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Dydd Sul, Mawrth 29th, 2009

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Colds or Boomerang Flu? Some Aromatic Help.

Dydd Llun, Ionawr 19th, 2009

Feeling under the Welsh winter weather? We get more susceptible to colds and ‘flu during times of stress, poor nutrition and overwork as this creates the right conditions for our immune systems to get depleted and the conniving viruses that have been lurking, jump in to take hold of your immune system. Add to this lack of sleep to aggravate the situation you unfortunately have a concoction for a dose of ‘flu or a bad cold.

‘Flu is a viral infection affecting the upper respiratory tract, causing fever, headache, general aches, pains and nasal congestion. The symptoms often deteriorate at night and worsen if you physically exert yourself. Colds are viruses too, but usually less severe, and it can be possible to plough on with your work, even although you feel grotty.

Essential oils are really effective in helping reduce the length and severity of the viral infection. Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) is the number one oil. If you feel the beginning of symptoms utilise the antiviral property of tea tree to ward off the lurgies. Dilute 3 drops of tea tree in a squirt of shampoo to add to your bath just before you get in. Soak up the essential oil, helping you move through the illness quickly, sometimes hardly noticeably in hours, without any secondary infections such as bronchitis. Tea tree does not suppress the virus, it simply kick-starts the bodies immune system into a quick reaction against it. If you have sensitive skin also add 3 drops of lavender as it can be irritated by tea tree. 6 drops of Lavender can also be used alone in a bath as a tonic, or else, to help you to sleep.

5 to 10 drops of tea tree in water in an aromatic burner, or safely placed away from children on a wood burner or radiator also cleans the air of viruses stopping other people in the vicinity getting ill too.

One highly effective method of clearing a congested respiratory system is through the age-old method of inhalation. Adding 3 drops of eucalyptus essential oils to very hot water then placing a towel over your head and the bowl, to warm and decongest lungs by gently breathing in the vapours (do not forget to take a tissue in there!). If the person receiving the inhalation is young or vulnerable, putting a few drops on a tissue and placing it near them could be a safer option. A drop or two of lavender rubbed neat around the throat also really reduces coughing and sore throats.

Do not forget to sip the traditional honey and lemon, maybe adding some slices of fresh ginger. A supplement of 2 x 50mg of vitamin C also supports the body’s immune system.

It’s important to withdraw and rest, reducing the contact that the virus has with others. Pushing our energy reserves can cause the illness to boomerang back, and the viruses around at the moment seem to have an aptitude to do just that. Colds also detoxify deeply through the production and release of mucous and sometimes we should trust this process. Snuggle in, tend to your body that works so hard, and enjoy using some wonderful aromatic medicine.

Picking olives in Tuscany

Dydd Sul, Tachwedd 9th, 2008

Green and black olive ready to pick for Tuscan olive oilMy partner and I were on our way to Bellaspetto in Tuscany, Italy where Oliver, a retired English Doctor, had planted about half of the 200 odd trees for his small olive oil business run from the farm. Sadly, Oliver had died several years ago, and as I text my friends and family that I was off to pick his olives, the predict setting on my mobile phone preferred the word Oliver, making me smile. He became very present during the time we were there, pleased that we were involved and keeping a watchful eye on the proceedings.

Around the beginning of November it is olive picking session in Tuscany. The trees in the groves are laden down with green and black olives, which have grown by absorbed the sunshine of the Italian summer and the early autumn rain. The green olives are the unripe fruit and black fully ripened, with the flavours of the green and black varying. For a good quality Tuscan olive oil you need a blend of both, in addition to a mix of four local varieties of olives.

Olive picking is very labour intensive, once the dew has dried in the morning an individual tree has a net laid down for the olives to fall on to. The lower branches are picked from the ground and then ladders brought in for the more difficult to reach. Each tree has its own individuality and sometimes climbing the trees to the topmost, thinnest branches is more efficient, and a fun picking technique. This tree hopping brought to mind, the scene of jumping through the bamboo in the film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (Crouching Panda, Hidden Olive!). With this repetitive process you can see that the mind can wander into realms of its imagination.

The olives are picked by hand or with a small hand held rake to sweep down the branches, causing the olives to fall onto the net. Sometimes the olives are satisfyingly clustered on the branches and a whole little heap can be pulled off in one sweep, at other times it is painstaking as each olive is individually plucked. Once the whole tree has been picked the net is lifted from one side to roll the olives into a pile, which is then transferred into a crate. The process is then repeated with the next tree.

In the evening our hands and arms were dry, rough and a little scratched and of course the best antidote to the condition proved to be a couple of applications of last years deeply nourishing Bellaspetto olive oil, leaving our hands smooth and plump again; like curing like. This made me realise that olive oil was such an important ingredient in a thick hand cream and that I really wanted to make a big batch once the oil was extracted.

Over a week and a half the trees were slowly picked, with the help of family and local people and large lunches of soup, bread, cheese and salad with evenings of socialising and drinking the ruby red Chianti, the local Tuscan wine. The continued practice of small-scale olive farming still honours the traditions and the people that have lived and worked in that beautiful land. With the empty trees brought the quality of a released burden, the yearly cycle being completed brought a sense of quiet and rest into the misty groves.

The olives are stored in the workshop to wait a time to be crushed in a local cooperative mill. If there are over 100 kilograms of olives the mill processes the oil as an individual batch and you can watch as the olives turn to golden green oil, satisfyingly wholesome, deliciously fresh and spicy ready to use and to store for the coming year.

Welsh School essential oils for sale: organic and ethically aware

Dydd Mercher, Hydref 22nd, 2008

Packed simply so you are paying for the essential oil not the image.  These essential oils were originally sourced for our students to use, so the quality is not comprised but the price remains affordable.  They are now available to all.

To order your quality, organic and ethically essential oils from the Welsh School of Aromatherapy email, write or phone to order, leaving your name and delivery address.  

Please add £2 to the total of your order for post & packaging in UK.

Payment by cheque please.

        Size  Essential oil          Genus                           Origin                              Price £

  • 5ml Basil                               Ocimum basilicum          Egyptian organic leaf                              4.80
  • 5ml Bergamot                       Citrus bergamia              Italian organic peel                                4.70
  • 5ml Black pepper                  Piper nigrum                   Indonesian organic dried berries   5.80
  • 5ml Roman Chamomile   Chamaemelum nobile     English organic flowers                  10.00
  • 5ml Cardamom                     Elettaria cardamomum   Madagascan organic seeds             5.50
  • 5ml Cedarwood-Himalayan Cedrus deodara              Indian wild wood                            2.80
  • 5ml Cinnamon                     Cinnamomum zeylanicum Madagascan organic leaves          6.00
  • 5ml Citronella                      Cymbopogon nardus        Indonesian organic grass           3.40
  • 5ml Clary sage                             Salvia sclarea                       French organic flowers                5.50
  • 5ml Clove Bud extra            Eugenia caryophyllus      Madagascan organic flower bud  3.80
  • 5ml Cajeput                         Melaleuca leucadendron     Chinese organic leaves & buds      3.00
  • 5ml Coriander                     Coriandrum sativum           Hungarian organic seeds                 6.00
  • 5ml Cypress                        Cupressus sempervirens     French organic leaves & cones        4.10
  • 5ml Eucalyptus                   Eucalyptus globulus             Spanish organic leaves                     3.20
  • 5ml Eucalyptus lemon       Eucalyptus citriodora          Australian wild leaves & twigs  3.25
  • 5ml Fennel                          Foeniculum vulgare              Hungarian organic seeds                   3.60
  • 5ml Frankincense               Boswellia carterii                  Somalian organic tree gum           4.90
  • 10ml Geranium                   Pelargonium x asperum       Egyptian organic leaves                 6.50
  • 5ml Ginger                          Zingiber officinalis               Madagascan organic root                   6.00
  • 5ml Grapefruit                    Citrus paradisi                      Argentinean organic peel                  4.40
  • 2ml Jasmine absolute    Jasminium grandiflorum     Indian pure absolute flowers     9.50
  • 5ml Juniper                        Juniperus communis              French organic berries                     6.00
  • 5ml Lavendin                     Lavendula x intermedia          French organic flowers                  2.75
  • 10ml Lavender                  Lavendula officinalis            French organic flowers                      4.40
  • 10ml Lavender                 Lavendula officinalis             Bulgarian flowers                                2.60
  • 5ml Lemon                        Citrus limonum                      Italian organic peel                                 2.00
  • 5ml Lemongrass           Cymbopogon citratus             Nepalese organic grass                     3.50
  • 5ml Lime                       Citrus aurantifolia                  Organic peel                                               3.80
  • 5ml Mandarin               Citrus reticulata                      Italian organic peel                                 2.60
  • 5ml Marjoram (sweet)Origanum marjorana    Moroccan organic leaves & flowers      5.00
  • 5ml May chang            Litsea cubeba                           Vietnamese organic fruit                      3.60
  • 2ml Melissa                 Melissa officinalis                     South African organic whole plant   14.00
  • 5ml Myrrh                   Commiphora myrrha                 Somalian wild resin                               5.50
  • 5ml Niaouli                Melaleuca viridiflora                   Australian organic leaves                  3.50
  • 2ml Neroli                  Citrus aurantium                       Moroccan organic orange flowers    15.50
  • 5ml Orange               Citrus aurantium                        Argentinean organic peel                       1.80
  • 5ml Palmarosa          Cymbopogon martinii                Madagascan organic grass               4.80
  • 5ml Patchouli            Pogostemon cablin                      Madagascan organic leaves              3.20
  • 5ml Peppermint        Mentha x piperita                      Indian organic leaves and flowers   2.80
  • 5ml Petitgrain          Citrus aurantium                     Paraguay organic orange-tree leaves 4.50
  • 5ml Pine                    Pinus sylvestris                          Hungarian wild needles                            2.00
  • 2ml Rose absolute    Rosa damascena               Bulgarian organic flowers                            9.50
  • 5ml Rosemary (camphor) Rosmarinus officinalis French organic whole plant            2.40
  • 5ml Spanish sage           Salvia lavandulaefolia               Spanish organic leaves                 3.90
  • 5ml Australian Sandalwood Santalum caledonicum   New Caledonian wild wood     11.15
  • 5ml Spearmint                      Mentha viridis            Egyptian organic flowering tops             5.60
  • 10ml Tea treeMelaleuca alternifolia Australian Yarrabah Aboriginal plantation leaves4.25
  • 5ml Thyme (linalol)                Thymus vulgaris               French organic flowers                  6.70
  • 5ml Vetiver                          Vetiveria zizanoides              Madagascan organic roots               5.30
  • 5ml Ylang ylang extra        Cananga odorata                  Madagascan organic flowers     6.40

Positive Health publishes aromatherapy article

Dydd Gwener, Hydref 17th, 2008

Positive Health Online has commissioned and published a case study from Lindsay Woodman, Principal of the Welsh School of Aromatherapy on the remarkable results of aromatherapy treatment.  They have used pictures from our website, not only throughout the article, but also as the front cover of the magazine itself.

To see it online and for other interesting articles and information go to:

Aromatherapy Treatment

Dydd Gwener, Medi 5th, 2008


Lindsay is based in Gwynedd, North Wales. For Aromatherapy or Reiki treatments get in touch with Lindsay through the contact page of this website.  

She trained as an Holistic Aromatherapist with the London School of Aromatherapy, where she gained an Holistic Aromatherapy Diploma, with honours, in 1996. She is fully insured and a member of the International Federation of Aromatherapists.

She has great experience through running her own peripatetic practice, since 1996. Currently is the Principal of the Welsh School of Aromatherapy and also teaches aromatherapy with Coleg Harlech WEA. Specialist in aromatherapy for pregnancy and childbirth. Has worked as a complimentary therapist for Gwynedd Hospice at Home and has also set up a natural body products business.

 She is also a Reiki Master, which she incorporates into her aromatherapy work.


 - the art and science of using essential oils with their wonderful aromas, through absorption through the skin.    Essential oils have many qualities that are active within body, mind and spirit.

 - effective and  relaxing through massage, as well as aromatic baths, inhalation, compress and vaporisation.

 - working safely with the individual. Lindsay will take a consultation with you to create your own personal treatment plan.

 - helping a  return from illness into balance.  Muscular pain and tension, depression, anxiety, chronic stress, high or low blood pressure, hormone imbalance, chronic fatigue and skin disorders are all examples which aromatherapy can help.


Other courses, events, good people and places

Dydd Gwener, Medi 5th, 2008

Acorn Therapy RetreatsEarthwalking

A series of 8 weekend retreats. Practical, empowering, revealing, nurturing, freeing and healing. Find your own unique path and renew your own sacred relationship with Life, Earth and Spirit.
Activities will include walking, meditation, visualization, regression, craftwork, written work, private or group ritual … even a little cookery!
WHERE: The vibrant energies and raw grandeur of Llyn Crafnant are positively tangible. We will enjoy the isolated privacy of this stunningly beautiful valley in the comfort of a traditionally built or lovingly restored cottage.
WHEN: There will be a total of 8 weekend retreats throughout the 12 month period from October 2008—September 2009. They will individually stand-alone but also inter-relate with each other, so it is advisable to try and attend all gatherings to receive the maximum benefit from them.
DATES: 11th-12th October, 29th-30th November, 17th-18th January, 7th-8th March
Dates for the rest of the weekend retreats are yet to be confirmed.
COSTS: 1.30 PM Saturday — 4.30 PM Sunday. £80 inclusive — no hidden extras. £10 extra to stay Sunday night.
Gillian Monks
Phone: 01286 881 786

Gillian is a Welsh School of Aromatherapy Graduate and a member of the International Federation of Aromatherapists.

Ancient Healing Ways

At Ancient Healing Ways Pippa Bondy offers nature-based courses that call upon the healing practices and ceremonies of ancient spiritual traditions.
Website and contact

Alexander Technique

Pip is also a wonderful Alexander Technique practitioner and for this aspect of her work see her new website

Successful Healthy Living Day in Barmouth by Carol Harvey

Dydd Mercher, Gorffennaf 9th, 2008

What a wonderful day despite the rain. Many people turned out, along with the local band, police, coast guards and all the local children’s clubs. For the adults there was Line and Spanish dancing and many healthy food stalls, with not a beer tent or hotdog stall in sight. Wonderful.

I shared a marquee with my daughter’s nutrition stand that was representing Aberystwyth University, which was good as many people came to try the free healthy foods. I had made information posters with photographs and people came to smell the different aromas on smelling strips, which were a great success. While the children went to do competitions on the nutrition stall their parents came to chat with me and were really interest. Although many people had heard of aromatherapy not many knew much about it.

I explaining the oils and their uses and told them about the Holistic Aromatherapy Diploma that is run by our Welsh School of Aromatherapy. Between speaking I also completed three hand massages. Interestingly one receiver of the massage loved the smell of fennel essential oil, and while I massaged her hands with a blend containing fennel she told me that she had been ill the night before with nausea and wind pain. She was amazed when I told her that these conditions are helped by the use of fennel.

To sum up the whole day, it was a very worthwhile experience and I will be there next year, having already having been asked, as our contribution was very much appreciated.

School at Healthy Living Day in Barmouth

Dydd Mercher, Mehefin 18th, 2008

Saturday 21st June 2008.  12am – 4pm on the Secondary School field in Barmouth.

The Welsh School of Aromatherapy will be represented by Lindsay Woodman, the Principal and a practicing Aromatherapist, also Carol Harvey a student  who is about to graduate and will be working in the Barmouth area as a Holistic Aromatherapist from August 2008.  There will be information about the school and you can talk to our representatives about Aromatherapy Treatment, The Diploma Course and other Aromatherapy Courses in the area. There will be also many other stalls and other activities of interest on a wide range of health topics.   See you there!

The School one year on

Dydd Iau, Mai 22nd, 2008

This time last year I was looking forward to the opening of the Welsh School of Aromatherapy and hoping all would go well for the first intake. I had been working on the development of this idea for nearly three years. The International Federation of Aromatherapists (IFA) had accredited the syllabus, and the Diploma in Holistic Aromatherapy, became registered as number 07/04/0195. We were ready to start in September.

It was an exciting time and I had promised a great deal to the prospective students, that in one year they would have enjoyed training in a personally expansive, deeply rooted education to become quality, IFA accredited, professional holistic aromatherapists ready to work in clinics, organisations or within their own private practice. Students would be able to be insured to work within their communities and be qualified to specialise in areas such prenatal and post natal care, with children, within mental health, palliative care, and within businesses and stress management.

The syllabus encompasses the art and science of using the wonderfully aromatic essential oils with their general application and more subtle ability to be absorbed through the skin to stimulate healing within body, mind and spirit. The students need to become effective in massage, as well as being able to safely and effectively use aromatic baths, inhalation, compresses, vaporisation creams, skin products and natural perfumes.

The fledgling therapists always work safely with the individual by forming a personalised treatment plan and individually created blends to help maintain optimum health. A return from illness into balance may be achieved with conditions such as high or low blood pressure, hormone imbalance, skin disorders, muscular aches and pains, depression and chronic stress. Students also learn anatomy and physiology as a foundation to the therapy.

As with all new projects I went over and over the plans to reduce the inevitable teething problems. I was as excited as the students at the beginning of the new term in September. For a “Diploma in Holistic Aromatherapy" it was important that ‘holism’, a word that is frequently misused both within the complimentary and allopathic professions became a real foundation for the school and the students to work from. ‘Holistic’ is a very old word originating from the Greek word, ‘holos’, meaning ‘whole’ or ‘holy’. The Welsh word ‘holl’ also means whole. The ‘W’ got tacked on more recently creating the word ‘whole’. So ‘holism’ implies health, completeness and lives that are in harmony. The word ‘holistic’ has not been used lightly by the school which aims to facilitate as truly holistic an education as possible.

The school encourages and helps its students to uses materials from ethically aware organic sources. We use recycled paper, and as a correspondence course the student do receive a few manuals! We also use emails and information technology whenever possible. Facilitating the course by correspondence, not only makes it more accessible by its flexibility, but also reduces car-miles involved in training. Students are encouraged to be aware of their own ethical choices, before considering helping life-changes in others.

The practical work on the course is undertaken locally, appreciating the beauty and resources of Snowdonia and of the larger world, the needs of which are never forgotten as we tread as lightly as possible. The course is full of opportunities for laughter as well as sensitively focused work. It is hoped that students gain fulfilment on a professional level by engaging in this quality education with integrity, which in turn facilitates personal wholeness and benefits wider communities.

This year has been challenging, fulfilling, very busy and exciting. I have really enjoyed seeing the students evolving into caring and competent therapists. In the school’s prospectus the Nelson Mandela quote from his Inauguration speech, ‘When you let your own light shine, you unconsciously give others permission to do the same.’ And this phrase has become very apt for the students, so near to graduation – I see them shining.

And what do the students say?

(The)…aromatherapy course has given me so much, facilitated so much healing…I am not the same person who first got in touch with you at the end of July, not at all.

I have really enjoyed the course. Thank you Lindsay, you made the studying interesting.

I love the workshop weekend. I love giving – and receiving massages! … and I have grown immensely on a spiritual dimension. It has also deepened my sense of appreciation of the physical body to a level of, almost, reverence.

I’ll always remember the time I centred myself before the first massage and realising YES!

As for taking a bath with essential oils…WOW!!! I tried last week with lavender and chamomile and was completely blown away – the sensation of deep connection was similar to meditation or experiences with ritual. It also felt like dear old friends had come up to me and put their arms around me, incredibly joyful and comforting.

Applications now welcome for the September 2008 intake.