A Tea Tree in Sheffield

Sheffield, winter gardens, tea tree, essential oils, Aromatherapy, massage, Belper, Derbyshire, eucalyptus, aloe, plants, gardens,

I had a wander around the Winter Gardens in Sheffield the other day, a stunning feat of architecture with huge timber beams soaring cathedral-like towards the heavens.

Sheffield, winter gardens, olive, tea tree, Aromatherapy, massage, essential oils, Belper, Derbyshire, gardens

Inside is housed a collection of plants often found in temperate climates and sections devoted to Australasia, including a tea tree. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one in the flesh before so I was delighted!

Tea tree, gardens, winter gardens, Sheffield, essential oils, Aromatherapy, massage, Belper, Derbyshire

Tea Tree is one of the most commonly used essential oils as it has great antibacterial, anti-infectious and anti-fungal properties, to name just a few. It appears in many different products from skin cleansers to natural toilet cleaners. According to Tisserand, it is also an emotional tonic for lethargy, anxiety and depression. It is often known as the bottle brush tree due to the formation of the needles, as you can see below.

Tea tree, Sheffield, winter gardens, Aromatherapy, massage, essential oils, Belper, Derbyshire

There were also some great examples of New Zealand’s Norfolk Island Pines, which have been around since the Jurassic period.

Norfolk Island Pines, Sheffield, winter gardens, essential oils, Aromatherapy, massage, Belper, Derbyshire

As far as I’m aware, these pines aren’t used in aromatherapy. I dare say they are used medicinally in some way in their native home though. Other plants I found that are harvested for their healing properties were eucalyptus, aloes, jasmine and the olive pictured above.

Eucalyptus, essential oils, massage, gardens, Aromatherapy, Sheffield, winter gardens, Belper, Derbyshire

Aloe, aloe Vera, massage, essential oils, Aromatherapy, Sheffield, winter gardens, Belper, Derbyshire

A selection of Aloes

Jasmine essential oil, essential oils, massage, aromatherapy, Sheffield, winter gardens, Belper, Derbyshire
Jasmine, it caught my nose before it caught my eye!

There was also some beautiful colours dotted around, although I don’t know the name of those plants as there’s no essential oils produced from them! The Winter Gardens are well worth a visit, I’ll definitely be hanging around in there again soon.

15 years of Aromatherapy

It is 15 years ago, to the very day, that I received my Tisserand Institute Diploma in Holistic Aromatherapy.  It was that course, that set me on my course, to enable me to help people to help themselves. From the very beginning of the diploma, it felt right for me.  It felt like I had always done massage, like my hands already knew what they were doing and had been doing it for centuries. Learning about the essential oils and their traditional healing properties was also a feeling of coming home, and I distinctly (and proudly) remember scoring 97% on one of the exam papers. A feat yet to be repeated!

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Tisserand Institute Diploma in Holistic Aromatherapy

I enjoyed dipping my toe into living in London, experiencing life in a major city as I commuted from my flat in Brixton to Kensington (the course was in Baden Powell House, right next to the Natural History Museum) and would come home to the rolling hills of Derbyshire at the weekend.  It certainly is a different pace of life, there is always something to do, something to see, a new area to explore and an adventure to be had. 

On finishing the course and settling back in Derbyshire, I went on to set up a local group of the International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists (IFPA), the professional body I was a member of at the time.  This gave me a sense of companionship that I missed from being away from my cohort who were mainly London based.  Although the group only ran for a couple of years, there were many friendships that grew from it that endure to this day. Something else I’m proud of. 

Most of my clients I still see today are people who have been with me from the early days, a couple were case studies for me for the diploma. Some become friends, others move on with their lives, move away. It is a privilege to be a witness to their lives and to work with them, giving them a space to relax and unwind, to escape from the world for an hour or so. 

Over the years I have studied other complementary therapies, including kinesiology, thought field therapy and Asyra health screening but I always come back to aromatherapy. It is always at the heart of everything I do, my way of life. I have been thinking recently about adding reflexology to my bow, and I know that I won’t be able to resist adding essential oils to the therapeutic benefits of that too. Who knows what the next 15 years will bring, all I can say is…. watch this space!