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Beat the "bah humbug" holiday blues

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The stress and exhaustion of the holiday season can make you ill. Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa and New Year's celebrations are all about light, but can leave you feeling down right "blue," in the mood department. Enter, the essential healing of Aromatherapy 101!

Essential oils work their physical, emotional and psychological wonders by interacting with the olfactory nerves, or entering through the skin, thus, affecting the limbic system in the brain. Aromatherapy is both an art and a science rooted in the healing practices of ancient civilizations.

"Fragrance is processed in the area of the brain that also processes memory and emotion," says Mindy Green, co-author of Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art.

A good deal of perfumed products claim aromatherapy and the benefits of essential oils, but if they're made with synthetic fragrance; they're fake. To keep your energy up this holiday season, try these essential oil traditions.

Cinnamon: Warming and spicy; this essential oil is reputed to attract wealth and abundance. *Add 3 drops of cinnamon essential oil to 2 quarts of water in a saucepan. Simmer low and allow the fragrance to waft throughout your home.

Rose: Rose oil sparks romantic passion and opens the heart to forgiveness and unconditional love. *Add 2-3 drops in a carrier oil like jojoba oil or grapeseed oil. Apply to temples, wrists and over your heart.

Peppermint: A stimulating, tongue-tingling, holiday favorite; peppermint oil eases motion sickness and is a great remedy for stomach upset. *Add 2 drops to a mug of soothing herbal tea.

Lavender: Lavender oil is a one-step shop! Deeply relaxing and earthy, lavender is calming and centering. This oil can create a sense of security and grounding. *Add a few drops of lavender oil to your favorite body oil, body butter or shower gel.

Geranium: Refreshing and energizing; Geranium is used to release negative memories and fear of abandonment. *Rub a few drops between your palms and on the bottoms of your feet.

Aromatherapy can help you restore your inner peace. By combining this practice with your faith, when life totally spins out of control, you can remember to take a deep breath and EXHALE.

"Living Well...one healthy step at a time"

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