Review of 25th Edition of The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy

 

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Notice the post it notes…

When I was first dealing with my Lyme disease during the fall and winter of 2016, I was doing lots of research, both online, in books, and in person. With so many issues popping up daily, there was never enough information to help me find the right solution.

By spring, I had starting feeling better, after having several months of a new diet and numerous appointments with medical and holistic practitioners. I was ready to try something else to help me heal even more, and I had the opportunity to learn about essential oils at a workshop at a local organic nursery. I also spoke with a few representatives who sold them for various companies. While this newfound knowledge was very informative and helpful, my own experience with Lyme taught me that my body had become extremely sensitive to foods and compounds. I wasn’t really looking to sign up for programs and pay money for products I may or may not use or may be a source of more pain and complications for me.

In end, I decided that the best route for me to take would be to find a good book to help me learn which oils to use for what purposes. And that is when I discovered Valerie Worwood’s book The Complete Book of Aromatherapy, New World Library, 1991.

As a ‘rookie’ in the essential oil world, I loved this book. Not only was it easy to use, it was also very comprehensive in its approach of how to use the oils for what purposes. There were recipes for any type of use: cooking, cleaning, or germ fighting. In the back, there was a listing of reputable oil companies to purchase from, which for me, was great information. With my own immune system so compromised at the time, and so many companies were jumping on the EO bandwagon, this was very helpful information for me. Interestingly enough, she does list the two major essential oil companies, Young Living, and doTerra, in her first book. But due to my own knowledge of the bad blood between the two businesses, I personally boycotted those two and purchased other recommended oils at local stores in my area.

The 25th anniversary edition has recently been published, (2016) and I was fortunate enough to receive a copy from the publisher. And much like the first volume, this one also is a great edition to anyone’s library.

Ms. Worwood’s does a deeper exploration of the history of essential oils in this volume; and for me, this is a great asset to the book.   My epiphany about the health value in using essential oils came when reading this section. Our ‘advanced’ technological and medical age has overshadowed the fact that these oils have been used for thousands of years by various cultures across the globe. My own health issues combined with this knowledge about essential oils really indicated to me that the medical community needs to takes notice of ways to help people heal from aliments without the use of synthetic or manmade compounds. Imagine if more doctors used more natural ways to healing the body!  They may be out of a business, but we’d be a healthier community, for sure!

The 25th edition has great reference charts for oils as well—a dilution chart, conversion charts, a quick reference chart about oils, and also more detailed profiles on essential oils which grace the pages of this book from beginning to end.

What I love about the new book is that there is notably more information for all types of ailments at any age, from birth all the way to what she gently describes as the ‘maturing’ years.   I have family members dealing with stress, fatigue and other more serious health issues. Ms. Wormwood details explicitly how oils can be used in any number of situations. While she does specifically state that this book is not intended to heal or substitute for medical advice, I do find that as a Lyme disease warrior, there is something in here for everyone. Whether you are interested in more ‘green cleaning’, ways to use essential oils in cooking, or just want to learn something new about a very old and everlasting health practice, this is an informative and easy to reference book to have on hand.

As someone who is now at the point in my learning to start to experiment more with essential oils to improve my health further, I am happy that this book is gracing my coffee table. ( I reference it quite often—it hasn’t made it to the bookshelf yet!)

Yours in Lyme Adventures,

 

TWL

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Brain Fog Blows Your Reading Mind!

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When I was first so sick in the winter months from Lyme, I couldn’t read for more than ten minutes at a time.

It was devastating to me.

I’m a teacher, and I love books. Even before I became a teacher, I loved books.  I couldn’t go into a bookstore without walking out with at least one book either for myself or for my classroom. When I received my first Kindle, it was like manna from heaven. Access to so many books without having the weight of lugging them around was just too good to be true. I get the NY Times book review in my email, and it is just crushing to me how many good books are out there, just waiting for me to read. It’s like brain candy is being thrust at me with an enticing coy finger, because truly, there’s never enough time to even BEGIN to read even 1/10th of the books on the list each week! Just thinking about all those books is making me salivate…

And yet, this winter, my brain was literally reduced to mush just as quickly and easily as turning a page.

Over time, with a lot of help from various people and a lot of dedication to eat right and take numerous whole food supplements, I am starting to see little glimmers that my brain is starting to work again. It must be all that kale and green tea I’ve been eating and drinking!

Around March or April, I noticed a slight shift in my reading stamina, and I could read for up to about a half an hour before I began to lose focus. It was a slight increase, but that was a sign of progress to me that my brain was starting to heal.

I went to the library with my daughter about 3 weeks ago, and took out a bunch of books. Even with my Kindle, there is something to be said for holding a real book in your hands. So I am a multi-format reader reading “the real deal” and the electronic book format.

In spite of the fact that I already had a few books started at home: Above All Things, by Tanis Rideout and The Last Runaway, by Tracey Chevalier, I still came home with more books. And both of those books had to take the back burner once I picked up All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and Ana’s Journey by Jenna Bush. I also selected a drawing book and two other ‘how to’ art books.

I finished All the Light We Cannot See over the July 4th weekend.  Finishing it before the month due date was as a huge task to personally celebrate, seeing that the book was about 700 pages. Better yet, I could actually recall what I had read previously, which was yet another wonderful milestone to recognize. If you’ve read the book, you know that it is not written in a linear fashion, which makes it an even more complex and enjoyable read.  And if you haven’t readit yet,  I highly recommend it as your next book to read!  I’ve started a Pulitizer Prize winning list on my Goodreads account as a result of this book.  Why not read the best of the best, right?

Ana’s Journey I read in a day. It wasn’t a complicated read, so that short time frame didn’t really surprise me.

My brain is on fire, (key in Alicia Keyes here….) so I went back to the library yesterday, and I’ve read two more books in a span of two days.

I read Murder in Connecticut, by Micheal Benson, about the Petit murders in Cheshire, Connecticut. And today I started and finished reading Blood Brother, by Anne Bird, a long-lost sister of Scott Peterson. She recounts how she reconnected with her biological mother and Scott about two years before pregnant Laci went missing and was later found dead in San Francisco Bay. Again, not complicated reads, but still pretty cool to me that I read two books in two days, considering that only a mere six months ago, I couldn’t read for more than ten minutes!!

It seems like my brain is now on overdrive, wanting to make up for lost time not being able to read for so many months.

Next up: Left For Dead by Pete Nelson, about the USS Indianapolis and a young student who wanted to clear the ship captain’s name. This is yet another book purchase that I actually acquired from the library’s used book sale.20160710_192632

I told you I can’t leave a book store, or a library apparently, without purchasing a book!

Happy Reading!

Yours in Lyme Adventures,

 

TWL

 

 

 

From Shirts and Toothbrushes To Books and Bikes

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When my daughter Sophia was a baby, sometimes I would give her a shirt of mine that I had worn to sleep with at night. I had heard that the scent left on the shirt gives the infant comfort. She’s 9 ½ now, and bedtime has been more of a challenge with her since I’ve been home with Lyme. She’s been clingier at night, wanting me to lie in bed with her for a bit most nights. Some nights, I oblige. Other nights, I firmly say no. Last night, my husband went up with her to read at bedtime. I always check on her before I go to bed, and I couldn’t help but smile and give her a few kisses when I found her sleeping with one of my long-sleeved shirts on over her summer pajamas.

As a teacher and a Mom, I am all about teaching independence when it’s clearly manageable on the child’s end. When Sophia was about 3, we worked on brushing her imgres-1teeth by herself. I would stand next to her as she brushed, and store her brush and paste in a different cup from my husband’s and mine. I was trying to make it easy for her to manage her things on her on her own. But I would always find all of our brushes together in the same cup. I have an adorable picture that she drew of us when she was that age, and I have it framed and hanging in our kitchen. Each of us is smiling in a window a house. Even though the windows separate us, we are clearly happy together. Much like that picture, we were always together, so why would it be any different for our toothbrushes?

Togetherness seems to be Sophia’s internal theme, whereas I am always trying to allow her to be her own separate person. I was never a co-sleeping type of parent. I firmly believed a baby should learn sleep in their own crib, in their own bedroom, starting from the first night at home. I was, and still am, a light sleeper. The first night in the hospital after Sophia was born, she had to sleep my room because the nursery was full. She slept very well. I, however, did not. I heard every little gurgle, sigh, and hiccup she made that night. The next night, she slept in the nursery. It was a much more restful night for me.

When she was about 3, she would start to ask if she could “sleep over” in my bed. Once in a while on a weekend, I’d let her “sleep over”. Again, it was not a restful night for me because she’d take over the bed. But, she slept very well and enjoyed these nights. Even at age 9 ½, she still asks to have a “sleep over”, and occasionally, if I’m not too much in need of a restful nights’ sleep, I oblige.

imgres-2One of my favorite times with her when she was little was when I would read to her at night. It started the first night in the hospital, and it has continued in our home ever since. When she was in first and second grade and other parents were praising how well their kid read by themselves, my daughter still loved to be read to a night. And that was fine by me. Over the years in her reading life, we’d take turns reading and listening to each other, our kitty Max bounding up the stairs and making himself comfortable on the bed to listen to the story, too.   More recently with my Lyme, she’s been doing more of the reading, and I have been doing more of the listening. Even when I am so tired, I will make my way upstairs to her bedroom. After rearranging her 4 blankets, 3 pillows, 1 oversized duck and her 6 stuffed animals, we snuggle down together in her twin bed, and she reads to me for a time, her body resting against mine, her head cradled in my arm just like when she was the listener and I was the reader.

Since the time she was born, we have taken numerous trips around the neighborhood with me guiding her towards independence. From me pushing her in the carriage to pulling her in the wagon to following next to her on her tricycle and then her big girl bike, then riding our bikes together, and last year, me walking while she navigated the sidewalks on her roller blades, she and I have travelled many miles together.imgres

This afternoon, she went on a bike ride with a neighborhood mom and her child. I haven’t even pulled my bike out yet to ride with her because I am unsure of how long I’d be able to keep up. Before dinner, I asked her to put her bike away. I would guess that most kids would just quickly throw their bike in the garage when asked, not really paying attention to how or where it was placed.

When I went to shut the garage door later on tonight, I paused when I noticed she had parked her bike next to mine. From shirts and toothbrushes to books and bikes, my daughter is still showing me ways that we connect together.

And I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Yours in Lyme Adventures,

TWL

Bike, Goodnight Moon, and toothbrush graphics from Google images

 

Research

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Dedicated to Michelle Armstrong, Shelton, CT

When I was in college, I became enthralled with a computer game called Tetris, thanks to my roommate Michelle. The object of the game is to create rows of lines using geometric square and rectangular shapes. A four-line group is called a Tetris, and the computer would start slowly dropping pieces from the top of the screen and increase speed until the pieces were flying down, the player frantically trying to place them correctly to make lines. I recently found another version online, and I am once again obsessed with the game. Only in this version, you are playing against another person, and each time you complete a line, it sends another line to your opponent. You still need to clear lines and try to beat the other player in a 2-minute time frame, but it moves more quickly since your opponent can easily send over more lines than you are ready to handle if they are really good at placing their pieces before you.

This game requires you to be able use what you have as well as think ahead, much like addressing a pressing problem. Right now, my problem is Lyme disease, and it’s a tougher puzzle to figure out than a Tetris game.

In my research about Lyme, I’ve come across different books. My go-to book right now is The Top 10 Lyme Disease Treatments by Bryan Rosner. The 11-chapter book is clearly written and has sections about antibiotics, detoxification, and detailed information about supportive supplements. What I really love about this book is that it gives a holistic approach to treating this disease. Rosner has a detailed portion as well about how there are two very different views in the medical community about how to treat Lyme. He advocates for being knowledgeable about Lyme and to use all available resources, both traditional and non-traditional. Relying on one particular therapy will not help treat or cure your condition, since Lyme is a multi-faceted disease that mutates and has co-infections attached as well. He does state that it is crucial to find the right combination of therapies and also realize that time plays an important role in healing.

I’m also reading Terry Wahls book, The Wahls Protocol. She reversed her debilitating MS symptoms through diet, after researching cellular growth and health. And what a diet she has! It’s all healthy fruits and vegetables, and you need to eat 9 cups a day each of sulfur rich vegetables, leafy greens, and colorful fruits. Not an easy task! The most of the leafy greens I can do a day is 4 cups. My body can’t handle any fruits right now, as much as I’d love some grapes or pineapple, or even an apple, which is not my favorite fruit!  She does advise building up to the 9 cups, however slowly you need to do it, but she urges to just start eating the right foods now to rebuild your sickly cells.

One of my favorite mantras that I gleaned from my graduate work is, “Work smarter, not harder”. And I’ve tried to put this into practice whenever I can, especially with my Lyme issues. A few months back on a more healthy day, I had visited the bookstore and was astounded at all of the gluten-free, vegan, and paleo cookbooks out there! But I refused to buy even one cookbook as my food sensitivities made it hard to actually use any of the books I’d seen. I’d made that mistake early on, buying a smoothie cookbook, only to find out after a big swing of a healthy yogurt and strawberry smoothie, my body couldn’t tolerate the fruit or the dairy. Live and learn.

So, I hit my library instead. After first searching the internet for book titles, I’d then go and peruse the stacks, leaving with about 10 or so cookbooks, thinking that maybe one of the books would be helpful in finding some recipes that my body could tolerate. Many cookbooks later, I was able to photocopy 10 or so recipes. There are just so many foods that my system is sensitive to right now. Sugar free recipes include sweeteners like honey or maple syrup. Gluten free ones include flours made out of almonds or rice, which I can’t tolerate. But I haven’t given up yet. I’ve got two more books on hold at two different libraries–one called Recipes for Repair and another Breaking the Vicious Cycle–that I am hoping will be returned soon. It seems like I’m not the only one with food struggles!20160413_103853

My Lyme adventure is just like a Tetris game: some of the pieces fit, and some don’t. There are gaps in my healing that need to be filled. I keep hitting a wall, but someday, I’m hopeful be able to clear out the lines with the right combination of building blocks.

I’ve already had some success when I started with my naturopath and my dietician back in March, and I just recently went to another holistic practice. The owner who runs it has given me some extra supplements to try. He has helped other people with Lyme, as well as a particular client with very similar issues to mine, so that gives me confidence that I am on the right track.

I am anticipating even more positive results with the start of this new regime of mine. And with the inclusion of more books, of course! I just have to keep finding the right ones to help with my personal Tetris puzzle!

Yours in Lyme Adventures,

TWL