Oh, how I wish I knew then what I know now. We're always learning, aren't we. A mom's endless journey for knowledge - much like a teacher's. "Best Practices" are constantly evolving based on the era, the year, and even the day with our available resources and information.
From vaccination controversies to methods for home-making the best organic baby food caused for hostess-with-the-mostess syndrome when baby-mommy playdates ensued. It's laughable how we compared (competed) with each other's strategies for getting through those early years with the healthiest and smartest babies!
But seriously, mothers are each others' best resource. We each do the best with what we have at the time, and love to share what we discover or feel passionate about. And here I am, projecting my current point-of-view on essential oils, my latest "best practice".
Admittedly, I am one of many who slathered my babes with petroleum-based Vapo-Rub during bouts of croupy crud, and ran the synthetic Vapo-Steam through the cool-mist humidifier that left a sticky white dust on everything from the changing table to the crib sheets.
That was only nine years ago when it all began, and (Wait, what? that was ALREADY nine years ago?!)... in those nine years, obviously I've grown older (grayer, wrinklier, tireder), but I like to think I've also grown a little bit wiser.
I had heard of essential oils back then - my sister-in-law used them in massage therapy - and I know they have been around for centuries, but like many I was skeptical of herbal voodoo magic. I was skeptical of synthetic remedies too, so the door was cracked a bit as an invitation for something to enter that made sense for the wellness of my young family.
Please refer back to Mountain Gaia for background and introduction.
After many pleasant interactions with their oils, I discovered the power of Breathe Respiratory Blend, our go-to blend of oils for bouts of the croupy crud, which I'm happy to report, is becoming a rarity 'round these parts. This beautiful blend opens and soothes the tissues of the respiratory system. It's components are known for their abilities to combat airborne bugs.
The single oils contained in this Respiratory Blend:
Breathe's Primary Benefits and Uses:
Our family's protocols:
We have 3-4 drops of it running through the diffuser in our bedrooms for a couple of hours at night when we're either sniffling a little or hacking up a lung.
Topically, we rub a few drops on our chest with Fractionated Coconut Oil and even under our noses and over our sinuses.
Several drops in a warm bath, makes for a relaxing soak.
Additionally, we all pass the bottle around and each take a big whiff on our way out the door to school. My 7-year old likes how it makes her eyes water for a couple of minutes - she "knows it's working"!
It's my intuition that this isn't a moment-in-time remedy for croupy crud, but one I'll be toting for at least nine more years, because it's something I fully trust, along with the rest of doTERRA's naturally safe and powerful essential oils.
Catch your breath and get your Breathe at www.mydoterra.com/mountaingaia
Admittedly, I hesitated to write about being sick.
When you're proudly proclaiming the power of oils all over heck-and-gone, the last thing you want to tell anybody is that you got sick! However, despite their power, essential oils are not magic and no matter how much wood you knock on when telling your tales of health in the face of flu season, your time will come and a virus will knock you to your knees.
But... for how long?
My response to this question is why I am writing.
After biting the bullet from a big Valentine's/President's weekend with the fam, and taking a sick day from my job as a 5th grade teacher, I walked into the school nurse's office to check on my 2nd grader. With no fever, we had hauled her along selfishly to school with a DigestZen after she had hovered over the toilet from 4:30-5:00 that morning. At 9:00 her teacher said she was fine.
The nurse, taking inventory of school sickness statistics, asked of my symptoms that kept me home the day prior, and I gave her the laundry list: fever, body aches, headache, general malaise, dry cough, and congestion. "Classic flu", she quipped, "but symptoms can last at least five days or more". She was clearly surprised I was back to work so soon. I told her we use essential oils, and I got an expected raised eyebrow.
Granted, it's taken until today, Saturday to feel 100%, but I managed the rest of the week of Language Arts and Social Studies lessons with loud kids, and even taught my after-school Zumba class on Thursday without dying. I truly believe I owe my quick recovery, as well as my daughter's bounce back from a grumbly tummy to essential oils. Time and time again, they have offered a natural support for our winter wellness, supporting my body as it heals itself.
Here's my ammunition:
Winter Elixir Recipe
In a 10ml glass rollerball bottle, mix:
18 drops Lemon
14 drops On Guard
14 drops Melaleuca
10 drops Oregano
Enough Fractionated Coconut Oil to fill the remaining space
Gently shake to mix and apply to bottoms of feet at bedtime, and or to lymph nodes on neck, as well as pulse points on wrist. Gentle enough for kids - we all use it several times each week for prevention and treatment more often throughout the winter.
As I was excitedly reserving domain names and choosing web design templates, I turned to one of my most inspirational friends - an open-hearted and spiritually knowledgeable healing artist and entrepreneur. After sharing in my excitement, she quickly replied, "...wait until after February 11th to seal in a contract of any sort...". Well, in my antsy-pants state to launch Mountain Gaia in all of its self-love glory, I respectfully ignored her sage advice, of all times, in the midst of Mercury Retrograde.
So, what IS this Mercury Retrograde? Technically, it's a span of time when the tiny red planet slows its orbit around the sun and appears to stop and move backward (retrograde). An optical illusion, like when you're sitting in your car in the parking lot, and the car next to you starts pulling forward and you panic, thinking your car is actually rolling backward! All planets do this, but Mercury’s journey seems to impact people much more than any other, because Mercury rules communication, clear thinking, truth, and travel. When the planet goes retrograde, all of those things get all tangled up. You might find yourself getting into bizarre arguments about nothing at all, being unable to finish sentences, or barely even able to form a coherent thought. We don’t tend to get all the information we need at this time, so it can be hard to make big decisions and it’s not always the best time to sign a contract, either. Mercury retrograde can more intensely impact Geminis (my husband) and Virgos (me), since both are ruled by Mercury! Hm!
The GOOD news is that Mercury Retrograde provides us with lots of beautiful opportunities if we can allow ourselves to go with the flow, slow down, and even rewind. It's the perfect opportunity to rethink our ideas and actions, and even "fix what might be broken." It provides us with a chance to re-examine various areas of our life which may need a little more work, so that we can move forward to a bright new dawn. Now, more than ever, the time is right to look at things with clear eyes as fresh perspectives are revealed. We often have major intellectual, emotional, and spiritual breakthroughs during this time. Coincidences are common, and don't be surprised if you hear from old friends and acquaintances from your past who you haven't been in touch with for a while.
Hopefully these three weeks of retrograde, despite possible shenanigans, were contemplative and meditative for you. As we turn back onto the fast track forward today, regain your balance and use your replenished energy to be especially good to yourself and the people around you. We'll be revisiting and rewinding again starting May 18th!
The warm, woody aroma of Balance, dōTERRA®’s grounding blend, attends to multiple body systems and creates a sense of calm and wellbeing. A perfect blend of Spruce, Ho Wood, Frankincense, Blue Tansy, and Blue Chamomile with Fractionated Coconut Oil offers an enticing fragrance that promotes tranquility and a sense of balance. Spruce, one of the oils in Balance, was used by Native Americans for medicinal and spiritual reasons and is still used today to bring harmony to the mind and body. Ho Wood, Blue Tansy, and Blue Chamomile can soothe sore muscles and joints, promote circulation, and relax the body, while Frankincense supports cellular health and overall well-being.
Diffuse three to four drops into the air or apply one to two drops to bottoms of the feet, wrists, neck, or over the heart. Dilute with dōTERRA Fractionated Coconut Oil to minimize any skin sensitivity, especially on children.
Visit www.mydoterra.com/mountaingaia today to find your Balance!
This is amazing!
Into my 40's I still have a 20's mindset - thinking there's no way I shouldn't be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. The reality is, my body doesn't recover like it used to, nor does it maintain muscle gain as it once did without a more concerted and consistent effort. The added effects of birthing two kids back-to-back in less than 18 months nearly eight years ago, wreaked havoc on my abdominal wall and dependable core strength.
Running was always my go-to fix, as well as my peaceful place when my husband took over baby duty after work. But three years ago, when training for the Bolder Boulder 10k throughout late winter and early spring, I suffered some majorly debilitating overuse injuries caused by structural mis-alignment and core instability. I ran the race in surprising fair time despite searing and gimp-inducing knee pain starting at mile three.
I took the rest of the summer off, unable to muster even a jog, and in the fall, at the encouragement of a dear friend, tried ZUMBA and more mindful ways to strengthen.
And with that lengthy prologue, the point is, I maintain a moderate level of fitness to do the things I love, like hike up and ski down mountains, bike, and juke the soccer ball on the field with our kids. However, up until this most recent experience, frequent little injuries just seemed to linger despite my usual ibuprofen dosing and icing.
Super Bowl Sunday, I joined the last-minute masses in the aisles of the local grocery. Amazingly, I remembered to stuff under my arm a few reusable bags to avoid the $.20 fee. I do love the fact that sturdy reusable bags can hold nearly twice as much as plastic grocery bags, but when I got home, like a BOSS, I still grabbed a fistful of handles, and proceeded to back-arm the heavy-duty truck door closed. Crap. The initial twinge in my posterior deltoid caught my attention, and by half-time, I had no use of my left arm. I had fearful flashbacks of two years ago, when I tore the cartilage in my right shoulder and was semi-functionally unilateral for months.
Sunday night, the synthetic anti-inflammatory dosing ensued as normal, but after experiencing the power of essential oils in so many other ways over this past year, I broke out doTerra's Deep Blue blend, and added a light massage of 3-4 drops of this earth-harvested mix of oils over my shoulder blade. I gingerly rolled into bed onto my good side, and set the vibes to positive.
I did manage to "single-handedly" (pun intended) teach ZUMBA to my group of regulars on Tuesday, glad that they already knew the routines when moves called for both arms. And by miracle or better yet, the magic of Wintergreen, Camphor, Peppermint, Blue Tansy, German Chamomile, Helichrysum, and Osmanthus, I was 80% functional by Thursday's Zumba class, and 100% bilateral today - just over a week later! My gals couldn't believe it.
With support from essential oils, I feel like I'm 20 again... but hotter and smarter! Ha! No leaping tall buildings needed... I'll just go hike up an 11,000 ft. hill.
Deep Blue is a remarkable blend containing oils that are revered for their ability to reduce swelling, diminish discomfort, and alleviate soreness. For larger areas, use with Fractionated Coconut Oil. Other options of application include the Deep Blue Rub and Deep Blue Roll-On. For my shoulder, I applied 3-4 drops directly with light massage twice a day for 3-4 days. In your case, apply as needed to soothe discomfort and support a healthy tissue response.
Find your relief. Order at www.mydoterra.com/mountaingaia.
On Guard is our family's first line of defense when we feel those subtle, but telling signs of a bug coming on.
This combination of Wild Orange, Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary, is one of the most versatile and potent essential oil blends, supporting the immune system, protecting against environmental threats, purifying the skin, as well as cleansing surfaces. It is a killer cleaner and has the ability to eliminate pathogens.
The On Guard Protective Blend has been integrated into a variety of dōTERRA products to provide diverse ways to use its powerful benefits. From a household cleanser, laundry detergent, hand soap, and toothpaste, to ingestible gel capsules and lozenges, On Guard has the handle on keeping you healthy.
How we have used On Guard:
Internally - I tend to throw caution to the wind and go with the convenience of 1-2 drops of the oil licked off the back of my hand or added to a glass of water. However, this blend is strong and not recommended to be used internally without moderate to heavy dilution. I favor and give to my kids the easy-to-swallow gel capsule form, which also contains Black Pepper, Oregano, and Melissa for an extra immune kick.
Frequency - When we're feeling good, but know the threats at school are high, we ingest 1-2 doses per day. When we're feeling crummy, it's 2-3 times per day.
Topically - The feet are the second fastest area of the body to absorb oils because of the large pores. We do a lot of bedtime foot rubs with our oils to include 1-3 drops of On Guard paired with a teaspoon of Fractionated Coconut Oil for broader distribution and dilution, which is important for infants and small children. I tend to massage a couple of drops onto my throat and lymph nodes too.
Frequency - Again, when threats are high: 1-2 doses per day; and when the bug is creeping: 2-3 times.
Aromatically - We love our diffusers! Diffusion is the simplest way of of putting a fine mist of the whole oil into the air for inhalation. Diffused oils have been found to reduce the amount of airborne chemicals to create greater physical and emotional balance. Four to six drops of On Guard flows in our home AND in my classroom on many days of the winter, interchanged with Lemon, Peppermint, and Melaleuca.
Frequency - It is recommended that the diffuser runs for only 15 minutes out of every hour so the olfactory system has time to recover between doses for greatest benefit. Because most EO diffusers having settings of two and four hours, we do let ours run for each of those durations.
Direct Inhalation - During these high-virus months, you'll find my husband and I grabbing the bottle of On Guard, unscrewing the cap, and sniffing deeply several times each day.
Beef up your defenses and get through the winter season with On Guard!
Available at www.mydoterra.com/mountaingaia
Fractionated Coconut Oil and diffusers also available for purchase through dōTERRA