Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Experimenting with Oils

      A couple of months ago, I was presented with an opportunity to be a part of something that peaked my interested in two ways - it had to do with adoption and essential oils.  Though we've had our share of experience with the first....the latter has been something that I've wanted to experiment with for quite some time.  I've also desired a way to help other adoptive families - long term - that is manageable with our crazy busy lives.  I'm not sure if that will really be the outcome, but either way I'm thankful for the push it gave me to start learning.  I shared here about some of the ways we've been opening up to alternative, more natural remedies, over the past few years.  Our experiences have been nothing but positive, so I have been very excited to take this next step.  So for the past couple of months I have been trying to learn all that I can about essential oils....but most importantly, we've been using them in our daily lives, which to me is the true test.  I hope that if there are others out there who are interested, but hesitant, I can help.  I'm happy to answer any questions and I'm also waiting on a few items to arrive so I can share some samples!  I said I would give an update on my experience, so here it is............

      Let me start by sharing a few basics I've learned and why I'm so excited about them.  The biggest reason is that they are natural....and safe.  I also love that they've been around forever....though their popularity may just now be catching on, they're really not new.  These oils are all Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade.....they have all been tested to be sure there has been nothing added or taken away....just pure oils.  Equally exciting is the fact that this is not a one size fits all way to promote health and wellness.  So if you find that one particular oil does not help in one area, not only are there many other single oils or oil blends to try, but that oil is also helpful for many other things.  I love that there are options, and that I never have to feel that I'm wasting anything.  To take that a step further, there are also options in the way that you use the oils.  They can be used aromatically, internally and topically.  To get the full effect, I did purchase and try a diffusor in order to use the oils aromatically.  I'll share more about that in a moment, but I will say my preference is to use the oils topically, which just simplifies things even more - no need for extra supplies, you can use them anywhere, anytime....simple is often best.  Okay, one last thing before I share some of my first experiences.....I have some 5ml bottles and some 15ml bottles....I wondered if it was silly to purchase the smaller size, thinking it wasn't very much.  We have used several of them very often, and haven't even made a dent in them.  You basically use one drop when applying topically, so they last forever, which is icing on the cake for me! 

  I wouldn't say I was wishing for a reason to use the oils, but I may have been waiting expectantly.  I also will admit that I had somewhat of an ultimatum mindset - they will solve every problem and we won't get sick anymore....or they're useless.  Sometimes I can be pretty skeptical...and overly concerned that I may just be imagining something.  I should also add that I had only purchased three oils at this point....so while they had a large list of uses for each, it was still a tall order.  My first stomach ache came and I looked up what to try.....I had one of the options listed for stomach aches, so I applied and waited.  I was actually shocked to really feel it working....not what I had expected.  Ultimately my stomach still hurt and I dug a little deeper into skepticism.  (Just being honest here!)      Within a night or two I had a sore neck....I have no idea why and I was just dealing with it most of the day without even thinking about the oils.  Falling asleep was proving to be difficult, which jogged my memory and I applied some peppermint and lavender to the sore spot.  Within a couple of minutes the pain subsided and I fell asleep.  My hope was restored a little : )

A few times now I have had headaches (not super common for me) and I've applied some peppermint oil, just to my temples...and really, each time I'm amazed.  Almost immediate relief.....I've found the peppermint to be one that I can always actually feel working.  Caleb started with a cold last month so I applied some Breathe (an oil blend which includes peppermint and eucalyptus as well as additional oils, and is great for relief from colds, congestion, etc.)  to the bottom of his feet before bed, added a few drops to his humidifier and prepared myself for a long night.  Typically he's coughing most of the night, and though he does fairly well "sleeping" through it, it's impossible for me to sleep while listening to him cough.  The first night....nothing....I heard nothing.....he slept soundly all night, and so did I.  I was shocked.....and thought maybe it was a fluke.  Three nights later I started to feel hopeful....these were really working.  I soon found myself with a cold and started applying the Breathe, and now adding On Guard (my newfound hope prompted me to branch out and order a few more oils).  I felt that although we were still getting sick, our symptoms weren't as severe, and we seemed to be recovering more quickly.  We've been through a few colds already this season between the five of us, but really none have lingered on and on as they typically do.  And we've been able to sleep despite them!    

      Keira has quite a few dental issues from years of lack of care.  When we first came home she had one particular cavity and abscess that bothered her constantly.  We had two more days to wait until the tooth was pulled and the pain had increased quite a bit.  I looked up what to use for cavities and also sore throats as her throat bothered her as a result.  I found that Melaleuca could be used for both so we applied it and within a few minutes she felt some relief.  On another occasion Levi was sticking his finger in his ear and saying "ouch"......this is of course one of his favorite words so I wasn't sure how seriously to take him, but he was pretty insistent and it was concerning me a bit.  I applied one drop of Basil behind his ear and within a few minutes he seemed to have forgotten.  He never mentioned it again.   Twice now I have felt myself in that starting-to-get-sick phase....scratchy throat, headache....just not myself.  Each time I've applied some On Guard and Melaleuca to the bottom of my feet a couple of times throughout the day.....and both times I have remained well.  Amazing!  When I tell you that last year at this time we had each been sick a handful of times since September, I am not exaggerating.  By mid winter, I truly felt that people thought we were lying when I'd have to cancel on them because someone was sick.  It was crazy.  So far, this year has been a different story.  Sure we've caught a few colds, but our level of wellness is no comparison to last year.  

        Some oils are more geared towards your mood.....Serenity for instance is used to promote relaxation and alleviate stress, and can be used to help you fall asleep.  This is where I have found some good results using the diffusor....though again I have to say that it seems to work best in a small, confined space, which can be somewhat limiting.  I still prefer to apply them topically, but I did find it relaxing and calming to diffuse the Serenity one evening when I was having a hard time winding down for the day.  

        The oils pictured are those that I have and have experimented with on some level so far.  I have a few more on the way that I'm really excited about so I'll be sure to update on those as well.  If anyone has any questions, or would like to try an oil for a specific problem, please feel free to send me a message, I'd be happy to help!  

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