Friday, 29 July 2011

Thermal Auricular Therapy

Thermal Auricular Therapy is the technical term used for Hopi ear candle treatment. 

What is Thermal Auricular Therapy?
Thermal auricular therapy uses ear candles to correct pressure, remove excess moisture and excess wax from the ears to leave you feeling cleansed and hearing clearer.
The 'candles' are in fact rolled tubes of linen that have been soaked in beeswax, honey and essential oils and are inserted just inside the outer ear and lit. They have a filter near the end to stop any wax and powder from falling back into the ear.

BioSun Hopi ear candle pair.
 I personally use BioSun Hopi ear candles because they burn cleaner and are a trusted brand, but other brands are available.

Ear candles were traditionally used by the Hopi Indian tribe of North America to cleanse and balance the mind and spirit.

Conditions That May Benefit
Tinnitus, glue ear (excess wax), swimmer's ear (excess moisture), sinusitis. Ear candles are also good for balancing the pressure inside the ear after a long flight.

Does it really work?
Most people are skeptical about thermal auricular therapy but that is mostly because they don't understand how it works or don't know anyone who has had it done.
I had to use them myself recently so I decided to document my findings and the outcome to spread awareness of this truely relaxing and enjoyable holistic therapy.

I woke up Tuesday morning with my left ear feeling very muffled and hearing out of it was quite difficult. I decided to go to the Doctor's to get it looked at as I didn't have a cold and hadn't got any water in it recently. I was told I had 'a substantial amount of wax' in my ears and that was causing the blockage. Not a nice thing to hear but gave me the perfect opportunity to use some ear candles.
The treatment was very relaxing and there was no pain or discomfort. After the treatment my ears felt a little better but still a bit muffled so I'll wait a week then do another course if they haven't cleared by then.
I took a picture of the candle from my left ear (if you are grossed out about ear wax then skip the pic)

Unrolled ear candle.

You can see the filter (orange thing) that stops the debre from falling back into the ear. The brown stuff is ear wax and the powder is what is fromed when moisture is drawn out of the ear. I have to be honest and say that that's the most amount of wax I've ever seen from a Hopi treatment. Considering the amount of wax that was drawn out I never felt a thing and it didn't hurt.

I always recommend you go to a trained professional to have this done and avoid doing a home treatment as most packs of candles do not come with clear instructions and you always should take care with naked flames.

For more information on thermal auricular therapy please see my website.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Check Your Therapist!

I was inspired to write this blog after some complaints made to the BBC about one of the episodes from the recent series of The Apprentice.
I don't watch The Apprentice so I am a bit behind on writing about the issue as I know it has just finished, but it got me thinking a lot about how much we trust professional to have the relevant qualifications, training and insurance. The episode I am referring to is number 4 from series 7 which saw contestants providing beauty treatments to members of the public in order to make the most profit and win the task. It showed them receiving 'some'  degree of training by representatives of various companies but were not supervised when performing the treatments on the public. It did not show the contestants washing their hands or making any effort to prevent cross contamination between clients. The Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT) were contacted by concerned members of the public who realised that these treatments were being performed by inexperienced and uninsured people. A letter from the FHT has now been sent to The BBC to raise these concerns.
If you missed the episode or just want to see it again, follow the link bellow to BBC iPlayer.

This issue raises many questions about how customers book in with therapists for treatments without thinking about whether they are qualified or insured to perform them.
The best way to find out this information is to ask, any therapists will be happy to show you copies of their qualifications and provide you with information about their insurers. If they are members of a specific guild or federation then the therapist will be listed on their website and you can check through them directly.

Stay safe!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Essential Oils In The Home

Essential oils are not just limited to aromatherapy and aromatherapists, they can be used everyday as cleaning and healthcare products.

Can anyone use essential oils?
As long as you are sensible with your oils, dilutions and storage there is no reason why you have to be a trained aromatherapist to use essential oils in the home. Do not mix your own oils to use on someone else if you are unfamiliar with essential oils, you can easily buy ready mixed oils from places like Neal's Yard or Boots.

Essential oils for cleaning
If I could recommend one oil that everyone has in their home it would be Tea Tree. You can use Tea Tree oil for just about anything and everything. It is antibacterial, antisceptic and cleansing, and has a great sterile smell to it. You can also add a few drops of your favourite oil onto the filter of your hoover for a fresh smelling home.

Safe storage
Always keep your oils in a cool, dark place away from children and pets, prefferably in a locked box. If you do not have a locked box put them in a cupboard high out of reach from children, like a medicine cabinet. Essential oils can be highly toxic if ingested and can cause internal damage.

If you ever need advice about essential oils and their benefits talk to a trained aromatherapist. They will be happy to help you choice the right oils for you.

Friday, 1 July 2011

We are one this month!!

Calluna Holistic Therapies is a whole year old this month, and what a year it has been.

At The Beginning
In truth the business wasn't meant to be launched for a few more years as I had planned to do a further course in holistic therapies management along side a business degree. However, the course was dropped by the college at the last minute and I was forced to rethink my options. Me, being fairly ambitious and keen, decided to launch the business early and see what happens.
I had previously worked for a large retail company as a supervisor and had gained a fair bit of knowledge about marketing and advertising so figured I knew a thing or two about running a business.
It was tough to start as any business owner will tell you, but you've just got to get on with it and not let the slow days drag you down.

Where We Are Now
Calluna Holistic Therapies has grown from a small business just offering holistic treatments such as aromatherapy, reflexology and massage, to teaching baby and toddler reflex workshops to parents in the local area, offering pamper parties for hen nights, birthday parties and girly nights in, and establishing a strong local client base.
I have had the opportunity to work with clients with a range of physical and mental disorders such as cancer, back problems, psoriasis, asperger syndrome and the most common of all STRESS.
Social media has played a big role in the success of the business in that I have gained new clients and also  forged new working relationships. (Brows and Beauty, Zazzu Jewellery)

What To Come Next
I am always looking at ways to expand the business and there are many projects going on at the moment (most of the top secret for now). But what I can say is that I am setting up a web shop to sell scented candles, crystals and jewellery from my website.

Special Offer For July
As it is the businesses first birthday all our treatments are half price for the whole of July. Offer runs from 01/07 - 30/07, not valid on pamper parties or baby reflex classes.

Friday, 24 June 2011


What is a 'contra-indication'?
Contra-indication is a term used by therapists to describe something that will prevent the beneficial outcome of a treatment. A contra-indication is defined as an illness or condition that prevents part or all of a treatment from being carried out.

Examples of contra-indications
The major contra-indications that prevent any treatment from being performed are
  • epilepsy, 
  • high blood pressure that is not managed
  • infectious skin diseases such as scabies, ringworm and impetigo.
Minor contra-indications that are localised to one area and only prevent some of the treatment from being performed are
  • bruises
  • sunburn
  • a verruca or wart

What should I do if I want a treatment but have one of these?
Your therapist will ask you questions about your current health during your consultation but it is always helpful to mention any health disorders you have when you book, just to save you a waisted journey, if at that time, the treatment cannot be performed. If you are unsure about anything just ask your therapist and they should give you any advice you need.

Is pregnancy a contra-indication?
Pregnancy is NOT a contra-indication, however some therapists may feel uncomfortable working on a pregnant client. Pregnancy is a wonderful time but it can leave clients with sore backs and swollen ankles that benefit greatly from massage. Therapists usually won't perform holistic therapies on a pregnant client during the first trimester (12 weeks) due to it being such a delicate and sensitive time, after this time there should be no reason not to treat a pregnant client unless they suffer with bleeding or stomach pains at any time during the pregnancy.

Friday, 17 June 2011

The History of Holistic Therapies

What are holistic therapies?

Holistic therapies can be defined as a treatment that addresses an individual as a whole being, including physical, mental, emotional and spiritual elements through massage and meditation. All of the treatments are personally tailored to suit the individual’s needs and goals.

Holistic therapies have roots in history as far back as ancient Greece, China and Egypt, and have been used as a form of healing ever since.

Evidence of Aromatherapy can be dated as far back as 3500BC and early examples can be seen in ancient Egypt and ancient Greece. The Egyptians used herbs and plant material such as Cedarwood and Myrrh in the mummifying process because they believed they had powerful properties. They are also believed to have used the first known form of equipment used to extract essential oils from plant material, and used them to fragrance the temples.

Examples of a type of foot therapy can be seen depicted on a hieroglyphic painting in a tomb is Egypt that dates back to 2300BC. The ancient Chinese recognised the link between the feet and spirituality.
In the 19th century, the theory of Reflexology was being studied by European and Russian medical professionals into the link between reflex areas and the nervous system.

Indian Head Massage
The treatment originates from India, hence the name, and is used as part of Ayurvedic techniques to improve an individuals lifestyle and well being.  Indian Head Massage is used along side a strict healthy eating plan, exercise such as Yoga and health supplements.
The Western version of Indian Head Massage was pioneered by an Indian man called Mr. Maeda who was disappointed in the lack of head massages performed in places like barbers and salons. Indian Head Massages are now one of the most popular holistic therapies performed.

Massage is the oldest form of holistic therapy and has origins in ancient China, ancient Greece and ancient India, and has always been used to relax and heal. Massage even has references in the bible where it documents daily massage with olive oil and myrrh as a part of the beauty regimen of the wives of Xerxes.

Hopi Ear Candles (Thermal Auricular Therapy)
Ear Candles originate from the Hopi Indian tribe of Arizona. They used this treatment to regulate, harmonise and cleanse. It is now used today to help ease symptoms of glue ear, sinusitis and tinnitus. 

Friday, 10 June 2011

My Very First Blog.

I have decided to have a stab a writing a blog as I have lots of information I want to share about holistic therapies. If you follow me on Twitter you may know that I tweet daily top tip and fab facts, but sometimes 140 characters just isn't enough. So stay tuned for more information about different therapies, product reviews, special offers, and even information about me, the person behind Calluna Therapies.

Heather :)