Rescue Magic (label)

Rescue Magic: Thinking Outside the Box

The great thing about our Magic products is that once you understand how each one works, you can apply it appropriately to many different clinical situations, beyond what’s written on the bottle. Only so much can be written on a product label, but I’m delighted to hear that my colleagues are finding unconventional uses for my products with equal efficacy. It is accepted among aromatherapists that if you don’t have to hand the oils which you would ideally use in…

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Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Massage and Aromatherapy for #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

In my post for #StressAwarenessMonth in April, I discussed how 45% of days taken as sick leave are owing to stress and mental health issues. In the same way that massage affects the parasympathetic nervous system and alleviates the symptoms of stress, it can also have positive, life-changing effects on those with long-term illness, including anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder (formerly manic depression). I have had the privilege of working with many clients experiencing mental health issues and the results have…

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Final post for #StressAwareness Month: Research on Massage and Stres

When I posted on the stress response last week, I hinted about some research which has found massage to be helpful in reducing stress and enhancing emotional well-being. Here is a link to a literature review which I wrote with my colleague, Diana Newson, for the Massage Training Institute (MTI) research group:   I wasn’t sure which image to include here, but I have decided on one of a face massage. Our emotional responses are directly linked to the…

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Sports Massage after a Marathon

I’ve heard all sorts of inspiring stories following the London Marathon last Sunday: how one man sacrificed his PB to help an exhausted competitor to the finishing line; closer to home, a colleague of mine who completed for the sake of her sponsorship for charity, despite having sprained her ankle just four miles in. I shall be giving my colleague a post-event massage on Friday – better late than never!   So what is post-event massage? What it says on…

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Massage for #StressAwareness#Month

With such a great opportunity to talk about the role of massage in reducing stress, this is going to be a feature length post, but hopefully one worth reading. We all know that a lovely massage helps us to relax, but what is actually going on? Firstly, we need to understand what happens in our bodies when we get stress, so that we can fully appreciate how massage can break the stress cycle.   We have evolved to respond in…

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Deep Tissue Massage

It has occurred to me that I advertise deep tissue massage on my website, but don’t talk about it much in my posts. Why is this? Mainly because I don’t much like the term, as it is too generic and people read different things into it. People ask for deep tissue massage all the time though, So what does it mean? When clients contact me and ask to book in for a “deep tissue massage”, this tells me more about…

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Aromatherapy for Ovaries

March 2017 is #OvarianCancerAwarenessMonth. While aromatherapy certainly cannot cure cancer, it can be used to support people with cancer: providing some relief from symptoms and the side effects of their medication. It can also be used to balance the female system and keep it functioning healthily. Fennel (shown in the picture) is a particularly good essential oil for the ovaries, because it contains trans-anethole, a chemically similar in make-up to oestrogen. It can therefore be used with other hormone balancing…

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Sickness Absence from Work

Another article on the BBC News website about absence from work owing to illness. At first glance, it is good news: fewer days off than previously reported. Are we just soldiering on though and not allowing ourselves time to recover when necessary? Most interesting to me as a massage therapist is that two of the highest contributors to time taken off sick could be greatly reduced with massage: back and neck pain and mental health issues. Recent NICE guidelines now…

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Myofascial Magic

This is one of my new SB Holistic Magic products and its development involved thinking outside the box. As a clinical aromatherapist and also a Myofascial Release (MFR) addict, I wanted some way to bring these two disciplines together. One small problem: aromatherapy involves oil, while MFR requires the skin to be completely free from oil. Then it dawned on me that we could use hydrolats (the water-based products of plant distillation).   Hydrolats are different from essential oils; they…

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Dr. Sarah Bryan


Welcome to the New SB Holistic Blog and thank you for visiting. This is where you get to have fun by reading interesting articles about all things massage and aromatherapy related, while I get to have fun sharing my passion with you. Over the coming months and hopefully years, I shall be posting regularly on a number of topics, ranging from sports injury prevention and recovery, to the effects of specific essential oils and massage techniques. I shall try to…

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CNHC Registered (logo)

I am the only CNHC registered massage therapist practising in Exeter city centre and the only CNHC registered aromatherapist in Exeter.

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