Ten weeks have passed since we started our #MamFit Challenge, the challenge to give ourselves half an our every day in order to improve our health and well-being. Over 100 members have signed up to this challenge to date and after a good start in January, I must admit that I wasn’t as good during February and, consequently, I didn’t feel as energetic. That just goes to prove how important this half an hour is!
Interestingly, those who completed the results form in February all noted that they continued to feel better, and those who wanted to lose weight have lost an average of 3 extra pounds during February – I lost a pound, and so far, I have lost 5 pounds in total!
As part of this year’s challenge, I have enjoyed experimenting with new methods of keeping fit and relaxing. I had heard that aromatherapy massage treatment was a good way to relax and very beneficial, so I was delighted when I received an e-mail from Mum and aromatherapist Delyth Williams from Aberystwyth, inviting me to try out aromatherapy treatment in her home. Before the treatment, I arranged an interview to find out more;
First of all, Delyth, when did your first take an interest in aromatherapy?
It all started when I was 12 years old. I was very ill with PVFS – Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome, which is very like ME. I spent nearly three years in bed ill and missing school because of the condition, and I started to investigate holistic ways of treating and improving myself and it was effective.
How long have you done this professionally?
I have taken an interest in the field for 20 years, but I have been a professional aromatherapist and running my own company here in my home in Aberystwyth for three years. Many people provide the treatments in beauty salons without the right qualifications, but undertaking all the training and gaining the professional qualifications with the FHT, the federation for holistic therapists and the specialist advice in the field, the CNHC, was important to me because oils are dangerous if they are not mixed properly, they can burn the skin and be harmful if you haven’t assessed the client in advance.
How can aromatherapy treatments help?
Aromatherapy can help with many things from back pain to helping with periods and the menopause and raising people’s spirits. I assess the client’s needs and work with them in advance to mix the oils to make sure that the mix of oils suits their needs at the time. Every oil has its own individual features – lavender and chamomile are good for sleep and anxiety, sweet orange is good to raise people’s spirits, rosemary is good for the memory and to wake up the body and clary sage is good for PMT… they are all there for a purpose but it is so important that the oils are mixed properly and that you do a patch test in advance to ensure that the client does not react badly to the oils.
Who are the clients?
Many women come here, many of whom are busy mums who want to give themselves some time to relax, improve back pain and tension etc. Many women come here before their period and come every month to help with PMT. Having said that, many farmers and builders come here as well because their bodies are under strain because of their physical work. The combination of the massage and aromatherapy is beneficial to everyone, even children! Chamomile is very good for children who have tantrums!
The treatment came at the right time for me. It had been a difficult week because my niece had had a serious accident and I was also suffering from bad PMT. Having had an opportunity to smell the various oils with Delyth, we decided on a combination of oils which would help me relax and lift my mood, oils such as the sweet orange and clary sage and a few others.
Following the patch test 24 hours in advance, I returned to Delyth’s home and relaxed in the peace and privacy of the room. I remember thinking at the beginning of the treatment that having it in a busy spa or a noisy salon wouldn’t be half as relaxing.
Delyth had decided that the full 90-minute massage would benefit me, as I had experienced many emotional challenges during the week. The full massage included a whole-body massage from the feet to the face, everything except for that private parts of the body of course (in case you’re worried about that!)
I must admit that Delyth made everything so easy and relaxing. The bed and the pillows were very comfortable and there were plenty of blankets to hide private parts of the body! Smelling the oils and experiencing Delyth using the oils when massaging the body was excellent, and I nearly fell asleep when she placed a warm bean pack on my eyes.
One interesting part of the process was using warm bamboo sticks to extend and flex some muscles in the back and shoulder. This was very effective for those parts of the body experiencing tension. By the end of the 90 minutes I had completely relaxed…as you can see!
In the subsequent days, I saw a difference, as if all the world’s worries and anxieties I had had disappeared. Very strangely, I felt the need to cry a little also, a feeling as if the tap had opened and the emotions and anxieties about my niece had gone away and I felt more like myself once again. This is very common as the treatment releases tension which is obviously a good thing!
So, would I recommend the treatment? Certainly! The 90-minute treatment was very beneficial, and I certainly saw the benefits of the treatment in the subsequent days, and I will definitely be going back to see Delyth. Having a good therapist who is a specialist and makes you feel confident in their ability and knowledge is very important, and the fact that Delyth offers the service bilingually is excellent. Also, Delyth’s treatment is a bargain – £35 for 90 minutes compared with over twice that price in many places! An ideal Mother’s Day present in my opinion – for you or your Mum!
Thank you Delyth and see you soon!
By Heulwen Davies, Mam Cymru