Recently I was visiting Palm Springs and had the great pleasure of spending a day at Two Bunch Palms. If you ever are in the neighborhood, I highly recommend this Spa to de-stress, enjoy the mineral baths, and receive one of their specialty treatments (I chose the Herbal Poultice, a full immersion mud bath followed by a massage, which uses a warm essential blend of oils and herbal poultices to soothe and detoxify the body.)
While there I had the delight of meeting Felina Danalis, who was teaching a "Meditation for Everyone" class. It was a great session as I was the only student that morning! While I have practiced meditation at times, I have never made it a regular practice. What I learned from Felina was that the power and benefits of meditation can only be achieved through everyday practice. Of course I immediately thought . . . how can I possibly squeeze meditation into my already busy life every day? But Felina walked me through some alternative strategies for incorporating meditation that have worked for other people. One paradigm shift for me was the idea that 10 minutes a day could create benefits IF practiced every day.
I know that when daily meditation was part of my Qi Gong classes at Pacific College, I did experience benefits:
In honor of Earth Day, I thought it fitting to share a major reason why I purchase and use dōTERRA essential oils and products in my business. Ethics are important to me, which includes respecting and honoring other people and our planet. I like that dōTERRA feels the same way:
"Cō-Impact Sourcing is an initiative that seeks to develop long-term, mutually beneficial supplier partnerships while creating sustainable jobs and providing reliable income in underdeveloped areas. dōTERRA is committed to the ethical treatment of its suppliers by providing on-time payments at fair prices. Growers and harvesters are encouraged to form cooperative groups to share collective benefits and bargaining power while improving skills and capacity."
There are many examples, Douglas Fir essential oil is one. dōTERRA's sourcing of this oil from New Zealand is helping to alleviate the environmental impacts this species (invasive in New Zealand) has had on the native plants there. In case you're curious about this oil's properties, Douglas Fir essential oil is used for it's energizing and calming properties.
Happy Earth Day to Everyone!
Recently I was sharing essential oil information at a health and wellness fair. At my table, I was diffusing Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) essential oil (EO). Aside from the wonderful smell, people were asking me about its uses. I was familiar with EO users talking about its immunity support and had heard stories of cancer patients using it but had no factual data on the subject. So I went to PubMed and looked it up. I found multiple articles, many too technical for my purpose. However, I did find a study done in the UK that used aromasticks in a cancer clinic with very good results:
So indeed, factual data does exist!
I was with friends recently and we were discussing massage. A few of my friends suffer from fibromyalgia and one commented that the massage experiences weren't always pleasant. In fact one therapist had refused to provide lighter pressure and objected to my friend calling a halt to the massage. That just made me sad (and angry)! Massage therapists ALWAYS need to listen to their clients. No one knows someone else's body better than they do. People's pain tolerance can vary from day-to-day based upon the season, their activities, medications, and many other reasons.
An unfortunate outcome for my friend was the decrease in motivation to seek massage. That's sad because massage greatly benefits those suffering from fibromyalgia in the following ways:
Had my 6 months cleaning at Dr. Wu's a few weeks ago and the hygienist was amazed with how great my teeth and gums were. I puzzled over this a bit . . . I knew that my electric toothbrush (Phillips Sonicare) had greatly improved the maintenance of my dental hygiene, but that's been the case for the last several years. So what had changed?
It dawned on me that I had changed toothpaste. I attended the mini health fair within the Del Mar Fair last summer and had purchased a new toothpaste, Davids. It's fluoride and sulfate free. It uses peppermint essential oil - so it also tastes good!
Ethically I also approved of its recyclable material and that it was 100% American made - really, what's not to like?! So I wanted to give a shout out about it and let others know what a great product it is.
I read a very interesting article today . . . something that I hadn't heard about before. It was an article about research that's been done over several years that proves Vitamin D levels can prevent colds and the flu. In many cases, Vitamin D supplements are as effective or more effective than the flu vaccine. Here's a key excerpt from the article:
"Most recently, a scientific review of 25 randomized controlled trials confirmed that vitamin D supplementation boosts immunity and cuts rates of cold and flu. Overall, the studies included nearly 11,000 individuals from more than a dozen countries."
If this topic has captured your attention, like it did mine, take a look at the article.
In honor of American Heart Month (February), I wanted to share some information that probably isn't common knowledge. Massage is GOOD for your heart in a multitude of ways.
Most folks are familiar with the concept of massage therapy for stress relief. However, did you know it can temporarily reduce blood pressure for up to 72 hours after a massage? It also can significantly reduce pain, anxiety and muscular tension, as well as enhance relaxation and satisfaction after cardiac surgery. Amazing!
More and more research is documenting the effectiveness of massage as an alternative health therapy that complements traditional medical treatment. Details about the research I've described above is available here:
Massage isn't just for relaxation. Over the last 20 years, an incredible amount of research has been done to validate the health benefits of massage therapy. Two groups of conditions, anxiety and depression, have indisputable documentation that proves they benefit from massage therapy.
According to the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork:
"Quantitative research reviews show that a series of Massage Therapy (MT) treatments consistently produces sizable reductions of depression in adult recipients. The effects of MT on anxiety are even better understood. Single sessions of MT significantly reduce state anxiety, the momentary emotional experiences of apprehension, tension, and worry in both adults and in children, and multiple sessions of MT, performed over a period of days or weeks, significantly reduce trait anxiety, the normally stable individual tendency to experience anxiety states, to an impressive degree in adults." (1)
Did you know anxiety affects about one in eight adults living in the US? The following disorders fall under the heading of anxiety (and this is not an inclusive list):
As is true for many health conditions, holistic approaches to treatment of depression and anxiety may yield improved outcomes. I would encourage other practitioners and patients themselves to include massage therapy in their course of treatment given its proven results.
1) Moyer, C. A. "Affective Massage Therapy." International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork 1, no.2 (2008): 3-5.
I will probably write many future posts on the wonders of Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia = “true” lavender) but for now just want to share my recent enlightening experience.
A few weeks ago, I fell in my work’s parking lot landing directly on my knee and scraping it up pretty badly on newly laid pavement. Needless to say, the scrape wound was large and ugly. It started healing and sometime around day four I wondered whether applying lavender essential oil would help it to heal. My reasoning was that if lavender works so well on burns and skin issues, would it work well on my knee? So I applied lavender on my knee before going to bed. In the morning, I was truly amazed (and I wish that I had taken before and after pictures!) – the size and redness of my wound had greatly diminished, just from one application.
There are so many reasons why lavender is helpful for wounds. It contains antibacterial and antiviral properties. Therapeutically it works as an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and detoxifier. It’s best known for it’s relaxation effects – and let’s face it, whenever we get hurt it makes us a little stressed. It’s also known to aid improvement of scar tissue.
You’ll often hear people say that Lavender should always be in your first aid kit, wound care is one reason why. Lavender is an all-around great essential oil to have on hand. If you don’t have some, I encourage you to add some to your home supplies!