Holistic Haven at Uniquely Organic EcoSpa

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As some of you know last summer I joined the team at Uniquely Organic EcoSpa, I had previously visited the spa on a number of occasions as a client and had chosen the spa based on its principles and great online reviews.

I very much enjoyed visiting the spa for treatments and since joining the team have had the privilege of working alongside some truly outstanding therapists and decided to share with you all a bit about the spa and what we as a team strive to create.

About Uniquely Organic EcoSpa

Uniquely Organic was founded eight years ago by Kirsty Kianifard after she completed a BSc degree in cosmetic science. Having written her final dissertation on the organic beauty industry Kirsty wanted to create a completely ethical space offering clients the chance to have a beauty and spa experience that does not come at the price of the environment or at the health of our bodies. she has created a safe haven where pampering and ethical principles work in harmony, from fair-trade furniture and ecopaints in the interior design to the certified organic products applied during treatments.

Our Vision

Uniquely Organic EcoSpa aims to offer all clients individually-tailored treatments that address the body holistically in order to create improved health and increased overall well-being.

HOLISTIC TREATMENTS

All the treatments have been carefully chosen for their holistic qualities and are carried out by highly-skilled therapists that have a genuine desire to heal and are passionate about delivering chemical-free treatments.

ORGANIC PRODUCTS

Environmental toxins are a challenge enough to keep at bay without actively applying them to our faces and bodies. Yet this is what most individuals do to themselves every day.

At Uniquely Organic, only certified-organic products are used in the treatments and there is a wide range of organic and natural products available to buy in the shop. All clients are always recommend to use organic products which minimise their daily intake of harmful chemicals and we have carefully selected ranges that offer a genuine organic alternative to mainstream brands.

VISIT US

Why not pop by and sample some of our face and body products or book in a treatment!

Our clients are THE most important part of our business, we really hope you will enjoy your experience at Uniquely Organic and that it will lead to a life of natural health, happiness and well-being.

Rachel x

 

 

Image Courtesy of Vanessa Tait

 

A Guide to Acupuncture.

Acupuncure is a treatment derived from ancient Chinese medicine. Fine needles are inserted at certain sites in the body for therapeutic or preventative purposes.

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How acupuncture works

Western medical acupuncture is the use of acupuncture following a medical diagnosis. It involves stimulating sensory nerves under the skin and in the muscles of the body.

This results in the body producing natural substances, such as pain-relieving endorphins. It’s likely that these naturally released substances are responsible for the beneficial effects experienced with acupuncture.

A course of acupuncture usually creates longer lasting pain relief than when a single treatment is used.

Traditional acupuncture is based on the belief that an energy, or “life force”, flows through the body in channels called meridians. This life force is known as Qi (pronounced “chee”).

Practitioners who adhere to traditional beliefs about acupuncture believe that when Qi doesn’t flow freely through the body, this can cause illness. They also believe acupuncture can restore the flow of Qi, and so restore health.

Uses of acupuncture

Acupuncture practitioners – sometimes called acupuncturists – use acupuncture to treat a wide range of health conditions. However, the use of acupuncture isn’t always based on rigorous scientific evidence.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides guidelines for the use of treatments and care of patients.

Currently, NICE only recommends considering acupuncture as a treatment option for:

  • chronic tension-type headaches
  • migraines

Acupuncture is also often used to treat other musculoskeletal conditions (of the bones and muscles) and pain conditions, including:

  • chronic pain, such as neck pain
  • joint pain, such as Arthritis.
  • dental pain
  • postoperative pain

Where is Acupuncture treatment available?

Acupuncture is sometimes available on the NHS, most often from GPs or physiotherapists, although access is limited.

Most acupuncture patients pay for private treatment. The cost of acupuncture varies widely between practitioners. Initial sessions usually cost £40-70, and further sessions £25-60.

If you’re being treated by an acupuncture practitioner for a health condition or are considering having acupuncture, it’s advisable to discuss this with your GP.

How acupuncture is performed

An initial acupuncture session usually lasts 20-40 minutes and involves an assessment of your general health, medical history and a physical examination, followed by insertion of the acupuncture needles.

Courses of treatment often involve up to 10 separate sessions, but this can vary.

Insertion of the needles

The needles are inserted into specific places on the body, which practitioners call acupuncture points.

During the session, you’ll usually be asked to sit or lie down. You may also be asked to remove some clothes so the practitioner can access certain parts of your body.

The needles used are fine and are usually a few centimetres long. They should be single-use, pre-sterilised needles that are disposed of immediately after use.

Acupuncture practitioners choose specific points to place the needles based on your condition. Up to 12 points may be used during a typical session, sometimes more depending on the number of symptoms you have.

The needles may be inserted just under the skin, or deeper so they reach muscle tissue. Once the needles are in place, they may be left in position for a length of time lasting from a few minutes up to around 30 minutes.

You may feel a tingling or a dull ache when the needles are inserted but shouldn’t experience any significant pain. If you do, let your practitioner know straight away.

In some cases, your practitioner may rotate the needles or stimulate them with a mild electric current (known as electroacupuncture).

Acupuncture safety and regulation

There’s no statutory regulation of acupuncture in England, but many non-medical acupuncture practitioners are required to register with their local authority.

If you choose to have acupuncture, make sure your acupuncture practitioner is either a regulated healthcare professional such as a doctor, nurse of physiotherapist or a member of a recognised national acupuncture organisation.

The British Acupuncture Council holds a register of practitioners that has been vetted and approved by the Professional Standards Authority. If you decide to have traditional Chinese medicine acupuncture, you can visit this website to find a qualified acupuncturist near you.

When it’s carried out by a qualified practitioner, acupuncture is generally very safe. Some people experience mild, short-lived side effects such as:

  • pain where the needles puncture the skin
  • bleeding or bruising where the needles puncture the skin
  • drowsiness
  • feeling sick
  • feeling dizzy or faint
  • worsening of pre-existing symptoms

If you have a bleeding disorder, such as haemophilia, or are taking anticoagulants, talk to your GP before you have acupuncture.

It’s generally safe to have acupuncture when you’re pregnant. However, let your acupuncture practitioner know if you’re pregnant because certain acupuncture points can’t be used safely during pregnancy.

Rachel x

 

How Do You Make Golden Milk?

Warming spices such as Cayenne, Turmeric, Black Pepper, Cinnamon and Ginger help us feel cosier at this time of year, they also improve circulation and can reduce inflammation. You can use these spices in your everyday cooking, but golden milk is a delicious way to get your daily dose!

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Here’s my favourite recipe – coconut milk and other nut milks also taste great, however I find rice milk is too thin for this recipe.

Golden Milk

Ingredients for two people:

500 ml almond milk

2 teaspoons turmeric

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of ginger

Pinch of nutmeg

Pinch of ground black pepper

Pinch of cayenne pepper, too, if you can handle some zing!

To make:

1. Gently warm the almond milk in a small pot on the stove.

2. Add spices and stir through with a whisk for a couple of minutes.

3. Pour into two mugs and sprinkle some extra nutmeg for garnish.

4. Add an optional teaspoon of raw honey to sweeten.

Rachel x

5 Essential Oils You Need In Your Life.

My five recommended essential oils that can help to balance a variety of mental and emotional issues

Aromatherapy

 

Lavender is great for de-stressing, relaxing, soothing and calming the nerves and generally balancing the emotions – It’s also great for insomnia.

Rose has gentle yet powerful anti-depressant properties that can help where there is a lot of stress, anxiety or grief. It can be also be useful for women where problems relate to their sexuality or reproductive system – for example post-natal depression, PMT or depression following a relationship break-down.

Chamomile is a comforting oil, that is great for anxiety, panic and phobias – anything where the nerves are on edge! It is also great for insomnia. Drinking chamomile tea will help to enhance the effects of the essential oil.

Bergamot is relaxing yet uplifting, making it particularly helpful for tension, anxiety and depression. It is also highly recommended for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Ylang Ylang has an antidepressant, sedative effect that is helpful for depression, anxiety and nervous disorders. It helps to slow over-rapid breathing and an over-rapid heartbeat that may be associated with shock, anger or fear!

How to use:

When choosing essential oils be guided by your sense of smell. The ones you like the most will be the ones that your body needs the most. Pick up to 3 oils and use one or more as follows:

Diffusing: Put 6-9 drops of oil into a diffuser or candle burner.

Massage: Mix 15ml carrier oil (or moisture lotion) with up to 6 drops of essential oil.

Bath: Mix up to 9 drops of essential oil with half a cup of full fat milk and add to the bath. Close doors and windows so you can inhale the aroma while you soak. If you do not have a bath you can add a few drops to your shower tray and breathe in the aroma as you shower.

It’s best to play around with the oils to see which combinations you like best! One of my favourite blends for relaxing the mind is 3 drops of Bergamot, 2 drops of Rose Otto and 1 drop of Ylang Ylang.

Rachel x

 

 

Sleep The Best Wellness Tool.

Did you know that one in three of us don’t get enough sleep? From hectic work schedules and overactive minds to bouts of stress, our sleep is usually the first thing to suffer when we’ve got a lot on our plate. Bed manufacturer Sealy UK’s Worldwide Sleep Census polled more than 15,000 respondents around the globe and discovered that 77 percent of Brits fail to wake up refreshed and well-rested each morning and that British women lose 10 days per year due to ‘sleep debt’ – the time spent lying awake when we should be sleeping. Make sure you’re not one of these statistics by adapting your diet to contain sleep-inducing foods for a perfect night’s slumber.

Choose coconut water

Try drinking a glass of pure coconut water in the evening to encourage a restful night’s sleep. Coconut water is an excellent source of ‘electrolyte’ minerals: potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and sodium. Balanced levels of these minerals are necessary to maintain normal muscle action, nerve function and hydration in our body. Deficiencies or imbalances can cause cramping and restless legs at night, which can lead to disturbed sleep.

Change your sleep cycle with cherries

Cherries can help to get us in a regular sleep pattern. Cherries have been found to contain small amounts of melatonin, the hormone that regulates our sleep cycles. Although all cherries may contain some melatonin, tart Montmorency cherries in particular have been found in a clinical trial to increase the body’s melatonin levels and increase sleep time.

Prepare yourself for a good snooze with pumpkin seeds

Add a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds to sugar-free yoghurt or a salad to give your regular meals a sleep-enhancing boost. Pumpkin seeds are high in natural magnesium, one of the roles of magnesium is allowing the muscle fibres in our body to relax, counteracting calcium, which causes muscles to contract. It is also thought that magnesium has a role in the normal function of the pineal gland, which produces melatonin.

Complex carbs are key

Combat unexpected wake up calls in the middle of the night by controlling your blood sugar. If you regularly wake in the middle of the night, especially if it’s suddenly and your head is racing, have a small snack of complex carbohydrates, such as an oatcake about an hour before bed. This will prevent your blood sugar levels from dropping during the night. You may not think you need much energy while you’re asleep, but your brain and body still need glucose to keep working. If levels fall too low, this can cause the release of adrenaline and cortisol, which can wake you up. To avoid this, make sure you have some slow-releasing carbohydrates in the evening, such as brown rice with your evening meal.

Feel more relaxed with fish

Another good way to help maintain melatonin levels in the bloodstream is to eat more fish, as fish is an abundant source of vitamin B6, which produces melatonin. Try adding the likes of tuna and salmon to your diet on a regular basis, to help you get a better night’s sleep.

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Rachel x

 

A beginners guide to Crystals & Crystal Healing.

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I love crystals for their decorative and healing purposes, so I have put together a beginners guide to crystals and crystal healing for anyone wanting to learn more.

What are crystals? 

Crystals are minerals formed underground from three-dimensional repeating patterns of atoms. A crystal’s appearance depends upon the natural characteristics of its type and the conditions in which it grows. Some take on strange shapes, some are very small and others grow very large, developing over thousands of years.

Programming and cleansing crystals

The repeating chemical structure of crystals is said to invest them with a kind of memory. This means that crystals have the power to hold energies. You may hold a quartz crystal with the intention of filling it with love. This is what is meant by programming a crystal – all you need is intention and focus. The crystal will remember your love, which will then permeate any environment in which the crystal is placed. Crystals can remember negative as well as positive energies and so will sometimes need to be cleansed. For instance, Amethyst will actually help to cleanse a room of negative energies but this means that the Amethyst, which will retain an element of that negative energy, will itself occasionally need cleansing.

There are different ways to cleanse crystals. One of the most common is to submerge them in salt water (sea water is even better!) for a couple of days, then run them under the tap to clean off all the salt. Other methods include burying crystals in the garden for a few days or leaving them outside overnight in normal water to bask in the moonlight.

What gives individual stones their characteristics?

Different stones have different energetic properties. For example, Tigers Eye can increase insight and perception, while Lapis Lazuli is a powerful crystal for activating the higher mind and enhancing intellectual ability. Rose Quartz is calming and sometimes referred to as the stone of unconditional love. There are many books available which contain lists of crystals and what each one means. These meanings are simply interpretations of the energy each crystal carries.

With a little practise and intuition, anyone can interpret the immediate characteristics of a stone. For example, red is the colour of action, and red stones can invigorate and enliven. White or clear stones such as Quartz may help you to see more clearly. Purple stones assist in transformation and change. It’s good to read and digest the definitions in books but also it’s important to form your own opinions.

The shape of a crystal can also affect it’s qualities. Some people will also consider the number of facets and use Numerology, which attributes meanings to different numbers.

Below is a list of the most commonly available shapes:

Single terminated wands
These have a single point at one end and a rough or rounded edge at the other. They are used widely in healing, cleansing and meditation and as jewellery.

Chunks
Chunks are crystals without notable facets. They can be good for enriching a rooms atmosphere, for holding during meditation or simply carrying in your pocket.

Clusters
Clusters consist of a group of small crystals that have naturally grown joined together. Clusters can be excellent for enriching a living environment or workplace. Depending upon their properties they can cleanse, invigorate or calm an atmosphere.

Cut crystals
Cut crystals are crystals that have been cut and polished into shapes such as pyramids, wands or spheres, which can make them very attractive.

Tumblestones
Tumblestones are small stones, rocks or crystals that have been tumbled over each other in grit for a number of days in a giant tumbler machine. As time passes finer and finer grit is used until the edges are smoothed and the crystals start to become polished. Tumblestone crystals are great to collect, carry or use for healing.

How do I choose a crystal?

You do not need to know the exact properties of every stone in order to buy one, although this may help. It is more important to be receptive and allow yourself to be drawn to a stone that will have meaning for you. If you are in a shop simply stand in front of a group of crystals, close your eyes and relax, and when you open them choose the one you feel drawn to most.

When choosing a crystal online it is not possible to hold the crystal, so you need to take your intuition a stage further. Browse through the pictures of the various crystals and note which section most appeals to you. Spend some time browsing through that section. You may find yourself drawn to a picture of a particular crystal, with a powerful urge to touch it and a sense of frustration that you cannot. If you feel that you very much want that crystal to be a part of your life, it is likely that on some level it has something to offer you.

You may see many beautiful crystals but none that compel you to buy them. As with all purchases relating to spiritual growth intent is crucial, and you may need to acknowledge that the time isn’t right. If you buy crystals purely because that is what you set out to do then your crystals may lack meaning, and you are essentially starting a rock collection. There is nothing wrong with collecting rocks, but this post is aimed at using crystals to assist personal development. If nothing strongly appeals to you, come back on another day when perhaps a crystal will compel you.

In our personal development it is sometimes difficult to know what we need. We may see clearly when helping others with their lives but, as our opinions are coloured by what we think of ourselves, find it very hard to be objective when looking at our own. We may like to think we are loving all the time, but in some situations we may be sarcastic, or we may think we are forgiving, but in reality find it hard to talk to a person who has wronged us. Because of this, our conscious selves are not always best at choosing crystals. You may set out to buy a citrine crystal, having read that it can help dissipate negative energy, but be prepared to have your unconscious lead you to a different crystal. The unconscious or higher self doesn’t get involved with life’s day-to-day clutter and thus can get straight down to the business of selecting the most appropriate crystal for you. This is why the best approach to choosing a crystal is to quiet your mind and simply do what feels right.

Healing with crystals

Different crystals have different energies and properties, and between them can affect mental, physical, spiritual and emotional aspects of ourselves. Simply holding the right crystal at the right time can bring about a change in our attitude and well-being. You don’t necessarily need to look up the meaning each time you do this. Over time you may acquire a number of crystals – just take hold of the one you feel drawn to!

The right crystal can affect the energy of an environment, and the energy it holds can influence you whether you simply hold it in your hand or place it by your bed or on the mantelpiece. Crystal healers use their knowledge of the stones and of the client in the healing process. There are various methods of healing with crystals, such as placing crystals on and around a person while they are lying down, or using a wand/ point to focus love, energy and intent on the other person in a way that relates specifically to their ailment and needs.

Can the wrong crystal do me harm?

As with many objects used for divination and healing, a crystal can only do harm in the wrong hands. A crystal healer only uses a crystal as a tool. A great crystal does not make a great crystal healer.You do need to take some care if you are looking for a crystal healer. If you cannot get a recommendation from a previous client, speak to the healer before accepting treatment. If you don’t feel you would trust them in some everyday matter, neither should you trust them with your well-being. You should try to buy crystals from a reputable supplier and, after receiving them, it is wise to cleanse them (see above) of any negative energy that they may previously have absorbed. Use your intuition and you cannot go wrong. If one day you feel a crystal no longer belongs in your home, it may be time to give it away. As you change you may find that you want different crystals around you, although many will stay with you happily for a long time.

Rachel x