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Aug 05 2015

In all my years of being an aromatherapist, one thing has remained the same — blending oils is one of the most rewarding things I get to do!

Part of why I love it so much is that it’s always different. One client may want a special blend after their massage, while a giant resort may want me to blend a special signature scent that they can give away to all their guests.

To me, coming up with these blends is an art — no different from the “regular” artists you see out there!

How so?

Today, I was listening to an interview with Argentinian composer Gustavo Santaolalla. He has created music for giant films like Brokeback Mountain, Babel, and 21 Grams. In the interview, he said that he’s not a “trained musician” because he doesn’t actually read music! Instead, all of his compositions come from his heart. In many cases, he reads the movie script, and before a single scene is filmed, he taps into his intuition and creates the score for the movie. Pretty amazing, right?!

As I listened to him explain this process, I could totally relate to him. When I sit down to create an essential oil blend, I listen to my heart. I know that there are endless possibilities that I can create, so I wait for the oils to “talk” to me. They’ll tell me how best to serve that single massage client or that giant resort. All I have to do is listen.

If you pick up your favorite aromatherapy books, you’ll see plenty of “rules” for blending essential oils. However, my blending process is a little different, which is why I want to share it with you. You won’t see any fancy science listed here. In fact, my process may sound entirely too simple! But this is how I work — the same way I always have, after countless hours of formal aromatherapy training and more than 20 years of experience.

My biggest tip? Follow your intuition.

Of course, I consider all of the therapeutic properties of each oil in the blend, because different oils help different physical and emotional imbalances. However, I don’t go on logic alone. I allow my intuition to fill in some of the gaps that my intellect didn’t consider.

For example, if a spa comes to me and says they want a signature scent, the first thing I ask them is what kind of emotions do they want their scent to evoke? Then, I ask them which individual scents they like — and don’t like — so that I have a better idea of what they’re looking for.

For a personal blend, I’ll ask my client how she’s feeling today. What specific concerns does she have right now? How is she dealing with her stress? How is she sleeping? And, again, I’ll ask if there are any specific scents that she doesn’t like. After all, if she hates florals or citrus, I know not to include them!

When it comes to the blends in Aromadina’s line, I start by addressing specific physical AND emotional imbalances. For example, I may create a blend that provides relief for respiratory conditions. But then I’ll take it a step further and include oils that will help the sufferer feel better emotionally, too.

The end result? By letting my mind and my heart work together, I can create blends that smell good, that make you feel better physically, and make you feel better emotionally. It’s all about synergy!

Here’s an example of this synergy in action:

When it gets hot outside, I (and many of you!) feel a little lazy. It’s hard to sit down and work when you could be cooling off at the pool or relaxing on the beach.

My solution to this problem? A stimulating essential oil that will help your mind focus, get rid of that sluggish feeling, and boost your mental energy. And, of course, it needs to have a light and refreshing scent to combat the physical heat you’re dealing with.

Here’s what’s in it:

– 50 drops of laurel (a stimulating oil)

– 50 drops of cardamom (a neurotonic oil that boosts creativity and curiosity)

– 50 drops of lemon (a light citrus oil)

This blend works great in an aromatherapy burner or even just by putting a few drops on a tissue and breathing it in anytime you need a boost.

Want even more specific blending details? They’re coming! My next blog post will have a detailed step-by-step guide that can help you blend exactly the way I do. In the meantime, go check out all of the unique blends that Aromandina has to offer!

© 2015, Cristina Proano-Carrion, Aromandina LLC

This information is based on traditional use of aromatherapy and it does not intend to diagnose or treat any condition. This information should not be used as a substitute for medical counseling with a health care professional. No part of this article may be reproduced in whole or in part without the explicit written permission of Aromandina.
Jul 01 2015

Busting the detox myth
Everyone wants to be as healthy as possible, so if someone told you that applying essential oils directly to your skin would help flush out toxins, you’d probably try it, right? But what if someone told you that anything odd you experience — like a rash, itchiness, inflammation, or even outright pain — was just your body’s way of detoxifying? Would you believe it?

If you did, you’d be putting your skin at serious risk!

There’s a major myth that’s been going around the aromatherapy world for years. It’s called “Detox Theory”, and it says that any reaction you see on your skin is really your body’s way of purging toxins. This myth has led countless people to apply essential oils directly to their skin — and putting up with painful results — under the guise of becoming healthier.

What most people don’t know is that Detox Theory is proved wrong by science!

To help you make sense of it all, I’m sharing an article that summarizes evidence-based research. In order to truly detoxify your body, the essential oils would have to come into contact with your elimination systems. Simply rubbing them into your skin won’t work because your skin isn’t in charge of eliminating toxins and other waste from your body. In science-speak, detoxifying is an elimination process, while applying essential oils (or anything else) to your skin is an additive process. Because you’re dealing with two different processes, simply rubbing in some essential oils won’t purge all of the toxins floating around in your system!

(You can read the entire article HERE, and share it with your friends so that we can prevent as much unnecessary suffering as possible!)

Does this mean you shouldn’t apply essential oils to your skin at all?

No! The key, though, is to use them the right way. That means diluting them first. The rule of thumb among aromatherapy experts is to use a 2 % dilution rate — meaning that the essential oils themselves only make up 2 % of the liquid that you’re applying to your skin.

Here are a few easy ways to create that 2 % dilution rate:

– If you’re using 1 tablespoon of carrier oil, add 6 drops of essential oils to it

– If you’re using 1 ounce of carrier oil, add 12 drops of essential oils to it

– If you’re using 4 ounces of carrier oil, add 48 drops of essential oils to it

However, for pregnant women, elderly people, and children,  you want to dilute your essential oils even more — to a 1% dilution rate. You can create it by combining:

– 1 tablespoon of carrier oil and 3 drops of essential oils

– 1 ounce of carrier oil and 6 drops of essential oils

– 4 ounces of carrier oil and 24 drops of essential oils

The most important advice I can give you (other than these dilution recipes) is to act quickly. If you EVER develop a rash, itchiness, or some other kind of irritation, STOP! Each essential oil has its own natural chemical composition, meaning that any one of them can cause issues for certain skin types. So, be gentle and sparing. There really can be too much of a good thing!

The best way to keep your skin safe is to tap into the expert advice and high-quality essential oils at Aromandina. In this case, knowledge is power that your skin will thank you for!

Reference: Essential Oils and the “Detox” Theory

© 2015, Cristina Proano-Carrion, Aromandina LLC

This information is based on traditional use of aromatherapy and it does not intend to diagnose or treat any condition. This information should not be used as a substitute for medical counseling with a health care professional. No part of this article may be reproduced in whole or in part without the explicit written permission of Aromandina.


Jun 18 2015

How great does it feel to soak in a warm bath?! The warm water cradles your body, and all of the stress and anxiety seem to just wash away.

A warm bath can provide so many big benefits that there’s actually a scientific name for it — Balneotherapy. Specifically, balneotherapy is a type of water therapy that’s been used for centuries to combat everything from inflammation to immune system issues. During one of these baths, your skin absorbs the minerals in the water, which in turn, help you feel and look better. The warm water not only cleanses your body and mind, but also refreshes and relaxes. It acts as a liquid suspension, meaning that you can literally stop feeling like the world is dragging you down.

But what does all of this have to do with aromatherapy?

I like to say that balneotherapy is aromatherapy’s best friend. Mix the two together, and you end up with some amazing results!

I like to combine some essential oils and some salt (Epsom, sea salt, or Himalayan — your choice) in my aroma baths. That way, you can get benefits from the oils and the minerals in the salt, in addition to just the water.

Aromatherapy baths are incredibly powerful because they allow you to interact with essential oils in two ways — they get absorbed through your skin while you inhale the powerful scent. In fact, science has shown that essential oils can penetrate the skin very quickly, even faster than the ions of sodium and chloride in the salt. As a result, you don’t have to spend hours in the tub. Even if you only have 10 minutes to spare, you’ll notice a difference!

But my favorite thing about an aroma bath is its versatility. There are a number of essential oils you can use — although, I don’t recommend using essential oils that can be irritating, like basil, cinnamon, black pepper, ginger, lemongrass, orange, fennel, and peppermint. Whether you use one oil or several, you can customize your aromatherapy bath to meet your exact needs and desires. Simply fill the tub with warm water, and then add your favorite essential oils right (diluted first in salts or one of the carriers mentioned below) before you get in. You’ll only need 8-10 drops of oil (any more than that is simply a waste!).

If you want to give your skin some added moisture, mix your essential oils with vegetable oil first. (As an added benefit, that will also reduce your chance of the oils irritating your sensitive skin.) For best results, gently move around in the tub so that your entire body can soak up the oils. You won’t need to rinse off after you’re finished. Just slip into a comfy robe, and let the oils continue to work their magic.

In addition to essential oils, you can also include things like apple cider vinegar, honey, and milk in your aroma bath. Each will give your skin an even bigger boost. Or, if you’re dealing with a specific skin issue, there are special recipes that can relieve it.

But your skin isn’t the only thing that will benefit from combining aromatherapy and balneotherapy. Depending on the oils you use, you can fight muscle pain, insomnia, PMS, fluid retention, colds, anxiety, circulatory problems, headaches, and rheumatism. And, depending on the oils you use, your bath can be relaxing, stimulating, warming, cooling, or even an aphrodisiac. The possibilities are endless!

Here are some of my favorite recipes:

– Detoxing Bath

1/2 cup baking soda
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
5 drops cedarwood essential oil
5 drops grapefruit essential oil

– After-Sun Bath

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons roll oats
3 tablespoons honey
7 drops lavender essential oil
3 drops blue chamomile essential oil

– For Dry Skin

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 drops frankincense essential oil
2 drops rose absolute
3 drops geranium essential oil

– Pain Relief Bath

1 cup Epsom Salts
5 drops fir essential oil
5 drops cypress essential ol

Give it a try, and you’re sure to fall in love with balneotherapy as much as I have!

It’s easy to combine the power of balneotherapy and aromatherapy when you’ve got expert advice and high-quality essential oils from Aromandina!

© 2015, Cristina Proano-Carrion, Aromandina LLC

This information is based on traditional use of aromatherapy and it does not intend to diagnose or treat any condition. This information should not be used as a substitute for medical counseling with a health care professional. No part of this article may be reproduced in whole or in part without the explicit written permission of Aromandina.
Jun 08 2015
Be honest — how often do you think about giving your feet some TLC?  If you’re like most of us, you trudge along day after day, forcing your feet to (literally!) carry all the weight.  And if that wasn’t bad enough, you cram your poor feet into tight socks, gym shoes, and pinching high heels.  Unfortunately, you probably don’t give your feet a second thought until they start to hurt.

But it’s time for a change!  The right essential oils make it quick and easy to treat your feet to some serious pampering so that they can keep up with every step of your busy life.

Did you know that your feet have 72,000 nerve endings in them?  That’s why a foot massage feels so incredible!  But at the same time, it’s why your feet can get so achy and uncomfortable if you don’t take good care of them.  They need TLC if they’re going to do everything you need them to do.

I’ve come up with a variety essential oil blends that you can use to create your very own foot routine.  The best way to take full advantage of them is to start with a footbath.  In fact, herbalists and healers have been harnessing the power of footbaths for hundreds of years!  Whether you don’t have the time or the mobility for a full-body soak, a footbath is an easy way to give your feet some serious relief.  Even just a few minutes will make your tired feet feel rejuvenated, and that unpleasant foot odor will be gone.

There are a few different footbath recipes you can use.  For all of them, you’ll need to heat up 2 1/2 pints of water, pour it into a foot bowl, and add the essential oils listed below.  You’ll also need to add 1/4 cup of regular salt or Epsom salt. 

–  Footbath recipe for sweaty feet

4 drops Cypress essential oil
3 drops Bergamot essential oil 

–  Footbath recipe for tired, aching feet

3 drops Pine essential oil
4 drops Lavender essential oil 

–  Footbath for athlete’s foot

5 drops of Tea Tree essential oil
2 drops of Geranium essential oil
No matter which recipe you choose, let your feet soak for about 15 minutes — and be sure to inhale the aroma for an even bigger essential oil boost!  If the soles of your feet are really rough, rub them with a pumice stone once your bath is done.  In addition to sloughing off dead skin cells, this will improve the circulation in your feet.  Then, dab your feet dry. 

For a real feet treat, follow up your footbath with one of these special foot massage oils.  Again, you can pick the recipe that’s best suited for your specific foot issues.  In each of them, you’ll need to combine the essential oils listed with 1 ounce of carrier oil.

–  Foot oil for walkers, joggers and runners

5 drops Rosemary essential oil
3 drops Peppermint essential oil
4 drops Lavender essential oil

–  Foot oil for swollen feet

5 drops Ginger essential oil
5 drops Cypress essential oil
2 drops Lavender essential oil

–  Foot oil to combat fungus

Foot fungus is a common problem that leads to uncomfortable symptoms like itching, burning, and pain.  Luckily, the right essential oil blend can ward off this unfriendly fungus.  By using antifungal essential oils you can finally get some relief.  Just apply this aromatherapy blend to your feet on a daily basis and  you’ll be able to bid bon voyage to all of that yucky fungus!

5 drops Tea Tree essential oil
4 drops Geranium essential oil
3 drops Lavender essential oil

It’s easy to stop abusing your poor feet when you turn to the essential oils and expert advice at Aromandina!

© 2015, Cristina Proano-Carrion, Aromandina LLC
This information is based on traditional use of aromatherapy and it does not intend to diagnose or treat any condition. This information should not be used as a substitute for medical counseling with a health care professional. No part of this article may be reproduced in whole or in part without the explicit written permission of Aromandina.
Apr 28 2015
Think about all the things your hands do in a day.  Between washing dishes, carrying groceries, covering up coughs, digging around in the garden, and braving the cold, is there any wonder why your hands get rough, dry, cracked, and sore?! 

Luckily, though, you don’t have to change your life to have soft, smooth hands.  All you need to do is add a few essential oils to your daily routine!

No matter what you’ve subjected your hands to, the right essential oils can help.  The skin on your hands is thick, which is perfect for preventing germs and other dangers from penetrating it.  However, your body’s natural protection mechanisms aren’t enough to fend off all the stress, dirt, and chemicals your hands are subjected to on a daily basis.  Essential oils are a safe, effective way to supplement the work your body does naturally.  For example, lemon oil is a great cleanser, while geranium, lavender, and rose all help nourish the skin on your hands.  Chamomile and lavender are great for relieving eczema and contact dermatitis, or if you’re dealing with lots of roughness or scrapes, frankincense can provide an extra dose of TLC.

Want to take your hand care routine a step further?  The right oil blends can work wonders!  Here are some of my favorites:

Hand Care Scrub

The only way to get softer, smoother hands is to exfoliate on a regular basis.  That way, you can slough off dead cells and make it easier for your skin to soak up valuable nutrients.  My Hand Care Scrub is gentle enough to be used once a day, but strong enough to get rid of all the build-up that’s making your hands rough. 

Simply combine:

1 tablespoon coconut oil
3 drops of frankincense
2 drops of lemon
1 teaspoon of sea salt. 

Rub the scrub on your hands, and rinse.  That’s it!

Hand Care Oil

Whether you’ve been digging in the dirt or handling detergents and other harsh cleaners, your hands need a little extra TLC.  This Hand Care Oil will give your hands some much-needed moisture. 

Just mix:

1 ounce jojoba oil
8 drops lavender 
4 drops rose maroc
2 drops blue chamomile
Rub it in, and both the scent and the soothing moisture will instantly make you feel more relaxed!

Antifungal Nail Oil

Your nails are exposed to a lot — even more than your hands, because they’re the first sensory contact point with the environment around you.  They should be elastic, have a dull shine, and be slightly curved.  If yours don’t look that way, they need a pick-me-up. 
Simply mix:
1 ounce carrier oil
8 drops tea tree
3 drops patchouli
3 drops lemon

  Massage it into your nail bed 3 times each day for cleaner, healthier nails. 

Aromatic Nail Conditioning Soak

If your cuticles are dry or torn, the right essential oils can make them look healthy and vibrant. 
All you have to do is mix:
4 tablespoons of olive oil,
5 drops lemon 
2 drops rosemary
3 drops lavender

Buff your nails with a nail buffer. Buffing will boost your circulation and make your nails shinier.  Then soak your nails in this mixture for 10 minutes.  This mixture will soften your cuticles, keep fungus at bay, and make break-prone nails stronger.

Remember, it’s important to take good care of your hands.  Not only will healthier hands look and feel younger, but your hands are also chock full of reflex points and pressure points.  So, the better you treat your hands, the better you’ll feel all over!

Your hands will love the vast collection of essential oils and blends at Aromandina!

© 2015, Cristina Proano-Carrion, Aromandina LLC

This information is based on traditional use of aromatherapy and it does not intend to diagnose or treat any condition. This information should not be used as a substitute for medical counseling with a health care professional. No part of this article may be reproduced in whole or in part without the explicit written permission of Aromandina.

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