A Guide To Essential Oils and Flower Essences


Aromatherapy Essential OilsCertain scents can be transporting and, some believe, therapeutic. Essential oils—aromatic compounds extracted from plant material—are used in aromatherapy to treat the mind and body, and have seen a rise in popularity in recent years.

Tiffany Soska, an aromatherapy instructor at Lourdes Institute of Wholistic Studies in Camden, says it’s best to use essential oils through inhalation or topical application—not ingestion. Soska advises adding 3-5 drops of essential oils to 100 milliliters of water in a diffuser, or 2 drops per teaspoon in a carrier oil such as grapeseed or almond oil.

Here’s a guide to some of the most popular essential oils:

  • Lavender: Perhaps the best known, this scent is used for relaxation and sleep, and has been shown to reduce anxiety.
  • Tea Tree: Commonly used for rashes, insect bites, nail fungus and head lice through topical application.
  • Frankincense: Derived from a tree resin, frankincense helps relieve chronic stress and anxiety, skin diseases, coughs and colds.
  • Peppermint: A stimulant, peppermint oil helps induce alertness, and can be used for headaches, nausea, coughs, fatigue and travel sickness.
  • Orange: Nice and bright, orange is uplifting and energizing. It is also a topical anti-inflammatory and relaxes muscle spasms.


LIWS-Essential-Oils-Aromatherapy-SchoolSometimes called miracle water, flower essences are a popular alternative treatment for emotional healing and mental well-being. Unlike essential oils, flower essences are odorless, don’t contain plant material and are made to be ingested. The flower essence is extracted with water and believed to contain the energetic imprint of the flowers. The intent is to address emotional symptoms, not physical.

The flower essences you’re most likely to encounter are based on the Bach flower-remedy system, named for Dr. Edward Bach, the man who popularized the treatments in the early 20th century.

“Simplicity is a core principle of the Bach flower-remedy system,” says Beth O’Boyle, who offers flower-essence therapy at Hudson Healing Arts in Hoboken. “You don’t need to overcomplicate them.”

O’Boyle stresses that there’s no need to hold back with flower essences. In fact, she says, “People tend to under-use them.” O’Boyle recommends adding two drops in water and sipping until you feel better. Here are several flower essences she recommends starting with:

  • Gentian: For feelings of discouragement, disappointment and lack of confidence.
  • Walnut: Helps calm anxiety around periods of change.
  • Aspen: Soothes jittery feelings and helps ease fears and anxieties that cannot be explained.
  • Holly: For sharp anger or feelings of jealousy.
  • Larch: Bolsters courage and is useful when you need an extra dose of self-confidence.
  • Rescue Remedy: A combination of five different flower essences, Rescue Remedy can help provide calmness and stability in emergency or stressful situations. “I don’t leave home without it,” says O’Boyle.­


LIWS Massage School: An In-Patient Massage Experience

As soon as I entered the room I could feel the sadness…

Learn to become a Massage Therapist at Lourdes LIWSThe patient, a female, perhaps in her late 40’s sitting up in her hospital bed, a visitor, maybe her husband, sitting next to the bed. Her eyes were swollen, she had been crying. I introduced myself and explained that I had students from our massage program on the floor and that we received medical clearance to offer her a massage to lower her stress, help her sleep, and try to help her feel better.

She looked overwhelmed, so I went on to explain it could be as simple as a neck and shoulder rub, something to deal with the stress of being in the hospital.

She burst into tears, “They’re cutting off my leg tomorrow”.

I had encountered a similar situation about 2 years previously, with a woman who was only in her 30’s. She had asked if I would massage the leg she was about to lose. It was a profoundly moving experience, almost like saying goodbye to a loved one who was dying.

But today, I wasn’t sure how to proceed. I asked her if she thought some gentle touch would sooth her, but that seemed to just overwhelm her more. I realized I had interrupted some intensely personal time between her and her visitor. I told her I would check back later, I didn’t want to pressure her.

Each time I walked by her room, the door was either closed, or she had another visitor, and I didn’t want to interrupt. Finally, I got the chance to re-enter the room with one of my students. Again, she seemed overwhelmed at the thought of a massage. Or maybe it was having total strangers witness her suffering. I was about to wish her well and leave the room when my student turned to me and said “I’ll handle this. I just want to sit with her and hold her hand”. I took the hint and left the room.

She eventually allowed my student to massage her hands and arms. I don’t know how much good we did her that day, but my student told me later how blessed she was to be there with that women, a woman she didn’t know, and who she would probably never meet again.

These are the wonderful experiences at Lourdes Institute of Wholistic Studies Massage Therapy School.

Our Culture is Our Special Sauce

LIWS Instructor Massage School Stories and JourneysLourdes Institute of Wholistic Studies: Our Culture is Our Special Sauce

I have been teaching at LIWS since 1996 with my first class as Sports Massage. I had experience and knowledge in the field however, I was still scared and I came in over prepared. This is how most of our instructors at LIWS respond when teaching for the first time.

We are all practicing therapists who keep up on the latest developments in the industry. We take pride in what we do in our own practices and in the classes we teach. We are a very highly respected massage school because we turn out knowledgeable and prepared therapists. We instill in our students the learning bug by emphasizing the importance of continuing to learn and grow.

Let me tell you a little about myself…

My name is David Egan. As a former gymnast, swimmer, diver, and triathlete, I have always been an athlete and will always train like an athlete. I have a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science with my first job upon graduation in a physical therapy setting. I spent nine years there gaining much knowledge and experience while working with patients guiding them through their exercise regimen. During this time, I continued to learn and grow by earning my massage certification and also learned a new and effective stretching technique (Active Isolated Stretching). I then went out on my own using massage, stretching and strength training to help my clients improve their fitness and their lives.

Today, I run a successful private practice in Marlton, NJ at The Firm Fitness Center. My clients vary in age and ability. They run the gamut from young athletes to older clients trying to stay functionally fit. Many of my clients come to me as a last resort. They have seen multiple clinicians and have not received the help they needed. Maryann is the perfect example. She came to me at 69 years of age last April with being 150 lbs. overweight with severe knee, hip and back pain and diabetes. I told her in the first session that she was capable of doing anything she wanted to do. If she listened to me, she would get to where she wanted to be. As of this April, she has lost 100 lbs., her pain disappeared and no more diabetes. This was all with stretching, body weight exercise and core strength. I also work closely with Dr. Pileggi. He uses his Corrective Muscle Therapy to help his patients. He then will send them to me for strength and stabilization. A good example is Katherine a 78 year old women who plays tennis and is very active with hamstring problems. Dr. Pileggi helped to release the hamstrings and sent her to me for strength and stability. We made a plan and she is on her way to getting back to full speed. She doesn’t want to slow down.

LIWS Massage School Education Certification TeamworkWhy do I love to teach at LIWS? Everyone has a great attitude, we don’t have any overly big egos, and we are team players. This profession brings out the best in people, students and teachers. We are all here to learn and there is not one class I teach when I do not learn something from my students. It is inspiring to see the students learn and grow. Many of them are so hungry to learn it is fun to see and be around.

I teach Environmental Management which is a foundation class that helps the students with body mechanics and taking care of their mental and emotional well-being in the profession. Another core class is Palpation and Kinesiology that is taken after Anatomy & Physiology. This class, in my mind is important because they learn how to find the muscles, tendons, ligaments and other tissues within the body. It gives them a better vocabulary and the ability to easily explain what, where and why they are doing what they are doing when they work on clients. One of my favorite classes to teach is Active Isolated Stretching which is a class the students can use for their self-care and to help their clients. I also teach many continuing education classes i.e.; Advanced Hip and Back, Advanced Neck, and Advanced Shoulder and Arm. I will continue to teach at LIWS as long as they will have me.

More than a Massage School I: Healing with Passion and Excitement!

LIWS Massage Therapy School Passion ExcitementTry to think back when you were a child and you fell down. What was the first thing you did?

Most of us would grab the area and start whimpering or making some kind of sound to express we were in pain. We would call attention to the fact that something was wrong and we wanted someone to come and help; that someone was usually a parent; or a close friend; and they would lay their hands on the area of pain and start rubbing it. They would ask – is that feeling better – and most of the time we would say yes and go continue to play.

That is massage at its essence!

Read more…

What sets LIWS apart from other Massage Therapy Schools?

Massage Therapy School Reflexology Yoga Teacher Training– A personal perspective. Ralph Casciato, NCBTMB, LMT, Medical Massage

In spring 2005, after working for the same company for 23 years, I quit my job as project manager, and took the summer off to decide what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I was 51, too young to retire, and I didn’t want the last 20 years of my work life to be spent dreading coming to work. I figured I would give massage school a shot. I enrolled in Lourdes Institute of Wholistic Studies in September, 2005.


Within the first week or two of massage classes, I was hooked. This was what I wanted to do. The bodywork itself was fascinating, the quality of instruction was top-notch, and it was much more thorough and structured than I expected it to be – the anatomy and physiology, the kinesiology, pathology – it was all college level instruction – and the bodywork was pure heaven. The idea that I could help someone feel better, and fully enjoy the process, was powerful. Read more…

Why take Yoga Teacher Training at Lourdes?

Yoga Teacher Training at Lourdes Massage Therapy SchoolYoga is a way of life that enables us to truly inhabit our bodies, mind and spirit. It brings compassion and meaning to our relationships to others and to the world around us. An ancient Eastern practice, yoga today can still transform our lives, connecting us to our inner selves and bringing us into a state of profound well-being.

Lourdes Yoga Teacher Training programs are the longest running programs in this region. Our diverse faculty has years of experience in practice and teaching. We have found yoga from varied backgrounds and cultures, and we truly embrace the Lourdes Health System’s mission statement of a diverse community committed to service, healing and collaboration. We teach a wholistic yoga practice. It includes the physical poses with a foundation of evidence-based benefits of cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, and immune health. Perhaps even more importantly, it includes the deeper yoga practices of breath work and meditation that are increasingly gaining respect in the medical community through research of yoga’s beneficial influence in areas such as depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorders, and post traumatic stress syndrome.

Read more…

7 Reasons to become a Massage Therapist

For those considering attending a Massage School to become a Massage Therapist, you may be asking yourself, “What are the benefits of being a massage therapist?” For most the answer is simple and straight forward, such as being able to provide a better life for yourself and your family, to having a great sense of wellbeing through healing others.

So why is a massage therapy school and its career education such a great opportunity and career path?

Here are 7 reasons!

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How to become a Massage Therapist

The Lourdes Institute of Wholistic Studies is a leader in the education of massage therapists in the region for the past three decades. Lourdes is unique among other programs offered in the field of massage therapy because we provide our students with the highest standard of education!

Our instructors love what they do! They are passionate, motivating and extremely well versed in their craft. They are actively practicing therapists with the experience and expertise to provide college level education in a hospital based setting.


Here are 6 steps to get you started…

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What is Reflexology? How to become a Reflexologist?

Lourdes Institute of Wholistic Studies is one of the leading reflexology schools in the area. We stand behind our reflexology training and reflexology certification curriculum as being one of the most well rounded available. We hope this information helps guide your choice to join one of the best reflexology schools in the region. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us or request to speak to an instructor!


What is Reflexology?

Corinne A. Corcoran, Ed.D, M.Ed, AA.Ed, NCBTMB, AMTA, LMT


Reflexology Education and Certification

My adventure on my new healing path began with Sister Mary Em McGlone, a Medical Mission Sister, and a passionate nurse…

She taught me reflexology in the 1980’s at Rosemont College’s Health Perspectives Program. Sister Mary Em McGlone taught us Reflexology, Touch for Health, and Therapeutic Touch.

It was life-changing.

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My Post 50 Yoga Journey: A New Perspective on the Body and Mind

It’s been a while since I shared progress on my post 50 journey to become a yoga instructor. Through my education at Lourdes Institute of Wholistic Studies, I’m gaining a new perspective on the union between the body and the mind.

Our Amazing Bodies
In prior posts, I told you about my deepening knowledge of anatomy and physiology. This spring, I decided to re-audit A+P. Our bodies are very complex with so many muscles, bones, limbs, joints, and organs – it’s truly amazing how everything works together, or sometimes doesn’t work together when you don’t take care of yourself. It’s been said that a consistent yoga practice can help resolve “the issues in the tissues.”

Read more…

FEATURED CEU: Module III – Sanskrit Study


Module III – Sanskrit Study

Tuition: $225

Date: Saturday & Sunday, 4/16 – 4/17

Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Hours: 14

Instructor: Erik Marrero

Description: Perfectly refined, Sanskrit is the language of yoga. Anyone can resonate with Sanskrit’s timeless sounds and connect to words and ideas incredibly beautiful and profound. Rewards are many for those who take the time to see, hear and feel the power and elegance of Sanskrit. Those interested in yoga philosophy particularly benefit from this study. This workshop will give you intimate familiarity with the unique points of resonance in your own palate that support Sanskrit’s sacred sounds and you’ll be firmly grounded in proper pronunciation of this ancient language. Along the way, you’ll learn the alphabet, itself a lovely chant, and you’ll receive the tools you need to explore your favorite sutras and chants in the beautiful script of Sanskrit, Devanāgarī. ASI’s teaching method, developed over many years by Vyaas Houston, makes learning Sanskrit stress-free and fun.



About the Instructor:

Erik Marrero, E-RYT50

(Module III – Sanskrit Study)

Erik Marrero began his study of Sanskrit in 2008 in a Sanskrit Immersion Weekend with Zoe Mai of the American Sanskrit Institute. He was amazed that by the end of the second day, he was able to read Sanskrit words. The American Sanskrit Institute learning model made that possible. In July 2011, with Zoe as his teacher, Erik joined Trishula Yoga’s weekly Sanskrit study group focusing on chanting and studying the Yoga Sutras, Bhagavad Gita, and other texts, as well as chanting the Sanskrit alphabet and Maheshvara Sutras. In July 2013, Erik participated in ASI’s Sanskrit Level I Teacher Training with Zoe. Erik has been teaching yoga since graduating from a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training program in 2009. He currently teaches Yin Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and is a mentor for the yoga program at Fairton Federal Correctional Institution in the Millville, NJ area. In addition, he is a Cancer Exercise Specialist who teaches a weekly Breast Cancer Survivor yoga class.

My Post 50 Yoga Journey: It’s About Mind, Body, and Spirit

“Welcome to yoga training Methods & Techniques I,” said my instructor B as she addressed our first weekend class at Lourdes Institute of Wholistic Studies in Camden, NJ. “We come together as strangers, but we leave as a tight-knit community. These are your sisters.”

There are five women, or should I say five yoginis (female yoga practitioners are called yogini, male are yogi), in the YTT200 program this year and by May 2016, after 200 hours of training, we will be eligible for our first yoga teacher certificate from Yoga Alliance.

Discovering My True Self
I was excited and anxious to begin training. I started practicing yoga about seven years ago, after my husband passed away. It helped me heal my “mind, body, and spirit” and work through my grief. It continues to provide an outlet for “letting go” and “slowing down” – which is an on-going challenge for me since retiring from my fast-paced full-time job.

“Explore your own creative expression as a yoga teacher, ” said B. “Don’t worry about anything. I’m looking at your growth during this training.”

Read more…

Understanding Holistic Healthcare

Holistic Massage Therapy School Reflexology Yoga Teacher Training

Many of you have come to me asking “why don’t many people respect or understand holistic healthcare in the way that they should”. Well to be honest, it’s because not many people want to.

As many of you know, people want the quick fix. In and out, no waiting, no hassle, no time wasted. Unfortunately holistic health care doesn’t work that way. It’s a lifelong process, which takes continued knowledge of various modalities along with continued growth from within to allow yourself to open your minds and hearts to new ways of thinking and feeling.

I have patients that want me to “fix” them immediately. Sore shoulder, bad knee, messed up elbow, whatever it is….fix it now. I do my best with all my patients, but fixing is only a fifteen minute process, healing takes much longer. What people don’t seem to understand is that healing comes from within. It’s that something inside you that allows you to accept a limitation or to motivate you to try to overcome those limitations. Whatever it is… it needs to come from you. Yes you can get a pill to help ease the pain or have a massage to relax your stress, but what is it that you do in those other times.

Holistic health care is within all of us, that is the beauty of it. When you fall and bang your knee – your first instinct is to grab it with your hand and start rubbing it – well that’s the massage therapist in you. You’re stressed out from a long day at work – you get home and lay down to listen to your favorite music – well that’s the relaxation therapist in you. You have a frustrating conversation with a friend or loved one and you call someone to vent those frustrations – well that’s the healthy relationship counselor in you. What I am saying is that we all practice some kind of holistic healthcare. Gardeners, people into cars, people into sports, and people into collecting, people into anything….all of you are practicing what we call spiritual wellness. Simply defined as… what gives you meaning and purpose in life. Probably the most key component to all wellness and holistic health care.

People need to understand the healing begins with you. Understand that your everyday practices are exactly what you make fun of others doing when they are looking for holistic healthcare. I have said and I will repeat it again, we all do it, every single person in this world practices some kind of holistic healthcare, and when people truly can accept that is when Holistic Healthcare will get the greater respect it deserves.


Dr. Frank PileggiFrank Pileggi, Ph.D., RHP, Dean

Dr. Pileggi is the Dean of Lourdes Institute of Wholistic Studies and Massage Therapy School. He received his Masters Degree in Holistic Health Sciences and his Doctorate in Holistic Arts and Practices and is a nationally Registered Holistic Practitioner specializing in Advanced Bodywork and Somatic Therapies. He is the founder of Corrective Muscle Therapy®, holding certificates in over 20 modalities and Athletic Training. In addition to his studies, Dr. Pileggi spent five honored years training with the Shamans of the Abenaki American Indians in Northern Vermont. Along with his duties as Dean of LIWS, Dr. Pileggi has a Corrective Muscle Therapy practice in Burlington County as part of Lourdes Heath System.

4 Simple Allergy Reliefs

There are many types of allergies, including those caused by foods, pollens, chemicals and environmental factors. The following recommendations are for hay-fever-type allergies that affect sinuses and have cold like symptoms.

If you know you are allergic to something, obviously try to stay away from it. This applies to foods, dust, mold, cat or dog hair, synthetic fabrics and chemicals such as those found in cleaning supplies. When the pollen count is high try to stay indoors and use an air conditioner that has a clean filter. Also I recommend you get tested for allergies at least once every five years.

Easy Quick Relief Methods:

Acupressure – Use the following sequence of pressure points around your nose, eyes and forehead to relieve sinus headaches, pressure and congestion.

  1. Press at various points around the eye sockets, using your thumbs for the upper points and your middle fingers for the lower points. Do not press hard around the eyes. You will find several natural depressions that help locate the points for you. Press both sides simultaneously for three to five seconds, release, and repeat twice.
  2. Press along the bottom edge of the cheekbones. Press with three-finger pressure on both sides. Again, press for three to five seconds, release and repeat twice.
  3. Use three fingers to press on the temples, in a straight line from the corner of the eye toward the ear. Use medium pressure at most, pressing and releasing.

Aromatherapy – Essential oils for allergies include eucalyptus, pine, rosemary, mint, chamomile, and lavender. Tea tree oil is also effective. The easiest way to use these oils is with a diffuser. Read labels of oils for details on how they should be used as their concentrations vary.

Herbs – the following herbs are good for hay fever: sage, ginger, mint, burdock, and green plantain leaf. To use any of these herbs, make a tea infusion using about ½ teaspoon of the herb per cup of boiling water, and drink two or three times a day while symptoms last.

Hydrotherapy – I always say simple is better. Many look puzzled when I tell them just standing a while in a hot shower is very effective when dealing with allergies. One it washes any allergen that may be on you away and second the steam produced clears your nasal passages.

Obviously there are many more in-depth ways of dealing with allergies, but hopefully these four simple measures will help you effectively deal with those annoying flare ups we all suffer from time to time. Remember the importance to get testes at least once every five years, as we sometimes build an immunity to old allergies and find out we have new ones that we never knew of.