natural therapies

Essential Oils Part II-Sneak Peek At My Week Using Essential Oils

What I personally love about essential oils (EOs) is that using them can be a very intuitive and creative process.  

What do I mean by that?

Each of us is created differently and as such our oil needs will be unique to us.  Without delving too deeply into the "hows" of EOs, I will say that EOs are truly the "life source" of the plant from which they are extracted. They are the highly concentrated oil from the plant, that is collected and bottled once it has gone through the distilling process.  Young Living Essential Oils has a Seed to Seal process that was a large part of why I decided to choose them as my oil supplier.  Each oil contains different chemical constituents, and when these chemical constituents interact with us at a sensory and cellular level we can feel better and our overall health efforts can be supported.  This is where the creativity and intuitiveness comes in.  

Many people are familiar with the scent of lavender and how it can be extremely calming and relaxing.  In fact, lavender is often used in spa environments for that very reason.  Many of us may also know that lemon is very fresh smelling and when mixed with vinegar or baking soda can offer itself as a great cleaning agent.  There is a reason most mouthwashes and toothpastes are peppermint flavored...You guessed it! It's fresh taste and scent helps to combat bad breath! Starting with this most basic of information, EOs can be used in a similar fashion.  

Certain oils are known for helping to support various systems of the body.  If for example, you are suffering from seasonal respiratory distress, combining lavender, lemon and peppermint in a diffuser can help support your overall respiratory system.  Should you have a sudden upset stomach or indigestion from that delicious spicy Thai food, Di-Gize, a blend of oils which contains Tarragon, Ginger, Peppermint, Fennel and Anise among other oils can help support your digestive system.  My daily question then becomes "which of my systems need the most support today"? To paint a picture of what this looks like for me, I'll give you an example of one of my days last week.

I actually "started" my day the night before by diffusing something relaxing, so that I could feel that sense of peace and relaxation while sleeping.  I used about 8 drops of Lavender oil and set my diffuser to the "intermittent" setting, so that it was on for 30 seconds and then off for 30 seconds for 7 hours, maximizing my oil by not running continuously through the night.  I love how my diffuser can run while I sleep and I can enjoy the scent unmonitored (unlike a candle).

When I woke up the next day (feeling mighty rested I must say), right off I drank a glass of warm water with 2 drops of *Lemon Vitality Oil in it.  So refreshing and a great eye opener.  

*Fun Fact* -Lemon Oil is made from the rind of the lemon rather than the pulp (which is used to make lemon juice). It takes about 75 lemons to make enough for one 15 ml bottle of Lemon Essential Oil. This is why one drop of Lemon essential oil is so concentrated and full of goodness.

*Young Living Vitality Oils are Generally Regarded as Safe for consumption and are labeled as such.

I then brushed my teeth with 1 drop of Thieves Vitality oil dropped right on top of my toothpaste. It not only gives my toothpaste a spicy kick (think cinnamon and cloves) but it is a great way to support my gum health!

Before I started working, I moved a load of laundry from the washer to the dryer and guess what-I no longer use Bounce sheets! Instead, I take a damp washcloth, add about 3-4 drops of Purification Oil (both of my kids favorite scent) and toss it into the dryer with the clothes.  The laundry comes out smelling amazing (think Lemongrass, Rosemary, Tea Tree, Myrtle, Citronella and Lavender)! *Side note-While we love the scent of Purification Blend, bugs not so much! You can apply this bad boy right to your skin and then head outdoors for a hike or bike ride.  The oils help support the bug deterrent system! (Not sure if that is a thing?! But you know what I mean)

Time to get down to business! I had computer work time and two coaching appointments on the agenda.  I put Lemon and Peppermint in my diffuser (6 drops of each) to put a little energetic pep in my step and dove head first into the rest of the day.

I went to lunch with my dad and when we got back, my Great Dane Miso had consumed most of the contents of the kitchen trash can.  This is a rare occurrence these days, after 6 years we have gotten pretty good at making sure the garbage lid is locked and the counters are cleared of enticing foods when we leave.  Not today.  There were remnants of corn on the cob, chicken scraps, you name it she consumed it...and the aftermath was not good.  Poor thing had an upset tummy that night-apparent by her pouting, laying very still and vomiting (more than once). I combined 2 drops of Di-Gize with Apricot Seed Oil and applied it to her tummy.  Let me tell you, a sick Great Dane is no fun.  

Later that night after dinner, hubs and I went for a walk in the neighborhood.  I had seen blossoms starting to form on the trees earlier in the day, and knowing how I can often experience some seasonal respiratory discomfort, I added a 2 drops each of lemon, lavender and peppermint oil to my water (in a glass bottle as the oils can disintegrate plastic) and off we went. 

I could go on and on about the many ways that I am using my oils. About how each day I am discovering something new.  (Peppermint brownies anyone?!) I love that every time I find a new way to use them, I am supporting my wellness baseline in some way.  I am making one small change for the better.

A few things to note-does everyday go like this? Not at all.  In fact since every day is different, so are the oils that I use.  Some days I use more, some days I use less.  They have become my "go to" because in each of the scenarios mentioned above, I could turn to synthetic products to support the same things and I figure if there's a natural way to support myself I want to try that first.  We are already exposed to so many chemicals and substances that don't benefit us, why add to it? Feel free to browse around my Young Living Essential Oils page and research for yourself some of the types of products that are available. 

I have learned so much through my process of researching oils and would love to answer any questions that you may have.  I'm available via phone anytime, click the button below to chat about oils! What are you curious about?


Today we are going to take a look at the practice of acupuncture.  I think now may be a good time to mention medications and my personal journey.  

When I was first diagnosed with ADHD (Inattentive type), after much consideration I decided to try medication.  I don't have a history of doing very well on medication, for most of my life I have taken it only when absolutely necessary.  Not because I have any aversion to it, primarily because I always seem to have side effects that are worse than what my original issue was to begin with.  

On top of that, I'm emetophobic (fancy word that means I FREAK OUT at the site/sound of vomit) and so if a medication had any chance of making me sick, I was out before I even began.  Fast forward to my first attempt with an ADHD Medication-it was not a Stimulant and not a "Non-Stimulant" but rather something in that "other" category.  I had a rough time (I'll do a seperate blog post on that), but let's just say that by day 3 I was off of it and willing to "deal with" life as my unmedicated self. Attempt number two with meds came about 5 years later.  Again I had a hard time out the gate and by day two I was off of the prescribed medication.  I acknowledge that I never actually gave it time to work, but for me it was enough to be clear on what I wanted.  I wanted to look more closely at non-medicinal options.  

This is where the discussion with my friend came in.  She's a retired Nurse whose opinion I respect and she mentioned that I should try acupuncture, that she does fact she'd take me if I was game! I'll try anything once (well just about anything) and we made an appointment a month later.  

**Please note-I have no judgement regarding the use of medication to treat ADHD.  In fact I know many people personally that it has made a world of difference for.  It has in fact been a life saving option for a few of them.  I have seen first hand children that functioned so much better on medication.  I believe whether to use medications or not is a very personal decision, and that whatever an individual chooses to do should be supported as their personal choice.  

With that being said, as I've researched alternative treatments for ADHD, acupuncture is one that has come up.  While not yet recognized as a primary treatment for ADHD, research has suggested that as a part of a multidisciplinary approach it can be effective. 

My experience with acupuncture so far has been positive.  I am going to Sacramento Acupuncture Project which is a community acupuncture practice located in Sacramento on Fulton.  I don't typically do needles well, so this was going to be interesting.  

I arrived about 10 minutes early, and met with Molly who explained how it worked.  We spent a little bit of time at the intake appointment going over what my areas of concern were. From there she led me into the treatment room.  As a community practice, you are in a room with other people.  The environment was very relaxing.  Dim lights, relaxing music, zero gravity chairs, pillows, blankets, whatever you need to "create a comfy nest". Once you are situated, the acupuncturist comes over and inserts the needles.  I had about 13 of them on my first visit.  They are very fine hairlike needles.  I didn't feel any pain.  They were inserted from the top of my head, down to my feet. You are fully clothed, but push up sleeves and roll up pants to your knees.  A minimum of 30 minutes is suggested, but you can stay as long as you'd like.  It is common to fall asleep in the chair.  Five days after my first appointment, I returned so that my husband could give it try.  The results of this therapy are "to be continued".  I will update you along the way as to what I'm noticing.  At the very least, it's a very relaxing hour in my week.  

Sacramento Acupuncture Project offers a very affordable sliding fee scale from $15-$35 based on what you feel you can pay.  It is a "sustainable model" which I like.  For the month of January, return patients can bring a friend and the $15 new patient reg. fee is waived.  Here's the flyer with more info:

If you're interested and would like to try it yourself, and are in the Greater Sacramento Area, shoot me an email at and I'd be happy to bring you as my "buddy".

Thanks for reading,  ~Shaun