Airlines and Essential Oils

For those of us who may only travel once or twice a year by way of the airlines, it may be difficult or a bit of a pain to relearn the carry-on/checked baggage rules of the the TSA. This only gets more complicated when you love your essential oils and can’t decide which to bring, how many, or how to pack them.

Here’s the rule of thumb: Liquids (as well as gels and aerosols) are generally permitted in carry-on bags in amounts of 3.4 oz or less per container, stored in a 1qt ziplock bag, with one of these bags per passenger. This bag should be easily accessible in the carry on, as TSA officers will require that it be placed in a bin during the security screening. Any other liquids in quantities of more than 3.4 oz should be placed securely in the checked baggage. Here’s a great graphic by the TSA that makes the decision a little more simple.

Also, here’s a great TSA link to check out. It has an A to Z list of all of the possible items one might bring onto a airplane and the guidelines for packing them… or for that matter, not bringing them at all because they are not permitted.

So, now that I’m sure I can bring my oils, the big question is: Christine, do you really need every oil you own? Well, if you mean NEED, then no. But truth be told, I really WANT to bring all of them. Here is what I decided to pack:

Lavender (no doubt): this is such a versatile oil that it has to be packed. Good for burns (including sunburn), inflammation, relaxation, sleep.

Peppermint: Peppermint is a cooling oil and can be added to FCO and applied to skin to induce cooling, food for fevers, headache, motion sickness, tummy upset (add a drop to herbal tea)

Melaleuca: melaleuca is a powerful antiseptic… good for cleaning scrapes and scratches. It can also be used in disinfectant sprays. Its excellent acne, add to your shampoo to improve the condition of your scalp. It also has anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.

OnGuard: This is a wonderful protective blend that can boost your immunity. This is something I have always felt like I needed before and during travel.

Roll ons: Because I don’t use chemical perfumes, I’d be lost without my rollerballs. My favorites are Motvation, Cheer, Neroli, and Jasmine.

Traveling is a lot of fun and you can bring your oils with you. Be safe.

Christine

Please note that I’m a teacher not a doctor and as such, this information is not intended to replace sound medical advice.  Please see a physician should you have medical concerns.

Would you like more information about how essential oils can help make your travels more comfortable?

Small Steps Toward Psoriasis Relief

Having recently been told that I have a form a Psoriasis to go along with other things I have, I recently began exploring how I might use natural healing to correct or cope or lessen the outbreaks. I tend to be someone who hangs out in the psychological and neurological areas of health malfunction, so it’s taken some research to learn about this new area. As I am not a doctor and this is natural wellness blog based on my personal experience I will discuss this from my point of view and encourage you, too, to research. I’ll post my sources at the bottom as a place you might want to start.

What is Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a common chronic skin condition that speeds up the life cycle of skin cells. Psoriasis causes cells to build up quickly on the skin’s, forming scales and red patches. It’s itchy, red and sometimes painful.

There are several types of Psoriasis and mine has been called an autoimmune disease, but the specialist you see is based on the type you have. For example mine largely manifests itself through the skin, so I am seeing a dermatologist.

What Causes Psoriasis

My doctor simply stated that my body is attacking my skin. My research tells me that she isn’t far from accurate. While the cause isn’t fully understood it’s related to an immune system problem. According to the Mayo Clinic, “T cells normally travel through the body to defend against foreign substances, such as viruses or bacteria, but if you have psoriasis, the T cells attack healthy skin cells by mistake, as if to heal a wound or to fight an infection.”

Overactive T cells also trigger increased production of healthy skin cells, more T cells and other white blood cells, especially neutrophils. These travel into the skin causing redness and sometimes pus in pustular lesions. Dilated blood vessels in psoriasis-affected areas create warmth and redness in the skin lesions.”

Why? What Triggers This?

Well, there’s a boatload of possible triggers, mainly because doctors aren’t completely sure of the triggers. One thing they can say is that genetics plays a role. Although, the community does feel that there are triggers that that start a flare up or make one worse:

  • Stress: This is huge for me, as the outbreak occurred after the death of my husband in January 2017
  • Obesity
  • Infections
  • Injury to the skin
  • Smoking and Heavy Alcohol Consumption
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Certain Medications

Treatment
While my doctor was able to answer my question about what was going on with me and prescribe topical cream medication and an antihistamine-type drug, I’m not ready to go with these medications just yet.

I decided to try some wellness strategies and essential oils. I started by seeing what I could do to effectively moisturize and (hopefully) not need the topical cream medication. Plus I had also read that it’s important to keep my skin super moisturized and be sure to bathe daily to remove the excess skin cells. Thinking along this line I pulled out my books and recipes and created a moisturizing lotion for the most affected areas. Keep in mind the following: I like to take small steps, I am not suffering from a form of psoriasis that covers large portions of my body, and as far as I know, I do not have any complications as a result.

Here’s my Small Steps Natural Healing Lotion:

Ingredients

2 tablespoons Emulsifying wax (You can add more if you want it thicker next time)
1/2 teaspoon Stearic Acid (this is a stabilizer derived from plant oils)
1/3 cup sweet almond oil
1/2 cup distilled Water
10 drops lemon essential oil (preservative)
2 tablespoons Vegetable Glycerin
15 to 25 drops Essential Oils (I used 10 drops Lavender, 8 drops Geranium, 3 Rosemary, 3 Helichrysum) All of these oils are healing, anti-inflammatory and soothing, as well as super good and nourishing for the skin.

Directions

Stir together the oil, emulsifying wax, stearic acid and glycerin in the top part of a double boiler. Warm this slowly over a low heat until the wax is melted. This may take some time. That’s ok. Take the time.

While you’re waiting, warm the water just until lukewarm.

After the contents of the double boiler have melted, slowly pour the water into the oil, stirring briskly with a whisk until the mixture is a uniform color. As you can see, mine was both the color and consistency of milk.

Stir in your choices of essential oils. Pour into a 4oz glass pumpable bottle (note here: you should replace the straw of the pump if you can not clean it between batches to avoid bacterial build up.) Allow it to cool before putting the lid on.

And here’s a trick I learned: The oil and water components of the lotion will separate as it cools. Shake the bottle every 10 to 20 minutes to re-mix them. Once the lotion has cooled completely, they’ll stay mixed.

Store in a cool, dark place.

**As a side note: I now use this lotion on my tattoos straight from day one. I have to say, it’s highly moisturizing and the essential oils I selected are also wonderfully soothing and healing for tattoo aftercare.

Next Steps

Aside from this first small step, I also want to evaluate my diet and slowly transition to anti-inflammatory foods. Also, I plan to be more mindful about the emotional wellness that essential oils can offer me, with goal of relieving stress and becoming more grounded.

If you’ve tried my lotion or want to share your story, please definitely comment.

If you’re interested in exploring essential oils to support your wellness, fill out this form and I’ll personally get in touch with you.

Sources:

https://www.easy-aromatherapy-recipes.com

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/psoriasis/symptoms-causes/syc-20355840

https://draxe.com/psoriasis-diet-5-natural-cures/

https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis

Practicing Acceptance

I’d like to tell you a story about my dad. You see, he passed away 13 years ago this month. In my eyes he was a great man. A skyscraper in a village of cottages. I always said he walked on water. But I’m reminded of him this month not because it happens to be an anniversary of his death, but rather because I went to Dunkin Donuts this weekend and ordered an iced tea. You always get a straw with iced teas. Oddly enough, it was the straw that reminded me of him .

My dad was diagnosed with bladder cancer that I was sure with all of my heart and soul we were going to beat. Of course, he was the type of man that never wanted to burden anyone with his issues (and this IS a difficult thing to digest), so he never did say the C word, but we all knew that’s what it was. The normal protocol ensued and he went through rounds of chemotherapy and then surgery and then more chemotherapy. Shortly into his chemo regiment, he began to study the effects it was having on his body. The one description that still sticks with me is the way his mouth felt. His throat hurt and there were sores in his mouth and he always had a metallic taste in his mouth.

As a result, he began to develop an affinity for two things: spearmint Life Savers and the straws from Dunkin Donuts. Well, the Spearmint Life Savers helped to alleviate the metallic taste in his mouth and overshadowed anything that he tried to eat

straws-tube-plastic-colorful-65612.jpeg

he always said that it tasted like he was eating coins and nails. Consequently, today I somewhat get that between the throwing up in the taste in one’s mouth why somebody undergoing chemotherapy would never want to eat. My dad developed a strategy for getting something into his body and that something happened to be milk shakes and the strategy was using straws. Not everybody had the right straws, though. Two magic

al places did: Dunkin Donuts and Burger King. Next time you go to one of those two places, notice that the straws are rounder than most; not thicker, but rounder. The diamet

er across the straw allows for more of the yummy goodness to get into your mouth and down your throat. of course, as I said, my dad’s choice of what went into his mouth and down his throat was always a milk shake, preferably chocolate. They were cold, ice cream was his favorite, and they soothed his throat and mouth.

Yes, it was sweet moments like this that assuaged the anger that I felt toward cancer, toward my life circumstances at the time and toward God. At the time, I couldn’t figure out why this great Man had eventually become riddled with cancer and passed away.

I wish I could say that I handled this with grace and poise. But I can definitely tell you that I handled it with love until the moment of his death. It was after his death that I fell into a depression fueled by my anger, my, and my feelings of betrayal. None of my questions were being answered: Who is going to teach my children the same things that I had learned from my dad? Who was going to teach them patience? Heck, who was going to teach them how to use power tools and encourage them in anything they did?

pexels-photo-697640.jpeg

So why do I write this on a health and wellness blog? Well (1) I feel like talking about my dad because he was such a great man, and (2) I came to realize that by accepting life as it was, I gained a sense of peace. I learned that just by living I would be teaching my children my dad’s patience because he taught me. I would be teaching my children all of the things that my dad taught me: life lessons, phrases, family stories, fishing. I learned that instead of fighting what life has given me, I could accept it and work with it and learn from it. I learned that acceptance doesn’t mean I don’t care. Instead acceptance means I do care about you and about me; and by accepting the circumstances, I can identify if changes can even be made. By practicing acceptance, I’m not giving up the fight I am only first accepting what is and seeing things more clearly.

I apply this in my daily life with my family and work and in other relationships. It doesn’t happen naturally. It is something that needs to be worked but the longer I do it the easier it gets and the less stress I feel about situations that I cannot control.

Hugs,

Christine

My Favorite Ways to Avoid Burnout

Teachers, nurses, and, well frankly anyone in a helping field of work, including parenting tend to take care of others first and ourselves rarely. We often drain ourselves and spend the weekends trying to catch up, be with our family, and be with ourselves. All of this while the demands of work are increased through legislation, cutbacks, etc.

We love what we do. We are good at it. It’s why we made the choice to do it. Most of the time we immerse ourselves in it because it fills our hearts while it drains the rest of us. AND we want to continue to have the impact we have on people.

I once heard a reading of a children’s book about bucket fillers. When we have an emotionally, physically, and spiritually full bucket we are able to give to others. If we don’t refill that bucket in some way, it becomes empty, and we begin to wear on ourselves while giving to others. This results in stress, grouchiness, burn out, lower immunity, illness, and worse if allowed to xontinue.

Thank goodness there are nourishing ways to refill our buckets that don’t require a lot of money and time. Here fu are some of my favorites:

  • Enjoy a hobby – find something you can absolutely get lost in, where you don’t notice time passing. Give

yourself permission to do it. For me it’s macro photography. Admittedly, it’s a three season hobby, but when it’s me, the camera and the flower I think of nothing else.

  • Create a safe haven – it doesn’t matter where, but it must be a no work, no stress zone. Maybe you diffuse oils or burn incense. Spoilyourself with beauty and peace and nice lighting and scents and things that make your soul feel alive.
  • Bathe – no, don’t clean. Indulge in a luxurious silky bath with lighting and maybe a book. No time for bath? Make some lavender salts and enjoy a warm foot soak and a glass of your favorite wine.
  • Walk – take a short walk and absorb the sunlight. This is not a power walk, my sweet soul, this is a walk that feeds you. Open your arms and turn your face to the sun. This is a good on for a lunchtime.
  • Speaking of lunch, start taking it – you need the break and the nourishment. Leave your work space and eat.
  • Gather with friends – laugh, talk, blow off steam. These people get you…you offer each other mutual support and acceptance.

With these small steps you can take care of yourself and fill your own bucket. Do you have a favorite bucket filling idea? Please comment and let us know.

Hugs and love,

Christine