Category Archives: Stress

Soak Away Stress In Your Own Home Spa

reduce stress with DIY home bath products


I choose to practice gratitude every day. But no matter how hard I try I still regret that I don’t have a bath in my home.  Soaking in a bath with essential oils is an excellent way to reduce stress.

I love bath products and make a small range of beautiful natural skin care products. They’re simple and fun to make. It’s wonderful to be able to play with aromatic essential oils, beautiful cold-pressed vegetable oils, Himalayan salts and nut butters.

But I still long for a deep tub, candles, oils and salts in the bath, maybe a crystal in the water, music …well you know the scene. So whenever I go on holidays I always pack these goodies and book hotel rooms with a big bath.

Because this is the ‘Stressful-Season’ I’d like to share with you five wonderful super-simple home-made recipes for your Home Spa that sound easy and delicious. I hope you decide to practice a little self-love and steal an hour from your busy life to try them out.



So much alcohol goes in through the mouth over the holidays. Do yourself a favour and put that glass of red wine or champagne in your bath instead. Red wine is full of antioxidants which are simply awesome anti-ageing tools. If you feel a little decadent a glass of champagne in the water helps reduce discolouration of your skin as well as fine lines. The bonus is that the champagne needs to be flat! So have a drink first. Instead of throwing the leftover down the sink, throw it into the running water of your bath instead. Then hop in and soak for twenty minutes.



This is a great detox bath and my guess is you’ll probably need a couple of these after a dose of holiday partying.

Regular readers know I love Himalayan salt. It has so many health benefits as well as being relaxing and soothing. Unlike table salt it contains 84 minerals which give it the gorgeous pink colour. For it to be an effective detox you must have the right proportion of salt to water. In a tub of 100 litres you need 1200 grams of Himalayan salt.

Don’t use any soap, shampoo or oil with this as the salt cleanses perfectly. Soak for 30 minutes, towel off and then rinse with clean water. The salt leaves your skin beautifully silky smooth.



Bath Salts are really easy to make at home. Try out this one.

Mix 50% epsom salts, 25% sea salt and 25% bi-carb soda (baking soda). Don’t use the stuff labeled “Lectric Soda” as it’s not Epsom salts. You need true Epsom Salts to get the benefits. Use about 2 tablespoons (40mL) of the mix in each bath. You can store any leftover in an airtight jar.

You can also add 7 – 10 drops (0.3 – 0.5 grams) of your favourite essential oil to each tablespoons of salt. I love Sandalwood mixed with Rose Geranium and Lavender. This mix smells amazing and these particular oils have a great nourishing and moisturising effect for my dry skin.



Cleopatra was spot on when she added camel milk to her baths. I don’t do dairy so wouldn’t use this. But if you’re not allergic to dairy products milk makes a fantastic mild exfoliant. You can use full cream milk or milk powder, or goats milk to the bath salts mix. Or even camel milk if you have some.

First add 5 drops of essential oils of your choice to the milk. Mix well. Add equal quantities of each mix to the bath (two tablespoons of the salt mix and two of the milk mix). Then soak for 20 minutes.



Bath oils are the easiest of all to make and very luxurious.

Use a good quality vegetable oil like Sweet Almond or peach as the base. I choose cold-pressed oils and make my own blend which includes hemp seed, avocado and macadamia oil. For every tablespoon of vegetable oil add 8-10 drops of a single essential oil or a blend that you love. Float a tablespoon of the mix on the water.

You can also add botanicals to the water for their aromatic bliss and health benefits. Be sure to use organic flowers, not sprayed with pest control.

Lavender blossom is a wonderful relaxant. Rose petals have beautiful skin softening properties and their scent is intoxicating. In fact even the water gets softer when you add rose petals. Sprinkle a handful in the gushing water and remember to breathe in the aroma as you relax.



Many men have learnt to love spas too. Lose the candles, music and rose petals, and look for less flowery essential oils.

Grapefruit and orange oils create a feeling of wellbeing. Orange is cheering and uplifting, and the fresh citrus smell appeals to men (as well as women).

Relaxing sandalwood is another good choice and helps with balancing all skin types.

Juniper is a great rejuvenating oil with a smoky note that works really well with citrus oils.

Frankincense, marjoram, cedarwood, orange, sandalwood and vetiver are some relaxants with a less girly tone. Patchouli is another oil suitable for men, that I also love. But it’s definitely one you need to be sure he likes before using.

Use the recipes above as your base and choose oils that suit his emotional state. If he’s a bit reluctant encourage him to try it out just once for at least twenty minutes. With a good magazine to read it’s a much better way to unwind than the television and he’ll surely get hooked.



One important thing to note. I’m really fussy about the oils I use and will only use top quality ‘Therapeutic Grade’ oils and you should too.  The effectiveness of aromatherapy is directly dependent on the quality of essential oils employed.

Many oils are promoted as being 100% pure and natural but are adulterated or simply ‘lifestyle products’ using the concept of aromatherapy. These are low quality ‘essential oils’ and ‘aromatherapy oils’ often leave a nasty residue after burning.

I hate the way that advertising loopholes again allow manufacturers to mislead the buyer. Look for therapeutic claims on the oils you use and you’ll then be sure they’re going to actually do you good.



Choose your favourite recipe, mix yourself up a batch of ‘relaxation’ in your kitchen and schedule a ‘recovery hour’ in your calendar.

Then light a beautiful scented candle, especially the ones with multiple wicks, and put on some soothing music. If you have an amethyst or rose quartz crystal put it in the bottom of the bath. Just be sure not to sit down on it. Lock the bathroom door and relax back for half an hour.

After your bath lavish your favourite moisturiser on your skin and emerge rejuvenated and able to face the next holiday challenge.


salt detox for bath
Photo credit: Dennis Wong


And  here is a little trivia to end with – today 12/12/12 is the very last date that will have all three digits the same until the twenty second century, so almost certainly the last you will encounter.

Do you have a favourite bath-time recipe? Please share it with us in the comments below





All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site. 

Coasting to Christmas on the Silly Season Tsunami

With the end of the year racing towards us it is very easy to succumb to overwhelm, and here in Australia I believe that we actually do this season much harder than we need to, and perhaps harder than they do overseas. The festivities of Christmas, or whichever of the Holidays  you celebrate, coincides here with the end of the school year, the end of the working year, and the end of the calender year, all in one short week.

coasting to christmas-1386235586MYq

Trying to juggle a myriad of  ‘end-of-year’ school activities, dance concerts, exam study, shopping for the festivities ahead and socialising, together with having so many businesses closing down for at least a few weeks and preparations for the mass post-Christmas exodus to various idyllic beachy places, it is very easy to get caught up in a sense of “approaching the end”. Easy to get that nagging feeling that you need to finish absolutely everything, to tie up all the loose ends in your life.

It seems that the whole nation drives itself into an absolute feverpitch of stress through December and then shifts to the opposite extreme and shuts down totally after Christmas Eve. It is no wonder everyone races around with a sense of impending doom if everything isn’t done and finalized on time.

Perhaps this Australian ‘end-is-nigh’ approach to December actually fuels the stressful emotions that are experienced.

Are You Driving Yourself Too Hard?

How many times do you say to people ‘we must catch up before Christmas’? How much do you drive yourself at work to finalise jobs that realistically might wait a week or two? How many parties do you attend? How many late nights do you have? How much fattening, sugary, or rich food do you eat? How often are you driven to do or buy something which could wait, without really knowing what drives you to do it right now? And these are only what you are actually doing – they don’t even start to address the emotions that get stirred up at this time.

This last part of the year can be a time of escalating stress for so many during the build-up to Christmas with ‘so much to get done’, loneliness, increasingly tired children as they approach the end of the school year, the pressures of self-run businesses to cover added end of year costs such as holiday pay for staff, a calendar that seems to overflow, loss of a job and financial constraints, plus many more difficulties.

Loneliness and Grief

This part of the year is also the time of tremendous emotional stress for many. It is the time when the loss of loved family members, whether through separation or their passing, comes home and strikes with almost paralyzing force. For some people the whole season is wrapped in a tight mantle of grief that draws in around and stifles them.

It can also be the time when singles feel the most lonely, when isolation from family and friends or an abscence of them in your life strikes most intensely.

Family Tensions

For others the experience of returning into a family where everyone is suddenly thrown back into the role they played as a youngster and the family dynamics that played out when they were children, is too difficult to deal with.This is in spite of the fact that in their real everyday life they are responsible and competent parents, partners, employees or employers with wide and admirable skills and abilities.

In this scenario is it any wonder that the anxieties of childhood rear their ugly heads. Is it any wonder that behaviour reverts and childish tantrums or bickering, petulant unhappiness or resentment and various other actions that arise from the uncertain and fearful child that is still living deep within, start to occur.

But whatever the reason the ability to engage in the Christmas spirit eludes many and the season is anything but bright.

There are natural treatments that can help you cope as the Holiday Season gets nearer and stress levels increase
There are natural treatments that can help you cope as the Holiday Season gets nearer and stress levels increase


There are a number of natural strategies that you can adopt to help deal with these issues. Rather than go into each of them in detail I will give you a link to some that I think are sound and effective. You can have a look and try a few out and then use any that suit you the best.

Even making a little time to get some exercise or relaxation is a good way to start. When we start to rush both exercise and relaxation space often go by the wayside. Schedule the time in your calendar and then stick to it.

Remember that a massage can work wonders especially if you carry your stress in your neck and shoulders, and it will be even more effective if it includes aromatherapy essential oils for relaxation.

Emotions respond beautifully to any of the varied forms of energetic medicine. Medicine delivered in an energetic form can be very effective in ‘re-balancing and re-setting you’ so that you are able to deal with whatever it is you have to face. Hear are a few.


Homeopathy offers some great remedies for many of the issues such as stress, overwork, grief, over-excitement, anxiety, guilt, exhaustion and so on.

Homeopathic Coffea helps with getting over-excited children off to sleep on ChristmasEve. Ignatia is often a first choice for grieving. Nux vomica can work wonders if you are driving yourself towards burnout with overwork.

Homeopathic remedies need to be matched to your own idiosyncratic symptoms, the particular way you manifest the stress so unless you are familiar with self-prescribing for acute situations, or if your stress is long-standing you should consult with a fully trained and registered Homeopath.

Learn how to choose the best Homeopathic remedies for acute illnesses
Learn how to choose the best Homeopathic remedies for acute illnesses


Visiting an Acupuncturist is a great way to deal with the stress, but even better, you can do Acupressure yourself anytime and anywhere, and it works along the same lines as acupuncture. Here is a good demonstration of one way to relieve stress by Donna Eden, an expert at using acupressure in her energy medicine work.

This advice and demonstration of acupressure points to use for hangovers could be useful if you are partying hard. And here are some acupressure points to help with feelings of anxiety felt throughout the holiday season.

Flower Essences

Flower essences can have a great benefit when trying to deal with grief. They work very gently, but effectively on the emotions.

The basic Bach Rescue Remedy or Australian Bush Flower Emergency Essence are both good ‘all-purpose’ mixes for dealing with stressful situations but there are a number of others that can be tailored to each individuals requirements. FES Five Flower Formula is similar to Bach Rescue Remedy.

Perhaps my favourite for this time of the year would be the Australian Bush Flower ‘Calm & Clear’ essence – the name says it all.

There are flower essences to help relieve all the other stressful emotional responses to the holidays and they are well worth investigating.

For information about each of the Bach remedies look here, for Australian Bush Flower Remedies look here and Californian Flower Essences here.   And this blogger describes her response to flower remedies which is interesting if you have had no experience of them before


Difficult Families

Here are some useful strategies for those who have to deal with intensified extended family tensions. They give you the opportunity to plan ahead and devise strategies for you as well as your family.

Importantly it is all about taking back the reigns and getting back your sense of control. If you are able to clearly identify where your stress is coming from then you have a better chance of achieving this control. If there is a tradition in your festivities that causes more stress than joy, then it is time to give yourself permission to change things. Maybe 2012 is the year to make changes, after all you cannot help others if you are not really coping yourself.

Don’t forget, it is not all about the ‘Big Day’. The stress of the lead up through December can be just as bad or worse, and the significant health effect that prolonged stress can have on your whole system is often not recognized or acknowledged until it gets serious.

Remember to check in with situations and ask yourself whether they are of joy or of stress right through the whole Month of December.

Make this the year where you decide to be a bit kinder to yourself. Sure there are always going to be pressures, but maybe by being aware of the extent of the manufactured pressures you embrace, you can let a few slide, and in easing up your obligations you will be able to deal with those stresses you really cannot avoid.

It is time to allow yourself the gift of self-love and self-care.

It is time to allow yourself the gift of self-love and self-care



All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site. 

Get Clarity From Pendulum Dowsing

Dowsing with a pendulum is my “go-to” whenever I’m unable to make a clear decision or I feel unsure about the best course of action to take. Sometimes it reinforces a decision I’m drawn to but not 100% sure about. At other times it sets me thinking about completely new possibilites. When I learned how to dowse with a pendulum I reduced my tendency to procrastinate. This is because it’s the best way I’ve found to cut through my habit of second-guessing myself. It reassures me that I need to trust my intuition whenever I doubt it.

The phrase ‘tumultuous’ or ‘difficult times’ is one that’s pulled out all the time and tossed about freely. This century is certainly stressful for most of us, and with the increased stress comes greater indecision. Dowsing is one simple technique to help calm stress caused by indecision or confusion.

get answers with a pendulum

Science Has Verified Dowsing Findings

Dowsing has been used across the globe for thousands of years. In fact there are Neolithic cave paintings with people holding dowsing rods, pendulums were found in the pyramids, and it’s practiced by remote tribes in Africa and Australia. But dowsing is one of those practices that polarises wildly different viewpoints.

Before trying dowsing, it’s easy to dismiss it as having no validity. But many of the energies detected by dowsers can actually be measured with various scientific instruments. These geopathic zones hold a concentration of energies from the earth that can have a detrimental effect on human health. You can read more about them  here .

Vertically rising emissions such as microwaves or positive ions over underground water systems is just one example of the type of effects of the energies in these zones.They can affect both objects and humans within their field.

A radio or TV placed over the point where these emissions are detected will have very poor reception. A baby held over it will cry or be unable to sleep. Moving the baby away stops the crying immediately.

Cats actually seek out these places to sleep – but has anyone ever understood a cat properly?


Traditional Use Of Dowsing

Dowsing is used to detect specific things as well as to answer questions. In the past it was 18th Century Dowseroften used to find underground water and the image of the farmer holding a forked stick as he combs his land is a familiar one.

Dowsing was also used to find gold, oil and other minerals. I was intrigued when one client, a builder, told me that he always dowsed the land before he started doing any site preparation prior to construction, in order to locate the exact paths of electricity, gas and water lines. He said he had never once had a problem with cutting any of them on any job. (I wish the builder we used had done this, as he managed to cut them all)

There are energy lines that criss-cross the whole globe and dowsing rods can be used to detect these as well as any other activity pathways such as underground water courses.  Dowsing rods are L-shaped rods made of metal which are held loosely one in each hand so that they can swing freely.


How To Use Dowsing Rods

To use the rods you first set an intention to detect a particular point or energy line, such as an underground stream, an electricity line, or a ley line. Then holding the rods parallel to rhe ground you walk across the ground. As you pass over the energy line or point that you have asked to be shown the rods will suddenly swing and cross. It takes a little practice to get the hang of using them but, as you can see in the case of the builder, they can be quite useful once you have mastered the technique.


Dowsing With A Pendulum

These days dowsing is most likely to be done with a pendulum which is the method I use most often. I have a pair of copper rods and a single rod called a Biotensor which is lovely to use, as well as a number of pendulums that range from a simple stainless steel spiral to a beautiful Phantom Quartz Crystal. But anything can be used to dowse that has a weight suspended from a chain or cord. Choose what works best for you, it is simply a tool and doesn’t need to be fancy. A pendulum just needs to be a heavy object on a length of string – my sister uses her car keys.

Here are some instructions to start out using a pendulum for yourself. There are plenty of short dowsing workshops around which are a great way to get started. I’ve taught groups to dowse and the workshops have always been heaps of fun. I’m sure you can also find a demonstration on Youtube.


Two of my own pendulums


Dowsing For Feng Shui

Dowsing is commonly used by Feng Shui consultants to detect the negative energy points in your home – those places where you shouldn’t place a bed or chair because spending time over these points can lead illness or poor sleep.

Many healers also use dowsing to obtain or clarify information. I’ve used it to test the compatability of supplements with my body, in particular to test the difference between one formula and another of the same vitamin etc. One brand may be better than another, even though each may be ‘good’ for different individuals.


Dowsing Taps Your Inner Wisdom

When I ran Party Plans I would always teach the guests a new technique as a part of the event and the ‘Dowsing Parties’ were the most popular and a lot of fun. Guests would always ask their questions in different ways to try and ‘trick’ the pendulum and prove it was not actually working. They were amazed that the answers always rang true no matter which way they asked the question. I heard one explain eloquently to her friends later that “it enabled her to access the truth she knew deep down but for one reason or another had not acknowledged or recognised”.

Whatever the actual process, dowsing allows for clear and creative thinking, and can crystal pendulum provide focus when you feel confused, as well as being a useful tool for locating ‘hot-spots’ in your environment. Most people don’t usually trust their gut instincts, their intuition. Often they won’t even be aware of it, or trust it if they get a message.

Whether you view dowsing as accessing your intuition, your Higher Self, the angels or God, if it allows you to tune into yourself and find clarity it has to a useful tool.

When you’re dowsing it’s really important to keep your mind relaxed and open while remaining alert. It simply doesn’t pay to be attached to the result or to have a strong desire for a specific answer. You need to let your subconscious mind have its voice unhindered by your wishes for a particular result.

According to Dowsing Australia, an article in BBC Focus about dowsing from May 2008 states that scans done on dowsers while they were dowsing showed their brain activity was similar to that of the brain activity shown on brainscans taken during meditation.

how to dowse with a pendulum


How To Use Dowsing In Your Life

Chris Gozdzik of Divining Mind has put together a short list of some ways to use dowsing in your life. Here are just some of the insights he has to offer:

1. Search for gold and minerals – this also includes oil and gas and is quite widely used. Some oil companies won’t admit they hire dowsers to locate rich oil deposits

2.  Finding lost objects or missing people

3.  Detecting geopathic zones…is a growing field. In several European countries you can’t get a building permit without testing for geopathic stress first

4.  Sexing unhatched eggs – this one requires some skill

5.  Dowsing the stock market – a bit  controversial – from what I gathered you get better results dowsing for trends. It’s hard to find the truth – I don’t think successful stock market dowsers would share their techniques with the public for obvious reasons.

6.   Dowsing fruit and vegetables for freshness and contaminants – irradiated, sprayed or otherwise treated food will give very low life force reading

7.   Testing for mineral deficiencies or surplus

8.   Adjusting chakras


Setting Up Your Dowsing Pendulum

Before you start to seriously dowse you need test out the pendulum to find which movement is showing a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ for you. This isn’t the same for everyone. Simply hold your pendulum still by the end of the chain. ask “show me yes”.Wait and the pendulum will slowly begin to move. When it gains momentum it will settle into swinging in one direction.

Once you have established your”yes” response ask “show me no”. The swing direction will change until it again settles into a single direction. This can be sideways, back and forward, clockwise, or anticlockwise, and varies from one person to the next.

It’s also worth asking “show me an answer is not available at this time”. I don’t use this as I find the pendulum simply doesn’t settle into my “yes” or “no” swing.

The questions you ask need to be formed carefully to be ones that can be answered with either a yes or no.

Once you’ve worked out the direction your pendulum swings for each answer practise until you feel you have the hang of it.

So try it out and remember to keep your mind open to the answer you may receive.

Pendulums help tap your inner wisdom


All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site. 

Source articles:

Holy Basil! It’s Tulsi, the Queen of Herbs

Herbal teas are a wonderful way to get the healing benefits of herbal remedies very easily  and I sat down today to enjoy my afternoon cup of tea with great pleasure. I drink many different green and herbal teas but this one, Tulsi tea, is one of my favourites.




Tulsi, Ocimum sanctum or Holy Basil, is a small plant which has played an important role in Ayurvedic medicine and has been cherished as a sacred plant by Indians for nearly five thousand years. It is also known by many other names that reflect the exalted position it holds, such as Sacred Basil, Queen of Herbs, the Incomparable One, the Elixir of Life and the Mother Medicine of Nature. In Ayurvedic medicine many herbs are highly valued, but Tulsi is a prized medicinal, recognized as a herb with unique status and revered alongside the Lotus

Tulsi is believed to be spiritually endowed and powerfully transformative. In India it plays an important part in religious practices and is used during meditation to gain clarity and protection. Many traditional Hindus worship at an altar in the courtyard of their home on which is placed a potted Tulsi plant, which is thought to provide divine protection, insure personal health, spiritual purity and family well-being. The plant is revered for both its healing abilities and its ability to heighten spiritual awareness. It is thought to balance the chakras and to be capable of bringing on goodness, virtue and joy in humans

There are three types of Tulsi, and all are known for their fragrance which resembles that of their cousin, the Sweet Basil that you use in cooking. Krishna (purple) is slightly peppery and Rama (green) is cooling and mellow. Vana (‘forest Tulsi’) grows wild and is a bit ‘lemony’. They are members of the Lamiaceae (mint) family have a mint overtone.

Traditionally Tulsi was used for an impressively wide-range of health promoting purposes. As a herbal remedy it has been shown to have many benefits. The chemical composition of Tulsi is very complex and it is rich in antioxidants and other nutrients. It is used in over 300 medical treatments and there is a lot of evidence of its health benefits. The research offers impressive evidence that Tulsi has general vitality-enhancing properties which support and enhance the body’s natural capacity to maintain a state of well-being. Research shows that it both protects against and reduces stress, enhances stamina and endurance, increases the body’s efficient use of oxygen, boosts the immune system and slows aging.

Holy Basil has a wide range of actions including anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral which make it effective in fighting infections. It’s also an adaptogen, antidepressant, carminative, diuretic, expectorant, galactagogue (promotes the flow of mother’s milk), and immunomodulator. It acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and in addition it will boost your immunity. These terms may be confusing but this range of actions all add up to a herb that is able to restore widespread balance in your body.

Tulsi is perhaps most recognized and appreciated as a powerful adaptogen, and acts as an excellent ‘anti-stress agent’. It is a herb that allows the body to cope with the many stresses of modern life, whether they are environmental, physical or chemical. It keeps the body in a balanced state of health and offers protection from the vast range of diseases that are caused by these stressors. It assists with mental tension, emotional difficulties and problems that are the result of poor lifestyle. It is an ancient protective herb ideally suited to the modern world because it will help prevent illnesses that are the result of living a modern high-speed lifestyle.

Tulsi Tea nourishes a persons growth to perfect health and promotes long life

Tulsi is beneficial for so many problems that I have to list some of the ways that it may help you:

  • Supports the immune system
  • Helps fight infections, and is widely used to treat respiratory ailments
  • Provides physical stamina
  • Has anti-depressive action
  • Enhances digestion and nutrient absorption and helps with gastrointestinal problems such as bloating
  • Reduces inflammation in diseases like arthritis
  • Supports heart function, reduces cholesterol and high blood pressure, reduces the risk of stroke
  • Neutralizes dangerous chemicals that can cause cancer, degenerative diseases and early aging
  • It is a nerve tonic
  • Sharpens your memory
  • Is expectorant and effective in asthma, cough, croup, allergies and respiratory infections
  • Strengthens the kidneys
  • Lowers cortisol levels
  • May help to lower blood sugar levels and nourishes the pancreas
  • Is useful in many children’s illnesses like diarrhea, cough, cold, fever or vomiting as well as ADHD
  • It hydrates the skin and helps with disorders like ringworm or dryness
  • In conjunction with chemotherapy or radiotherapy it neutralizes the effects of bio-chemicals
  • In addition it assists insomnia, pain & spasms; excess phlegm, sluggishness, excess weight, lack of energy

It seems that Tulsi is able to offer remarkable preventative and curative potential with respect to many degenerative disorders, such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes and dementia.

It is not recommended taking Tulsi during pregnancy or if you are considering getting pregnant (there are indications that it may have an anti-fertility effect), but it is perfect after the birth as it helps to increase milk production

The tea is made from the leaves and blossoms of the plant. The Tulsi I drink (Pukka Organic Three Tulsi) is a mix of only the three different Tulsi’s, (Rama, Krishna and Vana) but others I have tried have been combined with green tea, or other herbs for flavour. As I enjoy the fresh, zesty flavour of the Tulsi leaf, I prefer the ‘pure’ blend rather than one added to other teas, both for the taste as well as the increased benefits it offers. It is the perfect pick-me-up in the late afternoon, immediately rejuvenating my energy, and uplifting my spirits, and without any caffeine at all! As I drink it regularly I know it is also having a positive effect in the long-term on so many of my body systems.


Tulsi holds both medicinal and spiritual importance in India


Disclaimer: This information is not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. It is advisable to seek professional opinion and guidance before trying any of the treatments suggested on this site.

Source articles:

Bring The Positive Into Your Life With Negative Ions

With Spring all around you could be excused for thinking that Love is in the air. While that may well be so in your neck of the woods, it will be sharing that air space with something far more sinister – positively charged ions. These positively charged ions have a dramatic effect on your body and your mind, causing a whole range of health problems.

Salt lamps counteract the bad effects on our health of positive ions

What Are Positive Ions?

Without getting technical, there are two types of ions (charged particles) in our surroundings, negative and positive. (Don’t skim or skip this as I’ll try to keep it simple and having a basic understanding will make lots of things about your family’s health clearer to you.)

An excess of positive ions in the environment affects the health of humans. Positive ions are thought to cause free-radical damage in the body and adversely affect the immune system in many ways.


What Are The Negative Effects Of Positive Ions?

As well as immune system dysfunction they positive ions cause many other symptoms including body pains, headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, respiratory difficulties, allergies, asthma, migraine, emotional unbalance, irritability, exhaustion, apathy, anxiety and depression. They can also affect your endocrine (hormonal) system, thus your thyroid hormone production and also increase adrenalin production.

And then all these disruptions can impact on you in many other ways such as poor sleep or learning difficulties.


Where Do Positive Ions Come From?

Increased positive ions in the environment are produced by many of the things that are an ingrained part of our modern lives, such as TV sets (digital sets throw out toxic beams directly in front of the screen for up to 400 metres, including through walls), computer monitors, microwaves, fuse boxes and in fact by any of the electrical appliances and power points in your house and workplace.

WiFi technology, such as mobile (cell) phones, wireless internet, modems and routers, and baby monitors, has greatly increased the presence of positive ions in our lives. The electro magnetic field around each of these hotspots varies from one to the next but can extend for a number of metres.

The term Geopathic Stress is used to indicate the presence of unhealthy earth energies in living spaces and refers to the imbalance of Positive Ion fields. And stress within your body, including your brain, is exactly what high positive ion levels cause.


How Negative Ions Help You

Negative ions on the other hand, help to balance out the effects of the vast quantities of positive ions that are released into the air of our modern homes. It’s thought they produce biochemical reactions in our bloodstream that lead to increased production and release of the happy mood chemical serotonin, which in turn helps to alleviate depression, reduce stress and boost daytime energy.

Other ways negative ions can help you are with detoxification, increased alertness, improved concentration, better breathing, sounder sleep, tension relief and vitamin utilization and they help to strengthens your body’s immune system.

Negative ion balance maintains healthy oxygen levels, promotes healthy cell growth, healthy states of mind and overall wellbeing. Basically, they’re all-round ‘good guys’ and vital to have anywhere you spend lots of time!


How Positive and Negative Ions Affect Your Body

Here’s an interesting comparison from Kiflow between the benefits from negative ions and the damage from positive ions in the environment.

Beneficial Negative Ions Harmful Positive Ions
Blood vessels Dilate blood vessels Constrict blood vessels
Blood Pressure Stabilize BP Increase BP
Blood Increase blood alkalinity Increase blood acidity
Bones Strengthen bones Weaken bones
Urinary tract Promote urination;
increase nitrogen in urine
Suppress urination;
decrease nitrogen in urine
Respiratory Stabilize respiration and make breathing easier Accelerate respiration and make breathing more difficult.
Pulse rate Decrease pulse rate Increase pulse rate
Heart Enhance heart function Impair heart function
Fatigue Speed physical recovery Prolong physical recovery
Autonomic Nervous System Calm and relax nerves Tense and strain the nervous system
Growth Promote healthy growth Suppress and delay growth


Where To Find Negative Ions

There are lots of places where you find an abundance of negative ions including beaches, waterfalls, forests, fountains and mountains. Think of the wonderful lift you experience just by being in these places.

Pounding surf and thunderstorms are great negative ion generators. Of course some of the positive response you feel is due to the natural beauty of these amazing places but much of the uplifting response is from the abundance of negative ions in the air.

Negative ions in these places are measured in tens of thousands but in most homes and offices they often only measure in ‘hundreds’ or even ‘tens’, which may be why you never get that same uplifting feeling at home, work or school.

Negative ions are not the same as ozone and both have a different effect on you.

Benefits of negative ions and damage of positive ions

What’s Negative-Ion-Rich Air Like?

The difference between air rich in positive ions and air rich in negative ions can easily be felt during a thunderstorm.

Have you noticed the build up of tension in the air just before it starts? This is the time when the positive ions are peaking.

Once the storm hits the air produces electrical charges in the atmosphere and fain starts to fall. The air becomes rich with oxygen and explodes with negative-rich ions.

After the storm has passed there’s a feeling of calm and serenity because the rush of negative ions has balanced out the positive ions.

There are many ways to reduce the buildup of positive ions ranging from the cheapest, which is to simply throw open the doors and windows on opposite sides of the room to allow cross-ventilation, to the expensive installation of an Ionizer, but one easy and beautiful way to bring about this ion reversal is to place Himalayan Salt lamps around your living spaces.


What are the benefits of Himalayan salt?

I have lots of Himalayan Salt Lamps for sale at work and am often asked what their purpose is. These lamps, and the salt itself, have a wealth of health benefits.

Lamps made of salt from the Himalayas have enormous health benefits

Himalayan salt is high-quality salt hand-mined from salt caves that were formed 250 million years ago in the foothills of the Himalayas.

The lovely pink colour indicates that it’s mineral rich, and in fact contains 84 minerals and trace elements including calcium, potassium and magnesium. In a country like Australia where our mineral deprived soils lead to food produce that is also low in the minerals your body needs, using this salt is a good way to boost your essential mineral intake.

Unlike table salt, it’s unprocessed. Processed salt is devoid of minerals and only one of the 84 minerals, iodine, is ever replaced.

Even rock salt, which is better than table salt, is no match for Himalayan salt as the elements contained in rock salt are not as easily metabolized as they are in the Himalayan salt which has a unique crystalline structure that enables your body to absorb and metabolize them.

I use Himalayan salt in my cooking instead of processed salt and have noticed that I actually need to use less to get the same effect, perhaps as a result of the presence of the full-spectrum of minerals it contains.

Himalayan salt has a perfect crystalline structure and is the highest grade of natural salt. It contains no environmental pollutants and is importantly, immune to electromagnetic fields.

It’s great added to baths to rejuvenate skin, and to foot baths to detox. Across Europe it’s very common for people to go and spend time inside salt caves to aid their health. Here are the locations of a few.


Himalayan Salt Lamps

Another wonderful way to gain the health benefits of Himalayan salt is to use it in the form of lamps.

Here’s a short explanation of how they work but here and here are more detailed ones.

As the lamp warms up it begins to attract and absorb moisture and the surface becomes moist. The ion field builds up. The heat from the lamp then leads to evaporation and it’s this that creates the negatively charged ions and releases them into the air, where they bind with and neutralize the excess positively charged ions in the air. This helps reduce the ‘electro-smog’ in your air as well as reducing allergens and irritants.

The lamps only release negative ions when they are warmed from the heat of the globe.

If the air is very humid the lamp may ‘weep’ and so should be left lit as this helps to dry them out. During one particularly humid December I woke to find a huge puddle on the floor under one of my lamps sitting right in front of a fan that had been on all night to draw the cooler air into the house. But that cooler air was also laden with moisture!

Himalayan Salt Lamps provide huge health benefits

In addition they are very beautiful, emitting a soft pinkish glow that helps to create a wonderful warm ambience in your home or work. Their colour ranges from light apricot to dark orange and from the softest baby pink to a deep dark rose pink.

There has been much research on the healing effects of colour on our body and mind. Pink is said to soften the vibrant energy of red and support a sense of partnership and love and open your emotional body. It embodies feminine nurturing.

Here are colour therapy descriptions of the characteristics of various pinks “The New Rainbow Colours” if you’d like to know more.

Himalayan salt lamps emit negative ions to help reduce the toxic effect of wi-fi
Salt Lamp Globe Showing Naturally Occuring Striations


How To Use Salt Lamps In Your Home

Placing just one lamp in your home won’t ‘fix it all’ as they have a limited range and so won’t be able to neutralize a whole house.

I have five in my home and one on my desk at work. Place a few through selected areas of your home where you spend lots of time, such as the living area or bedroom as well as near the TV, computer and other high EMF areas to gain the benefits where you need it the most.

They make a beautiful soothing night light for a child’s bedroom, creating a nurturing feeling for the child while at the same time rebalancing the ions in the air, and often improving disturbed sleep.

Salt lamps often improve disturbed sleep.


All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site. 

Source articles:

Pay Attention! With Mindfulness

“When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love.”
Thich Nhat Hanh

Red Water Lillies

Recently I was reading an article about mindfulness while I was eating a piece of toast. As I continued to read I suddenly became very conscious of the irony of the situation, There I was eating in a way totally lacking any mindfulness whatsoever, engrossed in the internet, with thoughts of what I needed to do during the day running around in the background.

So I stopped reading and focused on the delicious food. Sourdough spelt bread toasted so that just the outside was crunchy and the centre still moist; the tang of the sourdough culture; the seeds along the edges of the crust; the sweetness of the warm butter which had soaked through into the heart.

I noticed the winter sun pouring in through the window and the small birds hopping on the branches outside. At one point I started thinking about writing this post about mindfulness, but being mindful, I put the thought aside and focused on eating the toast again.

Truly, I tasted and enjoyed that piece of toast far more deeply than many I have eaten. It was all the more delicious because I was focused in the moment.

My distraction while I was eating is completely normal. Human consciousness focuses on a lively dance between revisiting past events and anticipating the future. But learning and utilizing mindfulness can have a very positive impact on our lives as well as our health.

Mindfulness is a hot topic right now and is about mastering the art of consciously living in the present moment. It involves bringing awareness into the experience of the moment in an open and interested way. Instead of “doing” to achieve it requires us to be ”not doing”.

Embracing the energy of mindfulness and allowing it to flow into our lives and penetrate everything we do provides us the opportunity to foster the development of grace within. It deepens our capacity to live more meaningful, balanced and peaceful lives.

When we practice mindfulness we are able to see what is happening in our lives more clearly. Everyday problems do not disappear, but because we are fully present in our lives through the practice of mindfulness, we become able to respond to the pressures in a much calmer way while at the same time avoiding self-judgement and self-criticism. In so doing we benefit the health of our body, our mind and our heart.

Mindfulness is not the same as awareness. While mindfulness is all is about paying attention ‘on purpose’, awareness is only about noticing and it lacks the intent of mindfulness.

Mindfulness  is an ancient practice utilized by many eastern philosophies including Buddhism, Yoga, Tai Chi and Taoism. It has been embraced  in the West and is now widely taught in a non-sectarian way. It is being widely proven as an effective tool to treat many psychological clinical disorders.

Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, teacher, author, poet and peace activist, has taught the art of mindfulness for many years. He teaches mindfulness first through mindful breathing and then through Walking Meditation. It leads to a more keen awareness of all aspects of your life and the world around you. This site is a beautiful guide to Walking Meditation by Thich Nahat Hanh. I have used and would recommend the Walking Meditation Kit

Commit to cultivating mindfulness in your life in order to gain the profound, sustained benefits.

  • improve focus and concentration
  • a stable mind rather than one that is dull or agitated
  • a flexible mind able to reduce the impact of stressful thoughts and feelings
  • increased self-awareness of the contents of your mind and its patterns
  • transform difficult and challenging situations by becoming less reactive
  • substitute self defeating behaviours with more effective ones

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves -slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

                           “I want to live in the moment – but not this one. I was thinking of maybe one on a beach instead”


All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site. 

Source articles:

© Catherine Bullard and Happy Holistic Health, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Catherine Bullard and Happy Holistic Health with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Walking the Peaceful Pathway

In my room at work there is a small board on which there is a labyrinth constructed from tiny white pebbles. Beside it there is a small sign saying “Finger Labyrinth, use your fingers to walk me”. Some do, particularly the children, but most people don’t have the time.

Labyrinths are rapidly making a welcome return to our lives and many full-size walking labyrinths are now being built. They are currently being used by many people across the world as a means to find inner balance. They allow the mind to quiet, and invite insight through meditation. Simply walking the labyrinth is a wonderful way to develop mindfulness and find inner knowing.

Labyrinths are ancient symbols that have been used for thousands of years by many different cultures across the globe. Their sacred spiral design is a very powerful self-alignment tool that brings perspective into our lives. The geometric form speaks to the right brain, unlike mazes which require the left brain. Mazes are puzzles which have dead ends and lots of twists and turns in many directions. Labyrinths have only one path that leads right into the centre with no tricky turns or blind alleys. The maze needs logical planned thinking to solve, whereas the labyrinth requires a more passive approach, with the only decision being whether to start or not. By shifting from the left to the right brain your consciousness moves into a more receptive state that allows you to receive insights.

The labyrinth walk can be broken into three stages. At the entrance you can pause, focus and set an intention for your walk. Take slow, deliberate steps and use the walk into the centre of the labyrinth as an opportunity to clear and centre your mind, to let go of worries and obligations and to surrender to the process of being fully present in your body in the moment.

Pause when you reach the centre and take time for reflection, meditation or prayer, time to allow the divine into your life, and a realization of your own sacred inner space.

The walk back out from the centre provides the space for integration of your insights and prepares you to return to your life ready to make transformational changes, ready to take action.

Every walk is unique and you can expect to receive something different every time you walk the labyrinth. Sometimes it may simply be a nice walk while on other occasions it may be the revelation of some deep insight and understanding. Other times it may provide the answer to your question, or release of a worry, concern or grief you have been holding.

Labyrinth on the floor of the waiting areas at Indigo Centre for Health & Wellbeing where I work

Labyrinths present us with a reflection of our life pathway. We are all on a path, even if sometimes it seems pretty overgrown, and at others we have no idea where it may be leading us.

In some ways the labyrinth is simply a metaphor for our own journey into our centre, our deepest self, and then our return back out into the world. Like the characters of ancient myths and legends, who needed to go down into the darkness in order to overcome their adversary or fear, before returning triumphant with a deeper understanding of themselves, we too can use the labyrinth as a means of going deep within to broaden our understanding and acceptance of who we are.

Labyrinths are transformational spiritual tools and walking them needs to be a practice that is integrated into your life and not done just once.

As an ancient symbol of wholeness they allow you to pursue personal wholeness

If you would like to experience for yourself the power of the labyrinththere are many that you can try. Some are privately owned and require prior arrangement for their use, but there are quite a number that are open to use at any time.  This list is not complete so keep your eye open for others.

Labyrinth at Campion Centre of Ignatian Spirituality in Kew, Victoria


All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site. 

© Catherine Bullard and Happy Holistic Health, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Catherine Bullard and Happy Holistic Health with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.