A Holistic Pet Wellness Approach

August 26, 2014 at 4:15 am | Posted in Aromatherapy | Leave a comment
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In case you haven’t yet noticed, there is a quiet evolution occurring in pet care that mirrors the evolution in people care. People are becoming more mindful of alternative options to maintain wellness, avoid illness, and treat disease if it does develop. Pet owners are discovering that, in addition to relying upon their veterinarians for preventive and medical care, new, additional options for creating wellness and supporting health are emerging for their pets, just as they are for themselves.Dog & Cat Together for FB May 9 2016 Pet practitioners are all around us. You may not have yet embraced them as part of your pet’s health team. But, if you consider that each in some way supports our understanding of our pets, and our ability to create the most supportive and healthful possible environment for them, then you may begin to identify them as important components of your pet’s path to maximum wellness.
Just who are some of these practitioners, and why should pet owners know about them? There are trainers, communicators, aromatherapists, massage therapists, acupuncturists, chiropractors, exercise and physical therapists, herbalists, psychologists, behaviorists, and combinations thereof. They offer an array of holistic approaches that go beyond what has been available to our pets in the past, often combining available holistic techniques.
Let’s take the example of aromatherapy, in order to discover the value of the holistic approach. There are now safe, proven botanically based products that may be used in place of, or in addition to, medicines currently on the market. A few veterinarians are beginning to discover and embrace these alternatives to synthetic chemicals. Many other practitioners routinely integrate essential oils into their work, along with other modalities. Essential oils offer a wide range of therapeutic actions which benefit people and pets. Some oils are distasteful to fleas, ticks, and flies. Some help calm the skin or soothe the digestive tract. Others reduce inflammation and discomfort. Some kill viruses or bacteria. Some support the immune system or specific organs. The benefits of the oils go on and on. Botanicals have been used since ancient times to treat diseases, promote wellness, enhance comfort, for cosmetic purposes, in perfumery, and to restore emotional and psychological balance.
Perhaps most importantly, these natural products, used judiciously, may help to prevent disease before it occurs. They can help our pets adapt to, and be more comfortable in, our complex and demanding society. By helping them to adapt, our pets can avoid stress which might lead to disease (dis-ease) . From that perspective, the pet owner has an opportunity to be the preventive “moving force” in the pet’s life.
When a dog is behaving uneasily, applying a properly prepared blend of botanicals which allay fear and induce relaxation is just the ticket. Unlike traditional medicine’s “magic bullet” approach, in which results are expected to be instantaneous, using the oils in this manner allows for owner participation and interaction. As the owner applies the oils through gentle massage each day, the dog becomes more relaxed, more outgoing, and happier overall. The human-canine bond is strengthened, and a more satisfying relationship results. Because the dog is happy and relaxed, he or she is less pre-disposed to illness.
It is important to note that with aromatherapy, as in any other alternative therapy, there is a body of experience and knowledge supporting the safe and effective manner of application. Some species (e.g. cats) respond badly to essential oils, but not to the by-product of the distillation process – hydrosols. Each species tolerates and responds most positively to specific dilution percentages. Some oils are safe for some species and not for others. It is important to do in-depth research, or work with someone who has, when applying any alternative care.
Our pets add so much to our lives. We live in a time of expanding awareness of the many ways in which we can enhance their lives and support our special relationship with them. By taking a journey into a more holistic approach, you and your pet can only benefit from the amazing and ever-expanding array of alternatives available to us all.

 

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A Dog’s Nose Knows

February 10, 2013 at 4:15 am | Posted in Aromatherapy | 2 Comments
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Your Dog’s Nose Knows

Aromatherapy has gone to the dogs!  And it’s about time. Considering the power of your dog’s sense of smell, it is small wonder that he or she would love to be included in the fragrant fun. It may seem like an extravagance or just a fad, but aromatherapy – whether for us or our dogs – has serious benefits for all.

What exactly is Aromatherapy?  Aromatherapy uses the essential oils of plants, carefully extracted to retain the original characteristics and fragrances inherent to them. Many parts of the plants are used, including the flowers, leaves, bark, roots, and resin. Aromatherapy is an alternative to the use of synthetic chemicals in our search to feel good, support wellness, bond with our pets, and enjoy beautiful scents.

Aromatherapy has been around for thousands of years. Ancient cultures learned to access the oils from plant parts, and to use them for medicinal and cosmetic purposes.   As people benefitted from them, their use expanded across the globe. Eventually, the antibacterial qualities of some oils were scientifically proven, supporting thousands of years of anecdotal experience. During the last century, the development of synthetic chemicals largely overshadowed the use of essential oils and other natural modalities for both therapeutic and cosmetic purposes. However, by the 1990’s, interest in more natural alternatives that preserve the “life force” inherent in botanically based products, began to re-emerge.

As interest in natural alternatives re-surfaced, studies were conducted to determine their potential use with pets and other domesticated animals. A body of work developed that identified which oils are safe to use, and in what dilutions, for many different animals. As it turns out, we may safely use a wide variety of effective oils with our dogs, as long as we dilute those oils appropriately.  What’s more, our dogs love having aromatherapy added to their everyday regimen. Some  dogs are so accustomed to receiving their aromatherapy blends that they actually “ask” for them by approaching their owners with head bowed and the back of the neck (suggested application location) exposed.

There are many ways for you to incorporate aromatherapy into your life with dogs. You can start by using blends intended to support, calm, or relax your otherwise excitable pet. You might look for blends that soothe itching, relieve discomfort, or deter fleas or ticks. Take a close look at the products’ ingredients to determine if they are made with true essential oils, or if they are synthetically compounded to smell as if they are the “real thing.”  True essential oil blends offer not only life force from the energy sources that made them grow (water, sun, earth), but also work synergistically to multiply the benefits of each oil included in the blend.  An appealing blend will not only be effective, but will also smell wonderful, and will please you as the applicant, and your dog as the recipient. Make a special time each day to interact with your pet. Make it a ritual for just the two (or more?) of you. Find a nice quiet place to sit down together to apply the oils. Pet your dog, give a little massage, and talk to him or her. Enjoy the immediate response as your dog settles into enjoying your special time together.

Don’t forget yourself! You deserve some pampering and support, too. Treat yourself to a blend that gives you the same relaxation, energy, peace of mind, and comfort that you would wish for your canine friend.  When you  incorporate aromatherapy into your and your pets’ lives, you create a unique connection that will expand your relationship in new ways.

 

 

 

 

 

A Rose By Any Other Name

February 18, 2012 at 12:22 am | Posted in Aromatherapy | Leave a comment
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When we think of roses, we think of a stylized version of this most versatile plant and flower. However, once we start considering the use of roses or any other oil for aromatherapy purposes, we start focusing in on the scientific description – genus and species – to make sure we are working with a consistent product.

When working with essential oils it is of the utmost importance that, not only are our oils pure and unadulterated, but also that they are the oils we intended to use. The oil’s purity is our assurance that it will deliver the characteristics and safety that we expect.  Thus, we look to their botanical names when we work with our trusted supplier.

Surrounded by Roses

February 14, 2012 at 5:57 am | Posted in Aromatherapy | Leave a comment
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If you love the scent of roses, there are many ways to surround yourself with this romantic, luxurious aroma while also enjoying the benefits of using the essential oil. Make yourself a rose bath. Put 4 drops of rose oil into two teaspoons of a carrier oil such as sweet almond or jojoba. Put 6-8 drops of the blend into your warm bath water and mix well. After your bath, massage just a few drops of the same oil onto your skin on your wrists and chest. Enjoy the wonderful feeling, and the delicious scent.

The Heart Connection

February 10, 2012 at 4:53 am | Posted in Aromatherapy | Leave a comment
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Roses have been associated with the heart for hundreds of years. Aromatherapy helps us to understand the link between the effect of rose on our emotions and popular culture’s association of (red) roses with the heart and with love. The flower’s unfolding, from a bud to an open bloom, is reminiscent of love unfolding. Rose oil is calming and benefits symptoms of anxiety, including palpitations. And, the scent of rose oil is comforting and emotionally supportive.

Roses are Dear

February 8, 2012 at 4:54 am | Posted in Aromatherapy | Leave a comment
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Rose is a particularly dear (read ” expensive”) essential oil. It takes tens of thousands of roses make just one oz. of essential oil. You  can understand, then, why rose water and synthetic scents are used in many  products instead.

The Month of the Rose

February 4, 2012 at 5:56 am | Posted in Aromatherapy | Leave a comment
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Welcome to February!                                                      

February is the month we celebrate romantic love on the 14th,  or Valentine’s Day. When we think of this holiday, we think of the color red, of heart-shaped cards and candy boxes, and of roses. This month we will explore rose essential oils and how they can keep us connected with the love in our hearts all year long.

Making Simple Lavender Products for Home

January 18, 2012 at 4:29 am | Posted in Aromatherapy | Leave a comment
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Because lavender is such a popular and safe essential oil, it is easy to make some simple products to use around the home. We already referred to its disinfecting qualities and suggested a few drops in the washing machine for a fresher wash. But how about some personal products?  Choose a high qualilty unscented white lotion. The more natural/organic the make-up of the lotion, the better. Add 20-24 drops of lavender to 2 ounces. Stir and use as a lovely body lotion. It will smell good and be good for your skin as well.

Will My Horse Like It?

January 12, 2012 at 4:40 am | Posted in Aromatherapy | Leave a comment
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How do I know if my horse likes a particular scent?

You probably know your horse pretty well, and how he or she responds to likes and dislikes. That being said, here are some general suggestions for ‘reading’ your horse’s response:

Likes:

Leans into

Ears forward and appears interested and engaged

Sniffing, licking, raising head and curling lip

Dislikes:

Leans or backs or pulls away from

Ears back and turning from

Some horses appear to give no response, so are neutral about the scent.

Question….

January 11, 2012 at 4:11 am | Posted in Aromatherapy | Leave a comment
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Question:  How do I know if my horse will love Lavender too?  It seems to be a safe, relaxing, choice with a delightful scent.

Answer:  You won’t really know until you offer it to your horse to either accept or reject. There are different schools of thought, but I prefer the one in which the horse makes a choice. Horses are particularly sensitive (have you noticed?) Most horses do in fact favor lavender, but not all.

Question: How do I offer it to my horse?

Answer: Hold a bottle of high lavender essential oil quality oil in your hand. Make sure it is buried within your hand in such a way that the horse cannot grab it with his mouth. Slowly move the bottle in the horse’s direction and watch his response. It is best if someone is holding him, as you don’t want him pulling back if he is tied. If he likes it and lets you know, then make it an ingredient of his blend, or make it the only oil his blend. Be sure to dilute it in a carrier oil. Although lavender can be used neat (undiluted), in some cases, it is always more prudent to dilute it before applying, particularly for pets.

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