All posts by Todd Pierce

Pulling Your Hair Out? Why You Should Consider Treatment

Have you ever known anyone who purposely pulls out her hair? Although the idea seems contrary to a typical woman’s sense of vanity, the fact is there’s a mental health condition which involves a person plucking out her own hairs one by one. The disorder, known as trichotillomania, usually starts in the teen years. A somewhat rare condition, trichotillomania usually plagues girls.

What is Trichotillomania?

Trichotillomania is an impulse control condition, as are drug abuse and gambling. Interestingly, trichotillomania, unlike other disorders of impulse control, doesn’t have an element of enjoyment or pleasure associated with it. In fact, people dealing with this condition often report a build-up of feelings of anxiety and/or frustrations just before they engage in hair pulling. Once they begin the behavior, those disturbing feelings remit or “release.”

On the other hand, sometimes a person who suffers with trichotillomania might not realize she’s pulling her hair. She might be reading a book, watching television or talking on the phone with a friend while absent-mindedly plucking out her hair. In these cases, the trichotillomania seems more like an irritating habit that just won’t go away.

Is Trichotillomania Truly an Impulse Control Disorder or an Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

Experts disagree whether trichotillomania should continue to be classified as an impulse control disorder or an obsessive-compulsive disorder, given the variability in how individuals with this disorder exhibit and experience the troubling behavior.

Although trichotillomania is not considered an anxiety condition, often people who suffer from trichotillomania experience some feelings of anxiety. Depending on how parents and other authorities respond to the youth displaying hair pulling behavior, the youth’s hair pulling can increase. For example, if Mother says in an irritated tone, “What in the world have you done, what’s wrong with you?” the youth will only feel more anxiety and distress, thus further triggering more hair pulling.

How is Trichotillomania treated?

Trichotillomania can be treated with antidepressants and counseling. A positive result of taking antidepressants, besides the cessation of the hair pulling, is the person’s mood brightens up somewhat. As with other mental health conditions, it takes some time and effort in trying a few different antidepressants until the most effective medication for the individual is discovered.

In addition, group therapy, support groups and individual therapy are often used as treatment modalities for people struggling with hair pulling.

If you know someone who deals with this debilitating condition, it’s wise to encourage her to inform her doctor of the hair pulling. A doctor in the know will refer his patient to a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist, coupled with mental health counseling to combat this frustrating condition. See the link to the trichotillomania website for more information.

Sources

Professional experience

Trichotillomania website

Psychotherapy: Which of the Three Types is Best for You?

My experience with psychoanalysis has led me to believe that it’s not for everyone. I’ve had a few disappointing experiences with this type of therapy.

With my first analyst, after a few sessions, he constantly cancelled my appointments, and never made an attempt to make a new one. I had to encourage him to see me again. Although he was a psychoanalyst, he did not put me on the couch as analysts do. He had me sit on a chair while I talked. I was so hurt when I realized he decided that I was not going to make a good patient. I knew that from the start because being a shy person, it was hard for me to get started to talk about my problems. I was too inhibited. However, I felt that he could have handled the situation better if he had helped me warm up to him. He was too aloof.

My second analyst had me lie on the couch on my second visit. This was a new experience for me when he told me to free associate. What does he mean by that— cat, dog, wolf? What was I supposed to say to this knowledgeable man who sat on a chair in back of me, smoking away as if he needed something else to do besides listening to his patients.

I was single at the time and had difficulty relating to men. This was one of my problems. How could I start talking about this issue lying there flat on my back and not able to face someone as I talked? Well, after a few more visits with this doctor, when he saw I had a difficult time talking, he gruffly told me that I was not to come back!!!! Once again, I was rejected. My problems with men started with my father and now it is continuing with these analysts.

I did not let my rejected feelings get in the way. I had heard of a psychiatrist who was also a psychoanalyst. The very first time I met him, I had warm feelings for him. I told him of my past experiences with the two analysts, and he assured me that he would never reject me unless something happened to him. He apparently recognized that I was not analytical material, but he did not reject me as the other two had done. He had me sit on a chair and face him as I talked. Yes, it was difficult for me to talk about my personal problems at first, but after many months, I was able to discuss them with him. I learned that I had repressed most of my childhood feelings including anger, guilt, and fear. People repress their feelings if these feelings are too painful to face. Psychoanalysis is good for people who can tolerate these painful feelings. Unfortunately, I was not able to allow my repressed feelings come to the conscious level. They remained in my unconscious.

I really loved this man and was able to open up as much as I was consciously able to. Although I was unable to reach my repressed feelings, I was able, through psychotherapy, to understand my behavior problems. This helped me a great deal.

Once again I was faced with deep emotions in regards to my therapists. This time, it was not rejection as it was with the other two doctors, but a deep remorse. He told me he had cancer of the colon, but he continued to see me as long as he was able to go to his office. He was a dear man, but the day I got a phone call from his wife telling me that he had died, was the first time I could show any type of strong emotions. I cried and cried buckets of tears!!!

Several years have passed when once again I had another experience with psychotherapy. This time it was with a psychologist. I developed anxiety feelings. I needed help. He was also a wonderful, warm therapist. Because of his warmth and understanding, I was able to discuss the various things that bothered me. my relationship with him was great because I felt he truly cared about his patients. We both talked. It was not a one sided conversation that it can be with some types of therapy.

I will now relate some simple information about the three most popular types of psychotherapy:

Sigmund Feud developed the psychoanalytical theory. A psychoanalyst is an M.D. They use the method of free association in order for the patient to be able to relive their repressed feelings These are feelings that remain in the unconscious because a young child cannot always face his /her emotions of anger, guilt fear, etc. Because these uncomfortable feelings have been repressed, an individual can develop behavior problems. Psychoanalysts can help through free association, dreams, and awareness of the patience re-action to everyday life, This type of therapy goes deep into the individual’s psyche and can take years before a patient can be helped. A psychiatrist, who is an M.D. is a psychotherapist who can also be an analyst. A psychiatrist can help by listening to the patient and by the interaction of the two, a patient can be helped. A psychiatrist basically deals with the patient’s behavior problems.

Going to a psychologist is another type of therapy. In general, a psychologist acts as a counselor. They work with adjustment situations rather than psychological disturbances. The aim of counseling is to help the person adjust to a situation rather than treat a specific disorder. A psychologist has a PH.D or an M.A. degree.

Sound Energy Therapy Offered at Spa of the Marlin in Dallas, Texas

Whether your therapist is a Psychotherapist, a Swami, Huna, Psychic or other at some point in time we all need to lay on the couch and relieve anxiety. Now there release your stress and anxiety through Sound Energy Therapy. Sound Energy Therapy is available at the Spa of the Marlin in Dallas, Texas.

So how does Sound Energy Therapy work? Sound Energy Therapy is an ancient Tibetan technique that is designed to generate sound vibrations through the use of tuning forks. As a result of the Sound Energy Therapy produced from the vibrations, one’s energy pathways are cleared and the effects are a sharp clean and reinvigorate self. Your mind and body will feel finely tuned, alert, and clear.

Where you may not actually lie on a couch during your Sound Energy Therapy, you will relax and recline on what is known as a vibrating table as part of the facilities at Spa of the Marlin in Dallas, Texas. The person performing the Sound Energy Therapy is a certified practitioner who will gently place steel instruments around your body. Interestingly, each of the steel instruments used during Sound Energy Therapy, gives of one of seven whole notes designed to correspond with each of your energy points. Once the steel instruments have been applies, and the session started, part of the procedure to help with circulation is to wave feathers above the person being treated, and also recitation of chanting to induce relaxation. If you have experienced working with your Chakras before, energy points are your Chakras.

The length of a scheduled Sound Energy Therapy session is approximately 55 minutes after which time your Charkas, which are also known as energy centers, will clearly be aligned to for your body, mind, and senses to operate optimally. You’ve heard the term being centered? Well after an alignment such as the one received during a Sound Energy Therapy session, not only are you centered, but also your anxiety level will be lower and you will be much more aware of your inner peace and balance. The price of a Sound Energy Therapy session is $60.00.

The Spa of the Marlin is located at 13545 Webb Chapel Road in the Farmers Branch area of Dallas. Hours of operation are 10:00AM to 6:00PM Monday, Tuesday, and Friday and 10:00AM to 8:00PM Wednesday and Thursday. The Spa is opened on Saturdays from 9:00AM to 5:00PM. For more information or to make reservations for your Sound Energy Therapy session call 972-247-8348 or visit the Web site today.

Aura Cacia Aromatherapy: Online Sources for Pure Aromatherapy Products

Have you ever traveled and while sight seeing walked into a bookstore or trinket shop and had the smell of an aroma be it an oil, incense, or aromatherapy candle capture your attention and either calm you, or take you back to a place in time where you remembered a similar aroma.

Well aromatherapy has powers over us that allow us to relax, meditate, and basically create simple feelings of overall wellbeing. Aura Cacia Aromatherapy, one of the top online sources for pure aromatherapy products offers a wide selection of these mood enhancing fragrances.

Whatever your choice of the actual form of aromatherapy is personal; however essential oils are definitely a wonderful way to go. Aura Cacia Aromatherapy one of the top online sources for pure aromatherapy products offers a wide selection of essential oils created to enhance the wellbeing and mood of the user. Sometimes it takes experimenting with certain scents to figure out which one evokes what feelings.

Aura Cacia Aromatherapy’s highly concentrated essential oils are a great place to begin the aromatherapy experience. Certain scents will however evoke certain emotions and therefore you will want to do your research.

Aura Cacia Aromatherapy one of the top online sources for pure aromatherapy products has pre-blended a wide selection of essential oils to bring a total and pure aromatherapy experience into your life. Once you select the mood you want to evoke you then select the proper pure aromatherapy products. Examples of the moods you might want to create include moods such; Tranquility, calm, soothing heat, energy, romance, relaxation, euphoria, purity, inspiration, or meditation.

Let’s say you are interesting in evoking a calming atmosphere in which case you will use lavender based products such as Aura Cacia Aromatherapy Essential Oil Blend, Massage and Body Oil, or the lavender Mineral Bath Salts. If you are in need of energy you want to use the Essential Oil Blend or other product formulated with peppermint, rosemary, sweet orange and lemon.

If you are preparing for your meditation practice you will want to select the aromatherapy blend conducive of creating a state of calm in which case the formula will include blends of sandalwood, cedarwood, myrtle and patchouli.

At Aura Cacia Aromatherapy one of the top online sources for pure aromatherapy products consumers can select from among several pure aromatherapy products including; Essential Oils, Bath Products, Body Care Products, Diffusers and Accessories, Massage Oils, and even aromatherapy Baby Products. The Aura Cacia Aromatherapy Essential Oils start at a base price of $5.95 for a 0.5 fluid ounce bottle. Prices go up with the size of the bottle up to a 16 fluid ounce bottle retails for $78.99.

Create your mood; create the state of mind and well being you choose to feel by getting in touch with yourself and the perfect aromatherapy scent that works for you. For more information on Aura Cacia Aromatherapy one of the top online sources for pure aromatherapy products visit the Web site today.

Aural Rehabilitation

Aural rehabilitation is designed to assist the client in adjusting and accepting a hearing loss as well as develop compensatory communication strategies for real life scenarios. Audiologists are well studied in the area of hearing loss and its affects. However, each case can vary drastically according to the issues impacting their lives and their individual attitudes toward the hearing loss.

As a professional, you cannot make assumptions as to which environments give someone the most difficulty. For example, assuming that meetings are a problem area for “Jack” would not be helpful. We have not given him the opportunity to express where his hearing loss has the most profound effect. We must work with the client and interview him/her in order to pinpoint which scenarios we must focus on. Rather, if we ask Jack to bring 3 descriptive situations to therapy, we are actively involving the client; this is more effective. We want to keep the individual active in the therapy process because we want him/her to actually use the techniques and ideas established. By simply handing the client a list, he/she might feel detached from his own life, as if he cannot take charge of the issue.

We want the techniques and ideas to be approved by the patient so that he will use them and they are practical and relevant to his lifestyle. By sitting down with Jack and discussing the problems in minute detail, we dissect the real problem instead of making suppositions. For example, Jack tells you he cannot hear his family during Sunday dinner. If we merely give Jack tips such as, face the person talking, or ask the family to speak one at a time we may not be helping the actual issue at hand. By dissecting the issue we might find out that Jack doesn’t think his hearing is the problem. Jack might actually blame his family’s inabilities and reveal that he often segregates himself. Because we broke down the problem we now have different issues to approach first, mainly acceptance. If we had only used the first scenario, we wouldn’t have addressed the real problem and Jack would never use our advice.

Last, by using the counseling “dissecting” method, Jack can choose techniques he is comfortable with doing. If we simply tell Jack what to do, we have not determined whether or not he wants to approach a situation in that manner. For example, If Jack’s hearing loss is affecting his work, we might tell Jack to address his issue in the next meeting. However, some people are not comfortable sharing their personal problems. If Jack wasn’t comfortable, he would not use our strategies. By gauging Jack’s comfort level we may develop a more appropriate way to address his hearing loss at work. Again, this is why the therapy approach is much more effective. Therapy also allows Jack to get his family or friends active in his rehabilitation rather than sending a list home to them.

Use Aromatherapy to Ease Anxiety

Anxiety is a common feeling; this perfectly natural response only becomes a problem when excessive and lasting, so use aromatherapy to prevent it from getting out of hand.

Modern life is the cause of much anxiety, from exams to driving to emotional issues, and it is natural to feel anxious in many everyday situations. For example, if your child is late home from school you will naturally feel concern, but this emotion normally disappears the moment he or she walks in the door.

When anxiety becomes excessive, to the extent that you feel constantly anxious about everything, it is a problem and can lead to symptoms such as headaches, allergies, digestive disorders, insomnia or sensitive skin. Physical therapies including Yoga and Tai Chi can help you relax combined with the use of soothing essential oils.

All of these following blends should be made using 35ml of the carrier oil of your choice and dispatched into easy-to-carry bottles.

Overcoming anxiety: Blend 2 drops each of bergamot, lavender and neroli and 4 drops chamomile.

Calming the body: Combine 2 drops each of clary sage, marjoram and benzoin with 3 drops of geranium and 1 drop cypress.

Calming the emotions: Mix 2 drops each of juniper, Cedarwood and patchouli with 3 drops of Melissa and 1 drop rose.

Calming the nerves: Blend 2 drops each or bergamot and frankincense with 3 drops each of chamomile and lavender.

Find your courage whether visiting the dentist, starting a new job or facing your in-laws with a choice of anxiety-busting blends and techniques.

Many people experience anxiety at the mere thought of making a doctor’s appointment, and sheer terror when contemplating a visit to the dentist’s chair. These feelings are perfectly natural, as they may be connected to underlying worries about your health and the idea of putting your trust and well-being into someone else’s hands.

You can alleviate your worries by calming yourself down beforehand with a relaxing scented bath. Use the ‘Calming the body’ mix before your appointment to dispel distress and turn up at your doctor’s surgery completely unruffled.

The effects of this blend should be quite long-lasting and keep you feeling positive and calm about your visit. You can make a blend for massage use and then apply it to your pulse points on the way to your appointment.

Starting a new job is a great cause of anxiety and stress as it causes major upheaval in your life. A new place of work might mean a longer commute as well as getting used to different people and making changes to your usual routine.

Your new employer will expect you to adapt relatively quickly. Have a shower using the ‘calming the nerves’ blend in the morning. You will then feel calm as well as clean and ready for all the challenges of your new position. In addition, add a few drops of bergamot to your handkerchief to sniff discreetly, whenever you start to feel slightly anxious.

Exams make most people feel anxious. The prospect of having them decide your future will undoubtedly make you feel worried. You may also get nervous about driving tests or taking a qualification.

Anxiety is inconvenient at these times when you most need to keep your emotions in check and your thoughts clear, so make up a balm using the ‘calming your emotions’ blend to carry for immediate use.

During the days preceding the exam, use the same blend in your burner or a vaporizer spray while revising.

Anxiety about visiting the in-laws has become something of an in-joke in many cultures, but for many people it is a real fear. If relations in the family are not at their best or if you just suffer a personality clash with some of your relatives then you might really dread those family visits and reunions.

You and your partner can share mutual support by giving each other a quick massage before a visit. This will make you both feel calmer and reaffirm the bond of love between you. Also blend the ‘overcoming anxiety’ blend and use it in a burner so everyone will receive the benefits of these tranquilizing fragrances.

Use soothing aromatherapy oils to keep you focused and to associate taking exams with a calm state of mind; to dispel any worries and fears you might have about a medical visit; to help you face the day ahead and to dispel tensions in the air.

Personal General Assessment: DPT Program

Generic abilities are required to be successful physical therapists in a clinical environment. These abilities are not knowledge and technical skills based or learned in books, but ten areas important for successful performance as a physical therapist, as indicated by the University of Wisconsin-Madison. To improve upon generic abilities requires awareness, practice and gaining experience. It takes constant reassessment of self performance, questioning, and never being satisfied with just “good”. It is striving to be better. The areas in which it is essential that I improve upon are the effective use of time and stress management.

In the UW-Madison generic abilities assessment, effective use of time and resources is defined as, “The ability to obtain the maximum benefit from a minimum investment of time and resources”. I struggle with identifying a plan to utilize my time effectively. I am not a procrastinator by any means, but I am aware that better use of my time in an ordered fashion would improve my efficiency, allowing an increase in productivity and maintaining my personal stress levels to a minimum. I tend to neglect in my prioritizing classes the ones that the exams I deem as not as difficult for others that I fear. In my experience, I understand that all the classes have a purpose and are important. By the way in which I concentrate on one subject, I neglect another and thereby lose a part of my education I feel is pertinent. If the notes of the class are complimented by the book, I study only from the notes instead of utilizing the book. The book as a resource is beneficial to fully understand missing links in what I am learning, but my poor time management does not allow for the luxury of getting a little more out of my education.

I always seem to feel there are not enough hours in the day. The first thing to be eliminated is usually my exercise program. Of course, my exercise program is one of the few ways I cope with a stressful situation. Therefore, I am in a stressful environment where I am unable to accomplish all I wish, which is created by my poor time management skills. Then I remove my coping mechanism. I can say that this is not a very effective method of survival when entering a professional situation, or a learning environment for that matter. Gaining control of my time and stress level is pertinent in being effective in any realm.

Time management is an important attribute needed to be effective in an intensive program such as NUPT and as a professional working in a clinical environment managing several patients at a time. The inability to maintain a plan of action and get things done in an orderly fashion would make it difficult to be an effective physical therapist with different plans of action needed for individual programs. The ability to stay organized and efficient is an asset to the working environment for good care of patients as well as creating the proper working environment for colleagues. Undue stress can be created when disorder is allowed to rule. Mistakes commonly occur when rushing and one is lacking in focus. Stress can create a poor atmosphere for communication with patients and colleagues. Stress can also play a role in neglecting personal health jeopardizing emotional and physical well-being.

Being aware of the time and stress management issues is half the battle. Developing and implementation of a plan to decrease the difficulties I have with these areas is extremely important. My plan is to establish a daily planner that identifies the agenda for the day, time available for studying, or different activities such as exercise, paper writing, and even cooking. I will to initiate a program in which I utilize study time more efficiently, and read all the required readings that compliment class notes. I want to commence a regular meditation time of deep breathing before bedtime to aid in my stress level and disturbed sleeping pattern. I also wish to concentrate on self-care. A focus on maintaining a normal exercise program of at least forty minutes four times a week will also be implemented.

If implemented correctly, I should be able to achieve several goals with my plan. Theoretically, my grades will improve with organization and careful planning. I will be able to read all assigned readings for every class. A calendar with a daily schedule will be implemented to calculate time available for each subject, free time, and stress management time. I plan to have ten minutes every other day before bedtime for deep breathing exercises to minimize stress. Given a decrease in stress levels my interrupted sleep should decrease to only once a night. I will concentrate on making time for exercise to stay consistent. I will at least be able to work out an average of four times a week for a minimum of forty minutes.

Aromatherapy Candles Can Be Dangerous to Your Health

Have you ever relaxed in a bubble bath surrounded by burning candles? You’re not alone. Many people use aromatherapy candles for their therapeutic and soothing effects. What you may not know is that these candles are often very dangerous for your health. This article will discuss some of the harmful effects on your health caused by aromatherapy candles.

Jars

Aromatherapy candles are often sold in jars. If you have ever used one in a jar, you may have noticed the black soot on the side of the jar when the candle is burning. This is because these candles are not getting enough oxygen to burn properly. The lack of oxygen causes the aromatherapy candles to release black soot that is just as harmful as cigarette smoke. Even if you don’t inhale the smoke, it can stick to your walls and furniture and be inhaled later.

Wick

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t pay much attention to the wick of the candle. Some aromatherapy candles are made with metal wicks that contain lead. The lead wicks release toxic chemicals into the air that are often swallowed or inhaled long after the aromatherapy candles are gone. These chemicals can damage your kidneys and central nervous system. They can also cause neurological and hearing problems.

Wax

Did you know that many aromatherapy candles are made with a chemical wax like paraffin? Paraffin is a product of petroleum and you should already know how dangerous fumes from burning petroleum are. When these aromatherapy candles are lit, the wax releases many harmful chemicals into the air like carbon monoxide, benzene, lead, and acetone. These chemicals can be stored in your body for long periods of time and cause problems in the future.

Oils

Some companies that sell aromatherapy candles use fragrances that are made with synthetic oils. These synthetic oils are dangerous because they release toxins into the air when they are burned. What makes the situation even worse is that the synthetic oils used in the aromatherapy candles often have no aromatherapy benefit in the first place.

Although not all aromatherapy candles are bad, you should think twice about using them for their supposedly soothing effects. You may be relaxed now, but in the future it may come back to haunt you. If you do decide to use aromatherapy candles, make sure not to buy any that come in jars or have metal wicks. You should also look to see what kind of wax it is made of.

Teenagers and Depression: Advice for When to Seek Professional Counseling

Should you be conserned if your teenager is showing signs of depression?
Well the short quick answer is yes. But it is not as easy as it sounds to just be conserned.

Anyone who has more than one teenager can tell you that sometimes teenagers can be a little difficult, some more so than others.

And while it is very true that you do need to be conserned if your child is showing signs of depression. Sometimes it is better to take a wait and see approach. (But not if your child is doing things that can cause harm to themselves or others)

What I mean by a wait and see approach is this. Take a little extra time to just listen to what your teenager is saying. You can listen and at the same time not agree with what they are saying. But by taking time to listen to what your teen is saying. You may “hear” what they are not saying.

You may discover that they have been being ridiculed or teased by someone, and they are not handling this well. They may have changed their behaviour trying to conform to what they think that will make them popular with their peers. Or at the least make them less of a target to be picked on.

But the choices they have made may not really be in their best interest. Teenagers can decide to do some very dangerous things, and to socialize with people who they really do not need to be.

The teen years can be difficult, and sometimes it is best to just stay up late and let your teen talk to you. About anything, and try to just listen. This can be hard at times. But if your child is showing signs of depression, the first thing you want to do is make an extra effort to listen to what is going on in their life.

Your teen may be showing some signs of depression, but that does not always mean they need to be put on medication for depression. (sometimes it is needed but not always).

While it may seem difficult to know when to seek professional assistance, sometimes you can help your child work through a mild case of depression just by taking extra time with them. But if despite everything you do to help your child work through depression there is no improvement. Or if you notice that your child is loosing all interest in things once important to them. Then it is in your child’s best interest to seek the assistance of a professional counselor.

Teenagers can and do become severly depressed at times. Just as older people do. But from my personal experience sometimes just having someone to listen to me talk helps a lot. And I was at one time a very depressed teenager. I did attempt suicide. Not every depressed teen will do that, but some will.

Also sometimes when a child or teenager is depressed or showing signs of depression it can be because of some sort of abuse that is going on. Especially sexual abuse. The teen years are difficult by themselves, because of the bodily changes that are going on, and the added expectations at school and home. Then add in sexual abuse and that can push someone over the edge.

That was what pushed me over the edge as a teenager. I had already delt with many things including being homeless, and going to many different school. It was not until I was much older that I realized some of the many reasons for my depression.

It is because of what I felt and delt with as a teenager that I try to take extra time to listen to my teenagers now. I am not always as good at that as I should be. But I do try to take time to listen as often as possible.

And I do believe that sometimes it is wise for a parent to take their child for professional counselling. Because sometimes teenagers can not see that the problems they have today, will pass.

Aromatherapy – the Magic of Scented Candles

Picture a romantic dinner for two, or even a quiet evening after a harried, stressful day, one feature is common in both of them, the flickering flame of candles along with their sweet fragrance.

We are stressed, there is no getting away from this. Our jobs, the commute to work, the current global meltdown, incompetent service providers all create tensions that affect both our minds and bodies. I like to unwind with a long soak in the bathtub in a darkened bathroom lit up with scented candles. For me it is the best aromatherapy ritual, one that I look forward to the whole day.

Just what is aromatherapy?

To put it simply, it is the use of essential or volatile oils sourced from plants and natural sources to cure emotional and physical illnesses. Aromatherapists believe that properly applied, this can cure deadly ailments like diabetes and cancer too. I know for a fact that it can relax a person, but would shy away from such tall claims.

Using scented candles is becoming more and more popular in today’s world. A person using the candles to create ambience for a perfect romantic evening, or to reduce stress and anger should ensure that the candles are made of substances that are natural, so that they are more effective.

They are easily available in holistic stores or online, easy to store and use. Prior to making a purchase, one should check if the candles contain natural plant essences and not chemicals.

I also urge you to try and ensure that the wax is also natural, so that when burning, it releases more healing aromatic smoke.

I prefer beeswax candles, they are pure and full of natural fragrance. Beeswax has been proven effective in cleansing the air. It is an excellent detoxifying agent and its sweet smell creates a very mellow mood.

The other option is to use paraffin candles, these are slow burning and long lasting, but since they are petroleum bases, most aromatherapists do not approve of them

Recently when I went to shop for candles for a party we had at home, I was surprised to see soy candles. They are natural, biodegradable and non-toxic. They are also aromatic. Of course they are not a patch on beeswax candles, which is something I love. But they are much more economical and clean burning.

Feng Shui Candles are also nice, they are available in different colours and are made as per the Chinese beliefs of achieving proper balance and cleansing the Chi or life energy

Scented votives candles are also good. They can be used in prayers or also used to decorate a room or create a good ambience. Their small size and circular shapes make them easy to use and tuck into small corners and niches to create a lovely atmosphere.

This world is harsh and chaotic and stress is a major cause of health problems. I really enjoy the calmness I gain from the wonderful fragrances of natural, organic candles and their mellow flickering lights.