Aromatherapy and Gua Sha for pain and stress relief

Aromatherapy and Gua Sha is not a very common combination. The two therapies are quite contrasting, as aromatherapy is known for its gentle and subtle approach whereas Gua Sha has a reputation of being a “rough” treatment. Gua Sha is an ancient remedy from East and Southeast Asia. Aromatherapy has roots all over the ancient world, but the use of essential oils medicinally was established in Europe. The term “Aromatherapie” was coined by the French chemist Jean-Maurice Gatefosse around the beginning of 20th century, when he realised the medicinal properties of essential oils. ¹

In my own experience through applying the two therapies on myself and others, I  have realised that together they create a complete therapy, fully complementing each other.

The technique of Gua Sha (Gua=to rub, Sha=describes the blood congestion that arises where there is pain and stiffness) is “a traditional East Asian medicine healing technique”² that was used to relieve from feverish conditions and injuries. Gua Sha is a form of deep tissue massage, performed with a special tools, usually from jade, ceramic, horn or metal, with which the therapist scrapes the skin to bring the stagnation of Qi, Blood and toxins to the surface of the body to be dissolved by the lymphatic and circulatory system. Gua Sha is excellent to break those stubborn knots and relieve from deeply rooted pains of the muscles and nerves. Nowadays, is very popular among athletes as it is used for injury and pain relief. It is very efficient for emotional and stress release as well-these shoulders always have some stagnation hidden due to the burdens of everyday life…

Aromatherapy massage (massage with the use of aromatic essential oils) on the other hand, is one of the gentlest forms of complementary therapies.  The therapist with gentle massage movements distributes the essential oils in the body through the skin, to enter the bloodstream through the capillaries, in order for their potent chemical constituents to start working on the troubled part(s) of the body. In conditions where the client needs just a little bit of relaxation or rejuvenation, aromatherapy massage on its own can work miracles. However, for a really painful shoulder, or a trapped nerve, a stiff neck or other chronic pain conditions, aromatherapy will take a series of treatments to show results. Combined with Gua Sha, these deep stubborn issues can be relieved within one treatment, and after two or three sessions, it is high likely that the pain will have subsidised significantly.

The treatment starts with an aromatherapy massage, using essential oils that are suitable for each client’s ailment and emotional need at the time of treatment. When the body is relaxed after the aromatic massage, Gua Sha takes turn. The therapist scrapes the skin over the stubborn knots and any other  sore body parts that were felt during the massage, looking for the appearance of Sha. The stagnation will surface the skin forming red marks (or sometimes blue or black… depending on how long the stagnation has been in the body) that usually last three to five days. This is where aromatherapy kicks in again. Using a blend of carrier and essential oils indicated for bruises, the Sha marks can be kept to a minimum and fade a little bit quicker than they would without the aromatherapy blend.

If you are interested to experience an Aromatherapy Gua Sha treatment email me through the contact us page or give me a call to book an appointment at the Kingston Natural Health Centre.

1.Lyth, G. (2018). The History of Aromatherapy | Part 2: 529 AD – Today). [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 May 2018].
2.Nielsen, A. (2013). Gua Sha. 2nd ed. Churchill Livingstone, pp.39, 43, 118.

Yellow: Solar Plexus or Manipura Chakra.  Fire, Will Power


Just above the Sacral Chakra, in the shape of a ten petal lotus, our Solar Plexus chakra sits in the centre of our diaphragm at the upper abdomen, where our will power resides. The Solar Plexus Chakra makes reality all the dreams of our Sacral Chakra. It puts in action all of our creative ideas and dreams for the future. Kyle Gray in his book Raising your vibration notes:“If it were in nature, it would be the sun that kisses the soil to give the warmth and tenderness needed for a seed to become a beautiful creation.” It is the Sun of our body’s Solar system.  When the Sun is too strong we get burned and suffer from a lot of pain and dehydration, when the sun is weak or non-existent we are cold, weak and vulnerable. But when the Sun is just right oh my! What a bliss!  What can be better than a lovely, just right warm summer/spring day! Life feels wonderful and positive, and everything is possible! This is how life turns to be when our Solar Plexus is balanced and clear.

Highly connected with the element of Fire, the Solar Plexus is all about our inner fire. Solar Plexus is responsible for our determination to pursue our goals. A balanced Solar Plexus helps us “to stick with it” until the desired outcome is reality, infusing us with personal power and acceptance of our true self.

Chamomile to calm the overblown ego. Detail from Spirits of the Scent Chamomile Oracle card. Artwork © Odette, 2018.

Do you give up easily? Do you start something and then bail when things get hard? Do you get a sense of the misleading need to be perfect, using it as an excuse to not follow through? Do you stand our ground and achieve your goals without manipulating and using others? Do you accept being doormats? Do you see your dreams and ideas to become reality, or you stay in the realm of fantasizing the perfect future?

I believe that our ego lives in our Solar Plexus. Ego is the human manifestation of spirit, what drives us in this life. It is the part that has come to this Earth to work on. When it is left untamed and it turns us to overpowering, aggressive beings, whereas when it is completely shut we become weak and lost and fearful. When the ego is trained and tamed, it can be one of the most useful parts of the self. It is the gut feeling that will let us know of danger, and will raise questions when our positive spiritual and unaware self tries to make everything look as rainbows and butterflies, even if the tornado is just a mile away… Or indeed see the tornados around every corner, constantly expecting the disaster to happen. Unbalanced Solar Plexus stores negativity we absorb from other people and situations. Balancing our Solar Plexus and hence our ego, will lead to good instincts, and will wipe the tendency for denial or extreme fear. We will then be fully centred.

Rosemary to boost the will power and the ability to persevere. Detail from Spirits of the Scent, Rosemary Oracle card. Artwork © Odette, 2018.

As the energy of empowerment rises from the Root and Sacral Chakra, when it arrives at a healthy open Solar Plexus Chakra it turns our passion, creativity, dreams for the future into reality. The “could bes”, “maybe-one-day” and the “ifs” become HERE and NOW. This is where our ability to organise, plan and manifest resides. When the Solar Plexus Chakra is open and balanced, we become positive and confident, we don’t accept any crap from others, but without tension and arguments. We manifest with ease, in harmony with our environment and the people surrounding us.

The stereotype of a balanced Solar Plexus is the successful business person, who runs an ethical company, who respects the people who work for them, from top to bottom, pays them well, but would never allow anyone to take advantage of their kindness and generosity. This person can listen and understand the troubles of the people working for them, but will always have clear boundaries, to protect themselves and their business. Is what the the famous Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan calls “calm and assertive state of mind.”

An overblown Solar Plexus leads to excessive arrogance, “power trip” behaviour and inability to accept a fault or a mistake. It is the stereotype of the successful corporate type, who with no hesitation steps all over their colleagues in order to climb the ladder and create a success based on abuse of their power… Whereas the weak Solar Plexus type is the one that everyone takes advantage, they can never get the promotion they deserve and always being pushed over by their colleagues.

When you are truly assertive, you do not need to take advantage of other people as you understand that you have everything you need to move forward. You know deep into your soul that the Universe provides everything you need to achieve your soul journey. A weak Solar Plexus makes us a doormat, where we do everything for others, we allow people to overstep in our private space, physical and emotional, we cannot say no, and we live our life being kicked around, in order to fulfil other peoples wishes. We may have no idea what we want to do or where we are going, and we feel lost in life.

Pause for a moment and think how you treat your Solar Plexus Chakra. How do you use your personal power, do you abuse it or you are not sure what than even means? Are you a perfectionist, or sloppy and unorganised? Do you follow through or you tend to give up half way through? How much do you allow people to interfere with your life, and how much do you listen to your closest people’s advice?

Close your eyes, sit comfortable and meditate. Listen to the Meditation Yellow, as many times as you like, and really connect with your creation side. See the ten petal lotus residing at the centre of your abdomen, sending whirling yellow energy to fill your energy field. Look deep into yourself and with all honesty explore your Solar Plexus Chakra patterns, and affirm to balance anything that is not fulfilling to your highest potential, yet maintain and strengthen all these parts that will help you learn and grow in the human life.

Orange: Sacral or Svatisthana Chakra. Water, Creativity

Orange from Rainbow Meditations

Just above the Root Chakra, in the shape of a six petal lotus, our Sacral chakra sits at our naval and pelvic bone, where our flow of life resides. The Sacral Chakra comes to give emotional balance to the strength of the Root Chakra. Kyle Gray in his book Raising your vibration notes:“If the sacral chakra were in nature, it would be the water replenishing the soil and allowing the seeds to germinate and grow.” Highly connected with the element of Water Sacral is all about the flow- the flow of emotions, relationships, actions. How we deal with the everyday chores and challenges. Do we panic? Or we allow the situations to unfold and we go with it? If there is something we don’t enjoy doing but it needs to be done, how do we react? Do we moan, complain, get angry? Or we just get on with it knowing that at some point it will all end and we can go on with more fulfilling activities? The Sacral Chakra is also highly associated with our reproductive organs; it is where our primal instincts turn to passion. As the energy of empowerment rises from the Root Chakra if it arrives at a healthy open Sacral Chakra it turns to passion, creativity, dreams for the future. This is where sex, the most primal instinct of procreation, becomes fun, joyful and passionate. When the Sacral Chakra is open and balanced it brings flow of all lovely experiences, people and things in our life. Our relationships with people are easier, we become more tolerant and understanding of others. We don’t get hung up on little things and we let the grudges go.

Sacral Chakra is not only significant for the creation of new life, but also for all the creative ideas that make the world go round. Music, art, movies, poetry, as well as inventions, are part of a healthy Sacral Chakra. In our everyday life cooking, creating a beautiful garden, knitting a jumper, making a cardboard train with your children, building castles in the sand, DIY are all part of our creativity. The need to make something new from scratch is an undeniable part of humanity that has led our world to many nice things and many bad ones as well… but why that happens will be discussed later on.

Detail from Mandarin, drawn by Odette for the upcoming Spirits of the Scent Oracle Cards.


Our inner child also lives in our Sacral Chakra, holding the memory of our childhood, the fears and angers as well as the love and cuddles we received as children. These memories, these experiences are responsible for our traits and ways as adults. Do you carry unhealed emotions from the past? Have you made peace with your family? Do you carry grudges that haunt you until today? Have you allowed your negative experiences to teach you something, or you have accepted their imprint on your energetic field, weighting down your emotional self?

Pause for a moment and think how you treat your Sacral Chakra. Do you allow the flow to come in? Do you allow for money to come to you and go out? Are you overgenerous or too tight with material things? Do you supress your desires (sexual, emotional or material) or you have a tendency to excessiveness and obsession? How easy it is for you to express your emotions? Do you hold everything in or you easily get overwhelmed, going onto panicky, tearful state? Do you still carry negative childhood memories allowing them to stop loving yourself as much as you deserve? How do you connect with others, and how do you allow rewards to come to you? Are you open to receiving material and emotional rewards from others?

Close your eyes, sit comfortable and meditate. Listen to the Meditation Orange, as many times as you like, and really connect with your creation side. See the six petal lotus residing at your naval, sending whirling orange energy to fill your energy field. Look deep into yourself and with all honesty explore your Sacral Chakra patterns, and affirm to balance anything that is not fulfilling to your highest potential, yet maintain and strengthen all these parts that will help you learn and grow in the human life.


Red: Root or Muladhara Chakra. Earth, Grounding

Red from Rainbow Meditations

I believe that the reason we are here -in this life, on this Earth- as spiritual beings- is to learn how to cope with this crazy Earthy life. Every soul is on a different path, on a different journey, with their own story, but we all have a common thread. We are here to learn to live with Mother Earth and with everything that comes with it, in order to grow our understanding of feelings, challenges, weakness and strengths. That is why it is vital for our spiritual growth to achieve and maintain a balanced and healthy Base Chakra.

In the shape of a four petal lotus, our Base chakra sits at the bottom of our body, pointing towards the Earth. Its colour is red and I like to imagine it like a bright red wheel spinning clockwise, sending and taking energy from the Earth. This is the chakra that connects us with our most earthy side. It is responsible for grounding, standing strong on our own two feet, not allowing doubts and fears overcome us. The Root Chakra is responsible for our survival instincts and our ability to handle life challenges, as well as for our sexuality, sensuality, stability, and sense of safety. Kyle Grey writes in his book Raise Your Vibration: “If the Root chakra were in nature, it would be the soil in which seeds are planted”. Everything in this life starts from our Root chakra. Like a plant we are nothing without our roots. Cut the roots and life has ended. Maybe not as dramatic as such, but good quality of life will end if it is lived through fear, weakness, anger and violence. This Chakra is the one that feeds our survival instincts, and if it is not working fine, will make us feel fearful and weak, or if overactive we are surviving through imposing anger and violence to us and the people around us.As the Root Chakra is all about survival, we can detect its state on how we react on survival situations. How do we feel about our sensuality and sexuality? Are we open to embrace the beauty of ourselves and ready to share our deepest hidden sensual and sexual side with a partner? Maybe we hide it from the world, covering us up through our dress code, our body language and the way we talk. Or we may offer it to the world too much, overworking our very own foundation of existence. Have a look on how you react towards food and material things. Do you overeat and hoard? Or you get on with your day having a feeling that the basic needs are always provided so no need to stack up for a rainy day that may never come? Maybe you just give away your daily needs, give away your food, emotions, material things, energy, money, in such extent that in the end you are left with nothing.

Pause for a moment and think how you treat your Root Chakra. Do you respect and cherish your most primal side? The part responsible for recreation, continuation of our species, the one that brought our species from the caves to today? What is your approach to material things? Do you leave in fear of losing what you have, no matter how much you may or may not have? Are you hoarding or are you giving too much? How are your eating habits?

Close your eyes, sit comfortable and meditate. Listen to the Meditation Red, as many times as you like, and really connect with your basis of life. See the four petal lotus residing at the bottom of your spine, sending whirling red energy to and fro the middle of the Earth. Look deep into yourself and with all honesty explore your Root Chakra patterns, and affirm to balance anything that is not fulfilling to your highest potential, yet maintain and strengthen all these parts that will help you learn and grow in the human life.

The seven Chakras in brief 🌈

Rainbow meditation: 🌈

The lower chakras (Root, Sacral and Solar Plexus) are often neglected (yes, I have done it myself for years… I thought the lower chakras were not ‘cool’ enough to work with. I focused on the Third Eye for years, longing to remember what it feels to be spiritual…) Sooner or later I realised that we are all primarily spiritual beings that have come to this Earth and this life to learn how to be humans, to learn how to deal with all the challenges that come with humanity. Lacking the grounding strength and sense of empowerment that is offered by the lower chakras, I only got confused, could not connect with people easily, felt weak and could not handle or understand the information given to me through my meditations. It was as frustrating as trying to run before being able to walk. Observe martial arts, like Kung Fu and Capoeira, and realise that the only reason they can all do what they do is because they are grounded. If their feet, legs and core were not strong, they would never be able to fly with all those acrobatics. Balanced and empowered lower chakras are vital to have a fulfilling life, to be able to accomplish our goals and relate with the rest of humanity.

The Heart is the middle chakra sitting at the height of our Heart at the centre of our sternum. It represents Love: love for ourselves, love for others, love for the humanity, the Earth, the animals, life itself. The balanced Heart will transform the raw, earthy qualities of the three lower chakras to loving strength, generous gratefulness, balancing confidence with humbleness. Without the Heart being open and fully resonating, we would only be selfish, greedy and not being able to understand and connect with our fellow humans. The Heart brings the first layer of spirituality to our earthy experience. Because it is Love that makes everything better in life.

Finally, the three upper chakras (Throat, Third Eye and Crown) are to connect our loving human existence with the Universe (or any name you feel comfortably using for the Force that stands within and behind us all). They allow us to express our true being, dive deep in our intuition, to see the true reason for everything that happens around and within us, so we can open up to the mysteries of the Universe and its energy. When our main seven chakras are balanced and in full work, the rest will follow and then we will be able to open the gate to the higher vibration chakras (these are found at our energy field the most known ones are The Earth Star, The Stellar Gateway and the Soul Star, but there are quite a few more) that offer a deeper connection with the divine and our spiritual self. However, keep in mind that maintaining energetic health needs regular work. As our physical body needs nutrients, exercise and rest on a daily basis to be able to maintain health, our energetic body needs regular attention and acknowledgement so it will keep on working in full function for our highest benefit.

Meditation, yoga, daily activities, appropriate nutrition, essential oils, crystals can help us have a balanced chakra system, to lead a balanced life.

The full album of Rainbow meditations can be found on my YouTube Channel, Spotify as well as iTunes, under the search Ivette, Rainbow meditations.



Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)

Element: Earth

Crystal: Green Tourmaline

Angel: Archangel Chamuel

It carries the healing vibrations of the orange and violet Highly connected with the Flower Power era in the 60’s Patchouli can bring either loveable or very dislikable memories to the one who smells it. As I was born much later, meditating with Patchouli takes me back to my childhood’s Christmas in the farm of my grandparents and this winter feeling of being around the warmth and safety of a lit fireplace.

Taken from:

Patchouli connects us with the healing vibrations of the Earth. It is grounding and strengthening, whilst it brings harmony to the mind and the emotions. It is especially good for the over-worrying and those that have focused on their spiritual path, neglecting their physical self (Remember Balance is needed everywhere!). Great grounding and centering tool during meditations, it largely acts upon the Root and Sacral Chakra. However, it can also warm the Heart, easing emotional pain and calming the overworking Mind. Its earthy but spiritual personality dispels the blockages between the Chakra connections, allowing the energy to flow freely from the Root to the Crown.

Taken from :

When working with the Root Chakra its grounding and strengthening effect assists to relieve energetic blocks and its powerful spiritual action connects the physical body with the auric field, opening the feet centers to unite us with the Earth, enabling us to draw its valuable energy.

Patchouli has strong affiliation with the Sacral Chakra spiritualising
sexuality, bringing enjoyment of the senses and awakens creativity.

Concerning the Third Eye, Patchouli is great for relaxing the tense and overactive mind, leaving space for the Inner Vision to grow. Patchouli can influence our vibrations towards our sexuality, physical energy and money. The deep, rich earthy scent has musky overtones, and when partnered with visualisation and mediations can ease anxiety connected with sexuality but also helps to open to receive abundance.

Cautions and contraindications: Patchouli is possible to cause drug interaction and may inhibit blood clotting. Taken orally it is contraindicated with anticoagulant medication, major surgery, peptic ulcer and other bleeding disorders. It is a low risk allergen but does not require dermal use limit.  (Tisserand and Young, 2014) (Purchon and Cantele, 2014


  1. Cunningham, S. (1989). Magical aromatherapy. St. Paul, Minn.: Llewellyn Publications. pp. 123-124.
  2. Davis, P. (1991). Subtle aromatherapy. Saffron Walden: C.W. Daniel. pp. 216-217.
  3. Farrer-Halls, G. (2009). The aromatherapy bible. 2nd ed. New York: Octopus Publishing Group. pp. 365-366.
  4. Loughran, J. and Bull, R. (2000). Aromatherapy & subtle energy techniques. Berkeley, Ca.: Frog, Ltd. 66.
  5. Mojay, G. (1999). Aromatherapy for healing the spirit. Rochester, Vt.: Healing Arts Press. pp. 106-107.
  6. Tisserand, R. and Young, R. (2014). Essential oil safety. 2nd ed. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier. p. 382.




Happy Trees, Sad Trees..

Since essential oils became part of my life, my relationship with the plant world has changed. It is as if essential oils have tuned me in their vibrant kingdom. Walking through the small streets of Kingston upon Thames, the flowers from the lovely gardens seem to be palpitating. In a big chain store with a gardening section in the basement, I notice the complete absence of vibrancy among the plants on the shelves. They are lonely and sad. Like the strays in the rescue home cages.

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100  In the New Forest of Hampshire, UK,  trees are standing tall for thousands of  years sharing their earthy wisdom.
In the deeper part of the forest there is a strong overwhelming sensation. The colours are breathtaking -and a strong woody scent enters the lungs with the clear, fresh oxygen. In tune with the nature, part of the detailed perfection that Earth has created.

 The flowers and the grass smile at you.

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100
A herd of 16 wild horses joined us in Avon Water


The atmosphere is crystal clear like Avon Water -where wild horses come to drink and munch their grass.

I was taken in the crystal clear atmosphere of nature. I was part of the forest’s vibrations, and there I felt absolute happiness.

Avon Water river.
The Avon Water River









Coming back to Kingston the energy change of the trees struck me.   The trees and plants of the cities all look tired compared to the ones of the forest. They are dull and drained. There is too much pollution for the trees to produce adequate amount of oxygen to provide us with the positivity and stillness I felt in the depths of New Forest- as nature would like it to be.VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100


There are happy and healthy trees as well as sad and tired ones.  They have an effect on us, as much as we have an effect on them. Respect them so they can provide.

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100

Essential oils… Is it Magic or Science?

A few weeks ago, I was at work when my friend passed by to say hello. I was holding my little roll-on bottle I had made the previous evening to apply on my swollen wrist throughout the day. My friend saw the little bottle and asked me what it was. It was a blend of peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary and chamomile, so I said that is for headaches and suff. He took the bottle, opened it, smelled it and rubbed some on his temples. After a few minutes he said: “It works. It really works. It’s magic.”

Essential oils contained in these little bottles that you see at the back corner of health food store, are of the most loving, caring and warm companions in life. It is a ritual. Pick up the bottle, rub it unconsciously between the palms , unscrew the lid, bring it to close to the nose, inhale the nature’s aroma spreading out in the air and then pour the drops into the carrier. Mix up the carrier and then apply. This volatile life force of nature is given by the plants can fight all sorts of bacteria, germs and viruses, reduce our wrinkles and moisturise our skin, balance our emotional whirlwinds and clear the energies and auras. They are of all kinds: stimulating, relaxing, powerful and gentle, woody and floral, for all tastes and needs.

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100

Where all of these amazing properties of the oils come from?

If not an aromatherapy enthusiast, or a training/trained aromatherapist, the chances are that little do you know about the magical -or scientific?- particles of the essential oils that penetrate our skin and work for our benefit. Is it really? There is a lot of science in those little bottles. Ketones, and esters, monoterpenes and phenols, alcohols, and all those chemistry words that are so perplexing and seriously scientific. All of those chemical constituents, meet together in different parts of the plant in various amounts, creating the Essential oil. Then, humans, gather the part of the plant, extract it with steam distillation, enfleurage or any other type of extraction, put it in bottle, and use it for its therapeutic properties. A chemist can explain why each essential oil has the specific effect on our health and mood by describing the forces of very chemical constituent in it. Research showed that if one constituent is pulled out from the essential oil the outcome is not the same. And one constituent by itself cannot do the job it supposed to do as a whole. The next question is why all this chemistry has all those amazing effects on us? And how did nature put them together working in absolute harmony providing us with all this goodness? How they can affect us in all three levels of body, mind and spirit at the same time?

Science or Magic aromatherapy works. It works for those who believe in it and for those who do not. I like to believe in Magic so maybe that is my answer. But I like that fact that I can refer to chemistry to convince the sceptics.