Author Archives: sathyatripodi

Yoga + Oils: A Powerhouse for Self Care

5th November 2017

Before I jump into the many wonders of essential oils and how they can enhance your yoga practice, I want to share a little bit about my own history with yoga and oils.  Not because it’s particularly interesting or moving but because I want to speak directly to those of you who think one or both of these things are not for you.  When I was first introduced to essential oils, I was game for trying anything to help support my family’s health so that was easy.  They worked and I was hooked.  When it came to yoga, not so much.  I resisted giving it a real shot for ten solid years.  Solid.  I mean, I knew it had health benefits. All my friends were doing it.  I read the articles and even bought some yoga pants because they were comfy but actually getting on the mat and doing the damn thing was a no go.  Here were my reasons (read: excuses).  Maybe you’ve felt the same way, maybe not.  My joints hurt holding poses.  It was boring.  It was awkward.  It seemed to take forever.  I was afraid of doing it wrong.  What was the point?  Hashtag eye roll.

Fast forward nine years and two kids later.  My lower back is totally out of whack.  My hips hurt.  My ankles are tired.  I feel like a worn out old lady, not a 33 year old woman.  I manage the pain using ice packs, essential oils and the occasional muscle relaxer but the pain comes and goes regardless.  The occasional massage helped too so I went to give it a shot and as the therapist worked on me, she noticed areas on my body, calves and thighs in particular, that had what she describes as a massive wall of muscle putting added tension and pressure on my joints.  Awesome.  According to her, these built up over a long period of time and she firmly suggested that I start doing yoga.  I was really hoping she could just fix me and I could be on my way but apparently this would take more than one massage to resolve.  There was something about they way she said “you need to do yoga” that stayed with me.  Over the next few weeks, I gradually began to realize that I was going to have to do things differently if I wanted to improve my quality of life.  So I looked into some online yoga classes and asked my friends for recommendations and then made up my mind that if I was going to do this, I might as well just DO IT.  Lucky for me, my pal Stephanie Moon, recommended the YouTube channel, Yoga With Adriene and it was just what I needed to get me started on my mat.  If you don’t follow Adriene’s ‘yoga channel, you are missing out, my friend.  She makes yoga accessible to everyone and helped me understand, for the first time, that yoga wasn’t about having perfect form or that you had to have a certain body type to do it well.  It is truly for everyone and actually quite simple.  Like with so many things in life, the hardest part is just saying yes.  So, finally, after ten ears of resisting, I gave into it and jumped in.  What happened next will be no surprise to you.  I found relief, joy, healing, rest and a more authentic connection with myself than I had ever given myself permission to even look for.  I am still a total amateur at yoga but so glad I leaned into it and opened that door that been waiting for me for so long.

Now let’s talk about how oils fit in.  If you have some knowledge about essential oils, you know they can be a powerful tool for supporting a healthy lifestyle.  Much like yoga, they help us make a mind/body connection in a completely natural way without forcing abrupt change on our bodies.  Essential oils can elevate our mood, relax our stressed mind and promote a sense of grounding so our body can function at it’s optimal capacity.  Funny, those words all describe yoga too.  When you combine the chemical properties of essential oils and the healing power of breath through yoga, what you have is a richer experience and a more connected practice that will have lasting effects on your health.

Here are my top picks, on and off the mat.

These oils can be diffused in the room during your practice or applied topically before, during and after yoga.  Inhaling the aroma of the oils triggers responses in the brain that have a direct effect on the limbic system.  This effect has been shown to support emotional balance, mood stability, focus and mental clarity.  Beyond that, oils that come from trees, such as the Idaho Balsam Fir can help us establish a connection to the earth and the electrical frequencies of the oils actually help elevate our own so we literally vibrate at a higher frequency as a result of using them.  Supported by mindful breathing throughout the practice, these oils have a powerful impact on our mind and body.

I don’t need to be the one to tell you that stress wreaks havoc on your body.  The evidence of this is overwhelming.  So what do we do?  Sadly, many of us allow it to take over our bodies to the point of utter exhaustion.  Why is it so many of us suffer from adrenal fatigue, heart conditions, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure and digestive imbalances?  Many signs point to stress and it’s only getting worst as the busyness of our lives demands more from us every day and we continue to define our success by how much we are able to produce.  Even worse, feeling the physical manifestation of stress in our lives has become the new normal and we can all relate.  My hope, if you’ve managed to stay awake this long, is that you’ll come away with an open mind toward essential oils and yoga as a combined tool for loving and caring for yourself.  It is going to cost you time and money?  Probably some, maybe less than you think but whatever the cost, you’re worth it and in my opinion, you can’t afford not to at least take a look at something as simple as mindful breathing, meditation, yoga and oils and makes some room in your daily routine for self care.

Namaste forever.

– Sathya

 

Introducing Savvy Minerals by Young Living

21st June 2017

If you’re here, you’re curious.  Curious about natural make-up that actually looks and feels amazing.  Curious maybe about how this can work for you.  We have that in common!  Curiosity is why I joined Young Living in the first place and also why I continue to educate myself on the importance of using products that are not only natural and effective, but actually beneficial to my health.  That is why this new make-up line from Young Living has me and so many others so excited!  By the way, I am not a make-up expert or consultant, just a regular person who cares about what goes on my body and doesn’t want to sacrifice health for beauty anymore and I don’t think you should either.

Savvy Minerals products don’t just even out your complexion, cover up blemishes and enhance your beautiful features.  They actually do good things for your skin and reduce the chemical load you put on it daily by replacing make-up that is full of toxins, which you might have been using before.  Did you know that, on average, women apply 300 toxic chemicals to their body every day?  And 80 of those are applied before breakfast!  These harsh chemicals are found in products we use directly on our skin, like lotions, skincare regimens, make-up, soaps, shampoos and oral care products.  That is alarming, considering many of these chemicals are banned in many other countries because they have been found to be carcinogenic and damaging to endocrine and reproductive systems.  Yet, in the US, companies are not required to disclose this information.  In fact, the laws regulating what goes into cosmetics have not been addressed since the 1930’s! To me, that is absolutely alarming.

So, what is so special about this new make-up?  Haven’t other mineral based make-up brands been around for a long time already? 

First of all, it’s important to note that just because something is mineral based, it does not mean it’s good for your skin.  Some minerals such as bismuth, although natural, can be aggravating to pores and Young Living’s new make-up contains NO BISMUTH.  This is a huge differentiating factor between Savvy Minerals and other mineral make-up brands.  Another important note is that many other natural cosmetics use nano particles to provide a smoother application of the product.  Guess what, nano particles are so small that they can penetrate into your blood stream and potentially interact with your cells.  Not enough is known yet about what happens at that level but rather than risk it, Young Living decided not to use nano particles and instead, coated larger particles that do not enter the bloodstream with jojoba wax to create the same smooth effect without the health concern.  AMEN TO THAT. 

Let’s talk about what else is NOT in this new make-up: 

  • no parabens
  • no nano particles
  • no pthalates
  • no petrochemicals 
  • no bismuth
  • no talc
  • no synthetic fragrances
  • no synthetic dyes or colorants
  • no animal testing – cruelty free!
  • no gluten

Google any of the above toxins and you’ll find some horrifying facts.  For example, petrochemicals, which are found in most cosmetic brands are derived from petroleum or natural gas and research has shown them to be carcinogenic.  Talc has been linked to ovarian cancer.  Synthetic dyes are linked to cancer and seizures among other severe health problems. 

Here’s what Savvy Minerals DO contain: 

These products are all dermatologist tested and hypoallergenic too!

Exciting stuff, huh?  Here’s the most powerful part for me about all of this.  There are many women out there who are using little to no make up at all because of their concern for the toxicity and also because the thought of “figuring it out” is overwhelming.  We weren’t all taught how to apply make-up and we don’t all want to look like the Kardashians, nor do we have the time for their “72 easy steps to contouring.”  We probably don’t even know what contouring is.  We want simple tools and instructions so we can get going with our day.  We want our look to match the confidence we carry inside and we want to feel empowered to look and feel beautiful without giving up our natural wellness lifestyle.  That’s why this is so important.  It’s a movement that is empowering women to look amazing and do it in a healthy way.  And thanks to Melissa Poepping and Young Living, we have tools at our disposal not just to learn to color match and apply the make-up, but to share it with others.  You don’t have to become the make-up expert overnight.  Lord knows I’m no expert and probably never will be but using the online tutorial videos that Young Living created, is all I need to get the look that puts my best foot forward and lets people know that I believe in myself and I’m no pushover when it comes to the cosmetics industry.  That’s major empowerment right there. 

Now, if you’re wondering if the quality of this make-up matches its purity, I’ll leave you with this.  Savvy  Minerals make-up was produced in the world’s leading cosmetics manufacturing facility in the world, located in Milan, Italy.  When the foundation was completed, the people in charge there told Young Living staff that they had never created a more luxurious foundation and that they had never worked with such a strict and regimented company before.  This facility also has the world’s leading research on the latest make-up trends for the next three years, giving Young Living insights into the future.  They already have the next two years of launches planned out, starting with mascara coming in August 2017!  This is a big deal, my friends.  We now have so much more to offer our family and friends!  

What are you waiting for?  Go to bit.ly/SathyaTripodi if you’re not already a member and order your basic starter kit for $45.  This kit contains the ever popular blend, Stress Away as well as some sample packets of other oils but most importantly, this $45 purchase gets you the wholesale discount (24% off of retail) on ALL Young Living products, including… you guess it… the MAKE UP!!!  Now that you’re a member, join the Essential Rewards program and add your make-up to your first ER order.  No monthly subscription box has ever offered so much back in rewards.  It is truly the BEST way to maximize your wholesale membership and as with all my members, it will include all the education and resources you need to live a life of wellness through 100% natural products.  We will lock arms and revolutionize the way you live your life empowering you with freedom and opportunity.  That is my passion!

Need a celebrity endorsement to seal the deal?  Check out this testimonial from Kristin Cavallari!  She is loving her Savvy Minerals make-up!

 

2016 was rough but I learned something

27th December 2016

Humans are a constant work in progress.  Always learning, reshaping our perspective and shifting our mindset.  Evolving.  This is just a part of our nature.  It’s how we survive and hopefully thrive in this messy world.  There are a few big ones though.  Those shifts in your paradigm that really shake things up.  The ones that create lasting change in your life because they change what you believe about yourself and the world around you.  Maybe it’s what Oprah calls the AHA moment.  What a ridiculously cliche statement but there it is.  Everyone knows what it is but few know how to recognize it in their own lives.  Maybe it’s not even one moment where everything was right in the world and there were fireworks and choirs of angels singing.  Perhaps it was just a quiet conversation where someone “got you” or a line in a Gene Wilder movie (may he rest in peace) that made perfect sense.  Whatever the case may be, you are different because of it.  It spoke to you at a level that penetrated all your filters and preconceptions and left you with a better understanding of who you are and why you are here or even just a glimpse of it.  In some way, it reminded you of your purpose on this earth.  And because we have the ability to choose how we think and thus what we believe, these moments can literally change our lives and redirect us toward a different path.  When we find that sense of purpose, of belonging and of belief in ourselves, we can truly do anything.

So, why is this magical unicorn so hard to come by and why do we all struggle so much?  We listen to the world around us, for one.  We listen to our parents, teachers and peers and by the time we’re five, we believe we know just about everything there is to know in the world and because we know all that, we must also know who we are and how we fit.  We are taught to define ourselves by the external world.  But there is much more to our lives than the circumstances that surround us.  There is a whole other world that only exists because we do and will cease to exist when we are gone.  It’s the internal world of our thoughts and emotions.  It is the root of everything we do.  Everything begins with emotions, which lead to thoughts, which translates into action.  The glorious bit is that we can learn to control our emotions and redirect our thinking and thus create action that is meaningful and fulfilling rather than chaotic and destructive.  But just like achieving greatness in the external world, it requires awareness, diligence, self-evaluation on a regular basis and constant effort in personal development.  And, like with all things, it requires us to be open to the possibilities and ready to accept the wisdom of others by putting our cynicism aside to let some light in and show us the way.  Maybe we’re just leaning on the door and need someone to open it so we can fall into the room where the magic happens.  But it won’t happen if we don’t lean in and really listen.  And not just listen but listen with gratitude.  I believe we become our own worst enemies when we deny ourselves the gift of gratitude for what we have.  It’s not easy when life keeps moving the goal post so we are constantly unhappy and looking for something better but it’s worth it because in being grateful, we open the door to the greatness that we were all created for.  And when we walk through that door we can actually experience the joy in every moment along the way.

find-your-moment

Personally, I know I’m far from achieving the greatness I was meant for but I do know I’m capable of it.  Not just in a big obvious way but in the small moments too.  It’s constant work to remind myself of this but again, worth it.  Perspective and gratitude make it possible.

So, if you’re feeling like up till now you’ve been in a fog and you’re ready to step out of it, remember you’re here for a reason.  You won’t have all the answers but you are evolving toward something great and you get the chance to live that every day.  Best wishes for a new year filled with peace, joy and abundance.

xoxo

Restore Balance in body and mind with The Raindrop Technique

26th January 2016

As you may know, I am a firm believer in the power of essential oils from Young Living.  Their potency, purity and power is proven daily in my home.  In the past 12 months, my family has gone through huge transformations toward a cleaner home, body and mind.  This will be a lifelong process with plenty of interruptions for the sometimes necessary Friday night pizza nights and let’s not even get into all the holiday baked goodies.  Yikes!  But, regardless of where we are in the process of cleaning and tuning ourselves, we have found that integrating oils into our lives can help us find greater balance in all areas of life.  Plus, balance is kind of my favorite.  I’ve never been big on extremes.  So read along and bear with me on this lengthy post.  I promise it’s worth your time. 

I enthusiastically welcome you to the Raindrop Technique.

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Therapeutic Grade essential oils can be applied to the body in many different ways.  The Raindrop Technique, developed by Young Living founder, Gary Young,  covers both topical and aromatic applications and is a fantastic way to realign your body and mind, leaving you feeling both alive and relaxed at the same time.  That’s a pretty good way to live, if you ask me.  Here’s a testimony from one of our team members who tried it last week at our Raindrop Technique Class.

I was blessed to be able to experience Young Living’s Raindrop Technique last weekend.  Throughout the application of the oils,  I felt my body and energy shift into a deep state of relaxation.  My body began to align, becoming more of a single unit, as the oils were rubbed into my back and feet. I became aware of my stresses, my pains and my discomforts leaving my body.  As the oils dispersed throughout my back and absorbed into my skin, a comforting feeling of both coolness and warmth lead to an even deeper state of relaxation creating an inner balance.  Each oil, and message technique, lifted me up to a higher state of awareness to my body and mind.  The Raindrop Technique continued to work throughout the afternoon and into the evening.  I was able to work through daily life with a more of a positive outlook, secure state of mind, and a feeling of complete body cleanse.  Young Living’s Raindrop Technique is a true gift to your body, spirit and mind.

Ashleigh Lang-Tolliver

I truly believe this technique will change your life, if you choose to try it.  And the BEST part about it is that it is super easy to learn and apply to anyone so if you’re feeling a little sluggish or under the weather, ask a friend or partner to give you a few minutes of their time to help address common imbalances and get very quickly on the road to relaxation and recovery.  It doesn’t have to be anything fancy.  The oils do 90% of the work all by themselves so even if you’re on your own, you can get most of the benefits by simply dropping the oils on your skin.  Just follow some basic instructions and you’re golden.

Here's our very own Raindrop Class from January 10, taught by Jonathan Tripodi

Here’s our very own Raindrop Class from January 10, taught by Jonathan Tripodi

So how does it work?

It all begins with the feet!  As demonstrated by the licensed therapist who taught our recent class, Jonathan Tripodi (more on my ever talented brother in-law further down), application of oils to the feet is an especially effective way of delivering the benefits of essential oils throughout the body.  You can learn more about Vita Flex here but basically, this pressure point therapy, helps access thousands of points on our bodies and may be helpful in releasing many kinds of tensions, stresses and imbalances.  Beginning here allows the person applying the oils to establish a calming and therapeutic energy connection with the receiver.  Vital to this step is the magical unicorn of essential oil blends, Valor.  This proprietary Young Living blend has a reputation for its effects on electrical and energy alignment in the body.  Many call it “chiropractor in a bottle” for this reason.  Of all the oils in the Raindrop Kit (Yes! There’s a kit! Read on…), this is the most important.  Once this step is complete, the treatment moves to the spine and here is why.

DSC01378

The spine is a prime spot to apply oils because it is the part of our body where our immune system is the weakest and viruses love to hide there awaiting for our immune system to become vulnerable.  Most of us are living with stress, tension, lack of sleep and at least a few unhealthy habits that are hard to break, thus our systems become compromised and when we don’t function at our best, it becomes easier for these dormant viruses to leave the spine and attack our other systems.  Not only that, the back muscles are where many of our tensions get stored and can begin to affect our alignment, among other things.  This Raindrop method is so named because it involves dropping essential oils directly onto the spine from about 6 inches above the body.  The oils are then worked into the spine with some light massage strokes, stimulating nerve impulses and delivering the oily goodness along the entire nervous system.  This is meant to bring about greater alignment and balance in the energy centers of the body.  In fact, in about 20 minutes, the oils area absorbed into the body and begin to create therapeutic effects. 

But no matter how much time you spend massaging the oils into the spine and back muscles, the oils continue to work in the body for a week or more following treatment.  It is recommended, for more depleted systems, that a repetition of the treatment over 3-5 days be done in order to consistently restore balance and create a more lasting effect.

Which oils are used in this technique and why?

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The oils that are recommended for maximum benefit from the Raindrop Technique and that are included in the ever popular Raindrop Kit are: Valor, Thyme, Basil, Wintergreen, Cypress, Peppermint, Oregano, Marjoram and Aroma Siez.  Carefully selected for their many properties, these oils may help with everything from mental and muscular fatigue, joint discomfort, digestive health, mental accuracy, immunity, calming the nerves, respiratory function, relaxation and stress relief.  It is important to note that because all body chemistries are unique, everyone reacts somewhat differently to essential oils.  It is crucial to utilize Valor, Oregano and Thyme in the Raindrop Technique  After that, the remaining oils can be customized for the specific needs of the person receiving the treatment.

Resources for further study and specifics on how to apply!

Possibly the most useful reference for essential oils is the handy Reference Guide for Essential Oils, which you can purchase from Abundant Health.  This amazing book contains detailed instructions for applying the Raindrop Technique and information on the science behind it.  If you’re looking for something with a little more jazz, you can always check out Gary’s instructional DVD or find him on YouTube here.  Our local Young Living team was fortunate enough to learn this incredible technique in person from a body work therapist who has been practicing the technique for 15 years with countless happy results from his many clients throughout the years.  Jonathan Tripodi demonstrated how this simple application method of essential oils can not only stimulate the receiver of the treatment but also the giver.  The aromatic effect of the oils in the room became a therapy in itself for everyone present and gave the entire experience a true sense of wholeness and healing.  Meet Jonathan and learn all about his work here!

By now you’ve stuck with me through the longest blog post of all time but trust me, it’s worth every word I wrote and many more.  Now you just have to experience this for yourself.  The Raindrop Kit is available through the Young Living website.  It comes with 9 essential oils and two large bottles of carrier oil.

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If you are not already a Young Living wholesale member, I would recommend that you become one by purchasing a Premium Starter Kit.  This will allow you to receive the best pricing available on the Raindrop Kit as well as all other Young Living products.  For more information on Young Living and becoming a wholesale member, check out a recent blog post on this or email me at sathya@westernoils.com!

Have you ever experienced the Raindrop Technique?  Share your comments with us!

Must have essential oils for business travel

29th September 2015

airplane

According to the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, there are over 87,000 flights that crisscross the United States every day.   Some of us travel for pleasure, some for business and some of us try to make business travel as pleasant as possible and just enjoy the ride.  That is, until we catch a dreaded bug on the plane, experience flight delays, sleep deprivation (jet lag, anyone?), and stress of all kinds. You name it, the business travelers of our day are struggling with it.  As for me, it’s been several years since I traveled on business but I am married to a man who is gone around 40% of the time.  He used to come home exhausted, frequently sick and totally stressed out.  Now he has oils. Here is a list of some oils you’ll want to keep handy on your next trip.  You’re welcome!

1. JUST LET ME GET SOME SLEEP!

Close the laptop and get some sleep!

Close the laptop, apply your oils and get to bed!

Whether you’re spending the night on a red eye or a hotel, you will have to try to take any opportunity you can to sleep.  The problem?  Many of us don’t sleep well when we’re away from home.  Not only that, if you’re dealing with a time change, you could find yourself wide awake in the middle of the night and then dozing off in that important meeting the next day.  Cedarwood to the rescue!  Cedarwood may help support your limbic system in the natural production of melatonin, the hormone that sets us up for falling asleep and staying awake at certain times of day.  All you need to do is dilute 10 drops of Cedarwood with a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil and add it to a 10ml glass roller bottle such as this.  Apply a few loving swipes to the back of your neck, temples and bottoms of your feet, concentrating on your big toe 10 minutes before bed (or take-off).  You can also add 10 drops each of Lavender and Peace & Calming, which can promote a restful sleep but Cedarwood alone should do it!  My husband now tells me he has to remember to set his alarm so he can wake up from his  “Cedarwood Sleep”.  Hmm… sounds like one of those good problems.

2. MY FLIGHT WAS JUST DELAYED. AGAIN.

businesstravel

If you’ve ever been stuck on a flight to somewhere far from home and all you can think of is, “Dear God, get me off this plane.”, you need Stress Away.  Young Living wasn’t fooling around when they created this blend of relaxing oils that are meant to help you ease your normal stress and tension.  While there is nothing normal about being encapsulated in a giant metal tube and stuck on the tarmac for 6 hours, the stress you’re feeling is.  Pop a roller filament right on the bottle and roll a little bit of Stress Away on your temples and back of neck or place a drop of this bad boy under your tongue for immediate relief.  Throw in a little serenity prayer and chances are you’ll start to feel the tension roll right off before you know it.

3. IT MUST HAVE BEEN SOMETHING I ATE (FAMOUS LAST WORDS). 

Digize
Maybe you just ate a less-than-fresh “salad” that was literally your only choice on the menu or maybe you made it through the day on only Starbucks and a bag of chips.  It’s okay, I get it.  Starbucks makes me feel great too, until I’m not.  Now your tummy is the one wondering how this was ever allowed to happen.  You need Di-Gize.  Again, Young Living brought you an oil blend so perfectly concocted that you will never want to leave home without it.  No matter the trouble, your tummy will thank you.  Di-Gize supports all aspects of your body’s own digestive system.  Just add one drop to a teaspoon of carrier oil and massage onto abdomen in a clockwise motion or place one drop under your tongue for 100% absorption and more immediate relief.  This oil does have a strong smell but you can handle it.  You’re a grown up.

4. GERMS. EVERYWHERE.

If you’ve ever wondered how many potential diseases you’re exposed to while breathing the stale, recycled air on your 8 hour flight, you need Thieves, Lemon and Oregano.  We call this our Wellness Blend and here’s the recipe:

Add 10 drops each Lemon, Oregano and Thieves to a 10ml amber glass roller and fill to the top with fractionated coconut oil. 

You’ll want to roll this along your spine twice a day, as this is the place where viruses and bacteria love to hang out, rent free.  You can also add one drop of Thieves to a cup of lemon and honey tea to soothe a scratchy throat.  To be used both a preventative and a first line of defense, these powerful oils give your immune system a boost and may help you stay healthy through it all.  I also highly recommend carrying a Thieves Spray with you at all times.  It’s the most effective way to quickly purify the air and surfaces around you.  

5. ALL. THE. SMELLS.

Purification

ONE WORD. Purification.  Put 10 drops in a 2oz glass spray bottle diluted with distilled water and a pinch of epsom salts.  Spray liberally all over your hotel room or even your arm pits!  It’s soothing to the skin and helps to neutralize odors.  Two birds, one stone.

6. FROM LAYOVER TO HANGOVER

This the part is where you’ll really thank me.  If you’re heading out of town for a trip that will likely require some elaborate client or team building dinner, you’ll want to to keep these three oils well within reach.

LEMON 
ORANGE
PEPPERMINT

Add 3 drops each to a cool glass of water. Bottoms up!
Another neat trick: close your shower drain and add one drop of Peppermint to the shower floor right before hopping in. Breathe it in!

Peppermint is incredibly refreshing and will wake you right up while helping to get your digestion back on track so you can feel like yourself again.  Lemon and Orange may also help with alertness and detoxification.  I recommend you bring these oils in small glass dropper bottles like these so you take up almost no space and always have the oils you need! 

I’ll admit, I’m a big advocate of carrying around as many oils as possible but I know most of us dread checking luggage so this list is as compact and carry-on friendly as I could make it.  All of these should fit safely in your little baggie and leave plenty of room for your mini toothpaste! 

Another benefit of taking some of your favorite oil remedies on the road is that it gives you a sense of control and routine that we sometimes lose when we’re away from home.  If there is an oil that you routinely use, take the extra effort to bring it with you.  I’ve found that too often, it’s the little things that turn out to be the biggest help when I’m away from home.

I wish you all the best on your next business trip and would love to hear some feedback on how these oils helped or which are your faves for travel.  Bon Voyage! 

Presenting The NEW Premium Starter Kit from Young Living

26th July 2015

Oil newbies!  I have some good news for you!  Learning about essential oils and incorporating them into your daily life does not have to be overwhelming!  For many people it becomes that way because they either lack support from a team or time and motivation to research which oils to start with and how to use them. Signing up for a wholesale membership by purchasing the Premium Starter Kit from Young Living is the best solution to both of those hurdles.  Behold! 

STARTERKIT

I speak from experience when I tell you that this kit was put together in a way that provides the best start in your oil journey.  From supporting immune function, to uplifting mood and replacing chemicals in your home, the oils in this kit can benefit you and your family in many, many ways.  Learn more about the uses and benefits of essential oils in my previous post.  In this post, I’ll outline what’s currently included in the kit and highlight the main benefits of each item.

So what’s in your kit?

Eleven of Young Living’s most versatile and popular oils, also knows as the Everyday Oils.

These come in 5ml bottles, which contain approximately 85-90 drops each.  Oil usage varies greatly from oil to oil and person to person so while you may have a bottle of one oil last you several months, if you are including another in your daily routine for more than one use, you may run out in just a few weeks.  A 5ml bottle of pure therapeutic grade essential oil will get you a long way, as these oils are very potent and you do not need to use very much.  In fact, just one drop of Peppermint oil is equivalent to 40 cups of tea.  

fair

LEMON

  • May help support the immune system
  • May help energize/stimulate the body and mind
  • Can be used in skincare recipes
  • Helps clean, degrease and disinfect surfaces
  • May act as an appetite suppressant

PEPPERMINT

  • May help increase alertness
  • May help support healthy digestive function
  • May help open up a stuffy nose
  • May help relieve tension related aches and pains
  • May help support healthy lung function
  • Can be used to flavor teas and recipes

LAVENDER

  • May help promote relaxation and a peaceful night’s sleep 
  • Use in your favorite skincare recipes
  • May soothe minor skin irritations
  • May minimize seasonal discomforts
  • Use to deodorize closets and drawers
  • May help minimize scar tissue or wrinkles

THIEVES

  • Best choice for fighting germs
  • Use to clean and disinfect surfaces
  • May support healthy immune function
  • Diffuse to help purify air
  • May help minimize teeth and gum pain and aid in supporting oral health

PURIFICATION

  • May be used to cleanse and soothe skin
  • Helps purify the air from odors
  • May help relieve itch from bug bites
  • May be used as insect repellant
  • Use to deodorize closets and drawers
  • May minimize ear pain
  • Can be used as deodorant

COPAIBA

  • Promotes overall wellness
  • May help support muscular and nervous systems
  • When added to other essential oils, may increase potency

DI-GIZE

  • Helps support digestive system
  • May soothe upset stomach
  • Never leave town without it!

FRANKINCENSE

  • May help reduce appearance of aging – use in your favorite skincare recipes! 
  • May help reduce nervous irritability
  • May help support the immune system
  • Diffuse for a comforting aroma

PAN AWAY

  • May help relieve muscle pain after exercise
  • May help alleviate minor aches and pains
  • May soothe sore joins
  • May soothe tension related head and neck pain

RC

  • May help support respiratory health
  • Rub on chest and feet before exercise to uplift and inspire
  • Diffuse or use during massage to create a comforting environment

STRESS AWAY

  • May help reduce occasional nervous tension
  • May help calm and relax
  • Diffuse to promote peaceful relaxation and reduce normal stress

COLD MIST HOME DIFFUSER (four options to choose from!)

This new and improved starter kit offers you the option of choosing between four beautiful diffusers.  Diffusing oils is the best way to get the goodness of your oils into the air and create a space for aromatherapy in your home.  Starter kits are priced according to the diffuser you choose.  They are: 

Home ($160)
Dewdrop ($160)
Bamboo ($170)
Aria ($260)

Make the right choice for your home and view a comparison chart here

You’ll also receive sample packets of Thieves, Lemon, Peppermint, Lavender and Peace & Calming to share with friends and family (or keep for yourself!). 

PLUS: Product guide, Seed to Seal literature, sample bottles and cards for sharing and 1 stainless steel rollerball filament. 

At this price range, you are not only getting a treasure trove of wellness benefits, but a terrific value as well!  And from now until August 14, 2015, Young Living is offering the Premium Starter Kit at a $10 discount for new members so there’s no better time to go for it!  

To sign up as a wholesale member with Young Living and receive your very own starter kit, contact me at sathya@happyhandful.com for detailed enrollment instructions or visit www.youngliving.com/signup and use the member number 2600385 under both SPONSOR and ENROLLER.  Becoming a wholesale member DOES NOT obligate you to sell anything, ever.  By signing up this way, you will receive a 24% discount on all purchases.  The only requirement to maintain your membership is that you spend $50 per year.  Yes, that’s PER YEAR.  Also, by signing up, you get way more than this kit.  You will be supported along the way by myself and the entire Essential Families team.  We will give you resources and guidance as well as new and exciting ways to get the most benefit from your oils.  So, seriously, what are you waiting for?   Join the family today or visit www.youngliving.com for more information.  

Heatstroke in dogs. Know the signs and take action.

26th June 2015

Summer is upon us, folks and we are not the only ones who have the suffer through the heat.  Our pets are among the most vulnerable to the dangers of heat stroke.  There are no statistics regarding heat stroke in dogs because most of these cases go unreported but it is estimated that several hundred pets suffer this unnecessary fate every summer.  

Don't let your pet suffer from heat

Dr. Amy Thomason at Westlake Animal Hospital has shared her knowledge and expert advice with us so that we can be prepared in the event our pets become overheated (or hyperthermic).  Obviously, prevention is the number one piece of advice anyone can give pet owners so make sure you take appropriate measures during warm seasons.  Keep your pets indoors during the hottest parts of the day (late afternoon) and always have fresh water accessible and as well as a  shaded, well ventilated area for them to cool off.  Never leave your pet in the car, even if you crack the windows and even if it’s “just for a minute”.  This happened just last week in California.  And, while we’re at it, try to remember not to leave your kids in the car either. 

Now, here’s what you need to know in the event your dog does suffer from heat stroke.  Even the fittest pets can become hyperthermic and this condition, if untreated or treated incorrectly, can result in major organ damage and even death so, please read on.  

Normal body temperature for a dog is at

Reasons why a pet would be unable to dissipate heat: 

  • Obesity
  • Brachycephalic conformation  (lookin’ at you, pugs, bulldogs, frenchies, etc.)
  • Laryngeal paralysis/upper airway obstruction
  • Cardiovascular or respiratory disease
  • Extremes in age (very young, very old)
  • Central nervous system disease, including prolonged seizures
  • Water deprivation
  • Poorly ventilated areas
  • High humidity
  • Heat Prostration (collapse or loss of consciousness) 

This is a LIFE THREATENING CONDITION, not to mention agonizing.  When internal temperature is above 105, a true emergency exists.  Above 109 degrees, organ damage occurs in kidneys, liver, intestines and brain.  Prolonged temperatures over 109 degrees causes irreversible neuronal death which causes coma and permanent brain damage.  

Appears distressedPants

Remember, pets may recover if intensive supportive care is initiated but TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!!!  Here’s what you can do at home before you take the pet in for veterinary care.  

  • Remove your pet from the environment where the hyperthermia occurred
  • Move to shaded or cool environment and direct a fan on them
  • If possible, determine rectal temperature and record it
  • Begin to cool the dog by placing cool, wet towels over the back of the neck, armpits, and groin areas
  • Wet the ear flaps and paws with cool water
  • OR use cool water from a garden hose
  • Transport to the closest veterinarian ASAP

Seems pretty logical, right?  I mean who here hasn’t had used the same methods on themselves after a little too much time in the sun?  But possibly more importantly, here is what NOT TO DO. 

  • Do not use very cold water or ice for cooling.  It forms an insulating layer of tissue to hold the heat inside.  Cooling the innermost structures of the body will actually be delayed.  Instead, use cold tap water.  
  • Do not overcool the pet.  A reasonable goal of cooling pet is to reduce your pet’s body temperature to 102.5-103 degrees while transporting to veterinarian. 
  • Do not attempt for force water into your pet’s mouth, but have fresh cool water available to offer should your pet be alert and show interest.
  • Do not leave your pet unattended for any length of time.

When you arrive at your veterinarian’s office, you can expect swift action to continue cooling and rehydrating your pet.  The following, are some things that may be necessary to help your pet recover. 

  • Monitor temperature every 5 minutes
  • Continue cooling with cold tap water in tub
  • IV Fluids – cooled if possible
  • +/- Isopropol alcohol applied to feet/pads
  • +/- Fan for cooling
  • +/- Oxygen Therapy

With timely and appropriate action both on your part and that of your doctor’s, your pet stands the best chance for recovery.  However, the prognosis will depend on the length of time the dog was hyperthermic, the amount of organ damage incurred, and your pet’s response to intensive supportive care.  If DIC, organ failure, cerebral edema, coma, gastrointestinal damage or septicemia have occurred, your pet’s prognosis will be poor to grave so again, prevent this by acting fast.  

I believe that as humans, we are responsible for honoring and valuing the lives of our neighbors, whether they be fellow humans or man’s best friend.  If you see a dog in distress from heat or this happens to your pet, take action immediately.  It is no joke.  You could save a life.  Thank you, Dr. Amy Thomason and all the staff at Westlake Animal Hospital in Austin, who have treated many pets suffering from heatstroke and work hard each day to educate pet owners in order to prevent this and many other harmful situations, helping pets to live longer and healthier lives.  

What’s with the essential oil frenzy?

17th June 2015

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m going to go ahead and wager that you’ve seen at least one end-cap at your local grocery store, Wal-Mart, Whole Woods, or vitamin store displaying essential oils and a diffuser for aromatherapy.  Maybe it’s an Austin thing, but I am seeing them EVERYWHERE.  In a way, that’s great because it means we are opening our minds to more natural ways to improve the health and wellbeing of our family and our homes.  

Here’s the thing…

Essential oils are not a new thing.  Whole Foods did not invent them in the last six months.  They have been around for thousands of years (yes, I’m talking as far back as the Egyptians who built those fancy pyramids).  Businesses are simply capitalizing on the fact that we are all fed up with taking synthetic drugs for every ache and pain and suffering the side effects.  They get that we are sick of our houses smelling like chemicals when we clean and that when our kids have colds, we are desperate for a safe, natural, and effective remedy.  Everyone is claiming to provide all the benefits of essential oils whether they adhere to safe and ethical practices or not and we all want what we want so we go ahead and try some without the know-how to use them properly or ensure that they are indeed what they say they are.

Let’s not go down that road, okay?  I’m here to give you a lot of very verifiable information about essential oils that will empower you to make informed decisions about the oils you buy and use.  I am not a doctor.  I am not even a licensed aromatherapist.  I am a mom of two young boys.  I have a husband who has been diabetic since the age of 7 and also has Celiac Disease.  I have been pregnant, nursing, or generally hormonal for the past five years straight.  I’m on a path to wellness and learning that grows stronger every day because of essential oils and I am thrilled to share what I know because it has been a GAME CHANGER for me and my family and I believe it could be for yours too.

So, what are essential oils?

Plant Close Up

In short, they are the life blood and immune response system of plants.  When extracted through careful steam distillation or cold pressing, the purest essential oils are far more powerful than the botanicals from which they were extracted.  Essential oils have a very similar makeup to our own human cells.  This allows essential oils to be easily accepted by our bodies and have a profound therapeutic effect as they move quickly through biological barriers and get into or blood stream and tissue. Different plants contain different properties that help that plant thrive in its environment.  Absorbing those properties allows us to do the same.  We could all use a little more thriving, right?  

What can essential oils do for me?

  • Can inspire a more positive emotional state
  • Promote a healthy immune response and support overall wellbeing
  • May help support better digestive function
  • Provide support for the nervous system
  • May aid in removing toxins 
  • May increase your ability to absorb nutrients
  • Aid in purifying your home
  • May improve the appearance of skin
  • Promote a sense of peace 

These may seem a little vague or general and they are this way for a reason.  Essential oils are not regulated by the FDA, therefore we are not allowed to make any health claims about them.  Any time you read a description about what an essential oil can do, it will be written in a way that is compliant with FDA regulations.  At least on my blog it will be.  Also, because they are not regulated by the FDA,  anyone can put an essential oil on the market and call it 100% essential oil without any sort of guarantee that what you’re getting is actually what’s labeled on the bottle.  They can add fillers, chemicals, other oils, perfumes, etcetera to give you a great price on a bottle of something that is not what true therapeutic grade essential oils are intended to be.  Which, leads me to the next point.

Why Young Living?

Young Living is the world leader in essential oils and wellness solutions.  They own their own farms throughout the world. They make a steadfast commitment to essential oil purity from strict seed selection, through organic farming and careful harvesting, all the way to testing the products in the lab for purity and sealing the bottles.  Their essential oils never change hands and the quality is never compromised.  Learn about this process at www.seedtoseal.com.  Seriously, it’s a beautiful video. 

ylu-seed-to-seal-infographic

Yes, Young Living is a multi-level marketing company.  You may be familiar with the general structure.  Don’t scoff.  For me, it is a way to provide better health for my family and contribute financially while being a stay-at-home mom.  It is also an opportunity to grow a business and help people achieve greater potential.  See, essential oils don’t cure us of anything.  They support our bodies in curing themselves, which is what our bodies were (I believe) designed to do in the first place.  I could be selling Mary Kay or Amway (no offense to those who do) but THIS is what I believe in.  It cuts to the core of what I’ve always believed about my health.  I do place great faith in Western medicine too.  I believe in vaccinating children and Benadryl and antibiotics when recommended by my doctor.  I just don’t think that there is only one way to better health and I think we all can agree that the fewer synthetic chemicals running through our bloodstream, the better off we are likely to be.  

As long winded as this blog post is, I promise you it is the condensed version.  There is so much science, technology and ingenuity that has gone into making Young Living the absolute best when it comes to essential oils.  I cannot wait to share what I learn and hopefully will even inspire you to get on your way to abundance with Young Living essential oils. 

live abundantly

The Moment of truth for my dog’s dental health

22nd February 2015

In a recent blog post (okay, maybe not super recent…),  I discussed pet dental health, why it’s important and gave you some key pieces of information about how to prevent dental disease, which can lead to other, more serious problems.  In continuation of my effort to shed some light on the issue, I will chronicle my own dog’s recent teeth cleaning adventure at Westlake Animal Hospital.  Our experience is a direct example of the importance of regular dental cleanings with anesthesia and x-rays.  Read on to find out what the procedure entails (get it?) and what surprises we found  along the way.

(BONUS: February is Pet Dental Health month and Westlake Animal Hospital is offering some great deals! Check them out here.)

So, there we were.   Just a regular snoozy morning in the life of Fiona, the dog,  when she was abruptly awakened before dawn to be driven to the vet for her yearly dental cleaning.  Sorry, girl.

Here’s what we expected:  A fair bit of tartar build-up and some gingivitis. Admittedly, I stopped brushing her teeth a few years ago.  Forgetfulness and downright laziness are mostly to blame.  Still, at eleven years old, she usually cleans up quite well at her yearly cleaning.  This is her before picture:

Hence, the dog breath.

Hence, the dog breath.

Here’s what we DID NOT expect:  A fractured molar and exposed root, needing to be extracted.  For those of you who don’t know which one the molar is (#309). Here’s a chart.  Bottom line, it’s a big one and pulling it requires pretty significant oral surgery, plus a longer recovery period.  But dogs will be dogs, and apparently chewing on hard rock-like objects is her new thing, even though I’ve literally NEVER seen her do it.  Whatever, Fiona.

So, this is how it goes when you hand your dog (or cat) over to the staff at Westlake Animal Hospital for a dental.  Most reputable and AHAA accredited vets will do it more or less the same way so it should be a good indication of what you’re in for.

After check-in proceedings are complete, they draw a blood sample and run a lab test indicating whether your pet is healthy enough for anesthesia.  Fiona passed!

BeyondEmbarassed

They place a catheter in the pet’s foreleg, allowing access to the bloodstream for medication and fluids, followed by a party hat to keep them from chewing it off.

After the doctor examines Fiona, she’s cleared for surgery.  Chris administers the anesthetic, intubates and hooks her up to the monitoring equipment.  All patients are monitored during the procedure for changes in: heart rate, respiration, temperature, blood pressure and blood oxygenation.  If a change occurs, there are simple measures that can be used to prevent a crisis, making the entire process very safe.  I mention this because some vets do not monitor animals while under anesthesia, so always be sure your doctor does.

Dental Procedure 1

Now that she’s fully anesthetized and hooked up with all the fluids and monitoring she needs, Chris, begins by taking x-rays.  Then, she will clean the teeth using fully sterilized tools.

Fiona's Extraction

After pulling the tooth, they take another x-ray to make sure that they have removed all parts of the tooth and its roots.

Problem tooth

So, as it turned out, my sweet little fur baby was in pain for an undermined amount of time due to a broken tooth and I don’t know if I ever would have found out about it or been able to help her if not for the thoroughness and professionalism of the doctors and staff at Westlake Animal Hospital.  And after all that thoroughness, they even had time to put the beer goggles on Fiona as she was recovering from anesthesia.

POST-OP

There is a technician specifically assigned to assist and tent to pets who are waking up.  They keep their temperature normalized with warm air and blankets and check their vitals every few minutes until they are completely recovered.  Talk about full service!

Fourteen days or so later, Fiona was back on regular dry kibble and happy as a clam with a mouthful (minus one) of clean, healthy teeth.  Now it’s up to me to keep them that way with regular brushing and cleanings.  

So, if you had any doubts or questions about getting your pet’s teeth cleaned, I hope I was able to shed some light on the subject.  All pets and their owners are different and I’m sure many of you had had your share of experiences with not only dental care, but veterinary care in general.  I would love to hear about your own critters and how you take care of their teeth so leave comments or questions below! Happy brushing!

 

 

Caring for your pets’ teeth and why it matters. Part 1

25th November 2014

Do you know what’s lurking beneath those whiskers? Get your furry friend into the vet to find out and make a lasting change in their quality of life.

How much time have you spent lifting up your dog’s lip and examining what’s underneath ?  Your cat’s?  Yeah, me either.  Yet, we all complain about the awful breath that hits us like a slap in the face when they share those sweet licks with us.  But caring for your pet’s mouth is not just about fresh breath.  Understanding your pet’s dental health and investing in routine preventative home care may be the key to giving them a long and healthy life.

Many of us hear differing advice on the matter and with no shortage of pet care products out there, it can be overwhelming and difficult to know what steps to take to give your pet’s the healthiest mouth possible.  That’s why I’ve enlisted the expert advice of Christine Walker, Patient Supervisor and Veterinary Technician of over 25 years, who has kindly shared some important knowledge.  Along with veterinarians at Westlake Animal Hospital, Chris tackles some of the toughest mouths in Austin and gets them on track to fuller, healthier lives.

So, why should you care?

Eighty percent of dogs have some form of dental disease by the age of three.  Usually, this appears in the form of tartar buildup and/or gingivitis, both of which can affect and in some cases damage major organs such as the heart, lungs, liver and brain.  Some breeds are more prone to dental issues.  Take smushy-faced ones like pugs, for example.  These little guys sometimes show NO outward signs of dental disease, but once x-rays are reviewed, they are commonly found to have embedded teeth beneath their gums.  Left untreated, these can result in dentigerous cysts (the body attacking the “foreign” tooth) and cause pain, inflammation and infection.

That leads me to the #1 piece of advice  to remember, folks.  Do not judge your pet’s oral health by the looks of his teeth.  Unless you’re Clark Kent, you are missing the whole picture.  X-RAYS ARE THE KEY TO IDENTIFYING DENTAL PROBLEMS.  Read more about this here.

Furthermore, this step should only be taken under full and monitored anesthesia.  So, if your groomer, veterinarian or pet sitter tells you that they can clean your pet’s teeth while they are awake or lightly sedated (i.e. twilight cleanings), please DO NOT ALLOW IT. The veterinary community has found that attempting dental scaling and oral radiographs under anything but total anesthesia is actually very dangerous and detrimental to the health of animals. Learn about that here.  Unfortunately, many businesses offer these services and claim to provide the same results as those who may charge more but follow the correct and thorough protocols for this procedure.  Thus, endangering your pet’s life.  Rude, huh?  

What should you do at home and at the vet?

First, take your dog or cat in to a reputable (preferably accredited by the Animal Hospital Association or AHAA) veterinarian for regular health screenings.  The recommendation is every six months, especially in senior pets (age 7+).  During the exam, your doctor should take a close look at the teeth and gums and grade the tartar index to determine the appropriate dental care for your pet.  Home care will always be encouraged as it is the best tool in preventing health problems that can arise as a result of an unhealthy mouth.  Not sure how?  Here’s a fabulous instructional video. 

But, even with excellent home care, at some point, your vet will likely recommend that you schedule a teeth cleaning.  They should provide you with a detailed treatment plan explaining what is involved and a price range for the procedure.  Because many problems cannot be seen until x-rays are evaluated, you will not know the exact cost until the day of the procedure but the treatment plan should help you plan and budget accordingly.

Important items to look for in these services include:

  • Pre-operative blood work (to make sure your pet is healthy enough to undergo anesthesia)
  • IV catheterization (provides an open line into the blood stream in case medication needs to be administered)
  • Administration of IV fluids during the procedure (to keep organs happy and functioning while your pet is asleep)
  • Monitoring of respiration, heart rate, blood pressure and temperature during procedure (if problems with any of these arise, there are simple measures that can be taken to correct them)
  • Dental Radiographs

If extractions are expected due to obvious tooth decay or infection, make sure that the doctor, and not the technician, will be performing the surgical part of the procedure.  While dental technicians like Chris are well skilled in many ways, you want to make sure you have a surgeon there to handle any unforeseen or complicated issues.

If you live in Austin and you want to schedule your cat or dog for a dental evaluation or cleaning, the experts at Westlake Animal Hospital have decades of combined expertise and innovation in the veterinary field.  

Stay tuned…

In part two of covering this important topic, I will chronicle my own dog, Fiona’s experience as she goes in for a cleaning later this month.  My hope is that, through sharing my experience, I will motivate others to take a deeper interest in their animal’s dental health and give them the best chance for a happy, healthy life… plus fresher breath!  

Let's Brush!

In the meantime, grab a doggie or kitty toothbrush and toothpaste and give brushing a go! It only takes three minutes a day to make a big change.  Even if you can only manage it once or twice a week, it’s better than nothing and will not only prevent disease, but can keep overall health care costs down in the long haul.  Check out some amazing pet dental products recommended by veterinarians here.   Fiona loves the poultry flavored toothpaste! 

Have questions?  Leave them here!  We will get you the answers you need from professionals in the field.