Arthritis

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I was asked to speak at our local Arthritis support group! The facilitator was telling me that the group has embraced finding alternative methods of treatment for their arthritis, I think that is fantastic!

Did you know that there are over 100 forms of arthritis? And aside from the pain of it, there are a host of other issues most people who have arthritis deal with. Depression and insomnia and grief are just a few.

Medicinenet.com  wrote a helpful article on the subject and here is a bit of what they say about arthritis symptoms;

Arthritis Symptoms

Joint pain can be caused by injury affecting any of the ligaments, bursae, or tendons surrounding the joint. Injury can also affect the ligaments, cartilage, and bones within the joint. Pain is also a feature of joint inflammation (arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis) and infection, and extremely rarely it can be a cause of cancer of the joint.

Symptoms and signs associated with joint pain can include

  • joint redness,
  • joint swelling,
  • joint tenderness,
  • joint warmth,
  • limping,
  • locking of the joint,
  • loss of range of motion of the joint,
  • stiffness,
  • weakness.

There is good news! Of course there is no silver bullet, but there are a lot of life style adjustments that can be made to help support the different facets of this debilitating disease and aromatherapy can definitely help.

There is the matter of the pain. Honest Aromas has created a blend that has been very helpful to people who deal with arthritis. We have picked some “heavy hitters” as far as essential oils go, such as; Clove (which is diluted well as it can be irritating to skin because of it’s high Phenol content)It is pain relieving and warming to sore joints and muscles. Birch, Helps support the uncomfortable parts of getting older such as tired limbs and joints. and Cinnamon leaf (Not Cinnamon Bark which irritates the skin);Cinnamon Leaf is numbing, warming, and anti-infectious. . They are extremely potent and have long lasting analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. We have blended those into an Arnica infused oil for added muscle- pain relief and they all are blended in an easily absorbable unscented lotion. We have many customers who benefit from this particular blend and it is one of our most popular. (Essential Oil information taken from Pompeii Organics and Eden’s Gardens.)

Arthritis sufferers, like we said, deal with a myriad of other symptoms such as, insomnia. Essential oils like Lavender and Roman Chamomile can be very supportive in the relaxation of the nervous system and we make blends for this issue as well.

Stress, anger, and grief are all very real manifestations of arthritis. Bergamot can be a very helpful essential oil for it’s mood lifting and calming properties.

Diet changes have also shown significant help to cut down in inflammation that occurs with arthritis and the Keto Diet has been helping a lot of people, including 2 friends of mine, by reducing inflammation and pain and getting them back into the daily routines they nearly lost.

Arthritis can be a life-altering issue and I have seen the effects of it first hand after taking care of my mother-in-law, who had RA, for four years. The loss of mobility was hopeless for her. She pushed herself to get into the shower to get some warm water on her joints and she did some arthritis pool classes that would help her mobility and depression- but it wasn’t easy. I noticed it was very easy for her to become isolated and that of course is the worse thing for any of us to do. I also noticed that there were some medications that seemed to help her and some that seemed to make matters worse. I encourage you to be aware of your body and how you are feeling, and make the best choices you can to make your life it’s fullest. There is a lot of support out there, like this local group I am going to speak at. There are others who understand what you are dealing with and who have been helped by alternative methods that your physician is unaware of. Gather information, seek help from more than one source, you have a lot of life to live and give! We want to encourage you on your journey<3

 

You Are Precious…

You are precious and are worth dying for. God absolutely delights in you and wants to be in a relationship with you- if that isn’t The God you have heard about, you have only heard religion..which isn’t God. Seek the truth through Jesus and you will find the way, truth and life♥

alabaster flask

Speaking about precious things as it relates to Essential Oils… there is an account in the the gospels of a woman bringing an alabaster flask to Jesus. This is how it reads in Luke 7:37-49;

 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”

 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”

“Tell me, teacher,” he said.

 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[a] and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”

“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

The perfume that was in this alabaster flask was Spikenard (which is named in  Mark’s Gospel of this account.) I have always loved and related to this story because I have been  this woman; sinful, transparent, affectionate, misunderstood, judged, loved and forgiven. And when I went to Aromatherapy school, I was so excited that I actually got to work with Spikenard essential oil!

In the other accounts of this story, everyone was “indignant” about what the woman did, in addition to her obvious intimate attention to Jesus, because the perfume that she broke over Him was very costly. They said that it could have been sold and the money given to the poor. So this was a known, rare and  precious perfume to everyone’s knowledge.  But her devotion and out pouring to Him and His love and affection toward her was much more valuable and worthy of her fame throughout generations!

You can read more about Spikenard in a  paper I wrote; Spikenard! A research paper by Julia Allman,  I go into depth about this amazing, ancient oil. But I want to follow up with the fact that YOU are more precious than silver or gold or anything else the world has to offer. You matter, you make a difference and God desires an intimate, healing relationship with you now and forever<3

Sweet Marjoram!

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This little sweetie is a new favorite of mine!! It is relaxing and it is great for sore muscles. Of course it has tons of therapeutic value, here are few of the properties listed on Pompeii’s site;

*At a Glance Sweet Marjoram gives us stress relief (calming), loosens tight muscles and cramps (think restless legs), and helps turn down the mind (for insomnia blends), and is warming.

I have been receiving some great recipes from Aromahead’s Andrea Butje and here is what she has to say about this  little bottle of marvelous!

Sweet Marjoram loves to experience the world through its sense of touch.

It likes to wear organic clothing that feels soft on its skin. Its sheets are 600 thread count. It gives itself face mask treatments twice a week, and once a week it either soaks in mineral-rich warm water or does a full-body mud wrap. Sweet Marjoram also loves to feel the weather on its skin—the soft touch of the wind, rain, and sun make Sweet Marjoram happy to be alive.

So Sweet Marjoram goes out of its way to take care of its skin. Its favorite thing about that? Blends that take care of its skin, feel good on its skin!

Here’s a body butter that Sweet Marjoram makes by hand and uses daily to moisturize and protect its precious skin.

Sweet Marjoram’s Sweet n’ Soft Skin Butter

  • 1 oz (28 g) beeswax (Cera alba)
  • 2 oz (60 ml) jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis)
  • 2 oz (56 g) cocoa butter (Theobroma cacao)
  • 2 oz (56 g) coconut oil (Cocos nucifera)
  • 26 drops Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana)
  • 16 drops Geranium (Pelargonium × asperum)
  • 32 drops Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis)

You’ll need four 2 oz (60 ml) glass jars for this blend. It makes 7 oz (210 ml) of body butter, and I find it’s helpful to break it up into smaller jars (the smaller jars are easier to find).

Start by setting up the Stovetop Melting Method. Put a Pyrex measuring cup in a soup pot that’s ¼ full of gently simmering water. Then follow these directions in order:

  1. Melt the beeswax in the Pyrex.
  2. Add the jojoba and remelt. You can stir gently with a glass stirring rod or the handle of a stainless steel spoon.
  3. Add the cocoa butter and melt.
  4. Add the coconut oil and melt.
  5. When all of the ingredients are melted together, remove the blend from heat and add the essential oils, stirring gently.
  6. Pour the blend into the jars.

I hope you love this body butter blend! The base—just the carriers without the essential oils—is the same recipe I use for most of the body butter blends in my book, The Heart of Aromatherapy. (I am so excited, the book has surpassed 100 reviews on Amazon!) You can find the book at Aromatics International.

We are happy to carry Sweet Marjoram at Honest Aromas and we have been experimenting with new custom blends utilizing it’s amazingness! Give us a call we would love to get some into your hands today!

It’s The Little Things…

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This vase may look rather large in the picture, but it’s only a one-ounce cobalt bottle filled with tiny Bluets I picked out of the grass in my yard! I am presently reading Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts, and this definitely made my ongoing list of a thousand gifts God has given me!!

Carefully picking these little beauties and trimming them to fit in my little aromatherapy bottle delighted my soul. I presented them to my daughter Gabrielle as we were working at Honest Aromas yesterday, and her face erupted with joy at the fairy sized bouquet!

This is the bottom line in life: gratefulness=fully living. We have to slow down and smell the flowers. We have to stop and take it all in. And many times, we have to make ourselves see the good in our own lives. I am thankful I can read and I am thankful I can write. There are many people who cannot. I am thankful my olfactory system works and I can smell the oils I blend with. There are many people who cannot. I am thankful I can walk and bend and use scissors to cut flowers, and even get a well deserved pain in a muscle from overuse. Some people have no limbs. Gratefulness=fully living.

On an aromatherapy note, you do not have to smell an aroma to glean the benefits from essential oils. It is truly affecting your body at a chemical level as it works its way through your olfactory and circulatory system!

But for those of us who can enjoy the odor, it is delicious! I put drops of essential oil in everything, a small bottle of water to mist the rugs and rooms of my home (Lemon), my shampoo (Lavender and Rosemary), my face oil (Frankincense, Tea Tree and Lavender mixed in a carrier of course), etc. I love walking into my home (or driving in my essential oil-permeated car) and being uplifted and relaxed by the immune system-building oils that I breathe in!

It’s spring, there is new life popping up everywhere! We can have new life in ourselves as well. We do not have to stay the same. It’s the little things in life, cared about and cultivated and mixed with gratitude, that make life fully alive!

Walks and Aromas!

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This pic was taken from our favorite bike trail. Spring is bursting with beauty and aromas! I love the smell of the earth this time of year. Many times it reminds me of the smell of vetiver!

According to Pompeii Organics, vetiver has a very earthy scent. It is incredibly thick, taking its time to come out of the bottle. That slowness is an amusing parallel to vetiver’s effects on the body: it is calming and sedating, and has a grounding/soothing effect on emotions.

Vetiver is also pain-relieving, antifungal, and antispasmodic. It stimulates the immune system and its decongestant, expectorant properties make it good for colds.

If you are interested in purchasing a sample of this oil, let us know—we can’t wait to share it with you!

What Are You Thinking?

 

thinking doll

Thinking: we all do it. Some of us are better at hiding it than others, but no matter who you are, the things you think about will affect all of your life choices. We have amazing minds, and I don’t think we can be reminded enough of the benefits of renewing our minds.

I have written a lot of blog posts on this idea over the last year. The following is what I wrote one morning on my Facebook page. Although the focus is on shame, it ultimately goes back to what we think about ourselves:

According to the book Unashamed by Christine Caine, shame-based thinking says, ” I am not ________ enough” (Thin enough, smart enough, victorious enough, successful enough, Christian enough, a good enough parent, a good enough spouse, etc.). But those are constant lies that many of us have believed. It isn’t what God says about us. It isn’t the truth. In Genesis 2:25, “Adam and his wife were naked and they knew no shame.” That was what God created. Jesus took shame on the cross, and His Blood will wash away all of our shame if we let Him work in our lives. Run to Him! He ALWAYS wants to bring wholeness and healing to His children no matter what you have done or where you have been. He loves you so much that He died on a cross for your sin. You ( and I ) are no shock to Him! If you walk around continually defeated, feeling like you are missing the mark, remind yourself of what He says about you. You are completely forgiven, fully pleasing, totally accepted, and complete in Him! He is the one you are living for, so His approval is the only one that matters. He is love. Let Him free you of your shame so you can be the person He created you to be. ❤

Do you walk around continually defeated? Do you question everything about yourself and all the decisions you make? Consider taking time to question what lies you are believing about yourself. It cannot happen overnight, and it cannot happen when you are rushed. But as you take quiet time and reflection and begin to ask yourself hard questions, you can be free from these untruths that have been holding you back in life.

Here are five essential oils that can help clear the mind as well:

  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Juniper Berry
  • Peppermint
  • Sage or Clary Sage

As an aromatherapist, I regularly use and carry all five. I am here on this journey with you! You are not alone and you are loved!

Are you interested in trying these five mind-balancing oils? Have you experienced the power of renewing your mind and thought patterns? We want to hear from you today!

 

Choosing Forgiveness

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I’ve been understanding forgiveness on a whole new level over the last year. I’ve dealt with asking for forgiveness, forgiving myself, forgiving others and not being forgiven. One thing I completely agree with James McDonald on: “Christians need to be masters at forgiveness.” This is a challenging thought, but it’s true. And whether you’re a Christian or not, you know forgiveness changes your life and allows things to move in a healthy way that would be impossible otherwise.

The biggest challenge and help to me has been to understand that, “I am completely forgiven and fully pleasing to God. I am totally accepted, deeply loved and absolutely complete in Christ” (Robert McGee, The Search for Significance).

With God’s help in believing this is true, I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength! I want to be rebuilt and energized in that truth, so I can do everything I was created to do in this life and not waste one more second in unbelief.

I want to encourage you that this is possible! You can change your life, your patterns, your habits, your hangups, and your failures. You can take that mustard seed of faith and it can grow into a flourishing tree!

I completely relate to King David when he said, “I would have lost heart unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of The Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13). Forgiveness is not an easy road, and the battle is mostly in the mind. But unless I believe (without seeing) that forgiveness produces good fruit and leads to a more abundant life, I will give in to hopelessness and despair. I have been there many times, and it does not bear anything good! Not for me or any one else around me.

So, I am encouraging myself even as I write this, and hope I encourage you today!I encourage you to check your heart, investigate the things that weigh you down, and ask yourself if there is an area in your life (or that situation you can’t let go of) in which you really haven’t forgiven a person, or even God. Don’t let this day pass without getting it out in the open, confessing it, and receiving forgiveness for it. Don’t carry it around another minute, day, or year. This is precisely the Reconciliation Jesus Christ provided to us through the cross and what we can meditate on further through this Resurrection weekend. The books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John can greatly aid us on this journey of forgiveness<3