Holistic Centre for Body, Mind & Spirit


Plants and herbs have been used for their medicinal qualities for centuries but it was in France that aromatherapy developed into the form we know today. Aromatherapy uses essential oils from aromatic plants and provides a truly gentle but powerful mind, body and spirit holistic experience.

The practitioner may use up to five oils in a mixture and chooses the oils based on what you need at the time. Each oil has different therapeutic properties which can benefit various conditions and issues of wellbeing, which help to stimulate the client’s own healing mechanisms. Once diffused in the air, the oil can be applied to the skin in dilute form, for example during massage (by being blended with a carrier oil like sweet almond, apricot kernel or grape seed oil), or can be inhaled. The aroma of the oil has been shown to stimulate balancing centres in the nose and parts of the brain, with massage and inhalation allowing the oils to be absorbed into the bloodstream. It is widely accepted that aromatherapy is a good mood enhancer with the oils having a physical effect by causing chemical changes in the body’s system and having a psychological effect when the fragrance is inhaled as the sense of smell has a direct route to the brain. This also has an immediate effect on the body so it is important to breathe in deeply the evocative aromas of the blended oils to get the full benefit.

Most aromatherapy massages use light pressure and sweeping movements to aid relaxation; however, depending on the type of oil used, it can also be invigorating.

Various blends of oils can help with reducing inflammation, easing pain, soothing irritations, improving blood and lymph circulation, stimulating the immune system, increasing energy levels, relieving the symptoms of arthritis, constipation, mild depression or insomnia. It can also help with headaches, migraines, anxiety, stress or emotional tensions, PMT, sciatica, digestive disorders, hormonal imbalances, sinusitis or water retention.

Aromatherapy is suitable for most adults but there are certain conditions where it is best avoided, for example if you have a heart condition. Consequently all treatments will begin with a full consultation to ensure that an aromatherapy treatment is right for you.

One of Anam Cara’s practitioners says, “Twenty-one years ago I started as a fitness/aerobics instructor. I then decided to go back to college and train in Sports Therapy. I went on to train in Sports Massage, Aromatherapy and other holistic therapies. I also trained in Beauty as I wanted to help people not just on a physical level but on an emotional level too, as I feel most illness and disease comes from life’s stresses and emotional challenges. Later I found Dru Yoga which works on all levels of experience (physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual). Five years ago I went on to train as a teacher and have continued my training to eventually become a Dru Yoga practitioner specialising in back care and pregnancy-related health and wellbeing.”

Another of Anam Cara’s practitioners says, “My journey into holistic therapies started in 1999. I studied Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Swedish Massage, Indian Head Massage, Reiki and Hopi Ear Candles. This led to Advanced Aromatherapy and Advanced Reflexology qualifications. My aromatherapy tutor then introduced me to Shiatsu. I studied Complementary Therapies at Derby University and obtained a B.A.(Hons) Degree in Shiatsu. Nowadays this enables me to tailor treatments to the client’s needs, as often they require more than one therapy and I can fine tune various combination treatments.

“My experience at Anam Cara is that it is client centred, client focused and client led. The holistic ethos supports the client’s personal quest towards health and wellbeing by creating a therapeutic environment to help clients physically, emotionally and psychologically. And it isn’t just about caring and supporting the client, the emphasis is placed on the client and the practitioner feeling nurtured and protected whilst at Anam Cara.

“In my experience, the essence is to provide a peaceful and relaxing environment. I pride myself in being part of the team and showing a personal interest, compassion and empathy in the client’s issues. I feel Anam Cara truly supports me in this role by creating a safe environment for me to practise in. All the therapies and treatments under the Anam Cara umbrella complement each other, and their aim is to guide and support clients. From talking therapies, bodywork, herbs and so on, clients will often come to supplement traditional medicine or come to us when all else has failed. “All at Anam Cara share a common belief and philosophy that the mind, body and spirit should be treated in a holistic manner, and that we are here to increase the client’s self-awareness and to help them understand how they think and feel.”