Headaches

10184511-purple-lavender-flowers-in-the-fieldFor the end of summer, nothing beats lavender!  Add a few drop of this essential oil to tepid water and you’ll have a very effective (and aromatic) compress for sunburns. Some aromatherapists like to include an equal amount of chamomile oil in this formula, especially for children because chamomile is the most popular essential oil for childhood remedies.  If the sunburn stings too much to apply a compress, you can fill any spray-head bottle with the mix and spritz on your sunburn as often as you like until the skin feels begins to recover.  You’ll find it heals quickly and without peeling.

Lavender is also a natural medicine for migraines and headaches caused by too much sun. It’s intended especially for “throbbing head pain” and indicated whenever “cold brings relief.” This may be due to lavender’s analgesic properties. It has a remarkable ability to numb pain of almost all sorts. So if too much fun in the sun has you needing low back pain relief, just add 10 drops of essential lavender oil to one-quarter cup of jojoba oil and you’ll have the perfect therapeutic massage oil.

Finally, lavender is a well-known natural insomnia remedy. If nighttime heat leaves you in need of help getting to sleep or help to stay asleep, use a few drops of this essential oil in a room diffuser. What’s more, because lavender is frequently used to relieve tension, depression and irritability, you’ll be more likely to fall asleep in fine  mood and wake up content.

One note: the finest lavender oil for therapeutic purposes is Lavandula Officinalis. Native to Persia it is now cultivated primarily in France. But this powerful plant is small and yields only a few blossoms at a time, making it very expensive. If you’re willing to hunt for it and can afford the cost, it’s well worth the effort. But the more common alternative is Lavandula Angustifolia, which works well for most everyday aromatherapy treatments.

English: Female Jogger on Coleman Avenue in Mo...

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In their excellent newsletter HEALTHbeat, Harvard Medical School recently reported that, “when it comes to shedding pounds, the key is cutting calories — and it doesn’t really matter whether those calories come mainly from steak, bread, or vegetables.”

Okay, but if you commit to doing regular, calorie-burning exercise can’t you enjoy more fattening food more of the time?

Research suggests that the exercise approach will work – at least for women – if they start out at a normal weight. But for those who are overweight to begin with, exercise won’t be enough. In other words, exercise can keep you thin but it’s not going to make you thin. For that, you’re going to have cut calories and increase exercise.

If you don’t believe it, here’s the research evidence…

The study’s focus… Many studies have shown that physical activity can promote weight loss among people who are overweight or obese, but far fewer have investigated whether it can prevent unhealthy weight gain in the first place. That IS the focus of a study by Harvard Medical School researchers.

The researchers analyzed data provided by 34,079 healthy women, average age 54, who were participating in the long-term Women’s Health Study. Between 1992 and 2007, the women reported their body weight and physical activities every three years. They also provided information on matters that could affect the link between physical activity and weight change, such as smoking, postmenopausal hormone use, alcohol intake, and diet.

Participants were divided into three groups based on their level of physical activity, with energy expended in each group expressed in metabolic equivalent (MET) hours per week. A MET is a unit used to estimate the energy expended during physical activity, relative to the energy expended while sitting quietly.

The results… Not surprisingly, moderate-intensity activity, such as brisk walking, consumes more METs than lower-intensity activities such as yoga or stretching. In the study, women at the lowest activity level got less than 7.5 MET hours per week, the minimum recommended in federal guidelines (it’s the amount expended in walking briskly for 30 minutes, five days a week). The middle group got 7.5 to less than 21 MET hours per week; and the most active women got 21 MET hours or more per week, which requires at least 60 minutes per day of moderately intense physical activity — or 30 minutes per day of vigorous activity.

Over the course of the study, the women gained 5.7 pounds, on average. Those who exercised less tended to gain more: over any three-year period, women in the low and middle activity levels were more likely to gain 5 or more pounds than the most active women. When the researchers looked only at the 4,540 women who were normal weight (a body mass index of less than 25) at the study’s outset and who had managed to hold their weight in the normal range, they found that these weight-maintainers averaged 60 minutes of moderately intense activity per day.

What it means… Among normal-weight women, the likelihood of putting on weight decreased as physical activity level increased. Among women who were overweight or obese, there was no relationship between physical activity and weight gain.

Thus, for women who aren’t overweight or obese, exercise can keep off excess pounds, but it must add up to about seven hours per week of moderately intense activity such as brisk walking or casual bicycling — or 3.5 hours per week of vigorous activity such as jogging or aerobic dancing.

For women who are already overweight or obese, increased physical activity alone is not enough to prevent further weight gain. These women also need to reduce their calorie intake. But they should still get at least 30 minutes of moderately intense physical activity most days for the sake of the many health benefits, which include a reduced risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease and stroke.

Aromatherapy headache relief for children

Aromatherapy headache relief for children

Is Headache ReLeaf Roll-On safe for children?

Yes, and that’s great news for the one in five American children and teenagers who suffer from regular or chronic headache or from migraine headaches.

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