Aromatherapy – What are the benefits?

Aromatherapy – What does it mean to use aromatherapy as part of self-care? On a basic level there are smells that remind you of things. Your brain registers the memory with a scent. I have a distinct “home” smell. There is a specific smell when I have gone to a spa. When I smell it, I am reminded of relaxation and comfort. Our mind registers the smell information into our brain and helps connect it to certain sensations.
Research has shown that certain essential oils will help certain portions of our brain and body.

Dr Brent Bauer from the Mayo Clinc says,

Research on the effectiveness of aromatherapy — the therapeutic use of essential oils extracted from plants — is limited.

However, some studies have shown that aromatherapy might have health benefits, including:

  • Relief from anxiety and depression
  • Improved quality of life, particularly for people with chronic health conditions
  • Improved sleep

Smaller studies suggest that aromatherapy with lavender oil may help:

  • Reduce pain for people with osteoarthritis of the knee
  • Improve quality of life for people with dementia
  • Reduce pain for people with kidney stones

Essential oils used in aromatherapy are typically extracted from various parts of plants and then distilled.

The highly concentrated oils may be inhaled directly or indirectly or applied to the skin through massage, lotions or bath salts. Some essential oil manufacturers have oils that can be taken internally, but research on the safety and efficacy of this method is extremely limited.

Aromatherapy is thought to work by stimulating smell receptors in the nose, which then send messages through the nervous system to the limbic system — the part of the brain that controls emotions.

Many essential oils have been shown to be safe when used as directed. However, essential oils used in aromatherapy aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

Risk of allergies – When oils are applied to the skin, side effects may include allergic reactions, skin irritation and sun sensitivity. In addition, further research is needed to determine how essential oils might affect children and how the oils might affect women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, as well as how the oils might interact with medications and other treatments.

What Exactly is Meditation

Meditate – What exactly does it mean to meditate?

First, let’s explore what it means to meditate. The basic definition – Meditation is a practice of concentrated focus upon a sound, object, visualization, the breath, movement, or attention itself in order to increase awareness of the present moment, reduce stress, promote relaxation, and enhance personal and spiritual growth.

To meditate is to think deeply or focus one’s mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation.

Let’s explore the benefits of meditation. A meditation study done by the National Institute of Health shows to improve the following conditions –
1. Stress
2. Anxiety
3. Cardiovascular Health
4. Depression
5. Insomnia
6. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
7. Addiction

American Psychological Association concluded that Transcendental Meditation had relatively strong effects in reducing anxiety, negative emotions, trait anxiety and neuroticism while aiding learning, memory and self-realization.

The bottom line is that exploring meditation has many well-being benefits. Where do you actually start? We have how-to meditate cards going around for self-care week 2. Here are the simple tips now.

One article reads, put simply, meditation is a tool for stress relief, Fletcher says, adding that by relieving stress, you’re setting yourself up to be able to perform at the top of your game. “I believe we meditate to get good at life, not to get good at meditation,” she says. Many people have the misconception that meditation is about focusing on the present, but Fletcher actually considers that to be mindfulness (which we’ll get into later). Meditation, on the other hand, is about getting rid of all of the stress the body has stored from the past.

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8-Weeks of Self-Care

Commit to self-care and find your own inner awesome. Self-care is one of the best ways to prevent compassion fatigue. However, most people do not even truly understand what self-care really is. We know when we are tired, worn out or simply done but do we know when we are sustained? Let’s explore self-care together. What is the first 6 tips to review.

  1. Listen to yourself – We instinctively know what is best
    for us, but often do not listen. We will even ignore our
    body telling us. Feeling tired, having pain, having a
    nagging feeling in your gut. That is your body trying to
    tell you something. Honor your intuition.
  2. Prioritize – No one can do it all and trying is just going
    to land you in a world of distress and disappointment.
    Take time to prioritize your day and be ready to let
    go to as much of your list as possible. Focus on what
    is important to you and accept that you can not do
    everything.
  3. Ask for Help – If you are feeling dissatisfied with the amount
    you are able to do on your own then use your resources. Do not
    be afraid to ask others for help. Allowing another to help you
    not only takes off some of the burden off of you, it can also give
    them an opportunity to express their goodwill towards you and
    allow them to feel valued in the process.
  4. Take Care of Your Body – You only get one. Exercising,
    eating well and sleep are essential for self-care. In addition to
    the basics, go the extra mile and create pleasant experiences for
    your body that you will enjoy – a relaxing bath, a leisurely walk
    through nature breathing fresh, clean air, a comfortable nap in a
    sunny spot, a nourishing meal, a massage, whatever strikes your
    fancy. treat yourself.
  5. Be with those you love – Surround yourself with the ones
    who make you smile. Smiling is good for you, so is laughing – so
    keep those loved ones close! Whether it’s your family, lover, pet
    or favorite movie star on your TV, keeping company that makes
    you happy and supports & loves you (the real you) is a wonderful
    form of self care.
  6. Speak Up – Would you want someone to squash their true feelings,
    dreams and desires because they were afraid to express themselves,
    even though it is hurting them to do so? Don’t do this to yourself either. Be honest with yourself and others. Don’t say “yes” to someone even if it means saying “no” to yourself. Take care of your needs and don’t be afraid to say them out loud. When you share your needs to others, it often allows them to feel comfortable enough to allow them to share theirs.

Do the Self-Care Dance!

Let’s face it. Dancing is something we talk about doing, but leave for others. Did you know that little release isn’t just good to help you relax but it is good for your muscles after having sat a while? In fact, we would even suggest it is good for a little giggle that will occur from a short jig.

It doesn’t have to be ballroom level. We are talking a quick move to a song in your head or actually coming from the radio. The benefit if you share your jig with others can be contagious. *But that is entirely up to you.

Some songs that may help your jig come out more effectively can include (but trust me any old tune will do)

  • @dance.tut on Instagram has some fun tutorials for all ages.
  • Macarena
  • KyleYouMadeThat (Yung Baby Tate) (This content may have profanities)
  • Beggin’
  • Bring Me to Life (by Evanescence)
  • Dance Monkey (Tones and I)
  • Hot N Cold (Katy Perry)
  • Immortals (Fall Out Boy)
  • Just Like Heaven (The Cure)

Let’s see those dance moves. Post your short videos on our Facebook and/or Instagram. We want to see you movin’. All ages welcome!

@caycareplacement

What Does Eggs Have to Easter?

Why do we have Easter eggs?

Although eggs were a symbol of fertility and rebirth in pagan cultures, Easter eggs were used by early Christians to symbolize parts of the Easter story. Easter eggs represent the empty tomb from which Jesus resurrected.

In early Orthodox churches, Easter eggs were blessed by the priests and distributed to the congregants at the end of Paschal vigil, which is the Saturday before Easter known as Holy Saturday. In some denominations today, Paschal vigil is still observed where a service is held on Saturday morning or night. The service is similar to a Christmas Eve service. During the Paschal vigil, Scripture is read, candles are lit, and baptisms take place.

During the service, Easter eggs are handed out to symbolize Jesus’ resurrection: The hard shell represents the sealed tomb and the cracking of the egg represents Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

While it might seem like a strange tradition to hand out Easter eggs in a church service, early Christians abstained from eating eggs and meat during Lent, a period of 40 days where Christians fast, repent, and pray to prepare for Easter. Therefore, Easter was the first time Christians could eat eggs.

As a symbol of Jesus’ tomb and resurrection, Christians developed different traditions surrounding Easter eggs.

Why do we dye Easter eggs?

The early Christians of Mesopotamia began the custom of dyeing Easter eggs. Originally, Christians dyed eggs red to represent the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on the cross. Over time, this tradition spread throughout eastern Orthodox churches and eventually made its way to Catholic and Protestant churches in Europe.

 

According to Good Housekeeping, early Christian missionaries dyed the eggs different colors to represent different aspects of the Easter story. They used yellow to represent the resurrection, blue to represent love, and red to represent the blood of Christ. Sometimes, the missionaries would paint biblical scenes on the eggs and hide them. This is one of the earliest forms of the Easter egg hunt.

Why do we hunt for Easter eggs?

Early Christian missionaries hid Easter eggs painted with biblical scenes for children to find. The children would find the Easter eggs and tell the story associated with the paintings. Therefore, early Easter egg hunts helped children learn about the significance of Easter.

One of the earliest Easter egg hunts that most resembles the modern Easter egg hunt can be traced to Martin Luther. Martin Luther was a key leader in the Protestant Reformation. During this time, men would hide eggs for women and children to find. The joy the women and children experienced as they found eggs mirrored the joy the women felt when they found Jesus’ tomb empty and realized He had risen.

Just like early Easter egg hunts, we hide eggs for children to find. For our modern Easter egg hunts, we hide special goodies inside each egg. Therefore, when children open the Easter eggs to find their surprise inside, they experience happiness and joy—the same happiness and joy Jesus’ followers experienced when they heard the Good News of His resurrection.

What are other Easter egg traditions?

Every year, the White House hosts their annual Easter Egg Roll. Egg rolling is a symbolic reenactment of the stone rolling away from Christ’s tomb. At the White House, children are invited to roll their eggs across the lawn. At the end of the event, the children receive a commemorative wooden egg.

 

Having its roots in the Greek Orthodox tradition, children across Europe and eastern countries play egg tapping. In its early days, red eggs were cracked together when people exchanged Easter greetings. Eventually, it evolved into a competitive game for children. The children are given hard-boiled eggs, and they hit each other’s eggs against one another. The winner is the child that has an intact egg at the end.

The history behind the Easter egg traditions are embedded in the roots of early Christianity. Understanding the different symbols of Easter eggs may give us something new to teach the children in our lives.

Article from Easter Eggs: What Is the History Behind This Tradition? | Chase Oaks