Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Quest for Good Health Naturally

I have long been a fan of the natural ways for caring for one's health.  My mom was big into helping our family and the many others that came thru our doors hoping to feel better.  When she first started using essential oils we kids used to make fun of the smells that drifted out whenever she opened her van door, her purse or her closet where she kept her stash. Now I am her. Recently someone came close enough to smell the recently applied Thieves oil and commented about it as did the lady at the hotel when we checked in and she smelled the ones poking out of my travel bag along with my diffuser I take everywhere. A few years ago I would not have gotten caught dead smelling "natural".  Guess I have matured or gone nutty?
Some of my many favorites just to name a few include Valor, Peppermint, Thieves, Harmony and of course Lavender.

Harmony  is amazing for allergies, hay fever and sinus issues. I have seen it calm and soothe someone experiencing a severe anaphylactic reaction.
Valor is amazing for aches and pains.  I keep a bottle handy for my kids' bumps and bruises. It helps stop bleeding also. I have seen it effective for such painful conditions as Plantar Fascitis
Thieves is my go to infection fighter.  I love dabbing it behind my ears before I leave the house. Plus it smells amazing.  Great for sore throats, ear infections.
Peppermint is amazing for digestion.  I also use it in many of my reflexology sessions as a great opening force for plugged or drippy sinus issues.
Lavender is good for many many things!  One of my favorite uses is a few drops in my bubble bath. it is good for burns and putting a few drops in a few ounces of olive oil have been the healing force for diaper rashes and other skin issues.

Sometimes tho I doubt myself and  worry I put to much stock into the stuff I do to take care of myself and my family after all we still get sick and have actually had some fairly major issues where we have had to use some traditional western medicine this very year.  Over all thru trial and error and many experiments I am finding empowerment and  feel armed and more able to do things to help us get out of the slump of yucky.  I love learning about health and how the body works and am so blessed to have people surrounding me like my colleague Dr. Bradi Arnold who wrote a very convincing article about the importance of fevers and how they fight infection.  Here are a few direct quotes from her write up which she kindly gave me permission to share.

Many parents panic when their child has a fever. I did too the first time a child was 
brought to my office with a spiked temperature of 102.5 F. It is a scary thing to see that child 
hot, flushed and obviously very uncomfortable. 
It is important to learn ways to manage your child’s fever and not lower it artificially with 
over the counter medications. It would be best if you just threw these drugs away and don’t 
even have them in your medicine cabinet because even infrequent use of an over-the-
counter drug like Tylenol has been linked with serious, lifelong illness like asthma. 
Instead of panicking, honor your child’s fever and learn to use it constructively to improve 
your child’s health and vitality over the long term, because, believe it or not, fevers are 
fabulous and accomplish important things in a child’s developing body. 
Whenever we would get fevers during cold and flu season, my mother would never give us 
OTC’s to bring it down because she know that bringing down a fever would only prolong the 
illness and would weaken vitality for the next illness to come - we would sicker quicker next 
Why do our bodies produce fever? One reason is that fevers greatly slow down 
pathogens. Fevers are a highly beneficial immune response that we suppress to our 
The “germ” – bacteria or virus causing the child’s distress typically replicates every few minutes 
and the fever slows this process down. Fevers work to slow down the spread and severity of 
the illness and are your friend in avoiding a secondary infection (usually respiratory illness), a 
trip to the doctor and a script for antibiotics.
Repeated forced reduction of childhood fever has been linked to childhood cancer.
And eliminating fever will usually cause a secondary infection. When you bring down a 
fever you start a domino effect toward antibiotic use. In other words, if you want to avoid 
antibiotics, don’t bring down the fever. Fever reduction suppresses the immune system. 
Your child is trying to get well himself with the fever and when you bring it down you are 
opening him up to a secondary bacterial infection that will further entrench the virus or bacteria. It cannot be stressed enough that fever has an important role to play in your child’s 
overall well being
So when you bring the fever down you are giving free license to the virus or bacteria to spread in an unrestrained manner. And don’t panic if your child’s temperature gets to 102-103 F degrees—this is the ideal range for a fever. 
I can’t tell you how many times I have seen children spike a beautiful fever of about 102-103 F for a few hours with no other symptoms what soever. When the fever resolved, the illness was over. No cough, no rash, sinus congestion, no nothing. Just a fever and that’s it. I can almost guarantee that if the parents had forcibly brought the fever down with meds, they would have gotten a secondary illness on top of the fever – probably a cough or sinus congestion and the illness would have morphed from an afternoon of chills and discomfort into a two week ordeal with a trip to the doctor and prescription meds. 

I was able to put some of this into perspective this week as each one of my children ended up with the dreaded 24 hour high fever/general achy flu.  Tho every fiber of my being tensed in fear at Hunter's rather high temps that stayed where they were for close to 6 hours I am already seeing benefits in his overall health just a few days later. I simply pushed fluids and kept cool washcloths handy when it was at its highest points and of course oiled him down with all sorts of my essential oils.

Another great learning source is my friend Kristi who  is an amazing herbalist and puts together some potent formulas from the great Dr Richard Shultze's recipes. She has been tremendously helpful in giving me ideas on how to rebuild good health in Alexia's lungs since her hospital stay for pneumonia a few weeks ago.  Who would have known stinky garlic chopped up and made into a poultice would help pull Lex out of respiratory distress? And her echinacia tincture is unbelievable.  WOW!
I am blessed to have so many great teachers to help me along the path of help! I think we have so many wonderful God given tools available to help us along in the quest for better health and living.

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