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Essentials

For a long time now, our oldest has been interested in the art of massage.  She has made a study of the subject, reading everything she can find on types of massage, anatomy and physiology, physical therapy, and stress relief.

Ruth is an intense, and typically high-stress individual (she has been since infancy), and I think she naturally gravitated toward the topic because she herself needs a lot of help with the tension and anxiety of every day living.  This has also made her a very empathetic person in this regard, and frequently asks family members who seem stressed, tired, etc if they would like a massage from her.

I had been collecting little jars at the thrift store for some time, and knew Ruth would make good use of them.  She filled the jars with various carrier oils (olive, sweet almond, grapeseed, etc) and a few drops of one essential oil (tangerine, rose, or patchouli (my favorite) or herbs collected in the garden.  I picked her a wide assortment from lavender to hyssop, rosemary to hops, spread them out on the kitchen windowsill, and let her nose guide her.

After a few days steeping in the sunshine, they make great massage oils.  Ruth’s favorite is olive oil with rosemary and a drop of tangerine oil.

If you have a collection of herbs in the garden, harvest them now, before the temperatures drop, and make a simple oil infusion to soften and repair dry, overworked hands and feet this winter.  Simply add a tablespoon of any one herb (simple is better) per 1/4 cup of light or unscented carrier oil, cork and leave in a warm place for several days.  Strain out the herbs, label, and store in a dark place for up to six months.

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