What is Dry Body Brushing ?

You’ve probably seen the long handled brushes or the oval brushes with the braided string. What are they? What are you supposed to do with them?

Dry brushing, also known as body brushing, is a wellness body treatment you can do yourself! First you want to get a soft, natural bristled wooden brush that fits nicely in your palm or perhaps one on a long, removable stick for you to to reach your back easier.

It’s pretty fool proof just remember, don’t wet it! Body brushing is meant to be done dry, before your shower each morning. What you’re trying to do is gently exfoliate your skin and stimulate your lymphatic system.

You’ll start at your toes, moving upward toward your heart, with long strokes and light to medium pressure. You shouldn’t be pressing hard enough for your skin to get red, but it may become a little flushed. You’ll brush the front and back of your body, always moving in an upward direction. When you get to your belly, you’ll brush in an upside down pyramid shape to follow the way your colon naturally detoxifies. Continue moving upward, brushing your back up and toward the lymph nodes in your neck. Be mindful of sensitive areas. For your arms, you’ll start at your fingers and move toward your shoulders. Make sure to do your armpits, as there are lots of lymph nodes there. You’ll end with your neck. The whole process will go quickly, it usually takes me 3 minutes or so. You should feel invigorated after and with consistent brushing, your skin will glow. It’s best to do daily, but strive to do it at least 5 times a week. That’s all! This tradition has been in wide use for over 5,000 years. I hope you find you love it, too. As always, if you have any questions at all or need more clarity on the process, please let me know.

One important caution, if you struggle with skin issues like psoriasis or are under a doctors care, body brushing may not be for you. Make sure to discuss it with your physician before starting.

*Note: This process is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Do not use if allergic to any ingredients.  I recommend you consult your healthcare provider prior to use if you are pregnant or nursing, taking any medications or if you have a medical condition. If irritation occurs discontinue use.

twig leaf flower is an organic vegan gluten free aromatherapy and herbal tea collection lovingly handmade in Dallas, PA by master herbalist and clinical aromatherapist Rebecca Nicely.

Smudging with Essential Oils

What is smudging? It’s a Native American tradition that dispels bad energy from spaces or people. Usually, dried herbs are burned in the ritual. The idea is that the sage or other cleansing herb cleanses the space of negativity and the smoke carries it away. Some people are sensitive to the smoke the burning herb creates or it’s just not possible to perform a traditional smudge ceremony in the area that needs attention. So, I got to work blending essential oils like sage, cedar wood and Palo Santo to create an aromatherapy alternative. My Smudge blend has quickly become my most popular synergy. It’s available in diffusion, roll on, mist and even a little travel kit for hotel rooms or visits with family. While sometimes you can’t cleanse the world of negativity, you can most certainly use Smudge Blend yourself to keep everything positive and aligned in just a few steps.

Here’s how to do it. Start by setting your intention. While holding your intention in your mind and in your heart, lightly mist Smudge Spray above your head and in you immediate surroundings. Picture the negativity evaporate as the mist mixes with the air. Inhale the scent of your roll on and apply it to your inside wrists, behind your ears and the bottoms of your feet if necessary. Envision yourself surrounded by white light and exhale a deep breath and all the uneasy vibes with it. Carry that feeling of openness with you throughout your day. If you need a reset, simply reapply your roll on and repeat your intention to yourself.

Another simple aromatherapy smudge technique is to set your intention, place a few drops of Smudge Essential Oil blend in your diffuser and sit quietly in meditation for a few minutes. As you breathe in, picture yourself inhaling love and peace and visualize yourself releasing any negativity as you exhale.

I hope these techniques help create a bit of balance in your day. As always, if you have any questions, please reach out.

twig leaf flower is an organic vegan gluten free aromatherapy and herbal tea collection lovingly handmade in Dallas, PA by master herbalist and clinical aromatherapist Rebecca Nicely.

Herbs for Wellness: Cold and Flu Season…

IMG_5464So it’s the time that the topic of many conversations is illness.  “Did you hear Suzie has the flu?  She has never been sicker in her life. ”  “I just ran into Joe and he has the worst cold. He hasn’t been well for 3 weeks now and just can’t seem to get better.”  Fortunately, there are herbal allies and holistic ways to help us resist and recover from winter nasties.

Remember, stress is the number one cause of illness.  We get run down, sleep less, eat food that’s not nutritious, stress about everything and wonder why we are more susceptible to illness.  It’s time to take a deep breath and a calm approach.  We all know the common sense things to do: wash your hands often, don’t touch your face, stay home if you’re sick, cough into your elbow instead of your hand, take off your shoes when you get home, the list goes on and on.  Well, what if you do all those things and you find yourself or a loved one still became ill?  Don’t panic!  Herbs have been used for thousands of years to promote well being and to encourage your immune system to heal quicker.

These immune boosting powerhouses are particularly helpful this time of year.

Elderberry:  used as an immune system booster and to prevent and ease symptoms of colds and flu

Echinacea: used to strengthen the immune system, it’s antimicrobial and reduces the length of colds

Ginger: another powerhouse that’s anti inflammatory, antibiotic and antimicrobial

Goldenseal:  an ancient remedy that is antibiotic, anti inflammatory and immune boosting

Wow, that’s a lot of amazingness from little dried pieces of plants, isn’t it?  So how can you incorporate them into your daily life?  The easiest way is tea!

Herbs are shelf stable and have the bonus of being easy to use.  Just boil some water, add a teaspoon of a dried herbal blend to a steeper or teabag, cover with 8 ounces of hot water and infuse for at least 5 minutes.  Remove the herbs.  You can choose to add honey for even more healing benefits.  Let it cool enough to drink and sip throughout the day.  Teas are a wonderful place to start, and make sure to keep yourself warm and cozy and get lots of extra rest until you’re feeling better.IMG_5472

You can make your own blend or I offer an Immune Boost Tea that’s ready to go!   As always, consult with your doctor first if you’re not feeling well.  It’s not the time of year to take chances.  If you have any questions, I’m here for you and I’m sending wishes of a healthy and happy winter!

*Note: This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Do not use if allergic to any ingredients.  I recommend you consult your healthcare provider prior to use if you are pregnant or nursing, taking any medications or if you have a medical condition. If irritation occurs discontinue use.

twig leaf flower is an organic vegan gluten free aromatherapy and herbal tea collection lovingly handmade in Dallas, PA by master herbalist and clinical aromatherapist Rebecca Nicely.

Essential Oil Spotlight: Lavender

Herbal oil and lavender flowers on wooden backgroundLavender Essential Oil is my favorite oil.  I believe it is the one essential oil that everyone should have handy at all times.  It’s an amazing powerhouse that has been used for over 2,500 years.

When you think of lavender, you probably think of calm and relaxation, which it does work amazingly well for. But, did you know Lavender Essential Oil has many other uses?  It’s a perfect choice to help with small cuts and bruises,  bug bites and can even ease symptoms of nausea.  It’s the one oil that can usually apply safely to skin without a carrier oil, including to help heal sunburn. Lavender oil blends well with countless other oils like: sage, cedarwood, geranium, pine, and clary sage.  So the next time you need to add a bit of calm to your day, reach for a bottle of Lavender Essential Oil.

twig leaf flower is an organic vegan aromatherapy and herbal collections lovingly handcrafted in Dallas, PA.  I’m passionate about aromatherapy and herbalism and can’t wait for you to see the amazing difference truly natural products will make in your life. I offer a variety of holistic items including lotions, bath soaks, lip balms and diffusion blends, along with collections devoted to children and pets.  I’m always adding new blends and I’m sure you’ll find something you’ll love. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me personally  rebecca@twigleafflower.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Essential Oils and Cats

CatsA few times a week I’m approached with questions about essential oil use and cats.   As aromatherapists, we have studied the interaction between humans and essential oils pretty thoroughly, but there is still quite a lot of speculation and controversy regarding efficacy and safe use for cats.

In my opinion, it’s better to be safe than sorry.  I’m always on the side of caution, because I have seen the effects of misuse of essential oils first hand too often.   Because animals can’t communicate directly the issues they may experience, it is even more important that as their guardians, we are extra careful.

Here are the practices that I follow personally, as I’ve been blessed with many kitties in my home.  I do not advocate applying essential oils neat (undiluted) ever to cats, and really to any animal without the guidance of a veternarian or a clinical aromatherapist.  Cats do not have the liver enzymes that humans possess to metabolize many essential oils, which is the entire point of using aromatherapy therapeutically.  If they are unable to uptake it, we shouldn’t be applying it to their skin, as it won’t do them any good and could quite possibly harm them.  I would never suggest giving a cat essential oils to ingest, either. If you apply essential oils to your skin, let them soak in before holding your cat so that it doesn’t transfer to them through snuggling and kitty kisses.

Diffusing in a home with cats can be safely done, with a few precautions.  Remember, diffusing essential oils can be toxic to humans if it is overdone.  You’d usually notice headache or fatigue as first symptoms of overuse, cats can’t let you know that.  The key to keeping things safe is low level, intermittent diffusion.  Make sure you are diffusing in small amounts, for limited periods of time and offer your cat a way out of the room, should they need some fresh air.  They are smart and will leave if something is bothersome to them.

There are a few books that I recommend to check out if you’re interested in more information.  Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals: A Comprehensive Guide to the Use of Essential Oils & Hydrosols with Animals by Kristen Leigh Bell and Veterinary Aromatherapy by Nelly Grosjean.  They have both worked extensively with animals and aromatherapy and are great resource books.  As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.  I’m always happy to help in any way that I can.

twig leaf flower is an organic vegan aromatherapy and herbal collections lovingly handcrafted in Dallas, PA.  I’m passionate about aromatherapy and herbalism and can’t wait for you to see the amazing difference truly natural products will make in your life. I offer a variety of holistic items including lotions, bath soaks, lip balms and diffusion blends, along with collections devoted to children and pets.  I’m always adding new blends and I’m sure you’ll find something you’ll love. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me personally  rebecca@twigleafflower.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do I clean my diffuser?

Diffusers are an awesome way to add the magic of aromatherapy to your home and office.  Sometimes, they start to smell funky or your essential oils are diffusing as well as they once did.  That’s a sign that it’s time for some maintenance. Luckily, it’s super easy to clean!  Just follow a few quick steps, and you’ll soon be back to enjoying all the benefits that essential oils bring to your life.

Unplug and Empty Your Diffuser

First, unplug your diffuser.  There will be steps that you’ll need to plug it back in, but be sure to start with it unplugged.  Try to clean your diffuser once it’s naturally run out of oil, so that as little oil as possible goes to waste.

Fill Your Diffuser With Clean Water

Try to use filtered water for this step, tap water will work fine in a pinch. Be careful not to fill your diffuser past the fill line, as doing so can affect your diffuser’s ability to cycle the liquid properly.

Add White Vinegar to the Water

Next, add ten drops of white vinegar to the water in your diffuser.  The vinegar is necessary to get rid of any lingering oil and deposits that are stuck to the walls.

Plug in Your Diffuser and Let It Run For Five Minutes

The cleaning solution you just made needs to be run through your diffuser.  Once the five minutes are up, empty your diffuser out into your sink.

Scrub or Cotton Swab Tight Spots

If your diffuser came with a cleaning brush, get it ready.  If not, a cotton swab works super well.  Either way, dip your cleaning tool in vinegar and clean the crevices and corners thoroughly.  Dry your diffuser completely before moving on to the next step.

Just Another Step…

You’re almost finished! Fill your diffuser with clean water again and let the diffuser run for three minutes.  Empty it and dry it completely.  You may need to use cotton swabs to get in the nooks and crannies.  Allow your diffuser to air dry before diffusing your favorite oils.  That’s all!  I clean my diffuser once a week to make sure I get the most benefits from my essential oils.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrate the Summer Solstice

Use the longest sunshiny day to get outside and celebrate! #summersolstice #sunshine #aromatherapy #twigleafflower #gardening

twig leaf flower is an organic vegan aromatherapy company founded in Dallas, PA.  I’m passionate about aromatherapy and herbalism and can’t wait for you to see the amazing difference truly natural products will make in your life. I offer a variety of holistic items including lotions, bath soaks, lip balms and diffusion blends, along with collections devoted to children and pets.  I’m always adding new blends and I’m sure you’ll find something you’ll love. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me personally  rebecca@twigleafflower.com

2017 Bloomers Tour of Back Mountain Gardens

 

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I’m excited to be a sponsor and a presenter at this wonderful event, The 2017 Tour of Back Mountain Gardens!  Stop by and see me in Garden #3 at Harveys Lake.  All proceeds from ticket sales benefit the Anthracite Scenic Trails Association, which includes the Back Mountain Trail.  You’ll get an inside peek at unique local gardens, DIY displays and design exhibits.  I’ll have my Essential Art of Aromatherapy Book and a selection of twig leaf flower goodies for purchase.  Rain or shine, this Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm. I look forward to seeing you!

twig leaf flower is an organic vegan aromatherapy company founded in Dallas, PA.  I’m passionate about aromatherapy and herbalism and can’t wait for you to see the amazing difference truly natural products will make in your life. I offer a variety of holistic items including lotions, bath soaks, lip balms and diffusion blends, along with collections devoted to children and pets.  I’m always adding new blends and I’m sure you’ll find something you’ll love. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me personally  rebecca@twigleafflower.com

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Using Essential Oils at Home

essential oil bottles

Did you know you can use your Essential Oil Diffusion Blends for more than diffusing?  Here are a few additional ways I suggest incorporating them in your life.

Bath: Dilute 8 drops of your essential oils into a half ounce of carrier oil and stir into a warm bath.  The carrier oil will help to disperse the essential oils more evenly in the water.

Massage:  Mix 3 to 6 drops of your essential oils in 1/2 ounce of a carrier oil like jojoba oil, for adults.  For kids under 10 years old, pregnant and nursing mamas or the elderly, just blend 2 to 3 drops in 1/2 ounce of a carrier oil.  Before using, make sure the oils are safe to use topically.

Foot Bath: Mix 4 to 5 drops of essential oils with a teaspoon of a carrier oil.  Add into the warm foot bath and soak for 20 minutes.

Car: If you don’t have a car diffuser, just add a few drops to a cotton ball to take your favorite blend with you.

Looking for a new blend?  Check out my selection of organic aromatherapy blends here.

If you’d like to try your hand at blending your own, check out my new book for ideas and recipes here.

twig leaf flower is an organic vegan aromatherapy company founded in Dallas, PA.  I’m passionate about aromatherapy and herbalism and can’t wait for you to see the amazing difference truly natural products will make in your life. I offer a variety of holistic items including lotions, bath soaks, lip balms and diffusion blends, along with collections devoted to children and pets.  I’m always adding new blends and I’m sure you’ll find something you’ll love. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me personally  rebecca@twigleafflower.com

 

Importance of Purity in Essential Oils

One of the biggest issues we face as adulterationAromatherapists and consumers is obtaining pure, organic essential oils. True essential oils are distilled from plants, which is laborious and often an expensive process.  With the popularity of aromatherapy, there are many companies that are bottling essential oils, but are adding synthetics and fillers to the oils to dilute them.  Unfortunately, these adulterated oils will not be beneficial for aromatherapeutic use, as the body recognizes the chemical components as toxic and disposes of them.   As a long time aromatherapist and herbalist, quality organic oils are paramount to me.  I harness the power of the oils for the healing effect they have on the mind, body and spirit, not just for the fragrance they emit.  You can rest assured that twig leaf flower’s products are all made with the finest organic essential oils, offering maximum holistic benefits.   Please visit twig leaf flower for more information.

twig leaf flower is an organic vegan aromatherapy company founded in Dallas, PA.  I’m passionate about aromatherapy and herbalism and can’t wait for you to see the amazing difference truly natural products will make in your life. I offer a variety of holistic items including lotions, bath soaks, lip balms and diffusion blends, along with collections devoted to children and pets.  I’m always adding new blends and I’m sure you’ll find something you’ll love. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me personally  rebecca@twigleafflower.com