Week of Wellness: Birth Kit Essentials

During the Week of Wellness at AromaTools™, Stephanie Pearson came to teach a class on using essential oils during pregnancy and labor as well as using oils to help care for yourself and your baby afterward.

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Stephanie Pearson has worked with herbal medicine for over 25 years and is a clinical herbalist, functional nutritionist, and clinical aromatherapist master, in process. She created an e-course, Essential Oils for the Birth Kit, that is a comprehensive, evidence-based, and unbiased five-hour course on using essential oil therapy during each phase of pregnancy and in infant care.

General Safety Guidelines for Essential Oil Use During Pregnancy

“The most confusing part about using essential oils during pregnancy is trying to figure out what is safe to use and what isn’t,” Stephanie explains. One major issue is that it isn’t ethical to do research on pregnant women, so there just aren’t many studies on the subject. Because of this issue and a couple others, there isn’t a definitive list for safe essential oils. So, Stephanie suggests you follow these four guidelines:

  1. Use essential oils only in normal, healthy pregnancies.
  2. Receive the mother’s consent.
  3. Work within the scope of your practice. If you are not a licensed practitioner, then you need to be careful what you are recommending essential oils for.
  4. Use only high quality essential oils.

The key to using essential oils correctly is to use high quality essential oils with the proper dose and recommended dilution amount.

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Stephanie recommends using the French dilution equivalents, since the French have been using essential oils for therapeutic use for quite a while. The best application of essential oils during pregnancy is to dilute the oil in a carrier oil and apply it topically or aromatically. When first starting out, Stephanie suggests using the greatest dilution (1%) and working your way to more as needed. If it doesn’t seem to be working, use a higher concentration the next time.

Some general safety guidelines Stephanie recommends include the following:

  • Start with the lowest effective dose, as mentioned above.
  • Avoid prolonged exposure to any one oil.
  • Test for skin sensitivity. Your sensitivity may change during pregnancy; so even if you used oils neat before pregnancy without any issues, always start with a dilution and test for skin sensitivities when pregnant.
  • Keep essential oils out of reach of children.
  • Avoid internal use during pregnancy unless formulated by a physician or reputable company.

Stephanie also recommends knowing the herbal actions for the essential oils you are using. As an example, she showed the following list:

  • Photosensitizers – citrus peel, bergamot, fennel (These oils may cause a skin reaction when exposed to sunlight.)
  • Cardiac stimulants – nutmeg, cinnamon, cassia (These oils may increase heart rate. If you are pregnant, your blood volume is nearly double, so it is prudent not to influence circulation unnecessarily.)
  • Uterine contractors – clary sage, jasmine, myrrh (These oils are more appropriately used once labor has naturally begun.)
  • Hormone influencers – fennel (Avoid internal use because of potential oxytocin levels.)
  • Emmenagogues – lavender, Roman chamomile, peppermint, clary sage, black pepper, fennel, frankincense, jasmine, orange, rose (Used appropriately, these oils are fabulous during pregnancy.)

Knowing the herbal actions of essential oils can help you know how to use the oils properly. For example, clary sage is not recommended during pregnancy because it could cause the uterus to contract, which isn’t advisable, but if used after labor has begun, it can increase the effectiveness of the contractions. Stephanie Pearson suggests putting a few drops of clary sage on a handkerchief during labor and inhaling in between contractions to help each contraction be more effective and to reduce pain.

General Safety Guidelines for Infant Care

When using essential oils on infants, Stephanie suggests following these guidelines:

  • Apply to breasts after nursing so baby doesn’t get oils in the eyes.
  • Use very small doses: 1 drop essential oil to 1 Tbsp. carrier oil.
  • Always dilute in carrier oil.
  • Disperse in emulsifier before adding to baths. Some emulsifiers that are good in baths include hand soap, whole milk or cream, and Epsom salts.
  • Test oils on skin for sensitivity.
  • Never put essential oils in ears, nose, eyes, or mouth.
  • Do not use internally.
  • Keep out of reach of children.
  • Use gentle oils only.

One thing Stephanie mentioned during the class is that you want your baby to be able to also experience the smell of her mother because this is part of the learning process and brain development. Don’t overwhelm your baby with so many essential oils by using them every day. Only use the oils when needed, and make sure to give your baby a break from the oils often. When you do need to use essential oils on your baby, a good way to do it is to apply topically on the bottoms of the feet or chest before bed or during a diaper change. You can also use essential oils in a bath, but mix the oils with an emulsifier before mixing into the bathwater. This helps the oils spread throughout the water rather than staying in clumps on top of the water.

An essential oil formula that Stephanie uses for colic, teething, respiratory issues, diaper rashes, fussiness, sleeping, etc. for the baby is 1 drop Roman chamomile and 1 drop lavender mixed with 2 Tbsp. carrier oil. She suggests rubbing this on the bottoms of the baby’s feet or on their chest during a diaper change.

Sunny concept pregnant woman showing hands in shape heart in sum

Tips and Blends from Stephanie

Stephanie shared various tips and essential oil blends that she uses for specific prenatal conditions. We would like to share some of them with you!

Stephanie’s Tips:

  • Take a lavender bath with the essential oil mixed with heavy cream first and then added to the bathwater. You will feel amazing!
  • For morning sickness, put 1 drop of peppermint in your vomit bucket because it may help ground you and may help with the nausea.
  • Use 1 tsp. of vegetable glycerin with essential oils in a spray bottle, and add water for a linen spray or air freshener when you need a pick-me-up or need help sleeping. The vegetable glycerin is an emulsifier and helps the oils spread throughout the water.
  • Breathe in peppermint and frankincense when you are tired or during labor to help your energy.
  • Frankincense, black pepper, and white fir are good oils for back labor. Use with a hot compress (apply oils on back; then place a hot water-soaked towel across the back).
  • Frankincense is useful for extreme anxiety during the transition phase of labor. Apply a little on the forehead during this time.
  • Lavender may support healthy blood pressure.
  • Lavender may help relax mother and baby, but be careful when using it during labor. It may also be a sedative to a midwife or doctor and exaggerate hypotensive effects if drugs are used during labor.
  • Cypress may help with postpartum hair loss. Massage into scalp or add to shampoo.

Pregnancy skin care

Stephanie’s Recipes:

Stretch Mark Blend:

5 Tbsp. sweet almond oil
1.5 Tbsp. macerated carrot oil
8 drops each: frankincense, lavender, patchouli, lemongrass
Apply twice daily.

Perineum Care Blend:

6.5 Tbsp. fractionated coconut oil
10 drops each: frankincense, lavender, helichrysum
Apply to perineum twice daily.

Edema Foot Bath

A bowl of hot water
1 tsp. dissolved salt
1 drop cypress
1–2 drops lemon, grapefruit, or orange
Soak feet for 10–15 minutes.

If you would like more information on using essential oils during pregnancy, try the following links:
Essential Oils for Pregnancy on the AromaTools™ Blog
Books, brochures, and tear pads on AromaTools.com
Stephanie Pearson’s e-course: Essential Oils for the Birth Kit

About the Presenter


StephaniePearsonStephanie Pearson has a unique distinction in her field for integrating traditional practices in nutrition and herbalism with principles of evidence-based research and constitutional medicine. She is a certified clinical herbalist, functional nutritionist, and clinical aromatherapist master (in process). Stephanie is a professional educator and presenter at universities and for wellness conferences and webinars. Her 25 years of botanical medicine study expand outside the classroom and cross-culturally, enriched by field studies in Native American, Western Eclectic, and Latin American herbalism.

Week of Wellness: EssentialYoga Workshop

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Overlooking a view of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains from the Elevé™ Event Center, a group ranging from beginners to experts participated in the June workshop from “The EssentialYoga Program” conducted by Marty Harger and Stephanie Smith. The program consists of monthly workshops designed to provide yoga instructors with “the knowledge and steps to confidently integrate six to seven essential oils into a theme-based monthly EssentialYoga workshop.” This is a great way to naturally introduce others to the benefits of combining essential oils with yoga.

In the class, Stephanie Smith led participants through yoga poses as essential oils were integrated aromatically, topically, and internally during the workshop. Marty Harger explained the benefits of essential oils using information from Modern Essentials, Living Healthy and Happily Ever AfterEmotions and Essential Oils, and Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit.

The oils paired with yoga are beneficial to both mind and spirit. The oils support individuals with more clarity, focus, stamina, and the ability to breathe deeper. The theme for the June workshop is to breathe and be open to life.

“Let go and open to life” is inspired by fresh, summer citrus essential oils and their scents. The crisp and uplifting citrus aromas combined with the circular energy movement of this practice are the perfect fit for a summer yoga practice. Inspired by an all-levels vinyasa flow style of yoga, this workshop focuses on side-body lengthening and healthy function of the kidneys. Combined with the uplifting qualities of citrus oils such as lemon and grapefruit, this practice creates a powerful antidote to our linear world, helps to remove blinders, and opens peripheral vision.

The following chart is an excerpt from the program and shares the oils that were introduced in the class along with their physical and emotional benefits.

The program is also very committed to helping with causes and encourages those who conduct their workshops to give a portion of the proceeds from the workshop to charity. During the Week of Wellness, although the classes were free, participants were encouraged to donate $5.00 each. 100% of the $5.00 cash per person suggested donation went to the Healing Hands Nepal Earthquake Relief fund.

This is a wonderful program of workshops. Be sure to purchase the book to get the complete details for the June workshop and the entire EssentialYoga Program.

About the Presenter


Marty Harger was introduced to yoga while attending freestyle ski camp in Wyoming in the late 1970s––her first trip to the western USA. Her introduction to oils came a few years later as did her increasing awareness of the body’s powerful ability to heal itself with natural approaches. In midlife, Marty hopped off the big-city corporate fast-track and began her personal and professional journey to find her niche in the healing arts. It was during that year of massage school in Chicago that her passion for essential oils really took hold. What began with aromatherapy studies evolved into the use of therapeutic-grade essential oils as she was introduced to the oils in 2008 at the wellness center she owns in the Mountains of Heber City, Utah.

 

Stephanie Smith‘s path from the dance studio to the yoga studio began when she was a young girl exploring ballet, jazz, and tap. After a few years as a college dance major, she left her home state of Utah for a professional dance career in Los Angeles. That road led to ventures in personal training and fitness as well as teaching dance to others since 1984. Her love of yoga began in 1996 as she explored Bikram, or hot yoga. Ever curious, Stephanie continued her yoga instructor training in many forms over the years with a growing interest in the mind-body connection. Her unique style brings a sense of curiosity and inquiry into the studio as she meets yoga students where they are and helps guide them to a deeper understanding of their body, mind, and spirit.

Week of Wellness: Happy Colon, Happy Brain

Last week, AromaTools™ is hosted a full week of free health classes like this one by Sue Lawton, PhD—“Happy Colon, Happy Brain”—to celebrate the Grand Opening of our AromaTools™ retail store in Pleasant Grove, Utah. Click here to read other posts on classes given during the Week of Wellness. Also, check back with us throughout this week for more blog posts on timely health topics.
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Happy Colon, Happy Brain (and Body)

The better your digestive tract runs, the better your mental and emotional state—not to mention physical health. That was Dr. Sue Lawton’s impactful message at her class, “Happy Colon, Happy Brain.”

Dr. Lawton—a psychologist and biochemist—demonstrated with a larger-than-life intestinal model how a corrupt diet, dehydration, and negative thoughts and feelings sabotage our sense of self worth and shorten our lives. “Only your body can heal itself. Essential oils and everything else can only help—or hinder—the process,” she says.

Happy Colon, Happy Brain Class by Sue Lawton

Brain-Gut Connection

According to Dr. Lawton, the body’s nervous system is divided in two: the central nervous system that reports to the brain and the enteric nervous system than resides in our gut. They are connected by the vagus nerve; so when one system gets upset, the other does too. Nearly every chemical that controls the brain has been identified in the intestinal tract, including hormones and neurotransmitters.

“It shouldn’t surprise us, then, that poor digestion—including constipation in children—is linked to depression,” says Dr. Lawton. “Chronic stress can kink up the colon. And negative states of mind compromise the immune system, 80% of which is contained in the intestinal tract.” Essential oils—ingested, taken topically, or even diffused during dinner—are amazing because they can physically support digestion and promote positive emotions at the same time.

Don’t Eat That!

As taught by Dr. Lawton, artificial ingredients and refined foods confuse the colon. It recognizes them as unnatural and can’t absorb them as readily as food in its natural state. But the enteric nervous system is also “intelligent” and compensates as best it can for a poor diet. Finally, though, irritation can cause perforations in the intestinal lining, allowing partially digested foods into the bloodstream and triggering allergic reactions.

That is why people can “suddenly” become sensitive to certain foods, Dr. Lawton teaches. And it tends to be worse with genetically-modified foods (GMOs)—wheat being chief among them. (Gut bacteria contains the same metabolic pathway found in plants that is targeted and disrupted by the herbicide genetically integrated into wheat.)

Gluten intolerance is a growing epidemic, and white flour’s evil twin—refined sugar—is poison to our bodies and the number one addiction in America. “Sucrose consumption is linked to nearly all our major health problems: cancer, inflammation, diabetes, yeast infection, arthritis, and insomnia, to name a few,” says Dr. Lawton.

According to Dr. Lawton, essential oils have been shown to strengthen our body systems against disease, but they are supplements to our own good self care. Let’s get rid of the bad stuff so healing can happen! Under right conditions, the body can literally rejuvenate itself every 21 days. Essential oils can help ease sugar withdrawal symptoms.

Drink This!

Soda pop is a main culprit for kidney stones and kidney failure. “If you wanted to invest money in medicine, consider dialysis,” says Dr. Lawton. “It is one of the biggest businesses in the United States, since soda-drinking baby boomers are retiring and reaping the consequences of poisoning instead of purifying their bodies.”

Drink water! It is absolutely crucial for replacing dead cells, distributing oxygen, and eliminating waste. Sufficient water ensures proper bulk in stools and keeps the parastaltic (wavy) motion of the intestines going. The body is more than 80% water. Bottom line: the more water you drink, the younger your body stays.

Gut Feelings

Dr. Sue Lawton (far right) demonstrates how the parastaltic motion of digestion can be disrupted by poor diet, dehydration, and negative attitudes.

Dr. Sue Lawton (far right) demonstrates how the parastaltic motion of digestion can be disrupted by poor diet, dehydration, and negative attitudes.

Bad nutrition is not the only thing that can compromise the intestinal lining, allowing toxins to spill through the intestinal wall, into the bloodstream, and throughout your body. “Negative thoughts and self hate will do it,” Dr. Lawton asserts. “Unexpressed frustrations or expectations. Failure to forgive and let go.” Negativity in any form compromises the immune system, down to the cellular level. “Every cell in your body has a memory just like your brain. And your cells react to everything your mind says,” concludes Dr. Lawton. “So stay positive, and you will strengthen your entire body.”

About the Presenter


SueLawtonDr. Sue Lawton is an RN, has two PhDs (the first in clinical physiology and the second in basel chemistry), and has been using essential oils for over 40 years. Between her continued book study and hands-on experience, she’s a perfect example of knowing a good oil and the effects it should create when used properly.

Dr. Sue lives in New Jersey with her wonderful husband, John.

Week of Wellness: Lotions and Potions

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The Week of Wellness classes at the Eleve™ Event Center continue, and this post is from the “Lotions and Potions” class taught by Tamalu Watkins, an experienced massage therapist and essential oil user.

Lotions and Potions

Topical application of essential oils is a great way to apply oils, since the skin absorbs the oils quickly. Using lotion as your base for applying oils not only allows you to create custom blends that will last longer with fewer oil drops, but it also ensures that the oils are properly diluted for those with sensitive skin or children.

Making the Lotion

Making your own lotion is easier than you might think, and, because you made it, you know what you are putting on your skin.

One thing people often worry about when making their own lotion is if it will go bad (i.e. rancid or moldy). According to Tamalu, to prevent your lotions from going bad, just make sure all of your equipment and dishes are clean, your hands are clean, and you are using fresh ingredients.

Basic Body Cream Brochure

Tamalu provides a great lotion base recipe in her brochure Basic Body Cream. She lists the specific oils she uses but also mentions that you basically need 4 oz. of hard oils, 6 oz. of soft oils, and 9 oz. of distilled water. You will need about 45–90 drops of essential oils for the whole batch.

During the class, Tamalu shared with us her method and tips for making lotion. Start by heating water on the stove in a pan. Next, measure the hard oils (oils that are solid at room temperature such as beeswax, cocoa butter, coconut oil, shea butter, and mango butter) into a glass measuring cup. Tamalu suggests measuring by weight with a scale because this allows you to have a consistent end product each time you make a batch and also allows you to make substitutions easily. Melt the hard oils by placing the glass measuring cup in the pan of simmering water, stirring often.

Melt OilsWhile the hard oils are melting, measure out the soft oils (oils that are liquid at room temperature such as jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, grape seed oil, sesame seed oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil, shea oil, fractionated coconut oil, or olive oil) in another glass dish on the scale. NOTE: You do not want to melt these soft oils with the hard oils because it can really change the soft oils. For example, if olive oil is heated with the beeswax, the olive oil takes on a smell that will be difficult to mask.

Once the hard oils are melted, add the soft oils to the hard oils. Mix together until blended, and gently warm just until the oils have mixed together. Remove the oils from the heat.

In another glass measuring cup or medium glass bowl, pour in the right amount of distilled water. Place the glass dish in the simmering water, and warm until lukewarm to room temperature. NOTE: Only use distilled water! The minerals in other water can cause a chemical reaction when emulsified with the oils and ruin your lotion.

Whisk Oils and Water TogetherOnce the water is warm, remove the dish from the stove, and turn off the heat. Place an immersion blender in the water, and start blending. While continuing to blend, slowly pour the oil mixture into the water. As you blend, you will hear a change and feel the lotion thicken.

When you think you are done blending the lotion, leave it alone for a few minutes. If, when you come back, you find the water has separated out, that means you haven’t blended it enough. Blend it up again if needed. If the water doesn’t separate within the first few minutes of leaving it, then it means it emulsified properly and won’t separate later.

Now that the lotion is complete, you can add your essential oils to the entire batch or spoon (with a clean spoon or wooden craft sticks) the lotion out into smaller containers before adding the essential oils.

Words of Wisdom from Tamalu Watkins

“You cannot give without receiving.” As you rub oils and massage them into others, you also receive the benefits of the oils through the contact with your hands. As you massage, add the oils AFTER the deep massage, and use a light touch to stimulate the nerves. This increases the effectiveness of the oil application.

Another way to increase the effectiveness of the oils, Tamalu says, is to put socks on after rubbing the lotion (with oils) on your feet. Water also helps “drive” the oils into the skin; so take a shower or bath after rubbing the lotion and oils on your skin.

If you tend to have dry skin, these lotions will keep your skin soft for a long while. You usually don’t have to reapply as often as other lotions unless you are trying to heal a burn or other skin injury.

We hope you give lotion-making a try because we know you will love being able to give your skin a natural moisturizer and customize your lotion to your own needs with essential oils!

About the Presenter


TamaluWatkinsTamalu Watkins is an educator, massage therapist, author, mother of 9, and grandmother of 3 healthy, happy, and active children. Nutrition, essential oils, and essential oil application have been her focus for most of the past 20 years. You won’t regret time spent learning from her years of applied study.

Week of Wellness: A Simple View of Chakras

Connie Boucher’s class “Live Shine-Y” continued the Week of Wellness celebration by AromaTools™ for the Grand Opening of our new retail store in Pleasant Grove, Utah.

Look for more blog posts this week about our free classes—all held in the beautiful Elevé Event Center on the second floor above the AromaTools™ store.

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Live Shine-Y! A Simple View of Chakras.

With origins in Eastern philosophy, the concept of chakras—energy centers in the body—seems mysterious to many people. Connie Boucher—massage therapist and holistic health coach—made understanding and balancing chakras easier in her engaging class.

YogaPoseThink of the seven chakras in the body as forming an aligned, vertical connection through yourself from earth to heaven. The aim of balancing chakras is to help you feel more harmonized with the physical world, with your relationships (including with yourself), and with your higher power.

Working from the inside out is key to Connie’s philosophy. You first have to get rid of negative energy within to make a place for positive energy. Then that positive energy can flow out of you to change your world. “I can recommend certain essential oils that I use for the different chakras,” explains Connie. “You can use other oils and get the same results. The oils carry amazing energy vibrations. But your own positive intentions, thoughts, words, and actions are the most important thing.”

Connie’s daily chakra balancing routine begins after her morning shower. Standing upright, she applies oils on each chakra while looking in the mirror and reciting verbal affirmations. “I think of a declaration for each chakra: something I want to become or improve on in that area. I speak it in the present tense, as if it were already reality, for that is the reality I want to create.”

As you stand up straight and tall, you might imagine a tree and work from the roots upward to balance your chakras. (The colors associated with the chakras are significant for some people, too, when forming mental images.)
1226 - Chakras Chart

  1. Root: Color—red; Location—base of spine (or bottoms of feet); Oil—Grounding Blend. “Imagine yourself mentally letting stress flow out of you down through your roots. Then take in nutrients up through the roots,” suggests Connie. “The root chakra is about owning your own space, feeling that you belong in this world. You want to become stable, safe, grounded, secure.”
  2. Sacral: Color—orange; Location—below the navel; Oil—wild orange. This chakra resides near the sexual organs. “This is where we create, dream, and find passion and excitement for life. Imagine a full tire and then a flat one. Without purpose, depression can reside here.”
  3. Solar Plexus: Color—yellow; Location—above the navel; Oil—lime. “This is our center between earth and heaven, our sense of self, and our give and take with others.”
  4. Heart: Color—green; Location—heart; Oil—lemon. “Lemon helps soften the walls we may have built up around our heart. We sometimes need to ask ourselves whether we would like to be right in our negative feelings about a situation or person or whether we would like to be happy. We have to let go of the one to receive the other.”
  5. Throat: Color—blue; Location—center of throat/neck; Oil—bergamot. “This is where truth resides. Lying and gossip hurt here. We want to feel comfortable with our true voice. But fear is big here: either of hurting others or being misjudged and hurt by them. If you have painful things to express, write them out by hand. Then you can speak the truth in a positive way.”
  6. Third Eye: Color—indigo/purple; Location—middle of forehead; Oil—clary sage. “This is where we connect with intuition and our ability to make decisions. So often we look outside ourselves for answers when we already know what we believe and what we want.”
  7. Crown: Color—violet to white; Location—top of the head; Oil—frankincense or Joyful Blend. “This chakra is a twin, or sister, to the Third Eye. This is the top of our tree, where we connect with divine energy and receive inspiration. Prayer and meditation strengthen this chakra. Here we listen and receive what we need.”

Connie shared many favorite quotes about the vital importance in life of finding “how to do what we came here to do and be what we came here to be.” Ask yourself, “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” Then realize, “If you don’t decide what you want and create a future for yourself, you will get what someone else has planned for you.” In other words: “Live intentionally, not by default.”

And at the end of the day, “Don’t die with your music still in you.”

For more of Connie’s wisdom, see her books and CD at AromaTools.com. AromaTools™ also carries various information on the subject of chakras.

About the Presenter


ConnieBoucherConnie Boucher is a holistic health coach, massage therapist, self-help author, the owner of Super Simple Wellness, wellness coach, wife, mom, and grandma. A combination of her massage schooling, a wide range of natural healing workshops, real-life experiences, and a wholehearted desire to improve herself and her surroundings, have all shaped her thinking and given her a unique perspective on life.

Week of Wellness: Take the Urgency Out of Emergency

Yesterday, we were pleased to host a class called “Take the Urgency Out of Emergency” taught by author Tamalu Watkins in our new Elevé™ Event Center. This class was part of our Week of Wellness to celebrate the grand opening of our new AromaTools™ retail store in Pleasant Grove, UT. This post covers the highlights of what was taught in that class.

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Emergency Essential Oils Kit

The first step to having a truly useful emergency essential oils kit is learning how to use oils to benefit your family today with their everyday health concerns. This competence is the key to a customized kit and the confidence to use it, says Tamalu Watkins—a mother, grandmother, massage therapist, author, and essentials oils educator.

MotherBandagingGirl

Do members of your family have allergy, respiratory, digestive, or blood pressure issues? Then, oils that address those ailments must not only be part of your emergency kit but also part of your mastered skill set. Your everyday needs will only intensify in a time of emergency. And that’s before anything else that an accident, sudden illness, or epidemic may throw your way. In other words, “practice makes permanent.” Determine to develop a skill set that will help you intuitively respond better when a crisis comes.

After your personalized oils, add other combinations and blends suitable for any emergency: calming (for victims and yourself as responder), cleansing, protective, respiratory, etc. For example, through years of having sons who play contact sports, Tamalu added bergamot to her kit for protection against head trauma.

What to Include in Your Kit

FirstAidBoxTo round things out, here is Tamalu’s basic supply list to equip you as a ready “first responder” in emergencies:

  • Empty Gelatin Capsules for taking essential oils orally or as suppositories.
  • Vegetable Glycerin as a carrier oil for taking oils orally (especially for children who can’t swallow capsules). A couple of drops of lemon (and a drop of oregano for adults) in a spoonful of glycerin can help soothe a sore throat or cough—the glycerin is naturally sweet and will not compromise the immune system or become dangerous over time like commercial cough syrups. To soothe cracked, bleeding skin, add a drop each of lavender and fractionated coconut oil to a glycerin base, and apply topically.
  • Baking soda for aiding detoxification. Make a paste, and spread it over affected areas. Add a drop of Purifying Blend for insect bites or a combination of lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus for rashes.
  • Epsom Salts for detoxification as well as for reducing swelling and pain. Add to water to soak a sprain, strain, or bruise.
  • Fractionated coconut oil for diluting essential oils when massaging a large area or applying to sensitive skin.
  • Hydrogen peroxide for applying to wounds to loosen embedded materials.
  • Mustard plaster for a disaster in which lungs are affected. Use with caution, especially on small children and pets. Basic recipe: 3 heaping tablespoons dry mustard, 5 heaping tablespoons flour, ½ teaspoon baking soda, and water. Combine dry ingredients, and add enough water for a thick paste. The wetter the plaster, the “hotter” it becomes. Do not apply it directly to the skin. Spread it on a clean rag, or—better yet—spread between two old, clean t-shirts and then wear the double t-shirt. Discard the rag or t-shirts after treatment, and rinse the skin.
  • A variety of bandages and self-adhering sports wrapping tape for dressing all types of wounds. Rinse the wound with clean water, if possible. For embedded debris, soak with hydrogen peroxide to loosen, and then rinse. Drop lavender, melaleuca, or other soothing oils or blends onto the wound to cleanse, reduce pain, and promote healing. Seal with fractionated coconut oil (or other ointment), and cover with a gauze sponge. Wrap with gauze roll, and secure with self-adhering tape.

Knowledge Is Power

Tamalu’s ultimate objective for emergency preparedness is this: “Drop me—or you—into any situation with oils in hand, and we can come out OK because our knowledge will make a difference for good.” To benefit from Tamalu’s 20 years of experience with essential oils, check out her pamphlets, brochures, and books at AromaTools.com.

About the Presenter


TamaluWatkinsTamalu Watkins is an educator, massage therapist, author, mother of 9, and grandmother of 3 healthy, happy, and active children. Nutrition, essential oils, and essential oil application have been her focus for most of the past 20 years. You won’t regret time spent learning from her years of applied study.

Essential Tips for Taking Care of YOURSELF While You’re Taking Care of Others

WOW-bannerThis week, at AromaTools™, is our Week of Wellness, and we are offering a series of posts that correspond with the free classes being held at our Pleasant Grove, UT, location from various essential oil experts. Check back throughout the week to see what great information is being shared!

This post is from a friend of ours, Jennifer Antkowiak. Jen has had personal experience being a caregiver and has a passion for helping other family caregivers. Along with being the creator of a corporate wellness program for caregivers, she is also a nationally certified fitness instructor, a gold-ranked member of an essential oil company, and a mother of five children.

How to Take Care of YOURSELF While You’re Taking Care of Others

We all have times when we feel overwhelmed. Are you feeling the effects of spreading yourself too thin? Maybe you’re having trouble getting enough sleep or you’re not eating well. Maybe you’re struggling to manage stress. Maybe you’re taking care of a sick or elderly family member, and you feel you just don’t have enough time to take care of yourself. I can help you fix that by showing you how to get back on track with taking care of YOU.

Think for a minute…what have you done for YOURSELF lately? I’m not talking about something that you had to do; I mean something that you wanted to do—just for you…just for fun!

In our busy worlds, it’s easy to let self-care slip to a back burner, and that shift is having devastating results:

  • 79% of caregivers say they need help with things such as “finding time for myself, managing my emotional and physical stress, and balancing work and family responsibilities.”
  • 59% work and manage caregiving responsibilities at the same time.
  • 40% of women and 26% of men caregivers rate their emotional stress levels at 4 or 5 out of 5 (statistics from AARP).

We take care of our families, jobs, and homes because we love them and need them. But we only have so many hours in a day, and the more we’re called into action for each of those things, the less time we have for ourselves. Letting go of making ourselves a priority puts our health at risk and strips us of the strength and energy we need to do the things we want.

I found out about this in a big way when I was a primary caregiver for my mother-in-law and father-in-law. Taking care of my in-laws opened my eyes to the struggles that family caregivers deal with every minute of every day. We don’t get enough sleep. We don’t eat well. We don’t exercise. We lose connection with friends and family.

Living in this way, strangely, starts to feel “normal.” And after a little while, we don’t even recognize that we’re living in an unhealthy way.

So how do get yourself back on your radar? In my books, talks, and workshops, I teach people to focus on baby steps—little ten minute chunks of time to grab and maximize. Can ten minutes really make a difference? Yes!

Within just seconds, you can increase your heart rate, move more oxygen through your system, and trigger the brain to release chemicals you need to either power up or relax!

To jumpstart your journey back to self-care so you can start feeling better fast, let’s focus on the areas of life that are the core of health and wellness: Sleep, Nutrition, and Fitness.

Sleep

In doing research for my books, I visited sleep labs in medical centers and saw how doctors observe and treat people with sleep disorders. To help people get better quality sleep, they keep the room dark—no TVs or cell phones on at bedtime. They also talk with patients about the importance of creating and maintaining a nighttime routine.

WomanSleeping

For me, it starts about an hour before bed with a cup of green tea with a honey stick infused with lavender, lemon, and peppermint essential oil. It’s sold as an Allergy Blend, but I love it for the relaxing properties of lavender, the uplifting nature of lemon, and the digestive support from peppermint oil. For me, it sends a signal that it’s time to wind down. I also keep a spray bottle of lavender essential oil in our bedroom to spritz bedding and curtains and a roller ball bottle of lavender essential oil mixed with fractionated coconut oil that makes it quick and easy to roll a little on the bottoms of my feet.

Nutrition

Focusing on nutrition in self-care most often simply means making the time to eat! I know many people who gain weight, not because they’re eating too much, but because they’re skipping meals. That really throws the metabolism out of whack, and it can be tough to get it moving again! Consistency pays off here––make sure to keep a steady flow of fuel to the body to allow it to work the way it’s made to work!

AT_WaterBottleIt’s important to pay attention to staying hydrated as part of our talk about nutrition. Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces of water every day. I like to add a few drops of a Metabolic Blend of essential oils, which includes grapefruit, lemon, clove, peppermint, ginger, and cinnamon, to a glass water bottle. I drink this between meals, and I especially like it during a workout. It boosts my energy and allows me to get the most out of exercise.

I also love to use essential oils in cooking to add nutrition and therapeutic benefits. There are some great recipes in a book co-created by my friend Ruthi Bosco called Everyday Cooking with Essential Oils.

Fitness

Last (for now), let’s look at how to bump up your fitness level. If you’re like many overwhelmed people that I know, you’re thinking I’m a little nuts to suggest you leap off the couch and go for a jog. “I thought you understood, Jen… I’m TIRED!” Guess what? You may be tired because you’re not moving enough! Strange, but true—more activity equals more energy!

WomanRunningSo, to get you moving more, start in baby steps. Aim for a little ten minute walk to get you going. Soon, you’ll learn to love that time for yourself. Your body will actually crave it and want more! I do some of my best thinking during a nice long walk. The movement is good for the muscles and also for the brain—for stress relief. You may not believe it now; but trust me, your workout will become a mini vacation!

Exercise provides a much needed mental break.

I’m a nationally certified fitness instructor, and I teach a variety of aerobic and strength–based classes. I’ve been thrilled to see how Soothing Blends of essential oils help to support healthy muscles and joints and allow people who didn’t think they were able to move much at all to start exercising again! In fact, I like to keep samples with me to share with people who could benefit from them. A drop of orange or lemon essential oil mixed with a drop of peppermint in a glass water bottle is a refreshing energy boost before, during, and after a workout! And, I like to keep a little plastic spray bottle of peppermint oil and water in my gym bag—just a spray cools me down right away!

Think about how you can pull just one of these tips to take better care of yourself today. I want you to care for yourself with wild abandon! No guilt! Be confident in knowing that there’s BIG power in those little minutes. Taking even a little time for yourself will work wonders in keeping you healthy, strong, and happy for everyone else. I’m looking forward to sharing more with you through this blog.

Which area of self-care do you want to focus on first?

About the Author

JenniferAntkowiakJennifer Antkowiak has a 20-year career as a trusted, beloved, Emmy award–winning television news anchor and reporter. She currently anchors the early morning news on KDKA-TV (CBS Pittsburgh). Jen has a special connection with viewers, who say they appreciate her warmth, wit, and wisdom.

Personal caregiving experiences fuel Jennifer’s passionate mission to help family caregivers. She founded Jennifer Cares (www.JenniferCares.com), which provides information and products that make life easier for caregivers, and is a caregiver, author, coach, and advocate. She’s a sought-after speaker and creator of a corporate wellness program for caregivers. And, Jennifer is a nationally certified fitness instructor who teaches classes with a focus on stress relief, weight loss, and fun. She is in development of at-home fitness programs for caregivers.

Jennifer is working to educate and empower people to be healers in their homes through the use of Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils for natural, effective support for help with physical and emotional issues. She is a passionate gold-ranked member of an essential oil company, and her team continues to break records for growth and momentum.

Jennifer and her husband, Joe, have five children. They live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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Thank you, Jen, for sharing your knowledge and experience with us!