I love how I could walk into a room,
or a church or a home and have the aroma bring me to a memory. Pine
brings me to Christmas, pumpkinbrings me to Thanksgiving, cinnamon
and vanilla brings me right to the kitchen. When applying massage lotions
and creams, the same emotions and memory happens. I use aroma “therapy” as
a tool in achieving
ultimate relaxation for the clients that come into my studio. Aromatherapy
by definition is the practice of using volatile plant oils, including
essential oils, for psychological and physical well-being. Now with the
cold weather approaching, it is fun to play with different scents. Coconut
will bring in thoughts of the beach, while lavender will be more healing
and spa related and rose is always romantic. However romantic and psychologically
pleasing using aroma therapy can be, we all need to be educated in the
art of aromatherapy to achieve maximum results. Those with allergies
need to be more mindful than those that are not as sensitive. Mineral
oil based and paraffin based oils are also to be used with more caution.
Read Ingredient Lists
Read labels and familiarize yourself with the names of healthy natural
ingredients and also of synthetic and toxic ingredients that you need
Below is an abbreviated list of categories
that aromatherapy products frequently fall into:
Ask the experts. Oils go directly into the bloodstream so it is mandatory
to investigate ingredients in order to understand what is good and not so
good for our bodies. Barclay-Crocker is a company that originated in the
Hamptons 18 years ago, now located in New Hampshire. Caitriona Barclay has
the knowledge and the expertise and many years in the fragrance/aromatherapy
business. Please check outh er website http://www.barclaycrocker.com or
call 1800 536 1866. They ship world wide and have an excellent
selection of products and gift items. Use Coupon : SUBSCRIBE at checkout
to receive 10% OFF your first order. I also use Neals Yard products. They
don’t custom blend, but have a
wide variety of organic facial products as well as infant massage oils. http://www.nealsyardremedies.com/
Enders are grateful we have well groomed greens designed by celebrated
architects, and lately, wonderful weather. Golf has really become
as popular on the East End as “beaching” it. The golf
ranges are full with perspective players to practice their perfect drive,
as well as the putting greens for precise putt. I watch the body
more than the ball.
I work on the twisted bodies, with achy forearms and elbows. Low
back injuries are keeping my business booming. I have some suggestions
to make my business of massage transition from medical to just enjoyable.
Tai Chi. The first position in Tai
Chi, I know it as Wu Chi, is just about identical to the stance
in addressing the ball (no… I don’t mean “hello ball”
as Mr. Gleason so wonderfully exclaimed).
The practice of Tai Chi has kept my body in tact for many years, despite
my complaints when studying as a mandatory course in massage school.
Little did I know I would use it on the lines in Walbaums as well as in
my practice of massage. Tai Chi teaches us body “awareness”.
This helps us to avoid injury, fatigued muscles, and low energy.
The benefits are really extraordinary when the form is practiced on a
regular basis. It is easy and the rewards are many.
Feet are shoulder width apart, ankles are slightly bent, knees bent, pelvic
is tilted, solar plexus hollowed, chest is soft., shoulders are up, back
and down, arms resting on the saggetal plane, chin tucked. Head
reaching to the clouds like a “string of pearls”, while the
tailbone is sinking toward the center of the earth. “Tree-like”
Rooted but able to bend in the wind. This elongates the vertebrae
so oxygen and blood flows freely. All that is missing is the driver.
When I took my first golf lesson, out of two buckets of balls, I missed
about 2 or three balls. The rest all went relatively up, straight
and pretty far for just a massage therapist. It was a wonderful
thing. My golf instructor was amazed. I am NOT a golfer.
But I needed to learn how the body works so when working on my clients
that are, I understand where the potential injuries and aches would be
Tai Chi is a dance. The practice involves some stretching, breathing while
focusing on the body movements. The form is done upright and can
be completed in about 10 to 15 minutes. Ideally a longer, slower
practice is preferred however, more difficult.
If in China Town, you can experience the authentic Tai Chi being performed
by about 50 people, really early in the morning. Usually after the
form, they use fans to enhance the practice and are as beautiful to watch
as a ballet at the Met.
for more information about instructors here in the Hamptons and in NYC.
I have a great Tai Chi instructor here, and on the Upper East Side down
by the water in Carl Schurz Park, where she does the form with some happy
and healthy practitioners.
The form and practice of Tai Chi can be softer on the body, while stretching
out those stuck muscle. It is not a matt exercise. It requires
concentration, and diaphragmatic breathing while stretching in a non invasive
way. If you have any injuries or fragilities, , consult your
physician prior to doing the form. (Read
about chiropractic & Tai Chi)
on Touching’, by Kathy Abugel, LMT., Pres. Hampton's Massage, Inc.
Setting the stage
1. Atmosphere, music on the right notes, setting the
stage for the
massage will benefit the person getting the massage as well as the
person giving it. It is important to allow time enough for the
massage. Time for the after glow is just as important. Hopefully
the need to just jump off the table after the massage will be
avoided. Let the benefits of the massage take its course. Time is
really important, for the person giving the massage not to feel
rushed and the person getting the massage to feel relaxed and
comfortable with a clear head. Allow all the agendas to be put in the
back pockets at this time. Try not to schedule anything before the
massage, so the person giving the massage is relaxed and calm, and
the person receiving the massage can enjoy the lasting affects of the
oils, and general good feeling.
2. Creating the right atmosphere is all part of the therapy.
warm, quiet room, fireplace going if available, soft lighting will
help the person receiving close their eyes comfortably, or an
aromatherapy mask will help. Doing the massage in a place that is
pleasing to the eye will help the person giving the massage as well
when thoughts seem to wander a bit. Plenty of room for moving around
is helpful. If possible, no sounds from outside should come in.
Listening to music that will comfort, no words for excess thoughts,
at the right sound level. Ask the person receiving the massage his
or her preferences as to the type of music preferred. This could
also include sounds of the sea, or rain, or just plain quiet. Asking
questions is very empowering to the receiver, listening will be even