One of my favorite memories of childbirth in Japan was a postpartum aromatherapy massage. I had a c-section and in Japan, the hospital clinic insisted that I recuperate for a week. (This could be the subject of another post!)

On the morning of my hospital discharge, I had my very first (and to date, best) massage. The lavender essential oil used by the massage therapist helped me relax. Despite not having had a restful night, I felt completely rejuvenated and re-energized after my massage. The hospital staff also sent me home with a small bottle which contained a nipple ‘cleaning’ fluid. They said it was homeopathic in nature and had trouble translating from Japanese to English was exactly this stuff was. I believe it was lavender-based and it was much better than the products offered to me three years earlier after I had given birth to my first child.

Lavender in the Garden

Back in the U.S., several years and three states later, I decided to experiment with planting lavender in my Washington, DC suburbs home. The tiny lavender plant mushroomed in my front yard where we have decent sunlight. I would regularly trim some stalks (for lack of a better word) and hang them to dry. I often would include the clumps of lavender in dried floral arrangements. (In my next life, I want to study the Japanese art of ikebana!) At some point, I need to get organized and make some sachets!

Growing Tips

We recently moved up north to Pennsylvania (at the end of autumn) and I have not yet had a chance to see what type of garden I inherited. I was reminiscing though the other night and somehow stumbled upon Stephanie’s blog, Enjoy Simple Pleasures, where she posted an article on Lavender Gardening Tips. relaxing-with-lavender

She lives even further north than we do and was wondering how her lavender would fare the winter weather. I commented to her that my lavender survived several brutal Maryland winters, so hopefully she will have the same good fortune.

If you need to relax BEFORE you have a chance to plant lavender, I highly recommend “Young Living’s Essential Oils starter kit with a diffuser to get you off to a good start on the path to relaxation. They are based in the U.S. and own the farms where the essential oil ingredients are grown.

Please share with AllThingsRelax readers how you use lavender in the comments section.

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