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Integrating Essential Oils to Enhance Your Massage Experience

Hey all! Welcome to Massage Monday! I don’t know where you all are tuning in from, but here in Cheyenne it’s a cold, snowy day so it’s great to be here in this warm and relaxing massage room for the day :-)

Last week, we talked about stress and the severe toll it takes on every system of our body when not managed properly, as well as how massage can help counteract those effects.

Today we’re going to talk about incorporating essential oils into your massage for added stress relief, among so many other benefits.

So we’re going to do a little bit of education about the essential oils as a whole, and then dive into what I feel are the top 10 essential oils to add to any massage. Not necessarily all at once, but how adding a few drops of oil can enhance your massage experience.

Like massage, Essential oils have been used for thousands of years for their health benefits. They are not a fad. No, they cannot cure all ailments. And no, essential oils are not the answer to every single problem besetting modern medicine. But they are definitely a health force to be reckoned with. There’s a reason humanity has used them for thousands of years. And here are some solid reasons why essential oils are the real deal.

Before I get started on that, I do want to express that the oils I’m talking about here are 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils. These are not the oils you purchase in your local health food store. Like the protein powder or other supplements you buy, essential oils are not regulated by the FDA. The closest we get to a regulation is an FDA requirement that in order to label a bottle of essential oil as “pure”, the contents of that bottle must contain only 5% essential oil – leaving the remaining 95% as fillers such as coconut oil, alcohol, or propylene glycol. These oils will not give you the therapeutic benefits I will be describing. It would be like filling a glass 5% full of orange juice and 95% with water and expecting to get all of the benefits from a full glass of orange juice. You just won’t.

So before using essential oils or asking a massage therapist to use oils on you, make sure it’s an oil from a company you trust. Since there is no regulation, that puts a lot on to you, the consumer, to ensure you do your research and determine what company you trust. I have done my research, and the company I have chosen is Young Living essential oils. Not only are they the oldest essential oil company in the US, they own their own farms that you can visit and watch the distillation process, they do strict testing on all of their oils from the seed all the way through until the bottle is sealed – this is called their Seed to Seal promise. They would (and Have) thrown out full batches of essential oil that doesn’t meet their rigorous standards. They would rather go out of stock on a product than sell it to their members just to make a profit. That shows integrity.

OK, with that disclaimer out there, let’s go into the reasons that essential oils are the real deal.

1.      They are literally just the essence of plants. Essential oils are a volatile liquid distilled from botanicals such as flowers, shrubs, trees, roots, bushes & seeds. They contain the smell and characteristics of that plant, just in an uber-concentrated form. Each essential oil can contain hundreds of different naturally occurring chemical compounds so they provide support for every system of the body.

2.      They are amazingly versatile. I’m not exaggerating when I say that there is an oil for almost any ailment. Because of all the chemical compounds I just mentioned, each little bottle of essential oil can contain a wide array of health benefits.  Let’s take Lavender essential oil, for example. This oil can be used as a mood enhancer and counteract feelings of depression; it can reduce inflammation in the body; it can relieve pain, promote sleep, used as a topical disinfectant, promote healing in and on the body, improve circulation, and support a healthy respiratory system.

3.      Alternate to toxic cleaning. Not only are essential oils great to use in and on the body, you can literally start swapping out every single cleaning product in your home to live a purer lifestyle

4.      Don’t have nasty side effects. Everything in moderation, of course. There can be skin sensitivity to some oils, particularly the “hot” oils like Oregano, so using a carrier oil like coconut or grapeseed oil is key. But that can also happen with man-made products as well.     

If we take a look at pharmaceutical Anti-depressant medication, WebMD informs me that some of the common side effects are nausea, increased appetite & weight gain, loss of sex drive & erectile dysfunction, fatigue, insomnia, dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, agitation, irritability, & anxiety. Those last side-effects really get my goat. Someone takes a pill to help with their depression only to end up anxious and irritable. Interesting.

As mentioned, Lavender essential oil can help counteract the feelings of depression and its side effects include constipation, headaches, increased appetite, and skin irritation – and you would have to use a lot of lavender to experience those side effects.

5.      They have been used for thousands of years. I know I already said that, but there is something to be said about countless civilizations using essential oils as remedies.

These reasons are why I have essential oils in my life and their benefits are why I like to incorporate them into a massage. I will only incorporate oils when you, the client, would like me to. Just like you have the ability to say no to a physician who wants to prescribe you a medication, you have the ability to say no to adding essential oil to your treatment.

OK – here are the top 10 essential oils (5 singles and 5 blends) I would recommend incorporating into your session. Caveat – there are so many more oils than this – Young Living offers 84 singles and 81 blends so narrowing it down to 5 of each is very difficult for me! But here goes:

Top 5 singles:

1.      Lavender – in addition to the benefits I already spoke about, lavender is calming, relaxing and balancing. It promotes tissue regeneration, improves concentration, mental acuity and cognitive performance. It also helps with hair loss, menstrual problems and PMS. It’s a staple the world of spas, massage clinics, and households for its many uses.

2.      Peppermint – Peppermint is invigorating and stimulating, supports healthy digestion, supports healthy respiratory function, reduces back and headache pain, reduces inflammation and is great for arthritis, curbs the appetite

3.      Copaiba – Very powerful at reducing inflammation in the body so is great for arthritis and rheumatism, it supports healthy brain function, reduces anxiety, supports healthy skin, soothes a sore throat and helps make mucus less thick & sticky so it’s easier to cough up.

4.      Frankincense – Stimulates the immune system, supports healthy respiratory function, reduces inflammation, reduces feelings of depression, muscle relaxing, uplifts the spirits, increases spiritual awareness. Studies have shown Frankincense’s ability to thwart the growth of tumors and kill cancer cells in the bladder. This is an amazing oil

5.      Helichrysum – helps prevent blood clots and is great to use on varicose veins, increases circulation, stimulates and supports liver function, regenerates and supports healthy nerve function. This oil is great to add to the Neural Manipulation work that I do.

Top 5 Blends:

1.      Peace & Calming – Promotes relaxation and deep sense of peace and emotional well-being, dampens tension and uplifts spirits. Reduces depression, anxiety, stress and insomnia

2.      Valor – Balances energies, instills courage, confidence & self esteem. It helps the body self-correct its balance and alignment.

3.      Stress Away – Brings feelings of peace and tranquility to both children and adults, helps to relieve daily stress and nervous tension. Improves mental response, restores equilibrium, promotes relaxation and lowers hypertension.

4.      PanAway -  Reduces pain and inflammation, increases circulation, and accelerates healing. Relieves swelling and discomfort from arthritis, sprains, muscle spasms, cramps, bumps, and bruises.

5.      Deep Relief – Relieves muscle soreness and tension, soothes sore joints and ligaments, helps calm stressed nerves, and reduces inflammation.

There you have it! Whew! As I mentioned, there are so many more oils that I have available for use in my practice, including all of the oils used in the amazing Raindrop Technique that I have just begun offering. If you have an ailment, I have a massage and an oil that can help :-)

 

Why did I choose Young Living over other essential oil companies?

The last several years has seen a tremendous amount of change in essential oil use. A general trend to move away from synthetic chemicals back to more natural cleaning and health products have brought essential oils to the forefront and made them more readily available. With the many different essential oils to choose from, and the many brands, both in our stores and over the Internet, choosing a high quality essential oil can seem a daunting task. As a consumer, what should you look for to help guide your choice?

Here are some things to consider when choosing the essential oil company that is right for you. 

1. PURITY: Are they 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential oils?  Do they treat their plants with pesticides or are all weed-fighting and bug-fighting efforts completed using essential oils? Are they using the 1st distillation of the plant to ensure the EO is retaining all of its therapeutic properties? Are they diluting the pure oil with a chemical solvent or alcohol in order to make the oil go further? 

2. TRANSPARENCY: Is the company transparent? Do they own their own farms and allow you to visit those farms? Do they open their doors so you can watch the distillation process? 

3. ESSENTIAL OIL TESTING: Does the company conduct their own testing as well as 3rd party testing on the oils? Is the company willing to put product integrity over profit by throwing out hundreds of pounds of essential oil that doesn't meet their rigorous standards as opposed to bottling and selling it?

4. KNOWLEDGEEXPERIENCE: How long has the company been around? Did the company just get into the business because of the growing popularity of essential oils or do they truly have a passion for helping people?

5. SUSTAINABILITY + GREEN INITIATIVES: Do they sustainably source their botanicals? Do they partner with sources who operate ethically? What green practices do they instill throughout their company?

6. COST: It takes effort to grow, pick, distill and bottle some essential oils is extensive. It takes approximately 22 pounds of rose petals to produce one (5ml) bottle of rose essential oil, which explains the very high cost of pure rose oil. Other oils are easier to produce, but every oil requires a large amount of plant matter to produce a small amount of oil. This means that good quality essential oils will never be cheap. This does not mean that more expensive oils will always be better than less expensive ones, but the old adage, “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” definitely applies here. Do not be fooled by discount retailers, big box stores, state fair or bazaar vendors, and others who offer essential oils at very low prices or charge the same price for all of their oils. The comforting thought when investing in true, pure essential oils is that since the oils are so highly concentrated and so little is required for most applications, even an expensive oil like rose can end up being cost effective in the long run.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUNG LIVING'S SEED TO SEAL PROMISE

https://www.youngliving.com/blog/a-closer-look-at-seed-to-seal-sourcing-science-and-standards/?utm_source=Young+Living+Blog&utm_campaign=fd8f7d65a6-USYL%3A+1%2C+BL%2C+NA%2C+Blog+Notification+-+Day+of+Post&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_379154e1cf-fd8f7d65a6-67267845

 

 

 

Who says Mother's Day has to end tomorrow?

I want Mother's Day to last beyond tomorrow, don't you?  Not just for me, but for you, your mom, your grandma, or any other woman you are blessed to have in your life.  I want to send your "mom" a little gift to help make Mother's Day last beyond tomorrow - Stress Away Bath Soak.  Mom's - if you can get away even for just a 10 minute bath, this homemade gem will make that the best 10 minutes of your life (or at least your week).    

Message me on Facebook or send me an email to monica@myintegrativeapproach.com and let me know the following:                                                                                                                       Where to send the gift - include name and address                                                                          Indicate the special message you would like me to write in the card                                              Anything else you would like me to know.

Please let me know by 3pm tomorrow (Mother's Day) so I can get everything together and sent out on Monday - Your "mom" will receive her gift sometime next week to extend her Mother's Day celebrations.

I am a Lemon Dropper

As I sit here, 40 years old, 27 weeks pregnant with my first babe, I ponder how amazing 2014 was.  My journey to get here started in 2009 when Jeff and I got married in June, pregnant in September and just so happy to be where we were.  In November of that year, I experienced my first loss - I was pregnant with twins and one of them was not viable.  It was bittersweet.  I hadn't thought much about twins and although my heart hurt, my energy went to safely carrying baby number 2 (lovingly nicknamed Thor) to term.  At 18 weeks gestation on January 22, 2010, when I went in for my Dr. appointment, the doc couldn't find a heartbeat using the doppler so he took me to get an ultrasound only to discover Thor had decided to join his brother as one of my angels.  Ouch.  

Jeff and I started trying to conceive again as soon as we could and that turned out to be a much longer road than anticipated.  Over the next 4+ years, we tried every holistic approach I could think of and also went to a fertility doc for testing.  Nothing was "wrong" with either of us.  Then in Spring of 2014, my girlfriend reintroduced me to Young Living Essential oils which happened to be a holistic method that I had not tried, so I gave it a whirl.  I started using oils to assist in balancing my hormones, changed all of my cleaning supplies to all-natural cleaners, and started making my own bath & body products.  This regimen began in June, 2014 - 3 months later we received a positive pregnancy test.  Woot!  

When I began the Young Living journey, I did not intend on becoming an Independent Distributor, but once I started sharing my success stories (not only on fertility, but everything else these amazing oils have helped with) sponsoring others in their journey was a natural next step.  Not really knowing this when I purchased my kit, it turns out I am part of the most amazing Young Living team that exists - The Lemon Droppers.  This is a team that has supported me in my quest to get pregs, are always available to share my successes, and lend an ear when life might get a little overwhelming.  And I hope that by sharing my story with others, it will help them or someone they know.  It is always comforting to know someone else who has had success in an area you are needing assistance in.  

I couldn't ask for a better team to be along with me on this ride and I am so proud to say:

I AM A LEMON DROPPER!

Here is a video put together by our amazing Lemon Dropper Leadership on what it means to be a part of this team.  Go ahead and shed a tear - I did.  https://vimeo.com/123219458

 

Welcome!

I'm so excited to set up this new website and start a blog.  Admittedly, I have another blog out there somewhere in which I have not even looked at in over a year.  This is my resolution for 2015 - education on living a healthy lifestyle via my blog!  As if there weren't enough of these sites / blogs out there already, I would like to add mine to the countless others.

I am certainly not perfect and don't follow my own advice always - I just downed 1/2 a chocolate bar and 2 amazingly delicious cookies as I prepared to write this.  My whole goal here is to simply educate you on the countless options available.  Whether you are sick with a chronic condition, get sick often, trying to keep your kiddos healthy or simply want to change what you put in your body, I will give you the tools you'll need to make these changes.  

Please leave me a comment or shoot me an email at Monica@MyIntegrativeApproach.com with any questions you may have or if there is something specific you would like me to address.  

Until next time...