Stress Less

I have always loved plants and nature. According to the bible they are God’s medicine. A couple of years ago (Oct. 2015) I decided to get more serious studying the chemistry of plant based therapeutics. I’ve always known essential oils were powerful and have recipes for pain relief, sleep, and respiratory support BUT there is so much to learn! Keytones and Oxides, Monoterpenes and Sesquiterpenols. 10-carbon molecules = great for diffusing, 15-carbon molecules with a hydroxyl functional group might clog a diffuser and would be better used for topical application or in an inhaler stick. I took three classes and invested 500 hours of study time (actually probably more counting the 15 case studies and final research paper). Here is the certificate of completion from the last of the three classes … I received it after my research paper on stress was reviewed and accepted. I’m officially a Certified Aromatherapist!

Aromatherapy Certification 11:2017

Here’s a recipe blend I had in my research paper:

This is a 2% evening blend for a 15ml glass roller bottle. This blend helps relax both mind and muscles to prepare the body for a restful sleep. Simply roll on neck and shoulders and rub in. ONLY use quality essential oils or you risk skin rash, allergic reactions, immune problems … unfortunately not all essential oils labeled pure are really pure, therapeutic, and unadulterated. I use and sell Doterra at https://www.doterra.com/US/en/site/relax and I also order from aromatics.com. I can also make this and other custom blends directed towards your unique needs!

STRESS LESS Blend

– 15ml jojoba wax
– 1d frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
– 1d lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
– 1d orange (Citrus sinensis)
– 1d sweet marjoram (Origanum majorana)
– 1d ylang ylang (Cananga odorata var. genuine)
– 1d vetiver (Chrysopogon zizanioides or Vetiveria zizanioides)

In the research paper I talked about vagus nerve innervations to different areas of the body and the connection to sympathetic nervous system arousal (the stress fight-flight-freeze response). The vagus nerve innervates the diaphragm and one way to bring in calm from a hard-wired perspective is to take deep breaths and extend the exhale. The vagus nerve also has one place in the body where it comes near the skin and that is behind the ears. Gently roll the STRESS LESS blend behind the ear and massage in. Then cup your hands, hold them up to your nose and inhale the relaxing aroma deeply for a count of 5 … slowly exhale for a count of 5 or more if you can.

That’s a one, two, three punch in knocking out stress. The essential oils directly send calming messages to the limbic (fear) area of the brain through the olfactory-limbic connection, the massage behind the ear helps to trigger the parasympathetic (relaxation) side of the vagus nerve, and deep breathing gives a body wide message that it’s safe to rest and digest. The STRESS LESS blend is great for people who have trouble winding down after a busy day; it’ll help prepare your body for a rejuvenating sleep!

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Pushing Through Life

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I went to a riding instructor update clinic and just recently returned. It’s mandatory to attend these clinics every few years to maintain the instructor credentials. And it’s nerve racking … the travel, the being watched and critiqued over your teaching, and instructing riders you’ve never met before and will probably never see again.

I’ve been attending these clinics for 15 years and yet I never seemed to get used to it, I’d be anxious for months beforehand … the anxiety over this event spilled over into all other areas of life … affecting sleeping, affecting constipation, affecting energy level, etc. I love learning new things but I was never excited for these clinic “learning” experiences … on the contrary, it was really hard to take in new information or do anything else except to grin and bear it, persevering until the update clinic was over.

I tried to spice it up by going to interesting places like Steamboat Springs, Colorado for one update and by experimenting with having clinics from different lead instructors but the stress continued to blend into other areas of my life. I was a bundle of nerves. I still did it anyway … because that’s what I do … I push through and carry on towards the end goal, but I pay a terrible price doing it that way. Not at the expense of unfulfilled dreams (I do live my dreams), but rather it’s the ‘wear and tear’ that pushing through life causes on a body. I have my dream life, yet I haven’t been able to enjoy having it. Instead I feel that self-induced heavy load creating unnecessary muscle tension and pain.

But something is changing. Really changing. A couple of years ago my body broke down from pushing through life and I’ve slowed down … was forced to actually. And I find I like a slower pace … it suits me. I don’t even canter much when I ride anymore and that surprises people and I’m ok with that. I’m enjoying life, relaxing, and smelling the proverbial roses along the way. I’m acknowledging my limits and not striving to be Wonder Woman anymore. And you know what, stress is no longer bleeding through into other areas of my life … it’s contained. Yes, there is still stress (that’s an unavoidable fact of life) but it’s only brief and is appropriate to the situation and I don’t lose sleep over it anymore.

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This last update clinic I went to Vermont, the home of the founder and I had an amazing time. I learned a lot. I enjoyed the people. I slept at night. Yes, I was nervous when I taught but it was within the boundary of the teaching time. And when the evaluation time came at the end of the clinic, I felt good.

It just amazes me what happens when we stop pushing through life, slow down and start going with the flow of life. Saying no more often, being ok with our personal limits, and saying yes with integrity. Everything opens up and all of life feels like spring again. New and refreshed.