Essential Oils and Your Hormones

 

clary Sage

Hormone-balancing essential oils help support our body’s control center, the hypothalamus, in its efforts to produce, release, and regulate hormones. This small brain structure is involved in many processes necessary for survival including behavioral, autonomic (involuntary or unconscious), and endocrine-system related processes. The hypothalamus controls the hormones that are crucial to our everyday physiological functions such as body temperature, hunger, thirst, sleep, mood and sex drive.

The hypothalamus creates homeostasis or balance in the brain. The hypothalamus produces the following hormones: thyrotropin-releasing, gonadotropin-releasing, growth hormone-releasing, corticotrophin-releasing, somatostatin, and dopamine hormones. These hormones then release into the blood via the capillaries, which are small vessels that connect veins and arteries and allow for gas exchange, ultimately allowing us to breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. The hormones then travel to the anterior pituitary region, where they are further signaled by the hypothalamus to either be sent out to the target glands: the Adrenal Cortex, the Adrenal Medulla, or the female/male Gonads, or the hormones are returned and flushed out of the body.

Your adrenal gland is responsible for how you cope with stress. Your stress levels may vary from day to day depending on your lifestyle. The hormone responsible for stress-related symptoms is produced by the adrenal glands and regulates your body’s response to stress. Unbalanced cortisol levels can give you feelings of exhaustion, the inability to calm down or sleep on time, and increased food cravings at odd hours of the day.

The posterior pituitary also carries two important hypothalamic hormones, oxytocin and vasopressin, and the only difference is that the posterior pituitary also stores these two hormones versus the anterior pituitary does not store its hormones (the hypothalamus does). Research has shown that the increased oxygenation extends to the pituitary and pineal glands as well, which can help to restore hormonal imbalances.

Essential oils can support the natural balance of the progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone hormones. They can also support your hypothalamus in regulating thyroid hormones (T3 and T4). This can possibly help regulate the menstrual cycle and give you some relief from the anxious wonderings of when my next menstrual flow will arrive.

Using essential oils to support your hypothalamus in maintaining its status quo and achieve homeostasis will require time and regularity. Essential oils can be diluted in any carrier oil and then applied to the skin or they can be diffused in various combinations. Fractionated Coconut Oil is recommended because it is also a great hormone-balancing oil.

Clary Sage has a particular affinity with the female reproductive system. This may be the best oil to use for estrogen and hormone balance and good for all things PMS and menopausal. It has an estrogen-like structure to help return balance to the female reproductive system and antispasmodic properties to relieve pain and menstrual cramping… sort of like a block of (raw organic cacao!) chocolate, hot water bottle and binge-watching Netflix all rolled into one beautiful essential oil. 

A 2014 study published in the Journal of Phyotherapy Research found that inhalation of clary sage oil had the ability to reduce cortisol levels by 36% and improved thyroid hormone levels (TSH). The study was done on 22 post-menopausal women in their 50’s, some of which were diagnosed with depression and at the end of trial the researchers stated that “clary sage oil had a statistically significant effect on lowering cortisol and had an anti-depressant effect improving mood”. This is just one of the many studies proving clary sage oil benefits hormones. This clever oil is reported to work on all levels – mental, emotional and physical. It has an affinity with the skin but may also be very handy for reducing fatigue, inflammation and balancing your mood.

The biggest benefit of clary sage is that it helps balance out estrogen production in the body. A lot of health issues today, even things like infertility, PCOS and estrogen-based cancers, are caused from excess estrogen in the body — in part, because of our consumption of high-estrogen foods. Because clary sage helps balance out those estrogen levels, it’s an incredibly effective essential oil in a wide array of hormone imbalances. So, whether you’re looking for natural remedies for PMS cramps during the month, or possibly already know you have excess estrogen in your body, clary sage is a great essential oil to consider adding to your essential oil regime.

Research discussed in the Proceedings of the Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine discovered thyme essential oil has progesterone balancing effects. Thyme oil benefits the body by improving progesterone production. Both men and a lot of women are low in progesterone, and low progesterone levels have been linked with infertility, PCOS and depression as well as other imbalanced hormones within the body.  Improved progesterone makes thyme a great essential oil you can use to naturally balance out hormones in your body. Plus, it’s far better than turning to synthetic treatments, such as hormone replacement therapy, which can make you dependent on prescription drugs, mask symptoms while developing diseases in other parts of the body and often causing serious side effects.

Sandalwood essential oil is very effective at balancing out testosterone levels in both men and women. Sandalwood has actually been used as a natural aphrodisiac, making it a desired ingredient in men’s cologne, as well as certain perfumes, for years.

 For men with low testosterone, adding a few drops of sandalwood oil into your homemade deodorant or your own homemade lotion isn’t just a great way to smell good — it’s also a great way to get some extra health benefits of improving your libido and hormones.

Essential oils that can help to balance hormones are: Geranium, Frankincense, Clary Sage, Fennel, Thyme, Basil, Rosemary, Ylang Ylang, Cardamon,  and Sandalwood.

Geranium – Supports hormonal balance and function; supports the effects of other oils

Frankincense – Has a calming effect, and generally supports cellular function; supports the effects of other oils

Clary Sage – Promotes natural estrogen production

Fennel – One of the most effective pytoestrogenic oils

Thyme – Contains phytoprogesterones

Basil and Rosemary – Support ovarian health

Ylang Ylang – Energizes reproductive organs and supports natural hormone balance

Cardamom– Support detox pathways and help promote healthy cervical mucus

Sandalwood– Balancing out testosterone levels in men and women

References

www.gurunanda.com/blogs/aromatherapy/top-10-essential-oils-for-hormone-balance

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22612017

The Effects of Lavender Oil Inhalation on Emotional States, Autonomic Nervous System, and Brain Electrical Activity. J Med Association Thai. 2012 Apr;95(4):598-606.

The Limbic System. Aromatherapy Lifestyle, Quinessence Aromatherapy Ltd 2010. Geoff Lyth

Clary Sage 2

 

Why is Proper Circulation so Important?

Microcirculation – Healing – Recovery – Performance

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Why is proper circulation so important for a person’s well-being and physical performance?

BEMER is designed to improve circulation thereby supporting the body’s natural self-regulating processes. Blood is the body’s universal means of transportation. Oxygen, nutrients, chemical messengers (e.g., hormones) and immune cells are all transported through our blood. When our body’s cells, tissues and organs are adequately nourished and metabolic waste products are removed, our bodies maintain a healthy balance and function properly. The optimal regulation of circulation is a prerequisite for ensuring good levels of health and fitness.

Improvement in circulation occurs with each application and the results are cumulative. The first noticeable improvements may be detected within in a very short time of use for an individual who is in moderate to good health and longer (4-6 weeks) for those users more metabolically challenged or with chronic health concerns. The BEMER is most effective when the Basic Plan is followed consistently and regularly.

BEMER is designed to improve circulation. Many physical discomforts are directly related to a diminished circulatory system which can result in dysfunctional metabolic processes. Bemer is designed to improve circulation, thereby supporting the body’s natural self-regulating processes. Blood is the body’s universal means of transport. Oxygen, nutrients, chemical messengers (e.g., hormones) and immune cells are all transported through our blood. When our body’s cells, tissues and organs are adequately nourished and metabolic waste products are removed, our bodies become healthy and function properly.

· Better supply of oxygen
· Better supply of nutrients
· Better disposal of metabolic waste

 

bemer blood flow

Over the past 20 years, BEMER has been scientifically studied from several perspectives and results published.  Check out http://www.pubmed.gov
Allison- Milano Stolar is an Independent BEMER Distributor
http://www.allison.stolar@bemergroup.com
Call for a BEMER Session 203.644.6688

Enhance Sports Training & Performance with BEMER Therapy

Performance for Professional & Amateur Athletes

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Can BEMER help with my endurance?

Whether you’re a pro, amateur, or weekend warrior, BEMER can help improve your performance, strength and recovery. Many top-level athletes as well as many sports team use this technology to help accelerate the recovery process.  BEMER can be used for pre-workout, post-workout and game day advantage for all athletes.

Because of enhanced circulation and blood flow with regular application of BEMER Therapy, one may be able to train more (increased scope and better ability to cope with intensive sessions), increasing endurance with more frequent training sessions at correct training intensities. BEMER may be a supportive addition to any physical or mental training regime.

Given theoretical considerations, using lower intensity levels (1-3) with the B.BODY after intensive training sessions (including strength training) is the most sensible option. Higher intensities may be used before training sessions or competitions depending on the physical capacity of the athlete. Special Applicators (B.SPOT, B.PAD, and/or B.SIT) may be used simultaneously or after the B.BODY application for focused applications using one of the 3 predefined programs (P1,P2,P3).

BEMER has been shown through scientific studies to decrease Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) and improve recovery. Performance cannot be expected to improve without adequate recovery. The more efficient the microcirculation, the more expedited ones recovery will be.

Which level should I select after an intensive stamina training session or competition? Is there a difference in recovery after strength training?

Improving microcirculation through BEMER application has crucial effects on the fitness level and training program of athletes. BEMER can help improve the body’s ability to recover from muscle soreness and fatigue from post workouts.

Allison Milano – Stolar is an Independent BEMER Distributor
http://www.allison.bemergroup.com
Call for a BEMER Session 203.644.6688

Holistic & Integrative Wellness Center
300 Heights Road, Darien CT 06820

 

Essential Oils and The Brain

Limbic System Brain.pngDid you know that our sense of smell is the only sense directly tied to the limbic area of the brain; which is considered the emotional control center? This means that when essential oils are inhaled, they go directly to the brain. Our other four senses — taste, sight, touch, and hearing — are first routed through the thalamus before reaching designated areas of the brain. Because the limbic system is directly connected to the parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels, and hormone balance, therapeutic-grade essential oils can have unbelievable physiological and psychological effects.

Each of the essential oils have therapeutic, stimulating, calming, sedative and balancing properties. When we inhale an essential oil molecule, it travels through the nasal passage to a receptor neuron that transports it up to the limbic brain, especially the hypothalamus. The limbic center in your brain is responsible for controlling all the physical, psychological, and emotional responses that your body performs based on the stimulus coming from the outside.

Thus, the ability of essential oils to target your limbic center make them a powerful tool in treating many health ailments. When essential oils are inhaled through the nose, tiny nerves send an immediate signal to the brain and go straight to work on the systems that moderate our minds and bodies. Inhalation can be the most direct delivery method of these incredibly nurturing components in essential oils, since the chemical messengers in the nasal cavity have direct access to the brain.

The limbic area is considered the emotional control center and includes the hippocampus (responsible for long-term memory), amygdala (associated with emotions), hypothalamus (regulates autonomic nervous system and hormones), and cingulate gyrus (regulated blood pressure, heart rate, and attention).

The specific molecules that essential oils are made up of are phenylpropanoids, monoterpenes, and sesquiterpenes. All three of these compounds have unique functions that contribute to the healing properties of essential oils, but sesquiterpenes likely have the greatest effect on the brain for several reasons. Sesquiterpenes can pass the blood-brain barrier. This barrier exists to protect the brain and only very small, lipid soluble molecules can pass; sesquiterpenes are one of those molecules. In fact, because they’re so small, they are capable of penetrating deeply into brain tissue. The fact that sesquiterpenes can cross the blood-brain barrier is particularly important since they’re oxygen carrying molecules. This increase in oxygen helps the brain heal. It can improve learning and concentration, increases energy, and supports the immune system.

In studies performed at Vienna and Berlin Universities, researchers discovered that sesquiterpenes, a natural compound found in essential oils of Vetiver, Patchouli, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, and Frankincense, can increase levels of oxygen in the brain by up to 28 percent (Nasel, 1992). Such an increase in brain oxygen may lead to a heightened level of activity in the hypothalamus and limbic systems of the brain, which can have dramatic effects on not only emotions, but on learning, attitude, and many physical processes of the body such as: immune function, hormone balance, and energy levels. They can also reverse DNA damage and delete it from cellular memory.

Phytochemicals are the healing compound in essential oils. It’s interesting to learn that the very thing that gives an essential oil its characteristic smell is also what provides that oil with its healing ability. There can be hundreds of phytochemicals (plant based chemicals) within each drop of essential oil. Science is just beginning to learn exactly how each phytochemical works in the human body. These phytochemicals have funny names like terpenes, aldehydes, esters, ketones, phenols, oxides, sesquiterpenes, and many more. Each one works differently in the body. For instance, ketones (found in lavender essential oil, patchouli, hyssop) stimulate cell regeneration, liquefy mucous, and have calming properties. Aldehydes (found in lemongrass essential oil, melissa, and citronella) tend to be highly anti-viral and anti-inflammatory.

Energy Essentail Oils

References

The Limbic System. Aromatherapy Lifestyle, Quinessence Aromatherapy Ltd 2010. Geoff Lyth

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22612017

The Effects of Lavender Oil Inhalation on Emotional States, Autonomic Nervous System, and Brain Electrical Activity. J Med Association Thai. 2012 April 95 (4):598-606.

Foam Rolling Techniques & Options

Foam Roller 6

Foam Rolling is a self-myofascial release (SMR) stretching technique that involves applying a sustained pressure into the myofascial connective tissue. The concepts of myofascial release (MFR) which is a very effective hands-on technique that provides stretching, compression and sustained pressure into restricted areas of fascia (connective tissue) in the body to eliminate pain and restore motion. MFR is a form of structural bodywork, which works on the body as a whole to allow the fascial system to return to its correct position, length and function.

Connective tissue envelops muscle, bone, and organs continuously through many layers. The fascial web connects us holistically in movement and function. There are 10 times as many sensory receptors in your fascial tissues as there are in your muscles (Stillwell 1957). For each spindle, there are about 10 receptors in the surrounding fascia – in the surface epimysium, the tendon and attachment of fascia, the nearby ligaments and superficial layers. (Stecco et al. 2009)

Myofascial release is a safe and effective technique that can be done with a variety of tools including the foam roller, rubber balls, handheld rollers and other assistive devices. The benefits of SMR are correction of muscle imbalances, muscle relaxation, improved joint range of motion, improved neuromuscular efficiency, reduced muscles soreness, and decrease overall stress on the body. Myofascial release focuses on restoring optimal muscle motion and function.

foam Rl sideBenefits of SMR:

  • Corrective muscle imbalances
  • Reduce muscle soreness
  • Improve joint range of motion
  • Improved neuromuscular efficiency
  • Decrease overall stress on the body

How do you decide what foam roller option is the best?

There are multiple things to consider when selecting a foam roller. Firmness, shape, and area of the body that needs release or trigger point work. We advise clients to start slow with a foam roller that has moderate firmness as they gradually get comfortable with the applied pressure they can advance to firmer rollers, balls and myofascial release devices. Each area of the body may require a different ball or roller to release that area layer, hence muscles are different shapes, sizes and vary considerably from person to person. For example, runners and cyclists may need a firmer roller to release deep muscle tension in the legs and gluteal muscles compare to someone who swims and needs deeper work for the back (latissimus dorsi) and the shoulders (deltoids).

Balls of various shapes and sizes are a great tool to massage and stretch localized areas of the body. They can be easily placed in the belly of the muscle or directly on trigger points to release tightness and chronic pain. Balls also come with vibration to add an active release into a specific layer or muscles areas.

Balls foam roller 7 balls 2

Foam Rollers come in various shapes and sizes to roll out, massage and stretch the body. They cover a broader area of the body and are an effect tool for larger muscle groups like the back, legs, and gluteal. We recommend most clients starting here and learning the basic rolling movements for all large muscle groups and then moving to deeper muscles and fascia layers with balls.

foam Roll Add

REFERENCES

Stecco, C., et al. 2009. Mechanics of Crural Fascia: From anatomy to constitutive modelling. Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy, 31 (7), 523-29.

Stillwell, D.L. 1957. Reginal Variations in the Innervation of Deep Fasciae and Aponeuroses. The Anatomical Record, 127 (4), 635-53.

Myers, T.W. 2014. Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians for Manual Movement Therapists. 3rd ed. New York Churchill Livingstone.

Myers, T.W. 2011. Fascial Fitness: Training in Neuromyofascial Web. Idea Fitness Journal, 8 (4), 36-43.

Techniques for Mindful Recovery

 

meditation

In order for you to recovery fully, the process needs to be proactive, planned and effectively executed. It’s important to remember that your body breaks down when you perform physical work/exercise. Exercise and physical work will cause changes in the body such as muscle tissue breakdown and the depletion of energy stores, as well as fluid loss. This will cause the body to fall into a fatigued state.

Recovery after exercise is essential for your muscles and tissue to heal correctly. Recovery allows the body to replenish energy stores and repair those damaged tissues. A lack of proper recovery can lead to over-training, otherwise known as under-recovery or over-reaching.  If your training stimulus is too high or too frequent, then exhaustion can occur if your body does not get the right amount of time to recover.

Overtraining Syndrome can develop if fatigue is not addressed, which can lead to a host of physiological and chemical changes. To put it simply, building fatigue upon fatigue will result in the inability to adequately adapt, resulting in inflammation, missed lifts and mediocre workouts.

There are as many methods of recovery, but finding the right combination that works for your body is key. Mindfulness practices can help across a wide spectrum of issues including personal health, fitness performance, mental acuity, reducing stress. decreasing pain and anxiety.

Techniques for Mindful Recovery:

Hydration
Replace lost fluids! You lose a lot of fluid during exercise and you should be replacing it during exercise, and filling up after exercise is an easy way to boost your recovery. Water supports every metabolic function and nutrient transfer in the body and having plenty of water will improve everyone of your bodily functions. Adequate fluid replacement is even more critical for endurance athletes who tend to lose large amounts of water during hours of sweating.

PNF Stretching
PNF Stretching can help you recover from high impact sports such as skiing, soccer, football, lacrosse, baseball, hockey and running. The foot, knee and hip experience an intense impact frequently during these sports. To stay active and progress in your sport or activity, proper stretching is key.

BEMER Therapy
Improving microcirculation through the BEMER application has crucial effects on the fitness level and training program of athletes. BEMER can help improve the body’s ability to recover from muscle soreness and fatigue from post workouts.

Restorative Yoga
Restorative Yoga is a wonderful type of yoga that is relaxing, supportive and renews the spirit and mind. Restorative Yoga has a profound effect on the autonomic nervous system, which is a crucial element to its ability for helping the body recover. The emphasis is on deliberately slowing down and providing optimal comfort and ease. This restorative yoga practice activates the parasympathetic nervous system, responsible for resting and digesting, restoring easy breathing, lowering blood pressure and heart rates, relaxing tension, and bringing greater balance.

Meditation
Meditation gives us an opportunity to take a step back, breathe, and evaluate our inner soul. Meditation lets us relax, evaluate ourselves, our progress and the benefits to physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. It promotes internal awareness, an opportunity to objectively observe, versus react, to our environment. It offers you the ability to manage and handle toxic emotions, such as anger, guilt, fear and grief.

Hot Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom salts have been used by many different cultures for hundreds of years. Taking an Epsom Salt Bath is an advanced detoxification strategy that has remarkable health benefits. An Epsom salt bath pulls toxins out of the body; improving muscle/nerve function, reduces inflammation and improves blood flow.

Epsom salts are named after a bitter saline spring, located at Epsom in Surrey, England. Epsom is fairly different compared to traditional salts because it’s a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. These minerals have very powerful health benefits that can enhance the detoxification capabilities of the body.

Magnesium plays a critical role in over 325 enzymes, helps to improve muscle and nerve function, reduces inflammation and improves blood flow and oxygenation throughout the body. Sulfates are necessary building blocks for healthy joints, skin and nervous tissue. Epsom salts replenish the body’s magnesium levels and sulfates. This combination helps to flush toxins from the body and helps build key protein molecules in the brain tissue and joints.  Source: http://www.epsomsaltsoakbath.com

relax and recover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Electocutical Therapy supports health, healing, fitness and disease prevention.

 

BEMER Device

BEMER is designed to improve circulation. The acronym BEMER stands for Bio Electro Magnetic Energy Regulation. This breakthrough medical technology has proven to boost blood flow, and circulation, reduces stress and relieves discomfort.

Many physical discomforts are directly related to a diminished circulatory system which can result in dysfunctional metabolic processes.

BEMER is designed to improve circulation, thereby supporting the body’s natural self-regulating processes. Blood is the body’s universal means of transport. Oxygen, nutrients, chemical messengers (e.g., hormones) and immune cells are all transported through our blood. When our body’s cells, tissues and organs are adequately nourished and metabolic waste products are removed, our bodies become healthy and function properly.

·        Better supply of oxygen

·        Better supply of nutrients

·        Better disposal of metabolic waste

Location

Holistic & Integrative Wellness Center
Noroton Heights Shopping Center
300 Heights Road, Darien CT

Allison Milano- Stolar Independent BEMER Distributor
Inspire Train Fit, LLC
http://www.inspiretrainfit.com
203.644.6688

 

 

Learn to Meditate with Debbie Barry

Learn to Meditate with Debbie Barry

a Chopra Certified Instructor

meditation 1

Primordial sound meditation workshop

Introduction, benefits of meditation, Layers of life, Learn to meditate

3-Part series Workshop

Saturday, March 9th – 10:30am – 12noon

Tuesday, March 12th – 10:30am – 11:45am

Saturday, March 16th – 10:30am – 11:45am

Practiced for thousands of years, meditation is a tool for rediscovering the body’s own inner intelligence. Primordial Sound Meditation uses individually selected sounds of nature called mantras to disconnect us from the activity of life. These primordial sounds are based on the vibration the universe was creating at the moment of your birth.

Practicing Primordial Sound Meditation on a daily basis will help you:
• Manage stress & reduce anxiety
• Create inner peace
• Improve your relationships
• Lower your blood pressure
• Enhance your sleep patterns
• Connect more deeply to spirit

(Cost: $250/person includes personal mantra, workbook and all 3 workshop dates.)
Cash/Check made payable to Debbie Barry
To register call 203.644.6688 or Debbie Barry dmini14@yahoo.com

Holistic & Integrative Wellness Center
Norton Heights Shopping Center
300 Heights Road, Darien CT 06820
www.inspiretrainfit.com

meditation 1

 

Yoga Nidra Workshop

Yoga Nidra Workshop

Healing through deep relaxation with Alison DeNicola

rocks

REST & RESTORE

Restorative yoga is a deeply restful practice that invites us to visit the many levels of our being and open the door to ease and bliss.  Paired with aromatherapy and sound healing, it is an amazing way to access and release energy that is held in the body.

Yoga Nidra Pic

Join Alison DeNicola to experience a deeply relaxing restorative practice accompanied by sound healing and yoga nidra. Using essential oils, crystal bowls, chimes and other sound- take a break to honor yourself, reset and restore your energy and receive the gifts of this practice.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

2:00pm – 4:00pm

 ($40/person) Cash or Credit Card

To register call 203.644.6688

All are welcome!
No prior experience necessary


Holistic & Integrative Wellness Center

Norton Heights Shopping Center

300 Heights Road, Darien CT 06820

www.inspiretrainfit.com

Group Stretching Clinic

Group of young sporty people in Child pose

Group Stretching Clinic

Fridays
11:00am – 12:00pm
January 4, 11, 18, 25
4-Weeks – $60/session

Wednesdays
5:00pm — 6:00pm
January 9, 16, 23, 30
4 Weeks – $60/session

This class will teach you safe stretching techniques that will help keep your joints and muscles supple.  This class will include breathing exercises, body postures, and static stretching that will give you balance, relaxation, and relieve muscle tension. A short sequence of mat pilates exercises will also be included for core strength. Participants should come prepared to participate in loose fitting athletic clothing and bring water.

Holistic & Integrative Wellness Center
Noroton Heights Shopping Center
300 Heights Road, Darien, CT
To register call (203) 644-6688

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