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.
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😘.
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!🙌🙌🙌
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?
I'm a few days late on wishing everyone a wonderful World Bee Day! We had bees for several years and kept them organically. Tragically, we lost our two very strong hives to an outside toxin. Quite literally, thousands of bees died overnight😭😭😭.
Someday, we'll keep bees again. For now, we are relying on a few wild hives to do our pollinating. Thankfully, they are bountiful on our farm.
Did you know that for every 2 out of 3 bites of food you eat (provided it's REAL food.... not the synthetic junk you can't pronounce), you can thank a bee?
15 years ago, I wrote a children's book on bees.... it's "nature fiction"... designed to teach kids and adults alike about the lifestyle of bees. In honor of World Bee Day, I'd love to bless someone with a copy of "Ebenezer the Claustrophobic Bee". Comment below, and your name will be placed in the drawing.
xoxo~ liz 🐝
Breath Clues: Part II
Becoming aware of HOW you breathe is important both as a health clue and an (inexpensive and valuable!) wellness tool.
Did you take the quick quiz on the graphic? If not, take a moment to do so!
Statistically, chronic shallow (mouth, neck, and upper chest) breathing is the most common type of breathing in Westernized cultures. This type of breathing perpetuates stress and anxiety, activates the "fight or flight" (sympathetic response), and suppresses the immune system.
Conversely, diaphragmatic (deep belly) breathing balances the nervous system, supports heart health, improves circulation, promotes lymphatic drainage, reduces stress, calms the mind, and brings the body back into a more homeostatic state.
Do you notice how some people remain calm, cool, and collected while others become a tightly wound spring with every stressor? The ability to pivot from "fight or flight" to "rest and digest" is incredibly important to health outcomes! ( Pharmacist tip: Learning to do this is helpful in keeping you away from the pharmacy!)
The longest nerve in the body is called the 👉vagus nerve 👈. It runs from the brain thru the lungs and on to the gut, and affects every organ and body system it comes in contact with along the way ..... stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladder, heart, lungs, and the immune, endocrine, respiratory, and cardiovascular systems. In other words, the vagal nerve pathway is kind of a big deal! 😍
High vagal tone is incredibly important to overall health and wellbeing..... really, it's a use it or lose it situation. Low vagal tone is associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, GI disorders, and depression. Diaphragmatic breathing increases vagal tone!
If deep belly breathing is not something you do on the regular (ie: it's become second nature to you), Here are a few tips and tricks:
👉 Start with just 2 minutes several times a day.
1. Place one hand on your upper chest and the other just below your rib cage, so you can feel your diaphragm move as you breathe.
2. Inhale deeply thru your nose for the count of 6-8 seconds (or 4-5 seconds if that's too much).... allowing your belly to expand. Try to fill your lungs with air. NOTE! The hand on your chest should remain as still as possible.
3. Slowly exhale through your nose for the count of 6-8 (or 4-5) drawing your belly button in and down as your abdomen moves inward.
4. As you breathe inward deeply, envision oxygen flowing inward and recharging your body. As you exhale, envision all the stress and tension leaving your body.
5. Practice this for 2-3 minutes at a time (20-30 breath cycles). Graduate to 5 minutes as you are able!
Scientifically noted benefits of diaphragmatic breathing can be further enhanced when you pair your breathing practice with Young Living essential oils known for their supportive roles in health and wellness goals:
🌿Want to improve mood? Pair your practice with Citrus Fresh eo blend!
🌿 Looking for better concentration? Try Brain Power or Frankincense!
🌿 Looking to better manage pain? (Yes, deep breathing helps with this too!) Add in PanAway or Deep Relief
🌿 Wanting to lower your blood pressure (Yep, deep breathing exercises does this too!)..... support happy vascular system breathing practices with Joy, Aroma Life, Ylang Ylang, or Lavender.
🌿Lowering blood sugar (amazing what regular deep breathing may do! Consider deep inhalations of Coriander, Melissa, or Christmas Spirit!
🌿 Improve your sleep. Pair pre bedtime deep breathing with a diffuser loaded with Cedarwood, Orange, and Lavender!
🌿 Use as a tool in your weight loss journey. Have you tried Grapefruit essential oil or Thieves on the bottom of the feet?
🌿 Strengthen the pelvic floor muscle (which will also improve bladder and bowel elimination function!). Consider pairing with Clary Sage, Cypress, or (Digize 👈 for colon support).
🌿Better lymphatic flow?.... You'll love Lemon essential oil (both regular and vitality!)!
Noticing how you are breathing, and then making corrections as needed is a simple, but VIP wellness tool and health clue! Just as diaphragmatic breathing is helpful, chronic shallow breathing will exacerbate many health problems, and over time, may also contribute to lung infections and lung diseases.
Just breathe...... deeply!
www.goodmedicine.info (👈 if you'd like to know more about additional breathing practices or the oils mentioned above, let's chat!)
Frequency (the measured electrical vibration of something) is often a hard concept to grasp. I have studied it pretty extensively over the last few years because understanding how frequency affects us as people, is key to vibrant health. Literally, it can make or break you.
Recently, I stumbled across a new genre of music termed 🌿"florganoleptic music". 🌿
It's fascinating! Literally, science meets plant meets musician.......
You can read more about it here: https://www.cosmicknotmusic.com/
........or listen to a better explanation along with a little music composed by humans and plants😍:
All I know is that I just learned something new and amazing today about plants!
Frequency.... it's real. Singing plants, yep. They're real too😊 . This little evergreen is belting out the blues! (ha ha! must be a Northern Lights "Blues" spruce 😎)
Happy Monday friends!
Which plant juice (essential oil) makes you feel like singing? 🌿🎶🎶🎶🌿🎶🎶🎶🌿
Wow! Such an interesting 4 minute video and worth the listen. Dr. Michael Greger MD is a favorite of mine, and this is his video.
Topic?....... Improving cognitive performance using aromatherapy, 💖 especially in cases of neurodegenerative dis-ease.
I stepped back from corporate pharmacy and into the roots (& flowers 🌹, leaves🌿, and trees🌳 😉 ) of pharmacognosy because of information (like this) which remains largely unrecognized by mainstream medicine..... literal golden nuggets of self care.... which allow us improved quality of life, increased autonomy, and educated self care.
How many of you have seen a cognitively impaired patient who was so medicated that they were almost "zombi-fied"?
Roughly 50% of people with dementia experience behavioral or psychological symptoms that doctors often 'chemically restrain' by way of drugs that are often well known for their increased morbidity and mortality risks in the elderly.... not to mention dulling them cognitively even more. #riskvsbenefitfail
👆 Why?..... because it's easier to prescribe a drug than it is to offer non-pharmacological alternatives. To be fair,few western medicine health care workers are trained in aromatherapy, nor have they taken the time to learn on their own. #notfundedbyBigPharma
Final tidbit..... I don't want to spill all the beans here.... Dr. Greger speaks of Lemon Balm. Friends, that is also known as "Melissa"...... grown on our Young Living Farm in St. Marie's, Idaho.
Go. Learn. Apply your knowledge! Help a friend or loved one out and share what you know and may already have in your possession.
PS: This post does not constitute medical advice. Nor does it attempt to diagnose, treat, cure, or heal what's ailing ya!
You are the CEO of you.... never forget that!
Good morning friends! These gift ornaments we will be receiving with our 300PV orders this month are life changers..... perhaps not for you (although they will be amazing diffusers and are beautiful!!), but for the ladies who have made them for each one of us!
In a season where gratitude is celebrated, I wanted to share how grateful I am that Young Living partners with people who have been empowered by the Young Living Foundation to receive a hand up instead of a hand out.
Before watching this video, I had no idea these ornaments were100% hand made. This is no "made in China" mass produced ornament, created by some machine. I would imagine, if you looked closely, some of them may even include a fingerprint or two.
Please watch this 4 minute video. We are blessed beyond measure for all that we have, and I am grateful for these ladies, their handiwork, and the joy they have in being able to take care of their families because of partnering with YLF. 💖
Let me preface this post by saying it's never a good idea to get your hand in the way of a sharp object! That said, life happens.
One of the reasons I embraced YL 7 years ago was this: preparedness. We live on a farm, and minor accidents are not an uncommon thing. I've gotten really good at triaging what "we can fix ourselves" and what needs bigger attention by professionals who stitch for a living.
I've heard it said that "your oils are expensive ". True. They can be pricey, but quality products generally are. Let's compare pricing here:
(We have a high deductible to meet, so all expenses would have been out of pocket)
💰A trip to the ER for a stitch up while company was in from out of town (time)
💰A covid test (personally not a fan of this)
💰Time waiting in the emergency room with a bunch of other people who might actually be sick.
💰💰stitches (according to this article, on insurance, it's 500$ per stitch https://www.advisory.com/.../why-does-a-hospital-stitch... )
💰Avoiding a conversation as to what recommended toxins I should be adding to my body for the next 10 days. (priceless)
💰💰💰💰💰💰= roughly 1000$ or more (based on the link above, with insurance it probably would have been about 5 stitches)
👀 Taking a look at my wound and recognizing that it was stitch worthy but relatively superficial.
* Applying the practical knowledge gleaned from reading and listening to others in our Young Living community. #PricelessEducation
*Having the tools on hand and having confidence in them. (Add Thieves foaming hand soap and Inner Defense to the list here)
💰 I estimate that I spent about 100$ on Plan B. 🙌🙏💗 #winnerwinner
Economics. Are our oils worth it? You betcha!
Have a blessed Tuesday!
www.goodmedicine.info (come learn alongside me!💗)
PS: this post does not constitute medical advice!😘
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!