Dopamine Deficiency: Part I
“Feel good brain juice”
Dopamine is all those things and more. It’s a “VIP” neurotransmitter produced within the body whose job description is critical for optimal brain and body function. While dopamine occupies less than 1% of the neuron real estate in the brain, it is a key ingredient for important and finely tuned tasks:
*Controls flow of information within the brain
*Holds a critical role in memory, attention, and problem solving
*Contributes to motor skills and cognitive abilities
*Plays a supportive role in reproduction
*Activates reward and pleasure centers in the brain
*Holds a key role in attention and learning
*Reduces insulin levels in the body
*Protects the digestive system
*Influences the immune system
*Strongly affects mood and emotions
Dopamine is one of the most widely studied neurotransmitters, and yet there is still so much to discover. There is no direct way to measure levels of dopamine in the brain, so healthcare professionals must evaluate clues just like we are about to do: symptoms, lifestyle habits, medical and medication history are all important factors in becoming aware of what a dopamine deficiency might look like. I often wonder how we operate as we do, given the millions of things that can go wrong in the human body. Thankfully, God designed each body with the incredible ability to restore balance if given the correct tools and time to do so.
Do you remember how easily the gut can be brought out of balance with a pesky virus or an overpopulation of an aggressive bacteria or fungi? The same is true with dopamine. Incrementally small swings of dopamine can make a big impact in either direction. Too much dopamine can lead to some pretty challenging mental health disorders. Dopamine deficiency can be mild or it can be major. Major dopamine deficiency is linked to Parkinson’s, schizophrenia, autism, ADHD, major depressive disorder, certain neurodegenerative disorders, and addictions. Identifying a dopamine deficiency trend early on allows for the time and tools to assist in bringing the body back into balance. I’ll wager that some of these clues may surprise you:
🔎Struggle to handle stress well (often leading to feelings of hopelessness and low self esteem)
🔎Carbohydrate and sugar cravings
🔎Chronic back pain
🔎Poor blood sugar stability
🔎Lack of motivation (may show up as learning difficulties)
🔎Impulsiveness (Alleviates feelings of loneliness and sadness. Self gratification is used to “force” a dopamine drop that ultimately only creates more depletion long term.
🔎Difficulty organizing thoughts or staying productive
🔎Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
🔎Tremor in the hands
🔎Cold hands or feet
🔎Fatigue or low energy
🔎Attention difficulties (may include a diagnosis of ADD/ ADHD)
🔎Low moods / depression
🔎Muscle cramps, spasms, or tremors
🔎Stiffness, aches or pains that have no cause
🔎Lack of insight or self awareness
How does a dopamine deficiency happen? Three possibilities exist: too little dopamine is being made, dopamine receptors are being hindered or are not available in the numbers needed, or dopamine is being broken down before it can be utilized. Neurotransmitters are just as much a product of the environment as the body is. Environment includes mindset, lifestyle, and habitual behavior. Dopamine deficiency is very much affected by all three:
❓Sleep deprivation (Are you using all your tools and knowledge to get a restful night of sleep? (Immupro, Sleep Essence, lavender, cedarwood, Peace & Calming, Rutavala, and Tranquil are great options.)
❓Adrenal fatigue (Do your adrenal glands need some supportive Endoflex or Endogize?)
❓Vitamin B6 or B3 deficiency (Are you taking Super B?)
❓Heavy metal exposure including lead, arsenic, cadmium, and aluminum. Mainstream cosmetics are a hidden contributor to daily heavy metal exposure. Lipstick is among the worst offenders. YL’s Savvy Minerals cosmetics line has many gorgeous, long lasting colors to choose from that are toxin free and dopamine friendly!
❓C Difficile overgrowth. This is often the result of antibiotic use. Always follow each antibiotic dose two hours later with a probiotic such as Life 9 or MightyPro and fermented foods to minimize risk of this occurrence.
❓Low magnesium, zinc, iron (Get proper lab work. Know your numbers, and supplement if necessary!)
❓Vitamin C deficiency (Are you taking your Super C Chewables?)
❓Vitamin D deficiency (Know your numbers and supplement with Super D or something stronger if your labs reflect the need.)
❓Obesity. This causes a downregulation of dopamine in the brain, and leads to a reduction of the number of receptors in the brain.
❓Drug abuse both depletes dopamine and reduces the number of receptors in the brain.
❓Diets high in saturated fats and sugar ultimately deplete dopamine resources.
❓Chronic stress affects the body’s ability to produce dopamine. Go back and review the section on stress for tips, tricks and habits to mitigate stress wisely.
❓Certain medications often have a disastrous effect on dopamine in the body.
The topic of medications and their effects on dopamine is so very important and unfortunately it is rarely discussed. I’ll devote next week’s post to that discussion! Life is too short to feel “meh” and live in jammies. If you’ve identified any areas of life that may be sabotaging your dopamine production or utilization, it’s always a great time to make some changes and invest in yourself!
Raise your hand if you want a resilient nervous system.🙋♀️ Uh huh… that’s what I thought. I do too! 😊I want to be healthier overall, quicker to recover from stressful situations, happier, stronger, more empathetic, better able to concentrate, and have thriving relationships…. ALL things associated with healthy vagal tone.
Vagal tone should be nurtured daily if it is to function optimally. You might be surprised at how easy some of these tips are!
⭐Poor breathing habits. The sedentary nature of our current society has been no friend to the vagus nerve. Poor posture, including the downward tilt of the head as we look at our computer and phone screens restricts the airways from throat to lungs. If you walk into nearly any nursing home you will see posture associated with long term low vagal tone. Dr. Navaz Habib👨⚕️, author of Activate Your Vagus Nerve, makes a compelling argument that dysfunctional breathing is the most common cause of poor vagus nerve function. Friends, this is such an easy (and free) fix. Address posture (revisit that post!), and incorporate breathing slowly and “belly button” deeply at least a few times every hour. This is nourishing to the vagus nerve, and feels good too!
⭐Alternate nostril breathing👃. Inhaling through one nostril and exhaling through the opposite nostril has a profound effect on the nervous system and an increase in oxygen consumption. One study found that inhaling through the right nostril and exhaling through the left nostril for approximately 3 minutes four times a day for a month increased oxygen consumption by 37% compared to normal breathing practices. (Doing the reverse activity.. Inhaling through the left and exhaling on the right showed an oxygen increase of 24%) It was suggested in the study that this type of breathing may reduce the release of stress hormones (a benefit in vagus nerve health). As an added bonus, you will likely find yourself more focused and awake by “right nostril breathing” and more relaxed and less anxious by “left nostril breathing”. Knowing this, consider supporting these techniques with Brain Power or En-R-Gee essential oil blends when “right nostril breathing”, or Tranquil, Peace and Calming, or Sacred Mountain essential oils blends when “left nostril breathing”.
⭐Prayer and meditation🙏 are both scientifically proven to increase parasympathetic (“rest and digest”) activity which improves vagal tone. Incorporating essential oils during prayer and meditation is a beautiful way to enhance both practices. Some of my favorites include Frankincense, Peace & Calming, RC, and Raven.
⭐Practice tensing stomach muscles or coughing on purpose.
⭐Massage…..even an ear massage. Massaging the areas of the ear👂 called the tragus and cymba concha can trigger a mild vagal response. Additionally, acupuncture or acupuncture point based therapy (check out Dolphin MPS for one such type) are hugely helpful.
⭐Keeping a positive attitude and emotion set. This is truly a “use it or lose it” situation. Affirmations and constructive emotions can spark a self fulfilling future for all aspects of the body, including vagal tone. Destructive emotions can also do this but in the opposite direction. (ex: If you believe you will fail, you probably will! ) Direct good thoughts and actions towards other people and watch your vagal tone improve. Act on kindness, compassion, and empathy. Doesn’t the world need more of this anyway? It’s fascinating that attitude alone can deeply impact the function of the vagus nerve. God has knit us together in wondrous ways!
⭐Belong to a socially active community 🧍♀️🧍♂️🧍♀️. Social isolation does no favors to vagal tone. Find your tribe and spend time with them in person. Oxytocin is a hormone which acts as a neurotransmitter. Its presence has a powerful effect on the health of the vagus nerve. Hugging, laughing, breastfeeding, speaking to someone in person or on the phone, being trusted by someone, and listening to soothing music are all ways to release oxytocin. Surprisingly, shooting guns can be included in this list!
⭐Eating correctly. Saying words of gratitude🙏 over your food actually stimulate the vagus nerve. Chewing slowly and eating mindfully (fully present) allows the body to recognize the type of nutrients being released into the body, and to release the appropriate enzymes and digestive juices needed to make them bioavailable (or boot them out as a toxin). It would come as no surprise that an unhealthy vagal tone has a negative effect on digestive juices, especially those released by the gallbladder.
⭐Intermittent fasting. There are a myriad of benefits of intermittent fasting, including decreasing inflammation in the body. Inflammation negatively affects vagal tone. Of course intermittent fasting is only one way to help the body in this manner. Any time you remove a toxin source from your body’s daily load, you will be showing your vagus nerve TLC. Thank goodness for the clean household and personal care products we have access to! #ThanksYL
⭐Foods that have been found to support healthy vagal tone include fermented foods (ex: kombucha, cheeses, plain yogurt), high fiber foods (ex: nuts, fruits, vegetables) and foods high in Omega3’s. If you feel you might not get enough of any of these food groups, supplement with YL Life -9 (or MightyZyme) probiotic, Balance Complete Meal Replacement, and OmegaGize3 (or Mindwise) respectively. Additionally, adequate zinc levels contribute to a healthy vagal tone. (You’ll want to go back and re-read the section on zinc. It may tie together some clues for you)
⭐How we sleep matters😴. Laying on the right side has the highest vagal stimulation.
⭐Gargling. This contracts the muscles in the back of the throat which causes direct stimulation of the vagus nerve. Humming (especially while covering the ears) and singing loudly are also helpful.
⭐Improving vagal tone thru exercise💪 and yoga is reason #100 to do both. Seriously. Mental and physical health will only improve in amazing ways when exercise and yoga are incorporated into healthy habits.
For the more adventurous spirit, other ways to spark quick vagal tone improvement include ❄️cold❄️ showers, ❄️ice baths❄️, ❄️cryotherapy ❄️ or coffee☕️ enemas (Yes indeedy! 😉).
Our brains are constantly checking on us to see if we feel safe or not. It is only when the brain perceives safety that we are able to engage socially, have curiosity, feel happy, and be playful. If it has been awhile since you’ve felt this way, this would be another set of clues indicating that your vagus nerve needs some additional love and attention.
It may seem hard to “want” to incorporate these suggestions into your healthy habits if all of this is new to you, but if you raised your hand a few minutes ago in a bid for resiliency, it’s time to do “the things.” Just like a teenager who is hard to wake up in the morning, waking up the vagus nerve may take perseverance. Find your tribe and work together to make those vagal nerves toned and happy!
PS: Friends, there is an enormous amount of information on the vagus nerve and polyvagal theory. If this has sparked your interest, please DO do some more digging on your own. There is simply no way to do this particular topic justice in a couple of posts.
Chronic Stress Part III : Solutions
Today’s post is full of butterflies, kittens🐱, and unicorns (Literally!). That’s a welcome change, I’m sure, considering the sobering long term ramifications of unmitigated chronic stress we’ve talked about these past few weeks. Chronic stress usually creeps in on very soft feet, so consider taking a few minutes to answer this simple yes/no “day to day stress assessment”:
Coping with stress involves two steps:
1️⃣Recognizing the signs and symptoms of EARLY burnout and stress (you’ve got the tools now!)
2️⃣Activating any or all of the self care tools below.
Now, here’s the fun part….. Giving yourself some self care time by mixing and matching ways to “de-stress” on the regular. This is not a “once and done” experience. These are lifestyle changes for life!
👉Get regular exercise!
👉Engage in self care activities (ex: a long soaking bath or a massage)
👉Prayer, meditation, and/or quiet time with no electronic or television distractions
👉Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (aka CBT) . This can be a very valuable tool, especially if you find yourself trending in negative thinking patterns. I would really recommend picking up Dr. Caroline Leaf’s book and workbook, “Who Switched Off My Brain? Controlling toxic thoughts and emotions” to begin diving deeper into this subject.
👉Journal. Write out your thoughts instead of letting them fester in your mind. Create a gratitude journal, write a letter you’ll never send to someone, or begin success journaling)
👉Turn off social media and electronics as often as your day allows.
👉Limit scrolling time
👉Get outside as much as possible and connect with nature. Go barefoot or get your hands on plants and in soil. (Grounding! ….. We’ve talked about this in previous posts)
👉Read something relaxing and nontriggering (ex: a work of fiction). Allow your brain to wander within the pages of the book.
👉Engage in Yoga, pilates, Tai Chi (soooo many health benefits!)
👉Practice breathing exercises ( left nostril breathing or box breathing are both excellent breathing patterns to quiet the mind)
Improve your sleep in both quality and quantity (we talked about that last week)
👉Try salt water floatation therapy for deep relaxation
👉Listen to 432 Hz frequency healing music ( check out the company WholeTones for more info!)
👉Laugh! It releases endorphins.
👉Spend time with a pet. Did you know that a cat’s purring frequency corresponds with established healing frequencies in therapeutic medicine for humans?
👉Practice saying no to the things that bring stress, and saying yes to the things that will bring joy.
👉Avoid procrastination and just do the thing. Learn time management techniques and goal setting.
👉Eat healthy nourishing foods
👉Engage in a hobby
👉Connect with actual people in a community….. In person. We are not created to be an island.
👉Examine your values and beliefs and then live by them. An enormous amount of internal stress comes from living differently from your beliefs and values.
👉Oils and Supplements. We have so many amazing tools to help us navigate stress:
🌿Lavender, Vetiver (Yes, it doesn’t smell great, so apply to bottoms of feet!), Bergamot, Roman Chamomile, Frankincense, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang, Orange, and Geranium are just a few oils known for their calming qualities.
🌿Young Living has created an amazing array of perfectly blended oils to help add to the peace and tranquility in our lives: StressAway, Tranquil, RutaVala, Peace and Calming, and Valor are just a few that come to mind.
🌿An herb called Ashwagandha is known for its beautiful ability to lower symptoms of stress in the body. It is one of the important ingredients in Young Living’s EndoGize (typically for women) and PowerGize (formulated for men).
🌿Young Living’s Calm CBD Roll-on is another fantastic tool to help relax and quiet the mind. Have you tried it yet? Be sure to find and follow Dr. Oliver Wenker MD, DEAA, ABAARM, FAARFM, MBA on his website and social media to learn in depth information on all things CBD.
Unfortunately, many doctors don’t recommend steps to help mitigate stress in a patient’s life. Nearly 20% of adults age 18 or older are on medication💊 for symptoms related to stress. A patient may present with anxiety, depression, or any of the other stress related clues we’ve talked about, and a prescription is written without any further discussion (and often, without comprehensive lab work being ordered to ensure there’s not also an imbalance somewhere in the body causing the symptoms). There will always be a time and a place for medication as a final option, but patients need to be fully aware of the problems that lie with using medication long term as a coping mechanism.
💊Many of the medications used to treat symptoms of stress are highly addictive. Additionally, these medications have the capacity to impact brain function when taken over extended periods of time.
💊According to a study published in 2010 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, one of the most common classes of drugs (SSRI’s) used to treat mild to moderate anxiety and depression was “unable to outperform placebos for moderate symptoms of depression”. So…. there’s that.
💊All of the medications used to mediate stress symptoms have side effect profiles that may well require a 2nd or 3rd medication to help manage the side effects of the initial medication.
💊Very few studies on the effects of a polypharmacy (using multiple medications concurrently) lifestyle exist, yet we know that prescription drugs are the 3rd leading cause of death in the USA (after heart disease and cancer)...... (Don’t let anyone tell you that essential oils and herbs are dangerous!😉).
💊There is no way of measuring serotonin (the primary “happy” neurotransmitter) in the brain of a living person, nor is there a “normal level” of serotonin we should all have to be emotionally healthy. People with high serotonin levels can still be depressed, and people with low serotonin levels can still be happy and joy filled. Indeed, we are largely the masters of our own emotional state.
💊Many medications used to treat symptoms of stress should be used in caution with people who have preexisting extreme mood disorders, diabetes, kidney, liver, or heart disease, or pregnancy (due to risk of miscarriage, congenital heart disease, or persistent pulmonary hypertension of the baby).
We have so many low cost (to free!) tools available to us when it comes to how we choose to deal with stress, and as you’ve hopefully seen, most are very pleasant options with no icky side effects.
Use the two stress surveys📊 you now have on hand to check yourself periodically, and then evaluate your self care / fun quotient. Your future self will thank you!
(PS: if anyone needs a stress relieving kitten, I’ve got 4 fosters looking for a home! )
Aside from leading people to Jesus, is there anything more important to give as a gift 🌲🎁than something that encourages health and wellness?
If you are wanting to improve someone's wellbeing this Christmas, let me help you with your "hard to shop for" people.
I offer a free health coaching call with all new Young Living accounts using the link below. Nobody walks alone (unless they choose to😉).
(And 30% off many of our favortites thru 11:59pm MST Nov 28th??.... yes please!!)
Chronic Stress as a Clue: Part II
Prior to 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared stress the “Health Epidemic of the 21st Century”. The ramifications of chronic stress costs American businesses an estimated $300 billion dollars annually, though that stat is a pretty cold way to look at stress… from a purely financial perspective. Numerous studies show that job stress is the leading cause of stress for American adults. Other triggers include finances, relationships, parenting, and trauma…. Oh, and let’s not forget simply living through 2020/2021.
Unpacking stress as a clue is like peeling back the layers of an onion. What actually happens to a body that is chronically stressed?
Initially, we may feel the effects of adrenaline and cortisol being released. The heart speeds up, digestion slows down, the blood supply shunts blood to major muscle groups, and fight or flight kicks in. In normal situations, the perceived threat eventually leaves and we relax and recover.
In a state of chronic stress, this scenario doesn’t happen the way it should, and some real problematic changes in the body occur.
The brain actually begins to decrease in both size and weight😳. Ultimately this affects both cognition and memory. The basal ganglia and the pre frontal cortex are especially affected by these changes. The basal ganglia is involved in the processing of information related to emotions, motivations, and movement, while the pre frontal cortex is responsible for “executive decision making”..... The ability to differentiate between conflicting thoughts, identifying good from bad, predictions of outcomes, expectations based on actions, and the ability to suppress urges. This area of the brain dictates our personality, goals and values. As you might imagine, over time, chronic stress plays a very real role in brain disorders like Alzheimers, Parkinsons, and dystonia.
Unmitigated chronic stress affects the immune system by activating low grade inflammation🔥 throughout the body. It may take years to develop, but strong evidence suggests that low grade inflammation eventually triggers dis-eases such as rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, colitis, IBS, psoriasis, fibromyalgia, lupus, MS, diabetes, cancer, and other autoimmune disorders.
Additionally, this stress affects the production of blood cells needed to effectively fight off illnesses.
Chronic stress also alters the activity of:
🔥The hypothalamus (libido, behavior, emotions, body temperature, weight, and sleep/wake cycle.
🔥The pituitary (which largely controls both the adrenals and thyroid)
🔥The adrenal glands (produce hormones that help regulate your metabolism, immune system, blood pressure, and how we respond to stress). Even a minimal amount of stress can activate the adrenal glands.
🔥Growth hormones (can be halted during severe stress)
Additionally, chronic stress can lead to malignancies, genetic instability (epigenetics… the role our environment plays in gene expression), and tumor growth by effectively decreasing the activity of the normal systems within the body that keeps aberrant (cancer) cells from growing.
Digestive disorders are also a common physical symptom of chronic stress, including changes in motility, increased intestinal permeability,and inflammation in the form of Crohns, ulcerative colitis, and IBS.
Chronic stress is no joke when it comes to its impact on health, and not a single person is immune to the effects of it. This is why it is incredibly important to have a plan of action to care for yourself and encourage others to do the same.
We are all built incredibly differently, and stress will ultimately expose the unique weakness that is within each one of us. This is why it is so very important that we know and understand our bodies well, so that we can support it in the manner that best serves us.
Sleep😴 is our body’s only true time of repair and recovery. If you are not getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night, make that a priority. If quality sleep is not happening, work on sleep hygiene and habits to improve your zzzzzz’s.
👉Stop screen time well before bed and keep electronics out of the bedroom (pineal gland disruption).
👉Get 10-20 minutes of full sunlight during the day.
👉Keep sleeping temperature at less than 70 degrees F.
👉Take an epsom salt bath before bed…. Add in Lavender, Frankincense, Peace and Calming, Cedarwood or Sandalwood to the salts.
👉Consider diffusing with any of the calming oils!
👉Exercise earlier in the day, and consider restorative yoga or meditation before bed.
👉Avoid artificial sweeteners (they can cause insomnia!)
👉Support a healthy night’s sleep with either YL’s Immupro chewable tablets or Sleep Essence capsules.
Next week I will cover some strategies for coping with chronic stress.
Our 4th annual Guns 'n Poses is in the books! This is my favorite event of the year.... it was a vision Terry (one of my bff's) and I had 5 years ago, and each year it just gets better and better as we work to empower women in all the ways! Every year, the topic content is slightly different but three things remain the same:
yoga / stretching
💥 gun safety / marksmanship / confidence building with firearms
👩Health and wellness topics that are science based with a primary focus on self empowerment. #theapplicationofknowledgeispower We are the CEO's of ourselves and our homes and as such, we need to learn how to run our "company" as efficiently and effectively as posssible so that we can live vibrantly and our "company" can thrive and prosper🙌. Living a life of "meh or okay-ness" is not how we are supposed to live according to the word of God.
We are always sold out at this event.... next year, our 5th annual, is already in planning stages and we are strongly considering a "retreat style" 2-3 day event. It's time to kick it up a notch for year 5! 💥❤💥❤💥
About 4 years ago, I asked God to help give me a business plan/model that would honor Him, allow me to serve others using the gifts He has given me, and empower others to do the same.
The result was not so much a plan, but a daily🙏 prayer:
"Lord, bring me people who need healing... whether that be physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, or in community." Each year, Guns 'n Poses is a celebration and reminder for me, and hopefully, for others too, that God is faithful in all the ways if only we seek Him and come together in a supportive and loving community.
I am blessed beyond measure, and I hope that paying it forward inspires others to do the same. THIS is how we change the world😘.
What does your pee say about your health? PART II
*Urine, in most healthy situations, should be seen but not smelled. There are exceptions of course (Have you ever experienced “asparagus pee”?), but the offending odor should be transient and not trending towards permanence. Urine with a strong ammonia smell may indicate dehydration or bacterial infections. A sharp change in hormones (ie: pregnancy or menopause) may also contribute to pungent pee. “Sweet or fruity smelling” urine may indicate a high ketone content in urine as is often seen in unregulated diabetes. Some medications can certainly create an environment for malodorous micturation. Sulfa based medications (note: sulfa and sulfur are NOT the same chemical entity), antibiotics, diuretics, birth control pills, lyrica, tramadol, and oxycodone are also potentially causative agents of stinky pee.
Frequent urination is a topic near and dear to my heart (and bladder). An estimated 33 million people in the USA struggle with this health clue. Having a spastic bladder can be a nuisance or it can be downright life limiting. The causes (clues) are varied:
🔎Urinary tract infection (pair with urine color and odor)
🔎Low estrogen levels (resulting from a hormone imbalance, menopause,or even excessive exercise)
🔎Pregnancy or post childbirth, chronic constipation, chronic coughing, frequent heavy lifting, obesity, pelvic floor weakness (see unbalanced pelvic floor muscles below)
🔎Enlarged prostate (men)
🔎Spinal cord injuries or dysfunctions
🔎Pelvic floor muscles (there are 16 of them) are unbalanced. Think of a webbed hammock where some of the webbing is strong and others are weak. Each muscle needs to be equal in strength. If this is a known issue, kegel exercises are not the answer. You’ll want to find an excellent pelvic floor therapist to guide you in your strengthening and healing process.
🔎Medication (ex: diuretics, lithium, steroids)
🔎Emotions. The bladder and kidneys are the home to emotions related to fear and anxiety. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, chronic bladder and kidney issues may correlate with “difficulty finding their place in life”. Many women (and men) who have a weak pelvic floor often report lacking support somewhere in their lives. Please do not underestimate the importance of healing emotionally when looking for ways to heal physically. Our issues do indeed reside in our tissues. There is an excellent book entitled The Body Keeps Score, by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk (MD) which explains the importance of resolving the emotional ties to specific health conditions. #worththeread
Interstitial cystitis is where my🙋♀️ personal “overactive bladder” story began in 2002. IC is an enigmatic chronic bladder condition that causes varying degrees of pelvic pain and discomfort. It also causes a chronic and constant need to urinate. Imagine having stomach ulcers in your bladder. That’s the best way I can describe what it felt like. In my case, it took nearly 3 years and 4 different doctors before finding one who suggested a cystoscopy to confirm her suspicions. As with all inflammatory disease states, what we expose ourselves to matters. I was blessed with a doctor who actually took the time to educate me on the truth of this. Instead of pushing me towards medication, she urged me to begin a strict elimination diet, stay well hydrated, and to learn to manage stress better. Wow! Imagine what our health care would look like if all western medicine based doctors would prescribe this type of sage advice! 🙌
Learning which foods and lifestyle choices triggered a worsening of my urge to pee was eye👀 opening indeed. Sometimes it was hit or miss, and I would often pay the price by having to get up 7-8 times a night to go to the bathroom. A serendipitous travel situation in 2008 completely changed everything when I discovered that nearly all processed foods were inflammation causing agents. I couldn’t believe how much better I felt in the presence of 100% fresh clean food! Staying well hydrated with filtered water quickly became key to keeping my bladder happy too. I know it may sound counterintuitive to strive for a full bladder to pee less….. Diluting toxins in the bladder makes what’s in the bladder less of an irritant!
Fast forward to 2013 when I was introduced to Young Living products. I had learned to manage my interstitial cystitis as holistically as possible, and in doing so, I had dodged the very real bullet of daily self catheterization that often occurs with people who have severe IC. I still had some nasty flare ups, and was still getting up 4-6 times a night (on average) to pee. One of the “thank you” products I had received from my Young Living monthly subscription order was Sulfurzyme. It was free, looked interesting, and tho I hadn’t really identified a personal need, I decided to take it. According to the YL website, Sulfurzyme may be of value to anyone who wishes to support their joints, range of motion, bone health, metabolic function, immune system, hair and skin. Within two weeks of taking Sulfurzyme faithfully I began noticing enormous changes within my bladder along with a decreased urge to urinate. Around that time, I also began using a DIY face serum recipe which contains Frankincense and Lavender every morning. Should I have been shocked that what I put on my face also happened to make my bladder very happy? In 2014, I was still learning essential oil basics, and this was a lesson to the truth that oils work best in “all the ways” when they are used. Get them out of the bottle and into the air or on your skin. You just never know what might happen with regular consistent use. 😉
I’ve continued to clean up my "issues within my tissues" over the years, and I am so much healthier in mind, body, and spirit than I was when I was in my 30’s. This is a lifestyle, not a “once ‘n done” kind of thing. Freedom is never free, especially in the case of a health condition. I had to be willing to do the hard work, to live like no one else sometimes, and to listen to what my body needed. Everyone has their own story, their own diagnosis, their own emotional journey to recognize. Overcoming ( ____________ ) requires change and the courage and willingness to do so. As they say, “Insanity is doing the same things over and over again, and expecting different results.” I pray you are discovering yourself as you become your own health detective. Learning to read your own health clues and then acting on those clues is true self love. Never forget that each of our bodies is a temple and as such, requires tender loving care and maintenance every single day. You are worth it!
This last week has been a blur of education for me. Raise your hand🙋♀️🙋♂️🙋 if you've ever been to a Young Living Farm... and which one(s) you've been to! We have 3 in the USA (in Utah, and 2 in Idaho) and many more all over the world. I've been to 5 so far and dream of someday making it to every single one of them!
This was a special trip for many reasons. We were able to stay on the farms in one of the cabins (a very sweet and memorable experience). We were there for raindrop training..... "What is Raindrop ?" .... so glad you asked!
Imagine a farmer preparing the soil for a crop of goodness...... All that is done for the soil to make it ready for healthy abundant plants. That's.... in a nutshell.... a metaphor for the Raindrop. Think of it as clean healthy fertilizer for the immune system (and so much more!😍).
I have undervalued this Very Important Tool, and I suspect that you may have too. But no more.... now that I know! We have the tools friends..... we only need to know how to use them!
PS.... I failed to mention that over half the people in attendance were health care professionals. Yep folks..... Western medicine peeps are slowly waking up to the benefits our oils have to offer!🙌🙌🙌
Do emotions😃😶😭😱😫😡 rule your world....or perhaps you have a handle on yours.🙌. All of us know people whose lives have been altered because of their wayward emotions. Untethered emotions can derail a life course just as easily as a major physical illness.
Y'all, we simply cannot separate mind, body, and spirit into separate compartments and call it good. Western medicine has failed miserably by approaching health in this way.
Would you like to learn more about emotions and tools to help navigate them? Please join us for this online event😘!
(Comment below to be added to the event)
Happy Independence Day weekend friends!❤🇺🇸❤
Total health isn't only about the physical body. The more I study and learn, the more I see the enormous unaddressed gaps in Western medicine. Mind, body, spirit, community, (and in my opinion, having full faith in Jesus ) are all necessary for a life that is full of peace, health, and joy filled.
I realized about halfway thru my pharmacy career (of 30 years) that pharmacy would bring a solid paycheck but would not bring me peace, health, or joy. The stress and the hours and the speed and accuracy with which you are pressured to work is grueling (there are very few healthy pharmacists out there). Even more importantly, I had come to realize that what truly brings health (mind, body, spirit alignment) would never come from a pill. The problem tho, was this, how do you leave that which doesn't serve you.... whatever THAT is?
You find what DOES serve you..... what makes your heart sing..... what brings you joy and peace, and then you pursue it, even if it means only 10 minutes a day..... you make it happen. Baby steps. 👣 Gradually, you invest more time and effort because THIS (whatever your "THIS " is for you) fuels your fire..... it might just become your blueprint for an exit strategy to leaving that which no longer serves you 😘.
This is what personal growth and development looks and feels like. A constant honing and awareness off correcting course. We only get one life to live, and it is honoring to God to live it fully using our gifts to help others and also to carry joy in our hearts always.
If you feel stuck somewhere in life, I encourage you to think on this. "Stuckness" will eventually affect your health in ways you'd never imagine 😔. If you'd like to chat a bit, find a mentor who radiates joy! I can pretty much guarantee they would be happy to talk to you and share their story. One of the reasons I love Young Living so much is because they serve a community of passionate people who have realized that freedom has many facets and they all involve, .....as the Declaration of Independence so beautifully states..... the God given right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (tho I much prefer to say the acquisition of joy!❤🙏) .
Have a beautiful July 4th weekend! 🇺🇸
Hey there....thanks for stopping by! This is me (Liz James)... an eclectic mixture of holistic (and organic) farmgirl meets pharmacist. It's a synergy that works well as I speak truths and dissect fact from fiction. If you're looking for healthier living options, you've come to the right place!