Relieving Stress Elementary for Good Health

Natural therapy aims to help men and women find a balance in their lives between managing everyday stresses, demands and responsibilities and taking care of themselves.

Paula Harris, aromatherapist, massage therapist, naturopath and wellness coach at Elements Natural Therapy, says just taking time out to come to her calm, fragrant consulting room is a start.

"Men often keep going until they drop and women are often too busy taking care of family and friends. I try to educate both to see that if they look after themselves first, then they will have more energy for other areas of their lives. I take an interest in people and help figure out strategies for dealing with their stresses."

Whether her clients are stressed because they are juggling full-time jobs, study and family or have specific aches and pains, Paula picks up on their needs and suggests appropriate massage oils and techniques.

"If someone has had a stressful day at work, they may want to feel more relaxed. Nowadays employers are more aware of the need for relaxation and may encourage their employees to come for a massage."

As well as traditional massage, Paula is skilled in Hawaiian massage (Lomilomi) and hot stone massage. She describes Hawaiian massage as rhythmic and relaxing, like a dance. Working with her hands and forearms, she uses long, flowing strokes over the length of the client’s body, to induce relaxation.

During the massage, the client's body is covered with a sarong.

Hot stone massage (Pohaku) is a blend of Hawaiian and spa-style massage and uses stones, in a variety of sizes and shapes, warmed to a comfortable temperature.

The stones, placed over a towel, are placed on different parts of the body. They can also be used for massage, while held in the palm of the hand. Because the heat of the stones penetrates the deepest tissues, the massage is soothing and therapeutic. Sound great? Remember, a healthy lifestyle begins with taking time out to care for yourself and finding balance in your life!

The Tribune – April 1 2007