Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Changes of Life


          Did you know that life changes? And sometimes in HUGE ways? When you least expect it? does. If you think it doesn't...then just hold will! Some of those changes are good...discovering a talent you didn't know you had...or the chance of a new career...Some not so good...the death of a beloved grandfather...when your first love tells you it's over...Then there are those changes that are bittersweet...Like your firstborn child's last day of elementary school...

        All of these changes...the good...the bad... the in between... Each one is a chance to re-evaluate your life. Take a moment and see where you are... where you came from... and ask yourself..."Where do I want to go now?" 

        The unexpected in life does serve a changes us... We can no longer stay in our safe little corner any more. Our eyes have been opened to the possibilities of what could be waiting for us! Each time a change happens we HAVE to look up from our path and see the world around us. Look people in the eye...maybe saying that quiet "good by"...letting go of a hand as they take that final breath...or chose a different path.

       The hardest part of the change process for me is the waiting.... Not being able to see outside of my trouble...Not knowing what is going to happen or what may be coming my way. This can be especially scary if you are not in a safe and sheltered space during this time. You might be subject to the whims of the environment... you may get knocked around a bit and not be able to see how you will survive. If you are fortunate to have a safe cove of loved ones to curl up in...and a True Anchor to hold on can rest in peace knowing that you will survive to the end.

       When you make it through whatever trial of change you are in then something glorious happens....You become transformed! You leave behind a shell of your former self and step into the light of a whole new realm of possibility! There really is a light at the end of that tunnel!

      No matter where you are right now...what change you may be facing... Just hold on...there is a grand plan in store for you. You will emerge triumphant and beautiful as long as you stay true to yourself. You are under construction and there is a glorious transformation happening <3

Saturday, March 1, 2014

When Life Hands You....

 Tonight.... I sit in my room and...ponder. I look back over the events of the last 8 weeks. I look at the upcoming events of the month....and I look even the future.
Two months handed me something...and I almost threw it back in her face! I didn't want it... I didn't ask for it. 

But there it was.

Begging me to pick it up... to have a look... to ponder the possibilities.

After a more than fare amount of resistance, I decided to at least acknowledge what it was that life had so unceremoniously shoved under my nose.

While it had a lively color and a refreshing fragrance...the taste was extremely bitter.... at least at first.
I think you know where I am going with this...

Life handed me a lemon....a HUGE lemon!!

What can I do with a lemon? Well... the truth is... a lot!

Lemons truly are an amazingly versatile fruit. Not only are they the perfect cheerful yellow; the oil from their skin is a powerful cleaner and detoxifier("lemons" typically show up when you need to clear something from your life). The zest from the skin can liven up any dish you put it in!
Cut open a lemon and what is the first thing you notice? the fragrance!!! It instantly wakes you up... I can't help but smile when I smell that bright, sharp scent... It goes straight to my head and makes me happy :)
There are so many things you can make with lemons...cakes, pies, cookies....lemon butter sauce for your chicken...

Now... I am looking at recipes... sampling....planning...and dreaming... What am I going to make of this lemon in my lap? 

Instead of puckering up my face and closing my eyes to its bitter taste...I am leaving myself open to all the sweet and savory possibilities.

The next time life hands you a lemon.... what are YOU going to do with it?

Friday, December 6, 2013

What is safe?

For the Second Time.

     Last night was the first night of my second time through Advanced Aromatherapy. Why my second time? Well, because I missed some classes and therefore some valuable information the first time around, there is always something more to learn and one should take every chance that is presented to learn... and... well.... I just love working with and using essential oils! 
The first night of class was a review of the basic information covered in the Intro to Aromatherapy class. We also were given some handy resources for our research papers, along with a sheet of safety information and recommended precautions. Then we went over the profiles of each oil.

The Discussion

     For the record, I am not associated with any essential oil distributorship companies. I am often asked why I don't use this oil, or what do I think about a particular way the oils are used. I have always kind of talked around and about the reasons, not giving a solid and clear answer. Well, last night in class we had a discussion, sparked by that sheet of safety information, that finally set my thoughts in line. :)

My Goal

     My goal as an aromatherapist is to provide the highest quality, safe and effective aromatherapy treatments and applications I can to my clients. To that end, I have so far taken over 100 classroom hours of training including numerous case studies and research projects. This qualifies me as a Clinical Aromatherapist able to aromatic treatment plans to my clients. By the time I graduate early 2015 as a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), I will have completed over 200 classroom hours of hands on training. I will have studied, researched and memorized the chemical compositions of at least 30 oils, written numerous case studies and be able to rattle off formulations and treatment protocols in my sleep...

      I will then be considered a Certified Clinical Holistic Aromatherapist, able to work in any healthcare setting, and eligible for the exam given by The National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy Once I successfully complete that, I will become a Registered Holistic Aromatherapist. The next step after that? The International Aromatherapy & Aromatic Medicine Association Whew!

Why Does This Matter?

     Well... It matters because these are the people in the know in aromatherapy and aromatic medicine. The best of the best. The experts in the field. They have spent their lives doing research and working with clients every day... I can only hope to be that cool one day.

   These experts have gotten together and compiled a list of guidelines, based on their daily clinical experiences and extensive knowledge. These guidelines provide a framework of professionalism and safety for all aromatherapists and their clients, all over the world.

     This is what guides and governs my use of essential oils and the recommendations I make to my clients.

As always, please be safe when you are using any form of natural therapies. Do you own research. Blessings!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Nutritional Cleansing

What is cleansing?
Single ingredient cleanses are not enough

        When most people think "cleanse", they think the kind that will leave you tied to the toilet all day.Or what I have heard affectionately referred to as a "poo poo" cleanse. Traditionally, they include various mixtures of ingredients that may include juices, olive oil, pepper, honey, or even just a laxative substance, which causes the body to empty the contents of the digestive tract. TaDa! You have been cleansed!
        I have actually done many of these of cleanses, the result was always the same. I couldn't leave my house and I was extremely irritable from the low blood sugar. While these types of cleanses my be necessary at times, they aren't the whole story of cleansing and can be detrimental, causing dehydration and other issues, depending on what substance is used to cause the cleansing. Who has time to be stuck in the house all day?

Now, how about fasting?
Are you drinking enough water?

        I have heard numerous times in the natural health world about fasting, with recommendations ranging anywhere from one meal a day up to a week long fast. Now, the claims abound as to the benefits of fasting. The obvious one is that you lose weight... Ta Da! Don't eat-lose weight... not a new concept.
       This simple thinking also can have many dangerous side effects when not handled with care. And long term fasts should NEVER be conducted without being under the care of a qualified medical professional. I am not an advocate of long term fasting. Feed your body!

But what about the benefits?

        The research is coming together that Intermittent Fasting(IF) has many health benefits. There is the weight loss, which I already stated. What is interesting about IF is the loss of visceral fat, which is the fat around the abdomen and among the organs. This is the most dangerous type of fat to have. This is the fat that signals metabolic conditions and increases to risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and stroke. You don't want this hanging around.
          There is also evidence that people who practice regular fasting and calorie restriction may actually live longer. By giving the body a chance to rest from the daily grind of digestion and sorting of nutrients you are basically giving it chance to recharge. Then the body can work more efficiently and effectively.Kind of like a nap for your digestive system. I know I usually function better after a nap!
            I recently read in this article about the effects of IF on brain function. The connection between fasting and brain health has been documented in animals. Now they are finding that this hold true in humans as well.

What do you do?

           If traditional cleansing is inconvenient and dangerous to the safety of those around you, and overzealous fasting can be dangerous... what do you do? This is where nutritional cleansing comes in. When you do a nutritional cleanse you are giving the;postID=4591067408505117691 body enough antioxidant, herbal and nutritional support to handle a cleanse safely; while allowing it to get that much needed rest so it can recharge itself.
           Now, you don't want to just wake up one day and decide "hey, I am not going to eat today so I can lose weight"... not going to happen. You won't be prepared and you will give in the first second you smell your coworkers lunch. I know, I've done it. They key is to prepare yourself and your body. Then have a plan in place.
            As I write this I am actually finishing my first cleanse that I have done in a long time... And I feel really good! It is a full day fast supported by these products. They work on the cellular level to scrub out any gunk and toxins that your body holds on to. Even if you eat an organic diet, we are surrounded by toxins every day. Your body will absorb them and then hold on to them.

The result?

           This is the first time in my life that I have made it through a full day of any type of cleanse or fast. While I am a little hungry,  I don't feel the desire to go eat a gigantic cheeseburger. Most importantly, the safety of my loved ones is not in jeopardy! I don't have any of the usually crankiness I have always associated with fasting. My body is fueled an getting the rest and cleaning it deserves. I am doing the cleanse as part of a complete nutritional program that has properly fueled my body. They day is scheduled so I don't have to think about what to do... and I feel amazing!

          There are many ways to cleanse. This is what is working for me. Do your research, find what works for you.

This blog is not meant to be a substitute for quality medical advice. Be smart, do your own research. This blog is an accumulation of my lifetime of personal research and trial and error. What you see here is what I have tried for me and my family. Please respect that every body is unique.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Are You Ready?

It is not fun when you are sick. It is even less fun when your spouse is sick. But when your child is sick? It is tragic. The littlest among us can be the sickest... and yet smile at the world. We should learn from them :)

My 11 year old son is the first to come down with the dreaded flu this year. He was a little "off" but fine when he went to bed last night. This morning I went to wake him for school, instead of snuggling and giving me his sleepy smile, he rolls over and announces that his throat hurts. My first reaction is that he just has a dry throat from the night... it is that time of year.

Well, I looked into his mouth... and yep! Inflammation and spots.. and a low grade fever... Oh boy. 

I will just insert here that I am not a doctor. What I am is a mom who trusts her instincts and her past experiences.

From what I have noticed in my family is that things like a cold start with a runny nose and sneezing followed by congestion... but don't really develop a fever. Strep throat will sneak up on us with a lingering sore and scratchy throat for a few days before a fever even thinks to show itself. The flu will look like regular tiredness from a busy day(or weekend) then BAM! Fever, sore throat and achy muscles... not fun at all!

Now, knowing what we know, there is no point going to the doctor unless the flu develops into something more serious, like pneumonia. The goal is to not let that happen

Enter my flu fighting tool box!

This is the little bag that I keep stocked with my immune boosting basics. The essential oils will change depending on what I am treating and the age of the "patient".

What is always in here are my herbal go-to's:

1tsp. 4x during the day. This can be added to the tea if the flavor is to strong.
1tsp every 2 hours until the sore throat is gone.
1 cup of tea at 4x a day.
1tsp. in the tea. Mix 1 Tbs. of honey with 1tsp. of cinnamon and use on toast.  
 Both of these are for fever and inflammation. I give 2 tablets under the tong 4x a day, alternating between them.

If you have a really little one, under 1 year of age, do not give them honey. I would recommend seeing a qualified health care professional, preferably one that is familiar with natural remedies.

My son is almost 12  and weighs 70lbs. so this is what I use and how I dose him.

I also keep some non natural stuff in by little tool kit. If I don't catch the symptoms in time or the symptoms are really strong I may use one of the following:

Follow manufacturer and doctor instructions on the above medications. 

I do believe in a balance between natural and western medicine. While I will reach for the nutritional, herbal and aromatherapy remedies first, I have also learned during my son's fight with cancer, that western medicine has its place. It is all a balance... did I already say that? ;)

Now for the fun part... the oils!

The recommended oils for children with the flu are:
antiseptic, antiviral, antibiotic, anti-infectious, febrifuge 
Eucalyptus Radiata
antiseptic, anti-infectious, antibiotic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, febrifuge
Thyme ct. linalol
antibiotic, analgesic, antiseptic, anti-infectious, antiviral, tonic

See a pattern? In case you are wondering, febrifuge is a fancy way of saying it lowers fever.

When treating a child over the age of 4 you can put 1 drop of thyme and 1 drop of ravensara on your hands, rub them together and apply to your child's back followed by a coating of coconut oil(if they aren't allergic). If you have a younger child then put 1 drop of thyme and 2 drops ravensara in 1tsp of carrier oil before massaging into their back.

The last thing , besides tons of rest, fluids, and a simple nourishing diet that I like to add is a soak in a mixture of epsom salts and baking soda. Both are great for detoxifying the body as well as adding valuable minerals to the water that the skin then absorbs. I fill the bath with very warm water, to the tolerance of the one taking the bath. mix 1/2 cup epsom salt with 1/2 cup baking soda, add 4 drops lavender. Once the bath is full pour in the mixture stir it around a bit then have the child get in and soak for about 20 min. Due to the hot water, do not use this when fever is active or on young children.

I hope this post gives you some ideas for the upcoming season. 

As always be safe, stay healthy and do your research.
I am not a doctor,the above recommendations are based on my own experiences and years of research. When in doubt please consult with a qualified medical practitioner.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Seat of Power


That word is... well... powerful!
It can inspire, control, intimidate, destroy.
What does power mean to you?

I am sitting in the halls of what has become one of my favorite places... my school. My dinner is sitting next to me, waiting to be eaten. There is "magic" tea in my thermos that the herbalists donate every Thursday. 

It is quiet.

This little plot of ground, this re-purposed building, is devoted to nothing but healing. Mental, physical, emotional, spiritual. We are all here for the same thing. To learn how to serve others and find their healing in the most loving, caring and holistic way possible. It is a place of honoring and peace.

What does this have to do with power? A lot actually.

The theme of my class last night was power. The power we have in our personal lives. The power we have in ourselves. The power we have with others. The power we hold as practitioners. The power we give away to others. Stepping into our power, claiming it and living it out.

So it got me thinking about my own power... which is kind of the point of the class. There is a fear when you are called to step into your power as a practitioner. No longer can you hide behind the shield of being a student. At some point you have to step out and say, "I am a wellness practitioner" (or whatever your calling is) and claim ownership of it. 

This is a very scary moment!

To step into my power means I am responsible for how I use it, how others see it, and any outcome good or bad.

So here goes... Deep breath...

I am an aromatherapist. It is what I do, it is who I am. As much a part of me as being a wife, a mother and a dancer. 
Though my eventual degree will say massage therapist, and I will be licensed as such, it really is a vehicle for my aromatherapy practice. I am a wellness practitioner. I am not a doctor, I do not diagnose, But I can help guide you along your unique healing journey.
I am trained in the safe and effective use of essential oils; I also realize that it is not possible for me to know everything.
 I am drawn to the emotional and spiritual uses of aromatherapy, as well as the medicinal. I believe it is not possible to separate physical treatments from emotional ones. We are holistic beings and need to be treated as such.
 I am drawn to the need of the youngest of us... the children. Their sensitive little bodies are so responsive and need to be handled gently.
 I am constantly studying, researching, experimenting. I will never learn all there is to know, but I will try!

My prayer is that I live up to everything that my statement opens to.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

What are the Roots of Your Life?

What do you picture when you see this word? 
Close your eyes and think on it for a moment...
Do you have a picture in your mind?

 I chose the picture above because I think it is a good representation of security. Take a look at the size of the tree... then take a look at the depth and complexity of its root system. Where dou you think the security is for the tree? In it's roots... Keep this in mind as you read on.

 My current ethics class at school is a bit different from the others I have taken so far. The goal of this class is to bring awareness to the "potentially shadow" areas of all healing relationships. The course description ends like this:

"This class provides navigational tools for dealing with the deep and often confusing interactions between client and holistic care practitioner. The goal of this class is to come from a strong centered place of service and not from that of a wounded healer."

What does this mean for me?
A lot of soul searching and digging into areas of life that may be fine
 But, if I am going to be an effective healer, fine isn't good enough.

I have unconsciously been resistant to doing my homework for this class. So I sat down with myself this morning and asked myself why... I don't like to rock the boat... If life is going smoothly let it continue as such.
Or... If it ain't broke, don't fix it!
The problem with that is you never grow. What happens if that tree quits growing?

It dies. 

So, since I don't want to die, in any sense of the word! I got to "work" this morning.

What does all this have to do with security? I will get to that...

This class looks at ethics from the major areas of life: 


Or you can look at it this way:


So, security, the first center of life. The "root" of your life.
Where do you find your security? Is it money? Family values? Traditions? Relationships? There is no wrong answer, it is personal to everyone and something only you can decide for yourself.

Other words and ideas that are associated with this center include:

Cultural Bias
Religious Practices
Traditional Family Values

Interestingly, the seven areas that I will cover in this class correspond to what some call the seven chakras, or energy centers in the body. 

Before I loose you here, let me explain my take on this:

I was raised in a traditional Christian home with traditional Christian values.
I profess a personal relationship with Christ.
I realize that I make mistakes, and am not perfect but try to model my life after the way Jesus did in the Bible.

I also realize that I do not have all the answers to all the histories of all the people in the entire world! How could I? So, when I encounter a new (to me) way of relating to the world, I explore it from all angles and not automatically dismiss it because it doesn't "fit". If I can take a piece of something for my tool box then I will.

If you still don't agree or don't care to explore then that is fine. I am not offended by your decision and I hope you are not offended by my curiosity :)

So, for this class I have a chart that outlines the seven chakras, their "tools'' and what areas of life and health they may correspond to.

Does this have an aromatherapy connection? You bet it does!! Doesn't everything? 

For each center there are corresponding aromatherapy, fragrance and incense categories. This particular center calls for cinnamon, cedar and myrrh. These three oils are very grounding, warming and soothing oils. All three of these oils come from trees... Which have long, deep extensive root systems that allows them to stand strong against the passage of time. Makes sense to me, this first life center has to do with our basic issues and needs in life... our roots.

Unfortunately, I don't have any myrrh oil, it is on my wish list, but I do have cedar and cinnamon! I decided to conduct a little experiment:

Before starting on my journal I lit a little tea light candle. While waiting for some of the wax to melt I looked over the questions that I was going to work on today. After there was a nice little ring of melted wax around the wick I blew out the candle and added 2 drops of Atlantic Cedar and 1 drop of Cinnamon Leaf oils to the candle, being careful not to get any on the wick. Then I re-lit the candle and spent a few minutes breathing in the fragrance of the oils and contemplating my questions.

I found that I was able to honestly answer the questions and not feel like I had to give a "perfect" thought out answer... which is what has kept me from doing my homework until now.

I will be exploring other ways to use these particular oils during the next week and providing the necessary information so you can decide if they are ones you care to have in you aromabox.

I hope you also take the time to explore how deep your roots run and find the security to stand through the pressures of this life.

Until next time,