“Posture affects and moderates every physiologic function from breathing to hormonal production. Spinal pain, headache, mood, blood pressure, pulse and lung capacity are among the functions most easily influenced by posture.” ~ American Journal of Pain Management 1994, 4:36-39
*Proper posture will always be a work in progress with “life” and gravity working against the goal. Beginning at a very young age, poor posture can lead to abnormal growth of the spine which leads to increased strain on muscles, ligaments, joints, and bones, and will lead to joint degeneration and spinal arthritis later in life.
Life goes on. Physical trauma in the form of accidents or injuries occur. Childbirth happens. We are now the most sedentary humans in all of history. Sitting with poor posture for hours at a time takes its toll on the body. Cell phones, laptops, and desk jobs have not been kind to our backs. More than 70% of the US population is overweight and/or has a diet that is not nutritionally supportive of bones, ligaments and muscles. Chronic carrying of a heavy or improperly placed load takes its toll (ex: a military serviceman carrying a heavy pack 👨✈️, a woman with a large heavy purse👜, a construction worker who lifts heavy materials daily). Emotions also play an enormous role in poor posture. Certainly shoulders sag under the weight of intangible burdens, but inside the body, emotions affect us at the cellular level. Did you know that unresolved drama and trauma will certainly affect posture, especially in the lower back. This often results in lower back pain which often tips the upper torso slightly forward.
Tips for Improved Posture
*Become aware of your posture and check yourself throughout the day (use the posture test in Part I to get started). Good posture should feel natural!
*Get some “Vitamin M”…. Movement! Stand up and move every hour especially if you have a desk job.(This improves productivity too!)
*Adjust your keyboard to elbow height. Wrists should remain straight as you type.
*Make sure your chair is also at the right height. Knees and hips should be level and feet should be flat on the floor.
*Avoid crossing your legs above the knee.
*Use your cell phone at eye level. Bending the head forward constantly applies extraordinary pressure on the spine. Up to 60 lbs of pressure is applied to the neck depending upon how far forward you are bending.
*Place your computer monitor at eye level.
*Tighten and exercise core muscles. Yoga and other forms of exercise! Again, Vitamin M 😉
*Consider your footwear. Does it help or hinder your posture?
*Utilize health professionals! Physical therapists, chiropractors, professional fitness trainers, yoga instructors, etc.
*Practice deep breathing. This is also a great time to fully utilize your favorite essential oils! Some of my personal favorites are Valor, Peace & Calming, Sacred Mountain, and White Angelica.
*Practice “Y, W, T” exercises for healthy shoulder posture. The letters simply refer to where the arms will be in relation to your body. You can find out more information about this very simple arm exercise series by searching “ Y W T shoulder exercises” on your favorite search engine. As you practice these exercises, keep a bottle of Panaway or Deep Relief handy……. You might be surprised how sore your muscles may be at the beginning of practicing these simple exercises!
*Become aware of how impactful emotions can be on your posture, and learn to release those which do not serve you in a beneficial way. Young Living has blessed millions of homes with aromas that are powerfully impactful to mind, body, and spirit. Some of my personal favorites for deep emotions are Release, Trauma Life, Frankincense, Stress Away, Forgiveness, and Inner Child. Western medicine has done a great disservice to mankind by isolating the treatment of body dysfunction from mind and spirit. They cannot be separated if true healing is to occur.
If you’ve never considered using oils for emotions, start with any essential oil or oil blend that you are drawn to. Using your mind and setting intention is an important piece of the puzzle.
Tell me, which oil(s) are you most drawn to?
What Does Your Posture Say About Your Health: Part I
One of the most outwardly noticeable clues to the state of both physical and emotional health is posture.
Let’s stop here and do a quick assessment before getting into the how’s, what’s and why’s with this simple at home test:
1.Stand with your back next to a wall, with heels 2-4 inches from the wall. The back of head, shoulder blades, and bottom are all touching the wall.
2.Look (or feel) for correct lower back curve. You should just barely be able to slide your flat hand between your lower back and the wall. If there is too much space, bring your belly button inwards towards your spine.
3.Now, walk away from the wall holding correct posture. Return to the wall after a few minutes and see if you have maintained proper alignment.
How’d it go for you?😀 If you’ve got some work to do, you’re not alone…. Poor posture is a modern day epidemic with enormous long term ramifications.
*Why is posture so important? Simply put, a properly aligned body is considered a prerequisite for a healthy life! Think of a crooked little house. It’s outward appearance is evident, and undoubtedly its crookedness promises cracked walls and foundation, probably some leaky pipes, and maybe even an electrical fire somewhere in its future if the crookedness goes uncorrected. Over time, the crooked house will become more dilapidated until it eventually becomes uninhabitable. You’ve seen these houses. They look sad.
*Posture is one of the first things people notice in others... without even noticing they're noticing! Posture outwardly portrays mood, emotions, health, and confidence level and is a key player in first impressions.
A 2004 study in the Journal of American Geriatrics👵👴 found that people with excellent posture tend to live longer than those with poor posture. Like the crooked little house, there is much more going on inside our “walls”:
*Poor posture (standing or sitting) leads to stiffness, pain, and increased likelihood of injuries. Perhaps this is because good posture is associated with better flexibility and balance.
*Chronic poor posture often leads to arthritis and tendonitis.
*The state of one’s posture has a profound effect on the heart, lungs, brain function, immune system, and digestion.
*Poor posture results in excess energy utilized to simply “be”. This means less energy is available for healing, metabolism, and the brainwork of thought and meditation.
*Slumping posture stretches the spinal cord and corresponding nerves. Remember that crooked house? This stretching of the nerves causes chronic stress, causing them to misfire, like a frayed or kinked electrical wire. Chronic slumping eventually leads to demyelination of the involved nerves. (Imagine how well a poorly insulated electrical cord works).
*Plumbing issues may result. Incontinence is often a problem in those with years of poor posture.
*Poor posture also adversely affects lung function.
*Poor posture plays a significant role in chronic pain and the effectiveness of pain management.
Problems associated with poor posture include:
💥Back, hip, knee, and foot pain
💥Fatigue and breathing problems
💥Compressed organs (which makes it hard to digest food properly)
💥Exacerbation of lung conditions
💥Anxiety, panic attacks, and emotional disorders
💥(A precursor to) cardiovascular issues
Posture is foundationally important to our health. Stay tuned! Part II will give you tools and suggestions for improving your posture. In the meantime, one of the best ways to improve posture is to move and move often! 💃
What’s your favorite oil that gets you moving? Mine comes in a can 😁 …. Lime and black pepper…. NingXia Zyng! Have you tried it?
Hair Clues Part II
💈In addition to hair loss, the hair and scalp scalp also give clues.
💈Brittle hair may be the result of something as simple as regular exposure to harsh treatment. This may include parabens or sulfate laden hair “care” products, tho those companies who create such products certainly aren’t using ingredients that actually do care for hair! Hair that is heavily treated with commercial dyes, perms, and relaxers is also prone to brittleness. Do not underestimate the destructive power of a toxic☠️ personal care product. These commercial mainstream products can be so damaging to hair, scalp, and even have an effect on us internally. Remember, skin (and scalp) is like a sponge….what you put on your body is absorbed and affects the body systemically. Young Living continues to stand in the gap by providing an amazing line of shampoos, conditioners, and body care products that are safe and wonderfully beneficial to our bodies!
👉Chronic dehydration is another cause of brittle hair. Are you prone to split ends? 25% of hair is water, and this may be a very telling sign that you are not consuming enough water daily. Have you noticed how many clues there are that lead back to low grade dehydration? Approximately 75% of the population in the USA are chronically dehydrated! Think about how many irritating clues might vanish by simply drinking more good clean filtered water! If water isn’t your jam because it lacks the flavor you crave, get yourself the Young Living Vitality Drops. The bonus is that Lavender Lemonade and Grapefruit Bergamot also contain needed electrolytes, while the Jade Lemon Berry and Spearmint Tangerine flavors provide an added energy boost! My workouts are visibly better when I’ve added one of the energy flavors to my water while at the gym.
👉Other possible reasons for brittle hair include zinc deficiency (something that will ultimately affect your immune system function), a thyroid disorder (a full thyroid lab panel can reveal this easily), or too much processed food and not enough Omega 3’s in your diet. Unless a diet is absolutely loaded with natural Omega 3’s, I’d highly encourage adding OmegaGize3 or MindWise to your daily routine.
👉Certain medications may cause hair to become brittle, altered in texture or color, or change in receiving a color. Antidepressants, birth control pills, chemotherapy meds, anesthesia, statins, singulair, biologics, anxiety meds, and certain blood pressure meds are among those which may be considered likely suspects.
“Gray hair is a crown of glory: it is gained by living a godly life.”
~ Proverbs 16:31
💈Gray hair is usually well earned, but sometimes, medications, life events, and deficiencies can cause it to happen too early. Prematurely gray hair may happen with a B12 deficiency, an extremely stressful life event, or occasionally, certain medications.
💈The scalp also holds clues! Dandruff is often due to a gut imbalance, an unbalanced diet (where are your Omega 3’s?), or a sensitivity to a food ( commercial dairy is often the perpetrator). There are really 4 main types of dandruff:
👉Dry skin dandruff: This may happen from washing hair too frequently, living in a very dry atmosphere, or chronic low grade dehydration. It is characterized by small white flakes. YL Copaiba Vanilla Shampoo is formulated for dry and damaged hair. What’s good for the hair is also good for the scalp!
👉Oily skin dandruff: These flakes tend to be yellowish and larger in nature. This type of dandruff requires more frequent washing. A diet high in processed foods is frequently the culprit. YL Lavender Mint Shampoo is formulated to lift away product residue and pollutants and excess scalp oils.
👉Yeasty dandruff: Candida infections can and do commonly appear on the scalp. Candida is opportunistic and is prone to setting up camp when the conditions are right. A suppressed immune system, an unhealthy diet, chronic stress, certain medications, and harsh chemicals in hair care products all may contribute to ideal conditions for candida to become a problem. Candida generally has larger flaky scales than dry skin dandruff, and the areas involved may appear somewhat moist.
👉Eczema and Psoriasis may also appear on the scalp appearing as patchy areas which may appear thicker than the normal skin and the flakes are generally quite large. Both eczema and psoriasis are immune system and gut health/diet related. Remember, the skin is a reflection of the health of the gut!
Overall, the most important thing you can do for the health of your hair and scalp is exactly what you’d do for the rest of your body…. A well balanced healthy diet, avoiding toxins however you can, and managing stress and sleep.
If you have been blessed with baldness, here’s some love for you!
BALD EAGLE BALM
10 drops of Cedarwood Essential Oil
10 drops of Carrot Seed oil
5 drops of Myrrh
½ cup organic jojoba oil
Mix oils, shake well and massage onto that beautiful bald head after showering.
Hair is a sensitive and personal subject for many people. Globally, the hair care market is estimated to be about 87.9 BILLION dollars annually. Clearly, people like their hair!. So, if hair goes missing, thinning, or begins to fall out in handfuls, it may be an emotional experience.
Typically, the average adult head loses 80-100 strands of hair a day. If you’ve noticed greater hair loss, the first clue is to determine if thinning hair happened gradually or abruptly and if in patches or across the entire scalp.
One of the most common hair loss triggers is stress and/or😷 illness. Our body perceives mental stress in the same way it responds to excessive physical stress. Persistent high levels of cortisol arrests hair growth and contributes to excessive shedding of hair. If stress remains elevated for an extended period of time, hair will often thin and even turn gray. Bacterial and viral infections can also certainly trigger hair loss, specifically if fear or angst are emotions carried by the individual.
The good news is that stress related hair loss usually stops several months after the stress or sickness has abated. Stress management is a KEY component to a healthy lifestyle and healthy hair. At no time does it become more important than when the body is already fatigued from fighting an illness. Do not underestimate the power of emotionally supportive oils such as Young Living’s 🙏Stress Away, Peace and Calming, and Valor🙏! Other additional tress “de-stressing” tips include:
*Incorporating a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables and food high in Omega 3’s, while avoiding processed foods! If you feel that you may not be getting enough Omega 3’s in your diet, add in Young Living’s OmegaGize3 to fill in the gaps! You’d be surprised at how much our bodies (and hair) actually need. Consider also stepping into an anti-inflammatory diet. (Message me privately and I can connect you with a wonderful 28 day program that has helped many people walk through this in a community setting.)
*Detox your body, making sure to drink plenty of water in the process
*Get plenty of sleep
*Let hair air dry
*Avoid using toxic chemicals or synthetic ingredients on hair and scalp, especially those that contain sulfates and parabens.
*Thankfully, we have a full line of healthy and natural body and hair care products available to us with our Young Living membership!
💈Other causes of hair loss include:
👉Hormonal changes due to pregnancy or post pregnancy
👉Too much vitamin A or selenium in a diet or supplement regimen.
👉Not enough protein in a diet
👉Genetics ( male or female pattern baldness)
👉A hormonal imbalance (including PCOS)
👉Low Iron, biotin, Vit D, or Zinc
👉Certain autoimmune diseases
👉A thyroid imbalance
👉Losing weight too quickly (also commonly happens after bariatric or metabolic surgeries)
👉Over processed or chemically exposed hair/scalp
👉A calcium to magnesium ratio imbalance. If the calcium to magnesium ratio is “heavy” on the calcium side in the body, calcification can occur in areas of the body (dangerously in blood vessels) including hair follicles. The calcification stifles hair growth and starves the area of nutrients. While calcium excess is stored in the body, magnesium is not. Additionally, there is a strong cry to “take calcium” to prevent osteoporosis, but rarely do we hear much about taking magnesium to prevent it. Too much calcium and not enough magnesium will eventually contribute to brittle bones. Not all magnesium supplements are created equal in terms of bioavailability. Thankfully, Young Living has done a masterful job of incorporating the right kinds of magnesium in supplements like Super Cal Plus , Master Formula, and the Kidscents Unwind!
Finally, there are many many medications that may cause hair loss:
💊Certain blood thinners such as warfarin and heparin
💊Beta blockers and ACE inhibitors (two classes of blood pressure meds)
💊Biologics (commonly used for certain autoimmune disorders) such as Humira, Amjevita, and Enbrel
💊NSAIDS (the longer the use, the more likely the hair loss)
💊Some antidepressants including Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Lexapro, and Wellbutrin
💊Anabolic steroids (leads to a hormone imbalance)
💊Metformin (depletes folate and B12 which are needed for hair growth)
💊Certain acne meds containing isotretinoin (a Vit A derivative… see above)
💊Antibiotics (long term use is especially problematic. The gut lining becomes damaged and nutrients required for hair growth are not absorbed properly)
💊Neurontin (commonly used for neuropathy)
💊Hormone therapy (including birth control pills)
💊Some acid reducers (including Tagamet and Pepcid)
💊Heavy metals and poisons including arsenic, thallium, and mercury
Certainly, hair loss may sometimes be out of our control, but there is much that can be done to mediate it, once the reason(s) has been identified! Thorough lab work including a full hormone panel, thyroid panel, and testing for nutritional deficiencies often provides solid evidence as to why a body’s northernmost real estate has become sparsely populated.
"Treat your hair like royalty. It's the crown you never take off."
My husband calls me “the noticer” on our farm because I notice even the slightest irregularities or inconsistencies… It doesn't matter if it’s person, plant, or beast. Often what I notice is nothing to be concerned about, but acknowledging trends or patterns will oftentimes save time and heartache if we can “nip something in the bud” before we have an all out crisis.
It doesn’t matter if you live on a farm👩🌾 or in a city apartment🏢, becoming a casual “noticer” hones skills that may keep you safe, alive, and healthy. Pairing “noticing” with instinct (what I prefer to call Holy Spirit led discernment😉), along with a bit of knowledge goes a long way as a skilled “noticer”. We all become amateur paramedic sleuths🔎 when a temperature is taken, a throat is examined for spots, sleep is lost, pain is felt, or a quick look is taken at what just dropped into the toilet😳😱. Those are all clues that we see after the fact…. changes within the body have become noticeable enough that they can no longer be ignored.
“Blood goes round and round” air goes in and out; any variation from this is bad.”~ Paramedic 101
*Blood should move efficiently and effectively throughout the body. If it does not, trouble is on the horizon. Blood transports oxygen and nutrients throughout the body and removes carbon dioxide and other waste. It also helps regulate body temperature and pH, and is a shield of protection within us by way of its finely tuned clotting mechanisms (so that we won’t bleed too much or too little) and role in immune system function .
*Healthy “clean” blood makes more efficient oxygen and nutrient deliveries to cells which ultimately leads to better mental health, cleaner clearer skin, better regulation of cholesterol, and enhanced liver and lung function (which allow for better off loading of cellular and pathogenic waste and toxins).
*Does your blood appear to move efficiently throughout the body?
Try this “hands on” clue to assess whether your vascular system may (or may not) be serving blood to the nether regions of your body well (your hands and feet!).
The Capillary Nail Refill Test is a simple test you can do on yourself or family member:
*Note the color of unpolished nails. They should be light pink in color.
*Gently and firmly press on the nail bed of a fingernail for about 5 seconds. The nail will turn pale.
*Holding the hand above the heart, release the pressure on the tip of the finger and watch for the amount of time it takes for the original color to return to the nail.
*Upon release of pressure, the nail should return to its original color within 2 seconds.
Now, what do the results from this clue mean? If the nail bed color takes more than two seconds to recover its color, it may mean any (or all) of these things need to be addressed:
👉Dehydration (blood simply cannot flow well if there isn’t enough water in the blood)
👉Hypothermia (if someone has poor peripheral circulation as with Raynaud’s Syndrome, a cold room can certainly affect the outcome of the press test. This in itself may be a clue, as Raynaud’s is often associated with autoimmune disorders such as lupus, scleroderma, RA, and Sjogren syndrome).
👉Peripheral vascular disease (commonly caused by a buildup of plaque inside artery walls which ultimately lead to narrowing, blockage, and vascular spasms in legs and sometimes also in arms. This is another clue if pain is exacerbated during exercise and improves when at rest.)
Poor oxygenation throughout the body is the Number One cause of declining health and disease. Blood needs to flow, oxygen needs to be delivered, and waste needs to be disposed of constantly.
What are some things you can do to encourage and support a healthy vascular system?
*NingXia Red! Our favorite red drink supports both the vascular system and the blood flowing through it…. I encourage you to pick up a copy of NingXia Wolfberry: the Ultimate Superfood by Gary Young to learn more! You’ll never want to be without NingXia Red after understanding how valuable and supportive this drink is to our health.
*Eat plenty of fresh cabbage, lettuce, spinach, kale, broccoli, garlic, grapefruit, lemon, and oranges to encourage detoxification. Fruits like apples, plums, and pears have pectin fiber that are also useful in cleansing the blood.
💫Strive to keep a slightly alkaline body. In 1931, Dr. Otto Warburg won a Nobel Prize for proving that highly oxygenated, slightly alkaline blood creates an inhospitable environment for cancer cells.
*Diaphragmatic Breathing: Use ALL of the lungs when breathing. Most people only breathe using the upper portion of their lungs. Make your diaphragm work when you breathe at least several times a day (if not always). Pairing “mindful breathing” with positive emotions and gratitude improves oxygenation of blood!
*Stay well hydrated! If you don’t like to drink water, my guess is that you’ve never tried the Young Living Vitality Drops! (Grapefruit Bergamot is my fave!)
🌟Glutathione: This is the master antioxidant. Sulfurzyme provides the body with essential tools needed to make glutathione. This is another one of my personal all time favorites!
🌿Chlorophyll, as is found in the leafy greens mentioned above, also provides key nutrients for healthy blood. It’s hard to get enough of it though for most people. Young Living’s Multigreens is a fantastic way to get concentrated chlorophyll into your body on the days you just can’t eat enough kale and spinach!
💥Vitamin B12 and Folate (Super B for the win!)
💪Exercise and movement! The mere act of standing up triggers chemical changes within the body that benefit blood flow.
*Increase joy and reduce stress in your life (Have you read Dr. Emoto’s book, “The Hidden Messages in Water”?)
👐Massage: It improves circulation and mood!
Poor circulation can be painful and even dangerous, and the ideas above are just a few ways to support a healthy vascular system and blood supply.
What is something that you consciously do to encourage cardiovascular health?
Before we move on to foot clues you feel internally, I wanted to touch briefly on the toenails. If you’ve been hanging with me this long, you may remember we spent quite some time on fingernail clues. Fingernails and toenails share many traits, and you may want to go back and revisit those posts for expanded details on your distal digits. Very briefly, these are some of the “biggies” for the toes:
*Clubbed toenails - often a sign of lung, heart, liver, or digestive disorders. Poorly oxygenated blood is usually the causative agent for curved nails.
*Yellowed toenails - usually related to a fungal infection, but if most or all toenails are involved, look for other clues including swollen feet or ankles. Paired with lower extremity swelling, more toenails become involved and the nails appear to get thicker or seem to detach. These telltale tips may also involve clues related to lymphedema, lung disease, or autoimmune disorders such as psoriasis or rheumatoid arthritis.
*Spoon shaped toenails - frequently a sign of iron deficiency or frequent exposure to petroleum based solvents. Know that there are “clean” nail polish and nail polish removers available, and using them instead of toxin laden products is one more way to support healthy liver function!
Chronically cold feet is a clue indicating impaired circulation. Decreased blood flow is commonly linked to smoking, heart disease, diabetes, anemia, digestive disorders, or hypothyroidism. Exercise and deep breathing techniques are two ways to improve circulation. Our bodies are designed to move, not to be still.😉
*Heel pain or pain that radiates from the heel to the arch of the foot (plantar fasciitis) is often a result of inflammation of the ligament attached to the heel bone which runs along the arch of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is often said to be most painful in the mornings. Heel pain alone may suggest arthritis, excessive exercise, or a possible bone spur.
*Have you been told that you have (or had) stress fractures in your feet?. This is one of the most common injuries seen by our active duty military men and women in training, and is also fairly common in civilian life. Though contributing factors include improperly fitted boots, carrying heavy loads regularly, and intense exercise, the biggest factor is improper nutrition leading to weaker bones. Very often, stress fractures in the feet can be a clue for osteopenia / osteoporosis if bones are not given the proper nutrients to thrive.
Young Living’s Super Cal Plus is a wonderful supportive tool for bones that need a little extra TLC! It contains Magnesium, calcium, Vit D3 and a thoroughly helpful blend of micronutrients, herbs, and essential oils. You’ll want to remember this supplement when we chat about foot and leg spasms here in just a little bit too!
*Perhaps you’ve had a random but sudden and severe pain in your big toe? This is a pain that appears “ “magically” (if you’ve experienced it, you know what I’m talking about!), and may leave you wondering how you broke your toe but didn’t know it….. It’s THAT painful! 😳Years ago, gout was considered a rich man’s disease because of the rich diet that often precipitates a flare. Foods and beverages that may aggravate gout include alcoholic beverages, shellfish, bacon, beef, and broccoli, but the worst culprit of all is sugar in all forms, but especially high fructose corn syrup. Gout flares may also be linked to certain medications. Diuretics and certain blood pressure medications in the ACE inhibitor family, are two of the more common ones.
*Regular foot spasms are another wonder filled clue with several possibilities. Poor circulation, dehydration, an imbalance in potassium, magnesium, calcium, or vitamin D are all potential thieves of ease. Thyroid disorders and a sharp change in hormone levels (as is seen in pregnancy) are other potential causes. There are soooooo many medications that can cause a metabolic imbalance resulting in regular foot and leg spasms. Any medication that depletes any or all of these nutrients often leads to foot and leg spasms unless the deficiency is remediated.
Medications known to do this include:
💊Acid blockers/reducers (for the stomach)
💊Many common antibiotics ( the quinolone class especially)
💊Many blood pressure medications
💊Birth control pills
💊Certain maintenance meds used for breast cancer
💊A high sugar diet (yes…. Sugar may be defined as a drug!)
*Leg spasms are often diagnosed as restless leg syndrome when in reality, it’s more often than not a simple deficiency in potassium, magnesium, calcium, or Vit D that may be easily remedied with proper supplementation. In my experience as a pharmacist, I’ve found the most common culprit to be a magnesium deficiency, especially if the spasms are in the lower legs. Remember, the body is giving massive clues and not a single clue is ever an indicator that it is “deficient” in a medication.
*Generalized pain, tingling, or a burning sensation of the feet affects over 20 million people in the United states, and the clue field is a vast one. This particular clue is the result of damaged nerve fibers. Damage may happen in a myriad of ways, but the most common cause is diabetes followed by alcohol abuse. Other potential causes include chronic kidney disease, chronic hypothyroidism, lyme disease, or a vitamin B12, folate, and/or B6 deficiency. The B vitamin family is critical for nerve health, and Young Living’s Super B is a stellar opportunity to support unhappy (and perhaps malnourished) nerves.
Medications that rob the body of a variety of B vitamins include:
💊Acid reducers and antacids
💊Many blood pressure medications
💊Bronchodilators (example: albuterol)
💊Many diabetes meds including metformin (do you see the irony here?)
💊Birth control pills
💊Certain medications for Parkinson’s Disease
Oftentimes, clues can certainly be found in a pill bottle, once you start to understand the cause and effect and even put together a timeline of when the clue appeared. This is why it is so important to keep a health journal, especially when multiple clues make themselves known. Think of it as writing your personal detective story!
Our body rarely deceives us!
There is an old farm saying, “No hoof, no horse.”. The savvy horseman looks at hooves very carefully because he or she knows that a horse with poor feet will not be able to function optimally, and that a horse with chronic hoof issues often has metabolic, digestive, or rarely... a genetic anomaly . The same holds absolutely true with humans.
If you’ve had an excellent massage therapist (or perhaps even an astute pedicurist), perhaps they’ve told you a little bit about yourself simply by examining your feet while they worked. It’s lovely to have a day of pampering, but don’t depend on anyone to look for clues. It’s time to get to know your feet really well if you haven’t done so already! Our feet are an excellent barometer of overall health. Clues often appear below the ankles before any other place on the body, giving ample time to reverse the course of your personal story should it happen to be heading down a rocky road.
26 bones. 33 joints. 100 ligaments. More than 100 moving parts. What could possibly go wrong? 😬Well, take a seat….shuck the shoes 👟and socks, and take a close look at your hardworking utterly complex feet. I’m going to group feet clues into two categories: What you can SEE and what you can FEEL.
Visible Foot Clues:
*Do you see dry, cracked, peeling, blistered, red, or scaly skin, usually on the bottom of the foot or between the toes? Sometimes these clues may be accompanied by a burning or itching sensation. Athlete’s foot is a fungus known as tinea pedis that thrives in dark, damp places….an excellent reason to go barefoot whenever possible! Fungal infections throughout the body are fueled by high sugar diets. A sustained change in diet (along with allowing the feet to breathe!) often eliminates chronic foot funk. Occasionally, all of these clues may point instead to contact dermatitis. When contact dermatitis occurs, it’s most often due to a chemical / toxin exposure. It’s just one more reason to use the Thieves Household Cleaner line of products!
*Now, check your heels for cracks. Going barefoot or wearing flip flops often do not cause cracked heels, though this is a popular belief. Cracked heels is a classic sign of a struggling thyroid.
*Hairy toes. Do you have them….. Or, did you used to have them but now you don’t? The same can be said for the tops of the feet and the lower legs. Hairy toes, feet, and lower legs are a sign of healthy circulation. Nourishing hair follicles on the lowest extremities is one of the first things to go when the circulatory system starts struggling. A poor nourishment pathway in the legs starves the follicles, and hair ceases to grow. Don’t panic if you’ve never had hairy toes. Not everyone is genetically predisposed to furry distal digits. The important thing to remember is your uniqueness, and to learn to watch for these clues so that you’ll notice when something changes, or goes missing! This is a clue easily caught on men, and less easily caught on women.
*Swollen feet and ankles. So very common in pregnancy, but an important clue for those who are not pregnant. Even if you are standing all day, feet and ankle swelling should be minimal with good circulation. This is a clue that may indicate impaired circulation or lymphatic drainage. Additionally, the kidneys remove excess fluid from the body. If they are not functioning properly, excess fluid tends to accumulate in the body. An under-active thyroid may also contribute to fluid retention.
*Sores that are slow to heal on the feet are a significant clue also indicating impaired circulation. This particular clue is often seen in diabetes and peripheral artery disease (PAD). PAD is a narrowing of the arteries which reduces blood flow to the legs. If nourishment cannot get to a wound, it will be slow to heal.
*If you have noticed circulatory system clues in your feet, try to avoid crossing your legs when you sit. Sitting like this further constricts blood flow and will only exacerbate the clues you’ve noticed!
*Stinky feet! You may have noticed that some people have stinkier feet than others. Feet are loaded with sweat glands: 250,000 give or take a few. But odor is not caused by sweat alone. It is caused by the byproducts of bacteria, possibly fungus, and ALWAYS the toxin load of the individual. Simply put, the more toxins ☠️ within a person’s body, the greater the odds of some rank stank. All the more reason to help your liver out and choose healthy, toxin free options whenever possible in life! #thanksYL
If you know someone with stinky feet, consider gifting them this easy peasy helpful spray for their shoes (and feet!), and get them on the path to a less toxic lifestyle.
***Stink Stank Stunk no more Shoe Spray***
👟3-4 oz glass or metal spray bottle
👟2 oz witch hazel
👟1 ounce filtered water
👟30-40 drops total of essential oil using any of the following (Purification, Eucalyptus Radiata, Peppermint, Lemon, Rosemary)
Shake well before each use!
Take some time to look at your feet at least once a week. I do a quick assessment every night as I apply Thieves to the bottoms of my feet before bedtime for immune support and Tranquil to the base of my big toe for a good night's sleep.
See you next week…. We’re just getting started on foot clues!
Oh I hope you’ve come to appreciate your liver and its clues as I do mine! The three most important health decisive organs in the human body are the heart, brain, and liver. The liver really acts as a body guard and protector for the entire body, and it “takes one for the team” 24/7/365, no matter if it feels sluggish, dehydrated, or filled to overflowing with toxins.
🙌Ideally, we would eat the perfect liver friendly diet, balance stress, avoid petrochemicals (including plastics, gasoline and engine oil, exhaust fumes, chemical solvents and standard household cleaners, paint, and even carpet!), chemical fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides. We would ferociously protect ourselves from chlorine and fluoride (something that is highly toxic to the liver), and run from artificial sweeteners, MSG, and preservatives of all kinds. We’d wean off caffeine, alcohol, and gluten and throw anything cooked with canola oil in the trash. In a perfect world, viruses and other harmful pathogens (The liver has to work so hard to clean up after those litter mongering microbes. ) wouldn’t exist, and medications wouldn't wreak havoc on the liver (and other organs).
🙌We’d improve our air quality by ditching “fragranced” candles, toxic air fresheners, (oh please tell me you’ve already done this, or I feel I may have failed you!), commercial hair sprays, hair dyes, and conventional cosmetics. Dry cleaning would be a bad word, and conventional laundry detergent would be an unwelcome house guest.
I’m exhausted writing all of this and frankly a little depressed☹️ just imagining how many people unknowingly cause their liver such serious harm. The reality is that we can’t possibly avoid all the things that cause liver distress, but we can avoid complacency. Ignoring the toxin truths☠️ (and solutions) will get us nowhere fast, and will ultimately lead to a slew of liver related symptoms that you now know as “clues”.
We just have to do the best we can and fix what we are able to control. Plug in your diffuser, swipe a drop or two of Stress Away across each wrist, and take a look at all the ways you can support your liver.
*Ditch known toxins and switch to healthy alternatives within your sphere of influence wherever possible. Young Living makes this incredibly easy to do without worrying about reading labels or being duped by companies who “greenwash” their product line…. a form of trickery that is just pure evil.
*Eat liver healing foods such as organic apples, apricots, artichokes, asparagus, kelp, bananas, beets, berries, carrots, celery, cherries, cilantro (binds to toxic heavy metals!), coconut, cruciferous veggies, cucumbers (very hydrating to the liver), dandelion greens, dates, figs, eggplant, garlic, grapes, hot peppers (eat them red, not green!), kiwis, leafy greens, mangoes, REAL maple syrup, melons, mushrooms, onions, oranges, tangerines, papaya, parsley (helps dislodge poisons, and has a healthy effect on gallbladder sludge), peaches and nectarines, pears, pineapple (helps dissolve gallstones), sweet potatoes (feeds the liver and helps the liver regulate hormones), radishes (disinfects the liver), raw honey/ pollen (provides fuel, minerals and other nutrients to the liver), tomatoes (lycopene helps the liver detox red blood cells), turmeric (helps with purging toxins deep within the liver), winter squash, and zucchini.
*When taking a supplement that is deeply impactful to the liver, consider taking it with a piece of fresh fruit🍏🍊🍐🍉🍇🍒🍓 to enhance the delivery to the liver.
*Young Living’s Juvatone is an amazing supplement designed for liver support. I opt to do a cleanse of some sort a few times throughout the year, and several years ago, one of those cleanses resulted in a skin rash that I could not shake off…..and I had tried nearly everything! My liver just could not handle the toxin load that was being rattled loose from this particular cleanse. It wasn’t until I gave it the support of Juvatone, that I (and my liver!) came to appreciate💃 the liver love in these tablets, and my six week long rash disappeared in just a few days.
*Remember, as toxins build, common side effects often appear throughout the body. Skin conditions, rashes, fatigue, mood swings, digestive disturbances, brain fog, muscle / joint pain, and dizziness are only some of the most common clues. Every one of us is built differently and are exposed to a different array of toxins that must be disposed of. Sometimes clues may pop up during a cleanse, while in other situations, liver overload clues are a daily occurrence.
*The combined ingredients in Juvatone promotes and supports healthy liver function. The Essential Oil Desk Reference suggests using Juvatone in tandem with Comfortone or ICP. Indeed, this makes for a great partnership, and creates a highly efficient “exit strategy” for those unwanted toxins!
What ways have you best found to love on your liver?
www.goodmedicine.info (👈if you need help finding ways to show your liver love)
We think of the liver as the body’s main ☢️☣️detoxifier, and THAT it is for sure. Did you notice that the liver is also a storehouse with many rooms? We all have at least one junk drawer, or junk closet in our homes, right? If you were to take a tour of the liver, you’d find nicely organized “rooms” filled with glucose and glycogen (for energy), vitamins, minerals and other nutrients as well as helpful hormones and phytochemicals to be released and used as needed.
Deep inside the liver lies the body’s “junk closet” where it keeps it’s darkest stash of the truly “bad boy” toxins☢️☣️. The liver is not a hoarder… quite the opposite! It is doing its best job getting rid of trash and debris as fast as possible. Sometimes, either the liver can no longer keep up with what the body is exposed to, or the toxin is so nasty that the liver throws it immediately into the far corner of the junk closet.
What kind of junk might you find in the liver’s junk closet?
☢️Petroleum products (including those found in mainstream household cleaners and personal care products)
☢️Pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides
☢️Aspartame (you may know this as the artificial sweeteners NutraSweet and Equal)
☢️MSG (monosodium glutamate, a flavor enhancer commonly found in Asian food, canned vegetables, soups, and processed meats)
☢️Viruses and virus waste materials
☢️Certain medications (including opioids)
☢️Toxic heavy metals
If the liver didn’t do this, we’d be a walking hot mess, and frankly, we probably wouldn’t live long or productively as the brain, heart and other organs wouldn’t be able to tolerate the exposure.
We are built incredibly uniquely, and our livers all work in varying degrees according to our genetics and epigenetics (the environment we are exposed to). Many people have genetics that inhibit methylation. Methylation is a chemical process that enables the body to receive, absorb, and utilize key nutrients we get through eating, drinking, and living in a “clean” manner…..ie: lots of fresh unprocessed foods and fresh filtered water and spending time in the sunshine!
Methylation occurs in the liver in tandem with the ileum (the last little bit of the small intestine). If either the ileum or the liver is impaired, methylation cannot occur efficiently. Vitamin B12 is critical to efficient methylation. If you have not yet incorporated 👉Young Living’s Super B👈 into your daily supplement routine, I encourage you to give it a try and see if you don’t notice a difference!
When the “junk closet” of the liver has hit its overflow and begun filling the hallway, the methylation process is affected. However, when you also add in a liver specific virus….one that is in the herpetic family (shingles, HHV-6, cytomegalovirus, Epstein Barr).... The real trouble starts. Viral waste buildup is one of the most problematic to the liver and B12 levels will slowly begin dropping in the body. Additionally, the liver’s “ junk closet door” has now burst open and virus byproducts are now in the bloodstream causing inflammation within the body, dermatoxin related rashes, and brain fog.
Major clues indicating the liver is waving the white flag are on today’s graphic, and there are many more. Remember, the liver performs hundreds (if not thousands! ) of tasks. If the liver fails to deliver and the task is incomplete, something didn’t happen in the body that should have. Slowly over time, these incomplete tasks will begin adding up until eventually you have a clue so big, you’ve had to make an appointment with your favorite health professional😬.
Other clues indicating significant liver burden include:
🔎Random aches and pains : The liver purifies blood and produces new blood. When not enough “clean” blood is available to reach tendons, muscles, and other tissue, it may result in decreased flexibility, pain in upper back, and even dry eyes!
🔎Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) : may show up as random pain in the back or on the upper right side of the abdomen, kidney, or shoulder blade (referred pain).
🔎Spider Veins: If the liver cannot properly clean the blood, then clotting issues near the surface of the skin result.
🔎Darker Urine (see a health professional please!)
🔎Darker Emotions: An unhealthy liver exacerbates predisposition to depression or negative mood swings.
🔎Eczema, psoriasis, skin rashes, breakouts, or itchy skin
🔎Allergies and asthma
🔎High blood pressure
🔎Erratic blood sugar or diabetes
🔎Compromised immune system (including autoimmune disorders)
Once the liver “junk closet” is full…. It’s full and unless someone starts a cleanup process, the spillage will only continue. Have you ever cleaned the house while someone went right behind you and tracked in more dirt, left dishes in the sink, and oh…. Forgot to flush all the toilets?😱 That’s what the liver feels like if it’s burdened to the point of overflow and someone decides to clean it up on the inside, but does not stop exposure to all of the petrochemicals (standard household, personal care, and skin care toxins), pesticides, processed foods, contaminated water, etc. If you have not yet ditched your liver saboteurs, I encourage you to begin today. 🌿Thieves Household Cleaner, the entire line of Young Living body and personal care, and Savvy Minerals cosmetics are all liver friendly! 🌿
Thankfully, the liver is incredibly resilient and forgiving with the right care and TLC, and is able to regenerate itself and regain function. It can do this even when it’s been compromised by more than 60%. The caveat to that factoid is this: permanent and thorough damage cannot be undone…..precisely the reason we want to avoid walking to the end of that road.
Happy liver, happy life!
Liver Clues Part II
I’ve always thought it rather humorous that the liver is called the “liver”. A body can be kept alive for days (or even years) with an artificial heart or a “dead” brain, but if the liver were to shut down, a body would likely die within a day. We keep going because our liver helps us live! 😁
Tho it’s the largest internal organ (our skin is the biggest!) and an integral component of the digestive system, we tend to take its existence for granted…… until something goes very wrong. Just ask anyone who has advanced liver disease.
I’ve got some sad stats to share with you. An estimated 10-30% of Americans have some form of liver disease, and most are unaware of their problem. Roughly 90% of us (myself included!) have overburdened livers. #thestruggleisreal
It didn’t used to be this way for the poor liver, but decades of polluted foods and beverages, pesticide, herbicide, and fungicide exposure, medication use, the air we breathe, the water we bathe in, and all the toxin laden skincare and standard issue household products have definitely taken their toll. Babies👶 are born with a chemical burden their livers negotiate from Day One. One study found over 280 toxins☠️ in the blood of umbilical cords of an average infant at birth.
To understand clues a burdened liver leaves us, it’s important to first recognize the profound multitasking machine that it is.
In addition to being the primary detoxifier of the body, the liver also stores the worst☠️ of the worst ☠️toxic substances deep within itself. Animal livers do this too, and heaven knows, they are exposed to a myriad of toxins in commercial farming situations. Liver was a healthy organ meat for our ancestors, but not for us in the 21st century unless you are able to find a certified “clean” source (uncommon, but they are out there).
Other tasks the liver performs include:
*Vitamin and mineral storage system
*Storage and filtration of blood
*Secretion of bile (go back and review the gallbladder for more info on that task!)
*Conversion of sugars into glycogen (energy storage packets)
*Synthesis of serum proteins, albumin (which regulates blood volume), coagulation factors in the blood
*Filters and destroys bacteria
*Helps maintain a balance of sex hormones in the body
*Helps maintain a balance of many neurotransmitters
Ultimately, there are well over 500 (some researchers have said as many as 2000! ) functions the liver performs. As the inner Sherlock Holmes within you may suspect, the clue possibilities are vast!
We’ll cover some very specific clues next week, but in the meantime, imagine what might happen within the body (and mind) if an impaired or sluggish liver shows up for work. Since 90% of us have overburdened livers, shouldn’t we be showing our liver some serious love and living like we care about it daily instead of remaining indifferent or flat out abusing it?
Use your “clean” alternatives! Thieves Household Cleaner is liver friendly, as are the Savvy Minerals cosmetics, shampoo, deodorant, body wash, toothpaste, hand soap, and laundry detergent that Young Living has designed for us. #nolabelreadingnecessary
Love your liver and it will reciprocate!
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!