Layers of healing

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the link between our emotional landscape and physical manifestations of pain or dis-ease. I’ve been contemplating this for years, have a few books on the topic and am fascinated by the mind-body, stress-disease connection (and the field of psychoneuroimmunology that studies this). But this week my ponderings have come from a more experiential place, prompted by the fact that I threw my back out a week ago (very random and unexpected; I have no history of back trouble), and as I lay on the floor after crumbling down, unable to move, feeling safe in the hands of my boyfriend’s sister (whose house we were at), I was already wondering: wow, my body is really trying to get my attention.

It has struck me how this spasm, this giving out of my back - the structure that keeps me standing - and the tightness, stiffness - and pain that ensued… was a clear reflection of aspects of my emotional life, matters of the heart, things I’m working through and healing (with the care and help of a therapist, I might add).

The usual disclaimer: this isn’t personal advice. Seek medical advice where appropriate. However, I know that part of my purpose - in this life and in this business - is to remind us all to consider the emotional aspect of our physical ailments. Thinking about health holistically means considering the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of our life, and the interrelatedness of all three. Yes, I’m going to an osteopath to get my back checked out for structural issues. AND, I will continue to inquire within (with support), even though it’s uncomfortable. Yes, it’s uncomfortable; it’s easier to avoid the truths we’ve been avoiding for a long time. It’s uncomfortable to look under the mask.

But I want a life that is rich in meaning, depth, purpose, connection, creativity and inner wisdom… and I know that that kind of vibrant spiritual life requires me to do the inner work. Is it going to be easy breezy from here on out? No. Is it going to be worth it? I reckon so. I’ll have to get back to you. ;)

How does this tie in with doTERRA? Seamlessly. Essential oils assist us with all of this. With the physical and emotional planes of healing. With the more subtle and energetic planes of healing. They work on a biochemical, structural, physical level (Deep Blue blend has been a lifesaver for my back, amongst others)… and they work on an invisible, experience-based, unquantifiable level that is to be FELT, rather than explained.

If you’re yet to bring these oils into your life (and doTERRA oils are the only independently tested brand to have the therapeutic activity and purity that they have), let’s speak and get you started. Email me, or head straight here if you’re ready to order.

Resources for using your oils - my faves

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I'm writing this specifically for you if you've recently ordered your first oils (probably a Home Essentials kit), or if you feel like you need some fresh sources of information and education. It’s literally my job now to provide product support and make sure you make the most of them. The last thing ANY wellness advocate wants is for your oils to sit on the shelf and not get used - consistency of use is everything with these oils. 

So, that said, here are some great resources to start with.

BOOKS
Modern Essentials is the main reference we use in doTERRAland for finding what oils to use for particular ailments. It's a perfect starting point for learning more about oils and how they're used, and there's some lovely science information in there too! You can find it here in the UK. (You can also get it as an app for about a fiver, by the same name. SUPER handy)
- Please get yourself a copy of Emotions & Essential Oils - this will guide you through exploring the subtle and energetic aspects of the oils. A non-negotiable for tending to the soul.
- Valerie Ann Worwood (one of the world’s leading aromatherapists) has some amazing books. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy is great, as is The Fragrant Pharmacy. All on Amazon.

 

EBOOKS
- doTERRA have some amazing ebooks! They’re all here. Maybe start with the first one for beginners - all the basics are in there. I also like the cooking one, the sleep one - they’re all very informative and helpful resources really.

 

DR. ROBIN FAWCETT
My *FAVOURITE* person to follow and learn from is a fellow doTERRA wellness advocate who is a GP. She’s American, lives in London. The Essential GP - Dr Robin Fawcett is her Facebook page, and on the ‘Videos’ tab there is a wealth of recordings of her wisdom and knowledge. I have a massive intellectual crush on her...
- Some nice videos to get started are: Introduction to Essential Oils - online class (about an hour long but she goes through the 10 oils in the Home Essentials kit - worth watching)
- Women particularly might appreciate her tips for a healthy menstrual cycle
- And one of my favourites is this one on her views about what’s needed in transforming healthcare and why she finds sharing doTERRA a more rewarding job than her work as a GP in the NHS. I've linked to this in previous posts - I just can't overstate how significant this is.

 

DR. AXE
His site can be a little annoying with all his marketing and whatnot but it's ultimately a good resource for all things natural health, with endless posts about essential oils and their healing properties, like this one all about Frankincense (Frank is king!) He usually properly references his articles with research so I appreciate that.

 

ACCESSORIES + CARRIER OILS
At some point you’ll probably want to get some glass roller balls, spray bottles, etc for making DIY creations… (blends, face oils, cleaning spray, room mist; endless natural low-tox stuff to be made!) Amazon is my friend for this.
Certainly you do want some carrier oil for using the oils topically on your skin. I use doTERRA's Fractionated Coconut Oil (unscented, super light, absorbs easily), and also jojoba oil (nice for the face) which you can get at health food stores (or pharmacies in Switzerland). Sweet almond oil is also nice for body, and rosehip is super luxe for a facial oil.

 

Lavender + sea salt dark chocolate

Not only is this particular flavour unexpected and incredibly tasty, but you can adjust it and use lots of other different oils to your taste - peppermint, orange, lime, ginger, cardamom... omg, can you imagine? And I can imagine this would be SUCH a fun activity to do with kids. It's SO. SIMPLE. And incredibly rewarding to consume, knowing you (sort of) made it yourself!

(Only do this with doTERRA essential oils that are approved for internal use as a food flavouring.)

⚡️ You just melt a bar of good-quality dark chocolate (100g), in a bowl over boiling water.
⚡️ Remove from the heat and stir in 1-2 drops of lavender oil (I do 2). I dropped the oil onto a spoon first and then mixed it in (to avoid too much going in by mistake).
⚡️ Then dollop little rounds of it onto parchment paper and leave to cool in the fridge! Or just tip it all out onto parchment paper for it to cool down as one solid block.
⚡️ BONUS EXTRA: before putting it in the fridge, sprinkle over a little sea salt for extra fancy vibesssss. You could also stir in chopped nuts, seeds, dried fruit - endless combinations. Have fun with it. Wouldn't that make a nice gift, too? Wrapped up in nice paper and wrapped with string?

Essential oils + basic usage

I wanted to write a post outlining the three main ways we can use essential oils: aromatic, topical and internal. Something I always emphasise is how versatile and practical the oils are beyond just "smelling good", because otherwise they just end up collecting dust and not used to their fullest potential, which is to support your body's internal function in all sorts of ways, your mood, your focus, your motivation, your performance, your stress levels...

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AromaticLet's start with the obvious. Using the oils aromatically means inhaling them! The constituents in essential oils are volatile aromatic compounds, which means that they quickly change from a liquid to a gas state - i.e. they evaporate quickly. That's why you can smell an oil as soon as you lift off the cap - those compounds are flying straight out and up into your nose. Using oils this way, while deceptively basic, actually interacts in a powerful way with the brain through the olfactory system. And you probably know this intuitively anyway, that smells can have a powerful emotional effect: like when you recognise a scent from your childhood, or a past relationship, or how you feel when you smell your favourite flower/freshly cut grass/onions cooking/summer rain/(insert your favourite smell here). Without going into too much detail, aromatic molecules attach to nerve cells in your nose, which causes impulses to be sent to the olfactory bulb (in the brain), which in turn sends impulses to several different other brain structures in the limbic system. It's way beyond the scope of this post to discuss brain anatomy in more detail but suffice it to say that the limbic system is involved with motivation, memory, behaviour, emotion and our stress response. It's for this reason - the connection between our sense of smell and our limbic system - that essential oils can have powerful psychological effects.
With that pre-amble out of the way, how does one use essential oils aromatically? Simple. Inhale from the bottle. Put a drop in your palm, rub hands together, cup over your nose and take some deep breaths. Put 2-3 drops on a tissue and inhale from that. Use a diffuser to get the oil dispersing in your indoor environment! (This has an added bonus of cleaning up your air quality with the antibacterial properties of the oils.) 

Topical. This refers to applying oils onto the body, usually the skin. Some oils are really beneficial for facial skin health (such as frankincense, lavender, melaleuca (tea tree) and geranium). But other oils are lovely to use all over the body too, diluted with a carrier oil (such as fractionated coconut oil, jojoba, almond, etc), as a massage/body oil. The constituents in the oil are tiny in molecular size and absorb easily through our skin and into our bloodstream (!) where they have functional effects on our body, e.g. reducing inflammation, increasing blood flow, fighting bacteria, combating free radical oxidation, and relieving pain.
Ideas? Add a drop of frank/lavender/geranium to your facial moisturiser. Add a drop of melaleuca to your cleanser. Rub 2-3 drops of oil onto the soles of your feet (lavender or cedarwood before bed, Balance or Motivate blend in the morning, or On Guard blend daily for immune upkeep). Pop a drop of peppermint behind your neck for a cooling + refreshing kick and for mental focus (SO GOOD!) Use your intuition to guide you in making a divine and comforting body oil blend, diluted in a tablespoon or two of carrier oil.

Internal. Many oils are regarded by the US Food & Drug Administration as safe for internal consumption. doTERRA's mega-stringent quality testing ensures there's no impurities or adulteration, and for that reason they're the only brand I would even consider taking internally. Do your own research and do what you feel comfortable with. I like adding a drop of citrus oil (lemon, wild orange, lime or grapefruit) to my glass of water; I like flavouring my food with a drop or two of lemon, for example, in my stir fried greens, or a drop of each ginger and lemongrass in my thai-style coconut milk curries; I sometimes place a drop of frankincense or copaiba under my tongue, because of its nervous-system-supporting properties.

doTERRA have an amazing range of e-books which expand on these different models of use, as well as others with ideas and inspiration!

Ultimately, use your oils in the way that YOU feel called to. Experiment, play, and use your intuition to guide you. 

Why am I doing this essential oils thing?

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In the last three years that I've been formally studying natural medicine and nutritional therapy, I've discovered essential oils and their significant therapeutic effects on the body + mind. 

Through buying my first doTERRA oils, I became part of a whole tribe of people using essential oils to support their health, reduce toxicity in the home, and to contribute to their emotional and spiritual wellbeing. I fell in love with the whole thing. The oils. The community. The company itself. The conversation around personal empowerment with regards to health. Profound experiences people were having with the oils. Then, there were people creating their own doTERRA businesses by sharing the oils. Sharing their light, sharing their love (and in doing so, creating lives of financial abundance and freedom). I was curious. I wandered in. And now here I am, sharing the oils myself.

I am really passionate about integrative approaches to healthcare. I'm not a doctor, obviously. I don't pretend to know all the challenges, pressures and stress that medical professionals face. The health crisis is for real. What plagues most people are chronic and degenerative health conditions for which there is little conventional medicine can do, except prescribe pharmaceuticals, which invariably have side effects, and don't address the root cause of chronic illness. Most of these conditions are in large part rooted in lifestyle factors - diet, toxic load, hydration, exercise, sleep and stress (the biggie). The medical profession just isn't geared towards educating patients on these things.

One of my favourite people to follow at the moment is a fellow doTERRA advocate - Dr Robin Fawcett (also goes by "The Essential GP" on Facebook). Watch any of her videos and you'll be a follower for life. A few months ago she discussed in this video how she finds her work in sharing essential oils and healthy lifestyles more rewarding and fulfilling than her work as a GP, where she feels primarily like a disease manager, rather than an advocate for health. In sharing healthy lifestyle tools, by teaching classes in her community and growing a team of people doing the same, she feels she has more of an impact and carries out more healing than what she can achieve in a doctor's surgery (I HIGHLY recommend you watch her videos if you're interested in what I'm writing here!)

Essential oils are a gateway for that. Essential oils are healing in and of themselves - reducing pain and inflammation, easing stress responses, promoting sleep, supporting immunity and digestion, etc - but they're also an invitation into a lifestyle of empowerment, where people can feel inspired to become their own healer, to do their own research, to make lifestyle adjustments and take their health into their own hands. This - THIS - is what me and fellow "wellness advocates" are doing with doTERRA. Creating ripples of change, disrupting healthcare from the ground up. There's so much more, too, that doTERRA are doing to shake up healthcare in the US. But I'll save that for another time!