• Jenny Walker

Nutty Season

I love autumn. I know what to do with autumn.

In summer I have to battle the fact that a pixie cut cannot look like beach hair, (unless bed hair counts), linen is cool and refreshing, but by 7 pm I’m wishing I was wearing a cardigan, and my feet are cracked as I have been putting them both forward in flip-flops.

Autumn however, is comfortable. This week I made a chicken pie, wore ski socks, wrapped up in cashmere and put the heating on after walking through the park were I enjoyed the rich colours on the trees. I love seeing my breath on cold mornings as I walk into the studio, drinking hot chocolate and reading a book at bedtime, and basically hunkering down. Autumn is my season.

So it’s little wonder that with the change of season comes with a change of focus here at Cornerstone Therapies. If I am enjoying comforting hazelnut coffees in my flask each morning, then it maybe an interesting idea to link that nutty warmth with hazelnut oil in the massage blends.

Personally, I have always believed that aromatherapy is both about just blending beautiful essences, but equally blending fantastic carrier oil blends for my clients, and they should be a primary consideration in massage treatment. I also think that the fear of nut allergies, or wheat allergies has put a lot of therapists off harnessing the skill of blending carrier oils, leaving grape-seed oil to be the mainstay along with sunflower oil in most treatment rooms.

However the nut family offer wonderful properties, and I for one am a big fan of blending with organic hazelnut oil. It is an oil that is best extracted with the cold press method so that there is no heat to destroy the precious molecules that carry the fatty acids that we are after. In a typical hazelnut, you will find 64% of it will be some kind of fat, which is good and should be enjoyed.

Fatty acids help to nourish the skin, but also hold the essential oils in a safety bubble, which allows them to be delivered into the body at a safe rate, rather than being dropped neat onto the skin and the body rejecting them like a bomb going off.

Hazelnuts are also called cobnuts and there are some wonderful recipes out there that use them and they are easy to find. The are packed full of magnesium and potassium, as well as vitamins such as folic acid. For this reason they are a good source of minerals and nutrients for those who are pregnant and do not have nut allergies.

For the skin, I find that it is a beautiful oil for people who are slightly congested as it doesn’t leave a greasy film, and it has a very mild astringent effect. When I used to do a lot of skin care therapy, it was always the go to option for facial and hair massage, as it also delivered the nutrient contents that allowed the skin and hair to recalibrate.

However, I rarely use it on it’s own and blend it with almond oil or even jojoba if I am treating someone who has a really dry skin that needs nourishing, but they don’t want to feel sticky after their treatment.

As I walk through the park and pick up chestnuts and kick my feet through golden red leaves, I shall be enjoying the drift into winter. And as the earth gives us all the richness in colour and luxury I hope that you get to enjoy some time on the massage couch for some beautiful restorative, warming massage and I look forward to seeing you at Cornerstone Therapies soon.

All facts, info and input are from:

Price, L., 1999. Carrier Oils for Aromatherapy and Massage. Riverhead.

Where to Find Cornerstone Therapies 
Maple 5
Guardian House 
Borough Road
01483 418 217