There’s an oil for that

There’s an oil for that

I am a firm believer in the power of essential oils. These magical little oils have the power to perk you up, stimulate circulation, ease tension, disinfect, enhance mental acuity, improve your mood, the list goes on. I have an arsenal of different ones in my home that I use nearly every day. I want to share a few of my favorites with you all and why I love them so.

Rosemary- ah rosemary. That beautiful smell- woody, herbaceous, delicious. Rosemary has many health benefits. Inhaling it can help to clear your respiratory tract, enhance memory and improve your mood. I use rosemary essential oil for all of the above, but my very favorite use for it is to get rid of the gnarly pee stink in the toilet. Since I don’t use bleach, rosemary is a miracle worker for leaving my toilet smelling sparkly clean. I just drop 3 drops in it after cleaning with distilled vinegar and baking soda- or just use it whenever you’d like to freshen it up. I also use this essential oil in my massage creams. It boosts circulation which helps to promote a healthy lymphatic flow as well as battle the dreaded cellulite. Health and beauty win!!

Tea tree- Some people aren’t fond of the smell of tea tree. I LOVE it. Tea tree is anti bacterial and anti fungal so it is fantastic for treating pimples. When I feel one coming on I dab a drop directly onto the pimple before bed and in the morning it has lessened or completely disappeared, nearly every time. I use tea tree in my homemade cleaners as well. Works like a charm. I’ve cleaned my yoga mat with it, my countertops, even my teeth. When I experience gum pain, I will floss well and apply some tea tree to the affected area. It has completely solved the problem every time.

Lavender- What is there to say that hasn’t been said about this incredible oil? Likely not much. Lavender’s sweet slightly herbaceous scent makes it one of mother nature’s greatest natural perfumes. I add it to my homemade skin products for it’s anti septic and anti inflammatory properties. Lavender essential oil is also an adaptogen, which means that it has a normalizing affect on the body. This can be seen in it’s ability to calm nervousness and help one sleep. I sniff lavender before bed and it definitely seems to help me unwind.

Grapefruit- Other than simply smelling amazing, grapefruit is also uplifting and energizing. The essential oil is high in the powerful antioxidant d-limonene. This antioxidant has anti inflammatory properties and is wonderfully nourishing for your skin. I dilute some of this essential oil in my face cream to give it a yummy smell and liven up my skin. Grapefruit is also an incredible cellulite blaster so add it to your lotion and massage away!

Eucalyptus – This is another oil that I love to use in cleaning. It gives everything a nice pine smell without leaving behind all the nasty chemicals that pine sol would. Due to it’s anti septic and anti fungal properties, I will also drop this oil into my toilet to freshen and disinfect. As I mentioned in a previous post, I use this oil in my shower to create a steam inhalant for those yucky times of the year when I’m congested. It works incredibly well!

In closing, essential oils are the proverbial poo. There are tons more to speak of, of course, but I’ll leave with these for now. 🙂 What oils do you use, dear readers and why do you love them?

XOX

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Natural Congestion Relief

Natural Congestion Relief

You may remember that I was battling the onset of a little bug a few weeks ago. As soon as I felt it coming on, I boosted my immune system with every natural method I could think of. I popped Echinacea. I practically ate my weight in fruits, veggies, garlic, ginger and lemon. I drank so much water that I nearly lived on the toilet and between bathroom breaks, I rested. Thanks to this, I felt a lot better in just 24 hours. My congestion didn’t completely ease up, however. My nose was still slightly clogged despite all of my immunity boosting efforts. I suppose I was too busy running around to let my body fully heal. Damn! I hoped that maybe it would just take care of itself with time. Nope. Stubborn congestion held strong for almost a week. Two nights ago, after a day of blowing my nose so much that I started to resemble that sweet little red nosed reindeer, I realized the mildly annoying congestion had turned on me. I had all the symptoms of a sinus infection complete with sinus headache.

I’d had enough. You may have won this round you pesky little bug but now, you’ve pissed me off. With the help of my endlessly knowledgeable hubby, I pulled out the big guns. After just one night of employing these methods, my sinus infection was completely gone. I can breathe again! Ah the beautiful smell of…well… anything really! It’s incredible how much we take our senses for granted. Not this girl. Not today. I’m going outside and smelling those roses and the dewy morning air, even the trash cans in the backyard. I’m so happy to be able to breathe clearly, I’ll huff those babies!

Wanna know I killed this sucker? No antibiotics, just handy dandy, tried and true home remedies. Here are my top 5 favorite natural ways to relieve nasty congestion:

Exercise. It doesn’t have to be strenuous or prolonged. Honestly depending on how sick you are in the first place, resting may be far better for your body then exercise. However, I was feeling strong so I did about 10 minutes of aerobic exercise and felt my congestion ease up immediately. Do some jumping jacks, run in place, do a few push ups or yoga poses. The idea here is to get the blood pumping. The increase in circulation can clear the blockage and allow for a much-needed deep breath.

Facial massage. Facial massage combines gentle pressure and warmth from the hands to break up the mucous that backs up in the sinus cavities. Your natural drainage mechanism is stimulated to clear the passageways. Here is a helpful video tutorial. You can do this on yourself or for a more relaxing experience ask a loved one to do it for you.

Neti pot rinse with colloidal silver and distilled water. Colloidal silver is in my opinion, a miracle element. It ruptures the cellular wall of bacteria and viruses and kills on contact. Here is a video that I found interesting (because I am a complete and utter nerd) on how silver kills bacteria. It is important to remember that silver is still a metal and high levels of it can be hazardous. Be cautious when using this method. You want to make sure that you are purchasing high quality silver from a reputable source, like this one and that you use the appropriate amount.IMG_4153.JPG

How to do it: 

  • Prepare your neti pot with 1/4 cup of warm distilled or filtered water and add a pinch of salt.
  • With a dropper, apply 15-30 drops of colloidal silver to the pot.
  • Make sure salt is completely dissolved, then administer half the solution through one nostril with your head tilted over a sink.
  • Stay in this position for a few minutes to allow the silver to kill the bacteria, then tilt your head back upright and allow the solution to drip back out your nostril.
  • Repeat this procedure on your other nostril. If congestion is still present after this process, you can repeat it up to 3 times a day until symptoms are gone.

*If you don’t have a neti pot, you can simply use a syringe to administer the silver solution. Fill a bowl with 1/4 cup of warm distilled water and add a pinch of salt. Then add 15-30 drops (or about 1 syringe full) of colloidal silver. Use syringe to suck up the solution and then push solution up nostril following the above instructions.

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Ionizing humidifier filled with silver, running while you sleep. As I’m sure you know, a humidifier increases the humidity of the room which can help you breathe better. Filling a humidifier with silver and breathing in the silver-laden mist while you are congested will increase this benefit. By doing this, I enjoyed dramatic relief of my congestion the very next morning. A bonus to this method, by using colloidal silver in a vaporizer or humidifier, the mist will spread throughout the room on the ambient air and help kill germs and viruses on contact surfaces, thus helping prevent other family members from picking up the infection.

How to do it:

  • Fill humidifier or vaporizer with 1.5 gallons of distilled or filtered water and 3 oz of colloidal silver
  • Run humidifier on low-medium while you sleepIMG_4149.JPG

3-5 drops of eucalyptus essential oil in your hot shower. Eucalyptus oil is a natural decongestant. Mixing this oil with the steam of your hot shower will naturally relieve your blocked nasal passage ways. The hot shower mimics a humidifier if you don’t own one. This was the most enjoyable way I relieved my congestion. I was immediately able to breathe through my nose again and when I closed my eyes, I felt like I was in some tropical rainforest. 😉

How to do it:

  • While you are showering, simply drop a few drops of eucalyptus oil into your steamy shower and breathe in the decongesting vapors.IMG_4150.JPG

These are things that worked for me. I’m not a doctor so please don’t take any of this information as medical advice. Just use common sense, listen to your body and know that Mother Earth is a treasure trove of healing possibilities. If you are very ill and natural methods aren’t helping you, go see your doctor. ❤

Lymphatic Massage Techniques for Health and Beauty

Lymphatic Massage Techniques for Health and Beauty

Lymphatic drainage is an extremely gentle massage technique that garners some incredible health benefits. When I began my practice as a massage therapist, I’d say it was by far the least requested modality. I came to realize that was simply because it was the least understood. The benefits of Lymphatic massage are many. It can boost your immune system, reduce swelling, enhance the look of your skin, reduce under eye bags and increase your energy; after you come out of your relaxing massage haze of course. 😉

The body’s lymphatic system is one of the most important systems in the body. It is responsible for waste removal. It carries a fluid called lymph through lymph nodes which filter and purify it and send it back on it’s merry way towards the heart. This system absorbs microorganisms, toxins and waste products from the interstitial tissue. When lymph is not allowed to flow freely and becomes obstructed, swelling can occur. Unlike our cardiovascular system, the lymphatic system does not have a pump to move the fluid. Physical movement is the best way to get lymph moving, go for a run, do some jumping jacks, etc… Another way to get your lymph moving is with gentle massage. Self massage and gentle guiding of your lymph to corresponding lymph nodes will help the lymphatic system to work more efficiently and will in turn ensure a healthier immune system. Take that cold virus!

In this post, I’ll highlight a few easy to perform techniques that you can do on yourself or your loved ones to promote a healthier lymphatic system. In particular, I will be talking about draining the fluid from the head. This will help to relieve pressure from allergies and sinus congestion. This can also help to slim the jawline and entire face by draining any excess fluid. The most important thing to remember when draining lymph is to apply incredibly gentle pressure to the skin. Your lymph flows just under the surface of your skin so when you apply firm pressure to the skin you are in fact obstructing the flow of lymph instead of encouraging it.

There are some contraindications for lymphatic massage, meaning, if you have any of the below conditions you should not be performing lymphatic massage on yourself or should be speaking to your doctor for clearance first.

Acute inflammation caused by bacteria, viruses, poisons or allergens is contraindicated. You can tell if this is the case because the tissues will be hot, red and painful, with congestion accompanied by fever. Lymphatic drainage massage will push these substances into the lymph channels before the body has a chance to eliminate them through phagocytosis in the interstitial spaces. If you perform lymphatic drainage you can spread the toxic substances throughout the body. Wait a few days until the condition is not acute, and the body has had a chance to clean up the area.

Malignant tumors are a contraindication for lymphatic drainage massage because of the fear of spreading the cancer. Wait until after the malignancy is treated to perform lymphatic drainage massage.

Thrombosis and phlebitis are two conditions that can lead to free floating blood clots. Usually people with these conditions will be in a hospital on blood thinners. If you are working in a hospital setting, do not work on these patients. In your practice, one indication of a possible femoral thrombosis is when the client has pain in one leg and a sudden swelling and bluish discoloration of the skin. People who are bedridden have a greater likelihood of developing thrombosis in the legs.

Major heart problems. If the heart is not fully functioning the edema can be lymphodynamic, due to lack of venous return. Putting more fluid into the heart would only stress it more, worsening the condition.

 

If you are in generally good health, then self lymphatic massage will be beneficial to you. Use good judgement, if you are unsure then err on the side of caution and just don’t do it.

Below is a visual representation of your lymphatic system:

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The lymph nodes located in your neck, called cervical lymph nodes are what we will be focusing on today.

1. Place your middle fingers of both hands just above your clavicle bone. Press down with very light pressure towards the center point of your neck. Repeat this about 50 times.

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2. After the lymph nodes have been sufficiently pumped you will be draining the lymph from your jaw/neck.

3. Place the pads of your fingers on either side of your neck at the top just below your ears at the base of your skull and using extremely light pressure, glide your fingers down your neck towards the nodes you were just pumping.

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4. Repeat this process 50 + times. You should be able to feel the fluid start to move. You may feel a tingly sensation just under your skin or you may feel like you have to clear your throat; you many feel nothing at all, no worries if you don’t.

5. Place the palms of your hands on the back of your neck and using the pads of your fingers,  repeat the gentle gliding of the fingers downwards.

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You can repeat this process as many times as you would like. You should notice a clearing in your head and reduced puffiness in your face right away. Eureka! If you would like to see a visual representation of this technique, I would suggest this video.

If you enjoyed this and are interested in more self massage techniques, please let me know in the comments!

Have a beautiful rest of your weekend darling readers!