Holistic Mum

Local Mum and therapist Evi Achillea blogs for us about everything to do with holistic health 


Easter 2018

Dear Local Mums,

As Easter is approaching making Easter fun for kids by whipping up cool and festive snacks is a great way to brighten up the holiday but parents need to make sure that the treats are healthy. Too many sugar-filled snacks will inevitably take a toll on your child’s health. Luckily, there are countless ways to make Easter food fun for kids without putting their health at risk.

It is now known, not to say acceptable nowadays, that there is a strong phenomenon of childhood obesity. This results in increased rates of overweight children with high levels of fats and blood sugars such as triglycerides and glucose. As has been said on several occasions by doctors and dieticians overweight or even obese children are more likely to become overweight/obese adults so they are at greater risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes Type 2 and metabolic syndrome. 

So what exactly is it about this downhill of the level of health to our children? 
The answer to this question is not simple and cannot be answered in a single word. 

ϖ Certainly the right and healthy diet is a key factor in avoiding obesity. But we adults and more specifically parents should not forget that children act like mirrors. What does that mean? That children behave like adults who are close to them. They tend to like what their parents like, and not like what their parents don’t like. This is also the case with the feeding of young children. It is very important that parents realise that their behaviour around the issue of health is an example to be emulated for their children. Let us not wait or much less require children to eat healthily and not be overweight when the environment around them does not follow a healthy lifestyle. 

ϖ A child has a 50% chance of becoming obese if one of the two parents is obese while these chances increase when both parents are obese. 

ϖ Obesity is due, as we said at the beginning and in family/environmental factors. If a child is staying in an environment that is not offered for outdoor play it is natural to find some forms of entertainment that however promote physical inertia such as TV, computers, computer games etc.

ϖ The accumulation of excess weight in children may still be due to the replacement of some feelings with food. Many parents are accustomed to reward their children with food, either by giving them sweets for a job that they have finished successfully, or by taking them to eat in fast (fast food) MGA subconsciously the food is equated with a positive feeling about it and several children after as adults develop emotional overeating i.e. they eat something that causes them positive emotions to cope with another negative emotion.


The 7 + 1 must in children's nutrition:
The common denominator in happiness, success, growth and proper nutrition is balance. When, in fact, they are our children, the expert's opinion is necessary. 

What are the key points that we need to focus on? 

The child's diet must be characterized by variety, measure and balance in order to be able to meet its needs in nutrients necessary for the uptake of the required energy, for the development of its organism and for the protection.

ϖ Breakfast

Very important is the consumption of the morning meal. Many studies show that students who eat breakfast perform better in lessons than those who do not consume. 

ϖ Many and often meals equally important is the existence of many and frequent meal. Intermediate meals offer the body continuous energy and help to maintain glucose at constant levels. 

ϖ Fruits and vegetables
 Children should consume at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables daily (1 portion of fruit corresponds to 1 medium fruit and 1 serving of vegetables corresponds to 1 flames. Raw or ½ flames. Boiled vegetables). 

ϖ Wholegrain Products 

The whole grains and their products should be the basis of the daily diet of the child. 

ϖ Protein in the daily diet should include foods rich in protein e.g. fish, lean red meat, poultry, eggs, legumes.

ϖ Fish and omega-3 fats 
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the body, as they cannot synthesize them on their own and must receive them from food. These fats are essential for the development of the nervous system as well as for their anti-inflammatory effects. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are oily fish, seafood, walnuts, linseed. Twice a week the family must consume fish, one of which is greasy. 

ϖ Olive oil

As the main source of fat of the diet choose the extra virgin olive oil. 

ϖ Water, very precious; do not underestimate water. 

Adequate water intake plays an important role in the physical, neurological and emotional condition of the child. When children are hydrated they have more energy and are more concentrated. Even a mild dehydration can slow down brain functions.

If you’re looking for ways to keep your little bunnies bright-eyed and bushy-tailed this holiday season, consider whipping up one of these healthy snacks:

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1. Healthy Fruit and Vegetable Bunny Snack

Great for outdoors post egg hunt snack! You can use apples, strawberries, blueberries, cheese cut in circles, carrots, cucumber, and mini almonds but feel free to get creative with what you have on hand! You can even pre-cut everything and have your kids put together their own bunny!

2. Bunny Easter Lunch

This Easter, make with your kids  this fun and festive bunny rabbit sandwich lunch. It doesn’t get any cuter than this when it comes to a cool Easter lunch!  

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3. Cute Devilled Egg Chicks 

Trade the plain deviled eggs for these adorable hatching chicks, sure to be the hit of your Easter brunch. 
These particular guys use pimento-stuffed olive slices for the eyes and little pieces of carrot for the feet and beaks. Everyone will love these healthy and fun snacks this Easter weekend!

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4.  Easter Eggs 
(D.Ella's Recipe - Notification: Not suitable for people suffering with nuts allergies) 

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1/2 a cup of cacao butter
2 tablespoons of raw cacao powder
3 tablespoons of date syrup
2 tablespoons of almond butter
1 cup of dates
3 tablespoons of boiling water
250g of cashew nuts
1 teaspoon of vanilla powder


For the cashew butter:

Pre-heat the oven the 180C, then once the oven is hot place the tray of cashews in to bake for about ten minutes – until they start to go golden brown but aren’t burnt Take the cashews out the oven and let them cool. Once cool place them in a food processor with the vanilla powder and blend for about ten minutes, until the mix is totally smooth and creamy. It’s so tempting to stop blending once it gets sticky but let it keep going until it’s runny, trust me – it’s so worth the extra few minutes! You do need a really strong processor, like a Magimix to do this sadly, a weak one won’t make it totally smooth.

For the chocolate:

Place the cacao butter in a saucepan and melt on a low heat with the almond butter. Once they’ve melted pour the liquid into the food processor with the remaining ingredients and then blend until smooth. Place the chocolate mixture into the silicone easter egg moulds. Mould the chocolate using the back of a tablespoon so that all the sides are covered and there is a shallow space left for the cashew butter.

Place the moulds in the freezer for 30 minutes. Take the Easter eggs out of the freezer and pop them out of the moulds.

Add a heaped teaspoon of cashew butter into half of the chocolate moulds. Place the cashew butter in the centre of the halved egg, enough so that they completely fill the hollow space.

Place the remaining chocolate moulds on top of the cashew butter filled moulds. Smooth round the edges of the eggs so that each half sticks well together.

Place the whole eggs back into the moulds and then freeze for at least an hour. Then take them out the freezer and let them sit for 10-15 minutes before eating!


'...Happiness lies first of all in health, It's easier to build strong children than to repair broken men...'

August 2017
My tips for a healthy Summer Holiday

Dear Local Mums,

I am sure you are excited about the Summer Holidays and many of you will be ready to hit the beach and pool with family and friends; the summer is also a time for many of us to travel the world. 

As chances are I might not see some of your until school begins again, I would love to wish you:


And share with you some inspirational and healthy Aromatherapy tips after I was inspired while I was preparing my essential travel Aromatherapy kit.


Every trip, especially long distance, is often associated with a change of climate, environment and different time zones. Inevitably the long trip, whether by train, plane, cruise ship or car, would cause us a rather close and almost intimate contact with other passengers. We become exposed to a lot of health hazards like viruses, foreign bacteria and the extreme weather conditions which can contribute to challenging our immune system further. 

During prolonged travel, especially if changing a few time zones, we lack sleep leading to jet lag, we may not eat properly or at the correct times (who enjoys the food on a plane, if we are lucky to get it?) and we never seem to drink enough water, especially with the stringent airport security measures, restricting the liquids to 100 ml per person.

The result is often pretty harmful to our health; the lack of sleep, poor nutrition and dehydration leave our bodies tired and weak, becoming easy victims to cold, flu and gastrointestinal diseases. Often the accommodation we end up in hotels and resorts may not be all that sanitary and we may be exposed to other issues, like mold, bed bugs, fleas and insects.

Many people try to manage all these hazards using pharmaceuticals (melatonin or tranquilizers to help them sleep, antihistamines to fight bites and allergies, disinfectants and sprays against bacteria and insects, synthetic multi-vitamins and flu shots). The truth is that even if these chemicals help on some level temporarily, they all have side effects and ultimately can damage our delicate immune system even more.

Through a tedious trial and error, I have come to realize that the only way to go about facing such challenges is by natural means, i.e. with the help of super foods, herbs and essential oils, you can achieve optimal results protecting yourself and your family at home or abroad from infections and parasites, while strengthening your immune system, without any side effects.

When I first discovered the benefits of Aromatherapy, I could not believe that I had lived without it!

Not only are most of the herbs and essential oils are pretty inexpensive and easily accessible, but they have a wide range of benefits that even the strongest antibiotics can not achieve, for example the most potent antibiotic can only kill around 60% of known bacteria and is totally useless against viruses. Not to mention, our bodies quickly become resistant to many antibiotics, rendering them further pointless and what is worse, some of their harmful elements build over time in our bodies. Many essential oils on the other hand (tea tree, lavender, cinnamon, garlic, thyme, clove, eucalyptus, peppermint, oregano, frankincense, etc) individually, as well as in various combinations can destroy 99.9% of viruses and bacteria, without harm to the human body. 

The spectrum of health benefits of the essential oils is extremely broad. They help us live in a healthier environment by fighting mold, parasites and insects and with their antimicrobial qualities, they can prevent or treat illness, enhance our immune system, help us replace and eliminate harmful chemicals in cleaning products, cosmetics and even help against sun damage. In short, the essential oils have many applications in our households and every day life. They are much cheaper than expensive chemicals and medication, they are easy to find, relatively durable (some last for up to two years), and they also come in tiny bottles, making them practical to store and easy to carry.


While the benefits of essentials oils are endless, I will share a few recommendations: 

For a healthy family Summer Holiday...

- When flying or riding the train or a bus, you will have people close to you, often sneezing and coughing, spreading germs. I find it useful to have a small inhaler with essential oils that I can use to help me breath, or have a small spray bottle with essential oils blend that I can spray my scarf with. I have one of these kits (inhaler capsules) and even made some inhalers for my family and friends. It was a lot of fun to play with the chosen favourite aromas of various essential oils and you can customise with whatever essential oils you wish. 

- Very useful are also the essential oil sticks. They come ready made with blends or you can fill empty roll on bottles with your favorite carrier and essential oils and use to apply all over your body as a perfume, mood uplifted or insect repellent (peppermint, eucalyptus, lemon, citronella). Also you can customise insect repellent with the use of a spray bottle and the mixture of floral water like lavender and the addition of a few drops of essential oils.

- Another fancy way to carry your oils is in your jewellery. You can have ear-rings or a necklace charged with essential oils that can uplift your mood, keep you concentrated and at the same time reduce the germs around you.

- I am sure all women have noticed that when traveling even a few hours on a plane, the skin suffers the most. Usually we sport either a puffy face, dark circles under the eyes and this is no surprise, considering that the pressurized cabins, the air-conditioning and the filtered air in the planes all work together to effectively dehydrate the skin and no matter how many expensive cosmetics we use, the result is abysmal. Applying carrier oils (enriched with Essential oils ) can retain the moisture in the skin much longer thus helping it look fresh and rested after long trips. My top favourite carriers oils are Rose Hip and Jojoba. For very dry skin I use Grape seed or Almond and I usually add a few drops of Rose Otto and Lavenda which help enrich and enhance the base oil further, helping the skin to retain moisture.

I hope you all have a safe, happy holidays and I am looking foreword to catching up again with more healthy articles and video soon for our Local Mums Online blog.

Always there for you,

Evi Achillea 
Your Local Mums Holistic Health Editor
Handy Therapies

Every thought that enters the mind manifests physically. So many conditions are stress related. Careful what you think about…


Our stress style
Our stress style is developed through the course of our lives, partly as learned behaviour. Re-learning the ability to relax is important and you can achieve that by:

- Recognising the stressors in your life

- Deciding that you want to do something about it

- Addressing all aspects

- Taking better control of your working life

- Using leisure time more effectively and reserving time for your family and friends

- Learning to relax, as relaxation produces a biochemical change in the brain which enables the mind, body and spirit to balance.

- Taking up a hobby

There are numerous natural treatments to choose from to help us to "unlearn" and therefore improving our ability to deal directly with sources of stress and keep stress levels around the normal zone.

Try a holistic/therapeutic massage, known as the oldest healing art. Massage can help long term stress sufferers. Any relaxing massage may help switch the body from a state of stress to relaxation, help reduce the effects of stress on the body and ease the transition from a body in state of stress to a body in a state of relaxation.

Have a good look at your diet and establish a healthy eating which includes lots of water, fruits, vegetables and natural source of vitamins potassium and minerals. Avoid fatty and sugary foods.

Are you getting enough sleep? Adequate sleep is vital for our well-being as sleep enables our body to repair and heal itself.

Last but not least..!

Smile a little more often and respond positively to others. Do something for others without hope of reward. Develop a sense of fun and the ability to laugh.


Handy Therapies

Dear Local Mums, 

I am sure the most of us welcome the hot weather but when it's too hot for too long there are health risks. That's why  I am sharing  tips for coping in hot weather to make sure it doesn't harm you or anyone you know. I have also included a new article about the benefits of water intake, which includes weight loss, and the importance of consumption particularly in hot weather.  


- Drink cold drinks regularly, particularly water and diluted fruit juice to avoid dehydration. Avoid  excess alcohol, caffeine (tea, coffee and cola) or drinks high in sugar.

- Have cool baths or showers and splash yourself with cool water.

- Avoid the heat: stay out of the sun and avoid going out between 11am-3pm (the hottest part of the day) if you are vulnerable to the effects of heat.

- Shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. You can open the windows for ventilation when it is cooler.

- Wear loose, cool clothing, ( cotton blend), hat and sunglasses if you go outdoors. 

- Listen for alerts on the radio, TV and social media about keeping cool.

- Keep rooms cool by using shades or reflective materials to block the sun from outside but if not possible use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed.

- Use bowls of cold water or humidifier to moisture the dry atmosphere in the rooms.

- Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours  who may be less able to look after themselves 

This is happening to your body when you consume only water
We all understand that it is best to stop drinking coffee, soft drinks and alcohol but few know the benefits to our body. But what if we replace water with all other beverages?

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The well-known blogger and professor Chris Bailey dealt with the issue and prepared for you a fun infographic explaining the effect of water on our organization. 

You have the chance to lose weight faster. To lose half a pound, you can drink water for nine consecutive days instead of other beverages. You will lose the same amount of calories if you have a daily run of 8 km.

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You will achieve your metabolism, which will help to boost energy levels. When you drink water quickly, metabolism is activated.

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0.5 liter of water in the morning can boost metabolism by 24%.Your brain will start working better. The brain consists of 75-85% of water, so maintaining the balance of water in the body will give fuel for its operation, which affects the level of concentration.

You will eat less. Water reduces your appetite and therefore will reduce your weight.

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Your body will quickly remove toxins. The water flushes naturally the toxins and disintegration products, protecting the body from premature aging. 

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Water reduces the risk of many diseases. These include high blood pressure, bladder disease and even bowel cancer. 

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Your heart will work much easier. When we become dehydrated, blood becomes less fluid, which means that the heart is more difficult to draw and the risk of blood clots increases. Five glasses of water a day reduce the risk of heart attack by up to 41%.

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A month later you will notice that skin becomes softer and the pores cleaner. Water purifies and moisturizes the skin with moisture from the inside.


Handy Therapies

To have to watch your child wheezing and fighting for breath must be heartbreaking and frightening at the same time; I can totally understand this as a mother. It is encouraging to know that some people, particularly children, may eventually grow out of asthma when they get older.

In this blog I aim to provide information about asthma and advise you with some tips about how as, a parent, you can help your child.


If your child has asthma, your child's airways (breathing passages) are extra sensitive or "twitchy." When your child is surrounded by certain conditions or triggers your child's airways become narrower. This makes it hard to breathe. It is caused  by inflammation (swelling) of the breathing tubes ( the bronchi)  that carry air in and out of the lungs. This inflammation makes the breathing tubes highly sensitive, so they temporarily became narrow and sometimes became clogged with sticky mucus. 

Asthma is the most common  illness in children. These symptoms may be mild, moderate, or severe. Sometimes your child may feel well, and at other times your child may feel worse because of the asthma.  About 10% to 13% of children have asthma.

Narrowing of airways in asthma

The lining of the airways gets thick and swells (inflammation).The muscles around the airways squeeze together and get tight. This is called bronchospasm or bronchoconstriction. The airways make a lot of thick liquid (mucus).

Asthma symptoms are not always the same:Asthma symptoms are different in different children, even within the same family. Your child may have different asthma symptoms triggered by different things.  Your child's symptoms may look or feel different from one episode to the next. They may change over time. On some occasions the symptoms could be mild and in others severe. A severe onset of symptoms is known as an asthma attack, or “acute asthma exacerbation." 

The most common signs of problems with asthma include: 

Non-stop (continuous) or on-and-off (intermittent) coughing without a cold

Ttrouble breathing

Chest tightness

High-pitched whistling sounds when breathing (wheezing)

Coughing throughout the night that wakes up your child

Coughing so hard that your child throws up (vomits)

Cold-like symptoms, such as coughing, trouble breathing, or congestion, that last a long time (3 to 4 weeks)

Difficulty exercising; not being able to keep up with other children during physical play

Coughing, trouble breathing, chest tightness, or wheezing when your child is around certain conditions, such as animals, dust, or cold air. 

Asthma symptoms in older children:

Your child tells you “My chest hurts,” “My chest feels funny,” or often says “I feel tired.”

Your child avoids sports activities.

Your child does not want to go out or play with other children.

Not everyone will get all of these symptoms. Some people experience them from time to time, a few people may experience these symptoms all the time.


It is difficult to say for sure what causes Asthma. What we do know is that:

You are more likely to develop asthma if you have a family history of asthma

Family history of allergies and allergic disorders like eczema or allergies

Many aspects of modem  lifestyle - such as changes in housing and diet and a more hygienic environment  

Research has shown that smoking during pregnancy significantly increases the risk of a child developing asthma 

Children whose parents smoke are more likely to develop asthma

A respiratory infection called respiratory syncytial Virus( RSV) during childhood

Low birth weight  

Environmental pollution can make asthma symptoms worse and may play a part in causing some asthma 

Adult onset asthma may develop after a viral infection

Irritants founds on the workplace may lead to a person developing asthma known as Occupational Asthma.   


A trigger is anything that irritates the airways and causes the symptoms of asthma. Everyone's asthma is different and you may have several triggers.  


An important aspect of controlling your asthma is avoiding your triggers. Read about the potential triggers. It's important to identify possible asthma triggers by making a note of where you are and what you're doing when your symptoms get worse. Some triggers, such as air pollution, illnesses and certain weather conditions, can be hard to avoid. But it may be possible to avoid other triggers, such as dust mites, fungal spores, pet fur and certain medications. 

Useful tips for parent to minimize asthma attacks:

Write down everything that affects your child

Write down everything they eat or which products they have been using as many asthmatic children has been found to be allergic to: hairspray, deodorant, perfume, polish, dust, grass, animal fur, feather.

Stressful factors  

What exercise they have been taking

What illness and complaints they have had

Pollen count

Sometimes weather conditions as well like heat, cold and damp environment.

Also record when attacks occur and their severity.

I suggest looking for a pattern and adapting diet and lifestyle accordingly. 

As long as your child is able to manage their asthma well, and is keeping to a good routine of taking their asthma medicines, exercise will be good for them and could give them more confidence about their asthma and what they're able to do.

Research and source information to provide you with the knowledge to help your child. 

Aromatherapy massage can be part of the healing process.  As an Aromatherapy therapist I will suggest the use of essential oils; many of the flower essential oils can help the healing process without the use of drugs.  Divide the word ”aromatherapy” in half, and you have ”aroma” meaning fragrance and ”therapy” meaning encouragement of good health.  When essential oils are applied to the body during a massage, they enter the body through the skin and the respiratory system  where they are absorbed into the blood stream and circulated around the body to heal both on a physical and emotional level and achieve “homeostasis.”  

Essential oils help in cases of bronchial congestion as they stimulate the circulation and lymphatic drainage  system due to their detoxifying abilities. The anti-viral, antiseptic  and antibacterial properties are very useful; they are inhaled right to the site of the trouble and they are valuable for the immune system speeding up recovery.  They are also a great health booster. Children respond well to essential oils treatments of the respiratory tract and you can use them secure in the knowledge that they are compatible with any medicine the doctor has prescribe. 

What to do in an asthma attack:
Children with asthma often intuitively know when you are anxious and this makes them worry more, which can exacerbate an attack. During an attack try not to fuss or panic. An asthmatic child needs strong lungs to cope with an attack. Relaxation breathing techniques and yoga exercises are very good for strengthening the lungs and diaphragm.  Your child may need a bronchodilator (inhaler) which helps the muscles of the lungs, making breathing easier. The patient has to sit down, never lie down, and ensure that any tight clothing is loosened. If there is no immediate improvement during an attack continue to take one puff of inhaler every minute until helps arrives. If symptoms do not improve in five minutes, or you are in doubt, then call an ambulance or the doctor urgently.

Our bodies communicate to us clearly and specifically, if we are willing to listen. As we free our breath (through diaphragmatic breathing) we relax our emotions and let go our body tensions.


Handy Therapies


Treating colds and flu

I am aware that lots of people suffer from colds and flu at this time of the year. To address this fact, I would like to share and recommend the use of Aromatherapy in our daily routine to eliminate the causes of diseases starting with one of the most beneficial essential oils: Eucalyptus 

Therapeutic actions: 
The therapeutic properties of eucalyptus oil are analgesic, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-neuralgic, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, astringent, balsamic, cicatrisant, decongestant, deodorant, depurative, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, hypoglycaemic, rubefacient, stimulant,vermifuge and vulnerary.

Systems/conditions that benefit from its use:
Eucalyptus oil has a cooling and deodorizing effect on the body. For the respiratory tract, it helps with coughs, asthma, throat infections, sinusitis and catarrhal conditions. Eucalyptus oil is a powerful respiratory aid and has a strong influence on breathing. It has a reputation as a good expectorant (promotes removal of mucous from respiratory system) and cough suppressant. Specifically, Eucalyptus aromatherapy essential oil is helpful for easing inflammation of the nasal mucous membranes, as well as nasal congestion. 

For treating bronchial problems use Eucalyptus oil as an inhalant, or diffuse in the air. You can also use in a dilution of light coconut oil or jojoba and apply liberally to the chest and upper back areas. It stimulates oxygen uptake in our cell tissues and increases circulation. Increased oxygenation in the lungs promotes the cleansing and repair function of our red blood cells. 

Eucalyptus oil is an excellent blood cleanser and helpful for regenerating lung tissue and function. A fever reducer Eucalyptus oil is helpful for relieving fevers that arise from infectious diseases. Eucalyptus is useful in cooling compresses! Apply to the forehead, back of neck, over the kidneys and pelvic region. Its action is similar to Peppermint's and only a small amount is needed otherwise it may produce a chilling effect.

Eucalyptus oil brings to mind the family medicine cabinet. Certainly many traditional, as well as modern day medicines contain Eucalyptus. It can furthermore boost the immune system. Powerful anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties may be effective in the treatment of a broad spectrum of infections. Eucalyptus pure essential oil has been used to treat tuberculosis, malaria and is helpful in cases of chicken pox, colds, flu and measles. In skin care it can be used for burns, blisters, cuts, wounds, skin infections, cold sores, skin ulcers, shingles and insect bites.

Eucalyptus oil is also very helpful when used for headaches, fevers, ailments of the respiratory tract, muscular aches and pains and in skin care. It has a soothing and calming effect on the whole body and helps with the immune system.

The oil is also effective against bacteria - especially staphylococci, and has a refreshing and stimulating action on the mind, helping to improve concentration. 

Most beneficial/suitable methods of use: 

Burners and vaporizers
In vapour therapy, eucalyptus oil may be used for: frequent sneezing, hay fever, flu, respiratory problems, as insect repellent, headaches and for helping to improve concentration.

Blended massage oil or in the bath 
Eucalyptus oil can be used in blended massage oil, or diluted in the bath, to assist with arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, mucous congestion, colds, headaches, rheumatism, sinusitis, catarrh, fatigue and muscular aches and pains.

In a cream or lotion 
Apart from giving pain relief to muscular spasms and rheumatism, eucalyptus oil can also help speed up the healing of slow healing wounds and ulcers, calm skin eruptions and clear congested skin.

Used neat or dab on with a bud 
Eucalyptus oil can be used neat on the skin for insect bites or wounds, but care should be taken when doing so.

When diluted eucalyptus oil is added to a gargle, it can be used for soothing a sore throat.

Safety data
Eucalyptus oil should be used with care. People with high blood pressure, gallbladder disease and epilepsy should avoid it. Excessive use of this oil may cause headaches, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. In case of digestive upset we should reduce the dose. 


Handy Therapies

January 2017

History of holistic health

The term ‘holistic’ comes from the Greek word ‘holos’ meaning whole and is an ancient method of healing.  Holistic therapy is defined as more of an approach rather than a treatment; it focuses on the person’s whole being – their physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellness that needs to be addressed. 

Holistic treatments look more into the lifestyle of the person and seek to identify the imbalances which may cause some negative effects to the person’s health. Holistic therapy focuses on the root cause of the disease and the goal is to eliminate the disease by encouraging the person to strive for wholeness and healthy living that clears the lymphatic drainage system and releases toxins from the body, as well as relieving mental and emotional stresses and tensions to restore natural balance. It recognises that illness and stress affects not only our physical but also our emotional, spiritual and mental well-being. 

The root of all health is in the brain.

The trunk of it is in emotion.

The branches and leaves are the body.

The flower of health blooms when all parts work together.

The roots of aromatherapy can be trace back more than 3,500 years before the birth of Christ. All cultures are known to have used the aromatic properties for various reasons.

The bible records the use of essential oils for treating illness. The holy anointing oil that God directed Moses to make from ‘flowing' myrrh, sweet cinnamon, calamus, casia and olive oil would have been a powerful anti-viral and antibiotic substance, the use of which gave protection and treatment to those to whom it was administered.

The ancient Egyptians extracted essential oils by infusion and took personal hygiene seriously, as shown by the earliest recorded recipe for a body deodorant in the Papyrus Ebers of 1500 BC. The Egyptian priests used aromatic substances not only for embalming their pharaohs but also in their role as "psychiatrists" for treating manias, depression and nervousness. They recognised that burning certain aromatic substances offer protection against contagious diseases. 

Jars of Frankincense and Styrax have been found in tombs dating from 3000 BC. When Tutankhamen's tomb was opened in 1992 the first smell that reached the noses of Howard Carter and his colleagues was the smell of "Kyphi”- which was made up of twenty-three aromatic herbs, spices and essential oils including Cedarwood, Frankincense and Myrrh. Aromatic  herbs wood and spices were also burnt to honour their gods and oils were used to make cosmetics, medicine and perfumes.

The ancient Greeks acquired their knowledge of essential oils from the Egyptians. 

Herodotus (484 BCE- 420 BCE) was the first to record the use of distillation to get pure essential oil-around 425BCE. Asclepius was the earliest known Greek physician and around 1200BC combined the use of herbs and surgery. His skills and reputation led to him being deified after his death as the “god of healing."

Hippocrates (460BC-377 BC), known as the father of modern medicine (hence the Hippocratic Oath that doctors still take) said that 'the way to health is to have an aromatic bath and scented massage every day.' He wrote about the use of medicinal plants to treat illness and used aromatic fumigations to fight plagues. He was the first physician to dismiss the Egyptian belief that illness was caused by supernatural forces and he believed that the physician should try to discover natural explanations for the disease by observation and consideration of the symptoms. His treatments included massage with infusions, the internal use of herbs, baths and physical therapies. Surgery would only be used as a last resort and he regarded the entire body as an organism: "The Concept of Holism." Today Hippocrates is better known for the Hippocratic Oath that all newly qualified Doctors must swear allegiance to.

The father of pharmacology, Dioscorides ( 40-90AD), studied the habits of the plants and their healing properties and published his comprehensive work called 'De Materia Medica.' This was the first of its kind and contained over 1000 botanical medications.

Many other cultures used aromatherapy in their medicine and daily routines. The Persians made the next contribution to the knowledge of aromatics and medicine. Various Persian physicians wrote books describing the effects of various plants on the body. They have developed tools such as phials and flasks which were used in pharmacies until the early 20th century. They invented a primitive form of distillation to produce pure Essential oils and Floral Water.

Both China and India have a long history using plants and extracts in medicine. Ancient Chinese Knowledge of the effects of plants was incredibly advanced. This ancient system of healing can be traced back to 2500BC. A publication entitled 'PenTs'ao Kang-Mu' by Emperor Sen -Nung (3737-2697BC) records plants substances for medicinal use - Chinese Medicine - and Five Elements.

Meanwhile, in India, the Ayurvedic ( meaning life-knowledge) system of healing was developed.

The roots of this system date back 5000 years and the main principal is the balance within and without. The use of plants  and spices are part of daily regime in Ayuverdic practise.

Over the next few hundred years fragrant plants and herbs became popular and the range of aromatic medicines increased. During the Great Plague, people protected themselves from infection by wearing garlands of herbs and covering floors with herbs and plants. 

Benzoin, Styrax, Frankincense and various spices were used for burning in homes to try to keep the infection at bay. The survivors were those who worked in aromatics and perfumeries which is probably due to high levels of oils with antiseptic properties.

Among the many benefits holistic treatments have offered for many years, nowadays these therapies can help alleviate and enhance the following:

Improvement of overall general health.

Understanding the need for a well-balanced lifestyle.

Awareness of keeping the environment safe and healthy. 

Quicker relief for pain

Use of more natural resources and natural herbs and medicines.

Application of more natural methods to cure illness such as proper nutrition, exercise, detoxification and other natural non-invasive treatments.

The holistic treatments have also benefited pet care. Many pet owners are now interested in holistic ways in taking care of their pets. The practice of giving good nutritious foods to the pet, proper exercise, natural vitamin supplements and massage are recommended to keep pets healthy. Treatments like acupuncture is done instead of injections. 

The holistic treatment has benefited illnesses like ovarian cancer. Many women treated this way experience lesser pain, general improvement of health, reduced growth of cysts and even totally eliminating the cancer.

Another benefit of holistic treatment is the improvement of eye health particularly those suffering from Glaucoma. This treatment focused on natural medicines combined with eye exercises, healthy eating habits, taking natural vitamin supplements and stress relieving exercises like yoga, meditation and self-relaxing exercises. It is believed that by applying the holistic treatments the prevention of eye disease would be more effective.

Promoting relaxation, thus reducing the effects of stress and anxiety

Inducing a deeper sleep and combats insomnia 

Increasing positive feelings, improving self esteem and inducing a sense of euphoria and well being.


Handy Therapies

December 2017 

Baby massage

The most precious jewels you will ever wear around your neck are the arms of your children. When you touch their body, you touch the whole person, the intellect, the spirit, and the emotions. Connect with your children heart-to-heart. Touch them with your hands, your eyes and your heart. Let them bond with the living, the breathing world.

Infant or baby massage has been around for thousands of years. Is an ancient art used in many diverse cultures to help with a variety of physical and emotional needs, or to promote relaxation.

Touch is the “mother of the senses” and is the first sense to develop in the womb and remains the most developed sense at birth. Before babies are able to speak, or even respond to sounds and sights, they communicate with the world around them through touch. It is therefore not surprising that massage can stimulate the nerve centres in the brain, lowering stress levels and thereby resulting in improved immune systems. Positive, nurturing touch is a wonderful way to help your baby feel safe, secure and loved and promoting good health, deepens bonding and strengthens communication and family relationships. 

Each massage may stimulate:

Circulatory and digestive systems

Hormonal and immune systems

Coordination and balance

Learning and concentration

Muscular development and growth

Mind and body awareness

Helps to improve sensory and body awareness 

 • Enhances neurological development

Parents may find that infant massage helps relieve:

Gas and colic

Constipation and elimination

Growing pains and muscular tension

Teething discomfort


The massage promotes relaxation which may be shown through:

Improved sleep patterns

Increased flexibility and muscle tone

Regulation of behavioural states

Being calm and being able to calm themselves

Reduction in stress hormones

Promotes relaxation which reduces crying

Baby massage can also be relaxing for mum as well as baby. Yes, babies get stressed too being in new environments and they also pick up on your stress. Taking time out together for a massage teaches baby how to relax, and you will relax too as baby massage can play a vital role in this process particularly if you've struggled due to postnatal depression, an early baby or medical problems. 

Baby massage is an encompassing experience for the whole family unit and it's a great thing for dad to learn too, especially if mum is breast feeding and he feels left out in those early days. It teaches all involved to love, cherish and respect each other and reinforces the notion that mum, baby and extended family have started off on a momentous journey together, where all of us play our own unique role in supporting and loving one another.

I provide massage sessions form my clinic which includes a detailed handout and a pot of organic oil or aromatherapy blend massage oil (as I am a qualified Aroma therapist) which can be customised regarding your babies requirements. Sessions also available in the comfort of your house which can be taught as individual or group sessions. 

Infant massage can promote the kind of parenting that the attentive mother was able to provide. Its benefits go far beyond the immediate physiological gains. As you massage your baby regularly, you will discover that you develop a bond with your child that will last a lifetime.”


Handy Therapies

For more information or advice, please contact:
Evi Achillea 
Handy Therapies 
Tel: 07528337068
Email: evi73@hotmail.co.uk

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