Saturday, November 29, 2008

A night of pampering with All Pampering

I met Nathalie Panic-Vaucher by chance a few weeks ago and we got chatting about what we did. She said she runs pampering events for women, with her business partner Kym Morris, via their company, All Pampering.

She suggested I come along to their next Ladies Escape, held last night in one of the function rooms at Fitzy's, Logonholme.

Nathalie and Kym are full-time mums and business women, who believe that every woman deserves to be pampered. They run regular pampering events designed for women to take time for themselves. They are the Queens of "Me Time"!

The room was dotted with "stations" which we would later move around, and a range of products were on display. It was like a mini Mind Body Spirit expo, with candles, skin products, massage products and the like. The atmosphere was really relaxed and calm, a little sanctuary away from the madness of the week.

Nathalie opened the evening, taking us through a brief guided visualisation to help us calm our minds and centre ourselves.

We were invited to try some polynesian dancing, demonstrated first by the lovely Ruby. It was hilarious. Whether or not any of us will make professional polynesian dancers is another story, but we had a bit of a boogie and a big giggle.

It was then time for the first pampering session - a back and shoulder massage. We paired up and were given a Joya Massage Roller. I had seen massage rollers before, but nothing like the Joya version, which used a solid gemstone as the roller ball. The Joya comes with about 20 different crystal/gemstone roller balls. Each stone has different properties - I think we were using an aventurine stone, a green stone linked to the heart chakra, which helps to promote self-determination and individuality.

We were instructed how to use them, and then invited to give our pamper pal a back and shoulder massage. It was great - having been to the gym the day before, I was in dire need of a massage! The Joya was excellent as you could use the stone roller ball side to get into tight muscles up and down the back and around the shoulders, and the smooth birch wood side provided a firm surface to finish off with long, flowing effleurage strokes.

There were nibblies and music throughout the evening, and we had brief talks by the ladies who were displaying their products.

Loraine, a PartyLite consultant, talked about the range of PartyLite candles, essential oils and all other things smelly and burny. The room smelt delicious! Loraine runs candle parties - another discovery for me from tghe evening. Candle parties - like Tupperware parties! What a great thing to do with a bunch of girlfriends over a few chardies.

More pampering followed, and we teamed up with our pamper pals again to give each other a hand and foot massage. All Pampering supplied the creams, balms, towels and everything we needed. They used all-natural products from the Diva range.

It was interesting to observe the 16 or so women at the event, many of whom at the beginning of the evening were total strangers, and by the end were nattering away like we'd known each other for years. Some had kids, some didn't. Some worked full time, some were full time Mums. Yet we were all happy to be chatting, and doing and receiving a bit of pampering. You get that with women!

The evening finished at about 10.00pm and we said our goodbyes, smiles on our dials and armed with all sort of goodies and brochures related to pampering. It was a really nice way to spend a Friday night.

The next All Pampering Ladies escape is on Friday 13th Feb, and then there's an All Albout Me Expo on 22nd Feb. See the All Pampering events calendar for more details.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Perfect Potion's delicious essential oils

I found the most delicious shop in Brisbane's CBD this week - Perfect Potion.

The shop smells divine - it was the wonderful aromas that lured me in. Perfect Potion sells a huge range of organic, (animal) cruelty-free essential oils, massage oils, oil burners, body and skin products, herbal teas, and also offers aromatherapy treatments in some of its shops.

They had a fairly large range of blended essential oils, but the set that really caught my attention was the box of 7 chakra blends.

According to Perfect Potion's website; The root chakra connects us with our physical body and surroundings and promotes feelings of stability and security. Balance Chakra Blend is a blend of black pepper, vetiver, sweet orange, patchouli, lavender and Atlas cedarwood pure essential oils.

The sacral chakra represents our creative energy and is associated with the functions of our reproductive organs and sexual energy. Allure Chakra Blend is a blend of jasmine absolute, mandarin, sandalwood, cardamom, ylang ylang and patchouli pure essential oils.

The solar plexus chakra relates to our connection with others. Harmony Chakra Blend is a blend of vetiver, juniper, lemon, frankincense Roman chamomile and star anise pure essential oils.

The heart chakra is concerned with forgiveness and compassion – unconditional love through which we accept another for doing their best. Compassion Chakra Blend is a blend of rose absolute, ylang ylang, lavender, may chang, neroli, and bergamot pure essential oils.

The throat chakra is associated with communication and self expression. Expressive Chakra Blend is a blend of German chamomile, sandalwood, basil, and sweet orange pure essential oils.

Divine within and without, the third eye chakra enables us to follow our intuition as we open up to new ideas and our imagination. Insight Chakra Blend is a blend of clary sage, myrtle, lavender, rosemary and bergamot pure essential oils.

The crown chakra represents enlightenment and self-realisation. Cosmic Chakra Blend is a blend of lavender, frankincense, East Indian sandalwood and cold pressed lime pure essential oils.

This box set would make a gorgeous gift for anyone who loves essential oils or is interested in chakras. It comes with a thorough little booklet that explains the chakras and how to use the oils to assist in re-balancing them. I've been burning the Base chakra blend since I arrived home, and it's lovely spicy aromas are filling my apartment.

Perfect Potion has shops in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne - definitely worth checking out if you're still looking for Christmas gifts, or if you simply want to lose yourself in the wonderful world of essential oils and all things aromatic.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The knee bone's connected to the shin bone....learning anatomy and physiology online!

Having studied anatomy and physiology over a period of 9 months for my massage studies, I can tell you that having a great teacher makes all the difference to the way you perceive the subject.

The body's amazing systems are complicated and you have to learn an entire new vocabulary! Distinguishing between veins and lymph vessels can be overwhelming when you're up to your eyeballs in massage practice and the ITEC exam is looming.

I'm loving that Essentials for Health has made their A&P course available online via a virtual classroom. Even better, Jane Johnson is teaching the course.

Jane is one of the UK's leading Anatomy and Physiology teachers and is a practicing physiotherapist. She taught most of the A&P days when I did my studies at Essentials for Health last year, and it was Jane's passion about the human body that really made learning about it enjoyable. I've never seen someone get so excited about a debate over the pisiform bone, or the prospect of organising a field trip to a dissection lab!

The course covers all the body's systems:

  • Skeletal
  • Muscular
  • Cardiovascular
  • Respiratory
  • Endocrine
  • Skin
  • Cells
  • Reproductive
  • Urinary
  • Neurological
  • Digestive
  • Lymphatic

If you need to do Anatomy and Physiology as part of your holistic therapies studies, this virtual classroom sounds like a really viable way of doing it from the comfort of your own home. Click on the Essentials for Health image below for details.

Making time for YOU know who

I'm having the most relaxed weekend I've had in months - no commitments, no deadlines, no need to be anywhere or do anything. What luxury!

Ironically, one of the things I chose to do this weekend was to finish unpacking the last of my boxes (I've recently renovated my flat and still seem to be sorting things out!). I just really wanted to get rid of the pile of clutter that I walked past every time I went up my hallway.

And in one of the boxes was a stack of magazines I'd not yet read, together with the latest copy of WellBeing Magazine, which I had subscribed to a couple of months. "I'll get to that soon", I remember thinking at the time.

One of the first articles that caught my attention was called Acts of Love by Lara Phegan. It lists 10 relatively quick and easy ways that you can love yourself each day. How often do we think about giving ourselves the time to do this, when the pressures of every day life pull us in a mullion different directions?

First on her list, was move your body - and was about how beneficial it is for your mind, body and spirit when you physically move. Even a 15-minute walk can diffuse tension or help you to see things in a different way.

One of the other suggestions was to lighten up and laugh - how good does it feel to have a good laugh? Whether you watch a funny movie or hang out with great friends, there's nothing like a good chuckle. Earlier this morning, I decided I wanted to test my new oven, and had bought a muffin mix (I know, that's cheating). I thought I had a muffin tray, but it turns out I didn't -it must have got lost somewhere in the move. I was still really keen to make the muffins, and dumped the mixture into a rectangular tin that was probably more suitable for bread or a loaf cake of some sort. I could have chucked a huff about not having the right tin, but I figured it would all taste the same. Quite spontaneously, I started laughing - almost hysterically, because the thought of a large rectangular muffin tickled my fancy. Maybe you had to be there to appreciate the silliness of it, but it felt great to have a chuckle.

I also liked the tip about enhancing your environment. We spend a lot of time in our homes and offices, and feeling good in the places you spend a lot of time, suggests Lara's article, is a great way to love yourself.

Whether you enhance your space with photos of loved ones, plants or fresh flowers, or scented candles, the simple ritual of doing it can really improve your mood. I diffuse delicious essential oils from Young Living throughout my home virtually every day. Blends called Peace and Calming, Joy and Purification really make the place smell great. In fact my neighbour has commented a couple of times about the lovely aromas that waft from my place past her window!

One of the key tips was to spend time with yourself. This doesn't mean just being by yourself. I live by myself, but I don't necessarily spend a lot of time quietening my mind and truly being alone with myself. The article suggests activities like meditation, breathing or relaxagtion exercises, being present when you go for a walk, drive home from work or make dinner. The key, Lara suggests, is to slow down, pay attention and listen to the truth inside you.

All sage advice I reckon. I'm going to put a reminder of Lara's suggestions on my fridge, because I know this lovely relaxing weekend will soon end, and the madness of everyday life resume.

Check out extracts from the latest edition of WellBeing Magazine at

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Mind Body Spirit Festivals coming up in Sydney and Melbourne

The MindBodySpirit Festival is one of my favourite shows. Having lived in London for the last few years, I haven't been to one in Australia for ages, although I attended similar events in the UK.

The Sydney event is on next week (6-9 November), and the Melbourne event runs from 28-30 November. Unfortunately I can't get to either show, and will have to wait till the MBS roadshow hits Brisbane next June.

I love the show because it's always interesting to see what new holistic therapies and products are available out in the market. Festival organisers say that there are over 190 new experiences on offer, with everything from natural therapies, self development, massage, alternative healing, tactile body therapies, acupuncture, spiritual enlightenment, organic food health and beauty, stress release and life and career coaching.

And there are 71 free seminars - great value for a $13 ticket (purchased online in advance) or $16 (purchased at the event).