Thursday, June 5, 2008

Everyday Aromatherapy- Part 1
(Article from Marketing Scents, 2005)
by guest author Jennifer Nordin, MTP

Essential Oil Basics
Essential oils are the highly concentrated, volatile, aromatic essences of plants. Essential oils contain hundreds of organic constituents, including hormones, vitamins and other natural elements that work on many levels. They are 75 to 100 times more concentrated than the oils in dried herbs.

All the countries of the world provide essential oils, making aromatherapy a truly global therapy, and information on the specific properties of each essential oils can be found in any one of the hundreds of books published worldwide on the topic.

Not all Oils are Created Equal
There are significant differences between synthetic fragrance oils and pure essential oils. Synthetic fragrance oils may duplicate the smell of the pure botanical, but the complex chemical components of each essential oil created in nature determine its true aromatic benefits. Synthetic fragrance oils do not have medicinal properties; they are NOT suitable for aromatherapy.

Gems of Nature
Pure essential oils, like precious jewelry or fine wine, are gems of nature -- the quintessential life force of aromatic plants, sometimes called the "soul" of the plant. People who truly appreciate the qualities of pure essential oils consider each drop a precious jewel to be savored, enjoyed and protected.

Essential oils are absorbed into the fluid surrounding the cells beneath the skin's surface for a variety of effects including deep cleansing, nourishing, rejuvenating and balancing. Essential oils also diffuse into the air to provide olfactory benefits.

Extraction of Essential Oils
To extract essential oils in the most effective manner while preserving their therapeutic benefits, they are either distilled or expressed. The two methods are briefly explained below.

Pure essential oils are most commonly extracted from plants through the process of steam distillation. In this process, steam is introduced into a distillation chamber which contains the plant material. The steam breaks down the plant tissue, causing it to release its essential oil in a vaporized form. The vaporized essences, along with the steam and other substances, pass into a pipe through cooling tanks. The vapors return to liquid form and are separated from the water and captured as pure essential plant oil.

Expression, also known as cold pressing, is done exclusively with citrus oils. In this method, the oil-containing outer layer of the fruit is pressed and filtered to yield pure essential oil.

It takes 50 pounds of eucalyptus, 150 pounds of lavender, 500 pounds of rosemary, 1,000 pounds of jasmine and over 2,000 pounds of rose to make a single pound of essential oil! The price of each essential oil is directly related to the amount of plant material needed for distillation.

(Article from Marketing Scents. 2005)

Next month in Everyday Aromatherapy Part 2 we will explore the benefits of diffusing essential oils.

About the Author:

Jennifer Nordin is a massage and aromatherapy practitioner with a passion for sharing her exciting journey in the field of therapeutic and medicinal essential oils.

Her interest in aromatherapy began in 2000, compelling her to spend hundreds of hours in training with Young Living Essential Oils and The Center for Aromatherapy Research and Education. She is currently working toward her Clinical Aromatherapy Practitioner certification through the R.J Buckle Associates program for health care professionals. She has also studied Integrative Massage, Deep Tissue/ Sports Massage, and Acupressure at St. Croix Center for the Healing Arts and is certified in the Raindrop and VitaFlex (Tibetan reflexology) techniques.

Jennifer offers private consultations and wellness classes which focus on practical education and encourage the therapeutic use of essential oils to experience holistic benefits. She has presented workshops for the YMCA/Camp St. Croix Women's Wellness Retreat, the employees of The St. Paul Companies (Travelers), as well as church retreats and on site aromatherapy training for massage therapists and health/fitness practitioners.

Jennifer is the owner of AtPeace Therapeutic Massage and resides in Hudson with her husband and young son.

AtPeace Therapeutic Massage( female clients only by appt)
2217 Vine Street, Suite 203
Hudson, Wisconsin 54016

Lifting weights: "When is a good time for my child to start?”

“Lifting, when is a good time for my child to start?”
A hot topic in Sports Medicine
by guest author Richard Larsen, PT

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) have all made position statements that lifting is safe for children with proper supervision and technique.

Incidence Rate of Injury: In a study of 354 adolescents there was an injury rate of 7.6% with the authors citing poor supervision as a possible cause. Subsequent studies have showed a reduction in injuries to as low as .3% when the children are supervised. Study after study suggests that children are not more likely to injure their growth plates unless they are not supervised and/or using improper technique.

What age can benefit?: In a study in 1996 (Faigenbaum et all) 7-12 year old boys and girls showed significant and large strength increases from resistance training. Until your child reaches puberty, the strength gains are likely due to neural adaptations versus changes in muscle size.

What age should I start my child? A common suggestion as to when to start strength training is twofold. (1) Your child may be ready if he/she has the emotional maturity to accept and follow directions. (2) Your child may be ready to lift if they are able to participate in organized sports. A trained healthcare professional, like a physical therapist, is a great resource not only to help you determine when it is safe to start strength training, but also help teach proper technique.

How many sets/repetitions should my child complete when lifting? 8-12 repetitions per set, 1-3 sets, 2-3 times per week. A child or anyone completing lifting should be able to perform 3 sets with relative ease before increasing the weight during the next training session. All three major experts listed above emphasize NOT focusing on maximum weights with children. When a child reaches skeletally maturity, the lifter can begin maximum lifting, again under proper supervision and with proper technique.

What should my child focus on when lifting? FORM, FORM, FORM! Proper technique and safety should be the emphasis, not the amount of weight lifted. Risk versus reward should be evaluated with high velocity, high force lifts like a deadlift. Additional focus should be placed on safety with lifts of higher risk due to their weight exposure (bench, squat, clean). The program should include a warm up/cool down, aerobic exercise, and contain all major muscle groups.

Before your child starts a lifting program a healthcare professional, like those at Larsen Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy, should be consulted. When your child has proper supervision during all lifting and has been taught and consistently uses proper technique, lifting can be safe and provide benefit to your child’s athletic performance and overall wellness.

About the Author

Richard Larsen is the owner of Larsen Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy, Inc. (LSMPT). LSMPT has been providing physical therapy and athletic training services for the St. Croix Valley since March of 2006. Services are provided at several locations including Hudson, Roberts (shared space with McCabe Chiropractic), and through the athletic training room at Hudson High School. Richard’s specialties include sports medicine, orthotic fabrication and foot care, back and neck pain, and industrial medicine. His interests outside of sports medicine include running, hanging out with his wife, Brenda, and two children, Ty and Allie, camping, and playing basketball.