Friday, March 20, 2009

Candle therapy

Amongst many other fetishes, I love collecting candles. It's weird cos I never like to burn them, but stack them safely inside my cupboard, take them out once a couple of months, admire and put them back inside. That's theraputic enough!

So the other day, I got home, but there was no electricity. It was really quiet, and the weather perfectly pleasant. A light drizzle, the scent of wet earth still lingering. I was tempted to light a candle. Not the regular, but one of my precious scented ones. So i dug out an old African Swazi handmade candle..something I had got more than seven years back from a friend. Hunting around for a matchbox I light it with a bit of hesitation, watching it burn.. slow faint and then brighter, disclosing an array of eerie silhouettes. It was a moment that seemed to last for hours, as my eyes were fixated on the soft subtle flickering of the flame, in conjunction with the scent of sweetly released fragrance.

Handmade swazi candle
Just what is aromatherapy?
True aromatherapy candles contain natural plant essences and have very few chemicals. The wax is also natural and burns in a way that creates stronger, more healing aromatic releases. Whats interesting to know is that different kinds of candles have different properties for healing.

Beeswax - the best kind of beeswax candles are pure with natural fragrances and free of toxins. Beeswax is especially calming because they have been proven to release negative ions, which cleanse the air. This is very conducive to creating a mellow mood and in time, detoxifying the body.
Paraffin candles - Paraffin candles have been around for centuries and are slow burning and long lasting.
The drawback is that they are petroleum based. Because of this, there are split factions of aromatherapists who tout both benefits and drawbacks of this candle’s use.
Soy candles - these candles are becoming more and more popular with individuals because they are clean burning and aromatic. They are also all natural, biodegradable and non-toxic. Even with all of these attributes, soy candles can be wonderfully cost effective as well, making them an all around delight for connoisseurs of aromatherapy.
Feng Shui Candles - feng Shui, which literally translates into “wind-water” is the ancient oriental practice of achieving balance to facilitate positive health and beauty. It is also based on the concept of “Chi” or life energy. Feng Shui candles come in several different colors that represent elements, for instance, a red candle would symbolize fire. I fished out these scented beauties for a few hundred bucks from a street in Pondicherry a few months back.

Eye candy therapy!
Ok..this is my own addition. Mint Chocolate or Creme Brule? How can you not fall in love with something so yummy, so pretty. Check out these beautiful teacup candles at Etsy, an online marketplace for buying and selling all things handmade.

These again, are inspiring me to make some of my own. "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle."