massage in the Dallas area for pain and stress management. Texas MT 040051
By Robert Gardner
Client care is something that many will overlook but it's one of the largest factors in whether you get long term relief. Anything a massage therapist can do for you you can often do for yourself. It will never replace the luxury of a massage but we've all heard that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Working on yourself is as simple as breathing, stretching and some simple self massage. Here's a video showing how you stretch and open your gluteals and it often helps ease low back pain.
If you're having problems with your neck you can work slowly and gently using the video shown here.
If you're sitting at work you can do the same basic neck stretch within what feels comfortable to you. Always remember that you go slow you breathe and nothing should feel painful.
These are simple easy to use tools that you can expand upon taking a yoga class and by getting regular bodywork. Once you know where the tension is it's far easier to work on.
Happy New Year!
It's the first post of 2016.
I think a self-care reminder is a perfect way to start the New Year!
As you know, I'm always advocating self-care rituals and making "me time" a priority. I recently came across this excellent self-care checklist.
What an excellent idea. It's easy to get off track and overwhelmed when we get busy.
This list is a perfect reminder that sometimes we forget to do those little things that keep us balanced.
You can read the original list here and check out the follow-up post as well.
I pulled out a few of the suggestions that I love.
Next time you feel like life is too crazy, and everything is terrible, or maybe the crazy Dallas weather is bringing you down, take a break and make sure that you are taking care of yourself.
Question: What's on your self-care checklist?
Let me know in the comments.
Enjoying hours of restful sleep is on the top of my personal self care list. I don't know about you, but I've always loved sleep. It just seems to be the perfect reset button for me. If I'm feeling stressed or overwhelmed, I do my little night time ritual and go to bed early.
I wake up rested and feel like I can focus on problem solving with a clear head.
Lately, many of my clients have been talking to me about their lack of sleep these days. They say that they are having a hard time winding down in the evening. Of course we know that massage helps people get better quality of sleep and eases insomnia so they are already in the right place to received sleep related benefits.
Recent seasonal changes and lunar events can also make it difficult on our sleep patterns.
Some people turn to alcohol or prescription medications to help them achieve restful sleep.
I checked out the long list of side effects some people have experienced from medications, so I thought that I'd write about some natural ways to catch some high quality zzz's.
First, consider your current lifestyle. Look at it from a holistic point of view. That means examine all of the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of your life right now.
Make some changes to your lifestyle that feel good to you and see if it has a positive affect. I also love this list of questions to ask yourself when you're feeling overwhelmed. It's a big help to me when I need to put things in to perspective. An excellent self care list!
Some of my favorite bed time routines are taking a hot bath with bath salts and massaging my feet with an aromatherapy salve. I also love to do a few restorative yoga postures to get my body ready to sleep. Spinal twists are my absolute favorite before bed.
Now, set up your sleeping space.
Make it cool and dark. Consider removing electronics from your bedroom.
Make yourself a retreat that you enjoy going to every evening. I always have a book and a flashlight on my bedside table so I can read because i've found that it puts me right to sleep. Find out what works for you and make it easy to access. Some other suggestions are aromatherapy eye pillows or deep breathing exercises.
I've also included this great pillow spray recipe below the picture.
Recipe for a simple pillow spray:
2 oz empty and clean spray bottle
1 tsp. vegetable glycerine (can be found online) to help disperse EO's
Distilled or filtered water
7 drops of Lavender ( Lavendula angustifolia) essential oil
7 drops of Ho wood (Cinnamomum camphora ct linalol) essential oil
6 drops Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) essential oil
First, fill the bottle almost to the top with water (make enough room for the other liquids that you're about to add).
Then, add essential oils drop by drop.
Next, add your vegetable glycerine.
Put the top on the spray bottle and shake it up.
Spray your pillow before bed and enjoy!
Did you try the pillow spray recipe?
Share your experiences in the comments.
If you made alterations to the recipe, which scents did you use and why?
"Dissatisfaction and suffering arise when our mind attaches or is averse to, experiencing a particular thought, image, desire, or action". Richard Miller Ph.D
I'm happy to say that I have made significant strides in my life by adopting a few mindful practices. I am here to encourage you to give them a try. Please keep in mind that what I'm about to suggest are PRACTICES.
I've been working with them for quite a while, and I am not perfect and don't ever expect myself to be. I have my zen moments, but I still have my rage moments. I've come a long way. When I can have compassion for the struggle, my own, and the struggle of others, I notice the changes I've made and can appreciate all my hard work. Give them a try. When you feel like quitting, challenge yourself to keep working with them, and you'll weave some magic into your life.
Mindful Practice #1: Acceptance.
Pesky annoyances that wear you down...What if you could take a step back and accept those people, places, things, and situations that drive you up the wall? There's power in that, my friend. The point is, we can never really change someone else and that traffic jam isn't going to go away anytime soon. You're stuck in the thick of it. Accept that and breathe, which brings me to my next practice.
Mindful practice #2: Welcome to the present reality.
Welcoming is the opposite of resisting. The more you resist reality, the more suffering you cause yourself. "Dissatisfaction and suffering arise when our mind attaches or is averse to, experiencing a particular thought, image, desire, or action." Richard Miller
The practice of welcoming in whatever it is that you are experiencing - at the moment you are experiencing it- is a liberating practice in awareness and will serve you when things that are out of your control present themselves in your life.
Mindful practice #3: Take responsibility for yourself.
That rage, that disgust, that's all you, babe. Dig deeper and find the source of that anger. Does it stem from a belief that you can let go of and, in return, receive some peace in your life? You get to decide how you're going to react to situations. No one is pulling strings or "pushing your buttons." You are a free being. You get to make choices.
There are many ways that we cause or substantially contribute to our suffering.
When we choose to accept things just as they are, whether our current reality, other people, or ourselves, we begin to open up to a more peaceful way of living, we can see that every moment is paired with its perfect calm response.
Did you enjoy this blog?
What are some of your mindful practices?
Share in the comments!
February is here and it's almost time to celebrate Valentines Day!
Many people dread this holiday and I can see why with all the pressure to make it special.
It can also feel pretty lonely if you're unattached.
By making Valentines Days focus about self care and self love along with celebrating the love you have in your life, whether it's a romantic love or friendship, is a healthy approach to this months festivities.
As a massage therapist, I see many people who are burned out on life. They need to refresh and rejuvenate themselves so they can better handle the everyday stress that comes from work, family, and other daily obligations.
I preach self care because it's a necessity that many people don't know about. That is why our bodies are breaking down, our spirits are empty. We're not traditionally taught the value of slowing down and taking a time out as an adult.
I've included a list of fun things to do in the name of self care and have collected a few quotes from self care experts to inspire you!
"When you're happy and healthy on the inside, it can't help but overflow to the outside." Jennie Carlson the Body Image Builder http://bodyimagebuilder.com/
Here's my fun list of things to do instead of stressing out over Valentines Day. You can do these with someone or by yourself.
1. Cook a healthy meal at home. Something that is going to nourish your body.
2. Decorate your space with fresh flowers.
3. Clear the energy in your home with a good cleaning. Burn some white candles for good energy.
4. Bring love in to your heart with some simple intention setting rituals or a prayer.
5. Begin a meditation practice.
6. Go to a yoga or fitness class.
7. Take a walk on a dirt path and enjoy nature.
8. Take a nap. Sleep in!
9. Brighten your appearance. Do something new with your hair or make
10. Make a bath with herbal salts, a cup of tea, and soothing music.
11. Visit a float spa and drift away.
12. Hire a massage therapist to come to your home.
13. Have a movie night and watch comedy's that make you laugh!
14. Make art.
Treating yourself to a "me" day once in a while is good for your soul!
In what ways do you take care of yourself?
How are you spending valentines day this year?
"Self care is not a one dose thing. Self care is a daily relationship with yourself and needs caring for and maintaining just as you would any long term relationship." Caitlin Grace www.cgrace4wellbeing.blogspot.co.nz
One of my New Years "resolutions" or goals is to be holistically well. To me, this means wellness across the board.
My mind, body, & spirit are well.
I've been thinking about ways that I can reach this goal and how I can change my life to create a daily experience where wellness is at the top of my "to-do" list.
This is easy when I'm working with clients and I'm helping them with their wellness goals, but like so many people, it's easy to forget our own path to better health.
Over the past ten or so years, I've done a great job getting regular massage and working with various mind/body relaxation tools.
I've tried yoga, cranial sacral therapy, various Ayurvedic therapies, meditation, acupuncture, reflexology, Trager, yoga therapy, aromatherapy, herbalism, reiki, biofeedback, flotation therapy, prayer.
I've visited sweat lodges, and have had unique forms of bodywork.
All of these experiences have given me deep insight to how my bodymind works.
I am also reminded of the pillars of strength (Did anyone else watch Chasing Mavericks?)
Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual.
I plan to think of these these four pillars as a guide to achieve a sense of holistic balance.
My plans for this year are many!
In addition to adding new habits to my life in order to strengthen myself, I plan on receiving regular massage therapy and other complimentary therapies because they keep me sane and are a big part of my personal wellness plan.
What commitments are you making this year? How do you plan to stick to them?
What unique therapies or forms of bodywork have you tried?
Which ones do you recommend and why?
Tell me in the comments section.
Dallas Massage Blog is a written journal about Massage Therapy, Wellness, and Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage in the Dallas, Texas area.