Friday, September 30, 2016

Journey back to Wellness - Part the Seconde

Okay so where did I leave off from my previous health postAllergies, hypothyroidism, right?

Because of my various chronic health issues, I've had to buckle down and make some changes.  Some of these changes have been to modify what I've already been doing - trying to maintain a more wholesome diet, reduce stress, exercise, and reduce the amount of chemicals in our home.  Some changes require redefining what is considered normal for our family life and allowing for alternative ideas.  

Supporting my family's health and wellness has always been a priority.  Mine?  Not so much until fairly recently.  As most moms can attest to, sometimes we put ourselves last when it comes to our family and this is something I needed to address.  Badly.

One specific change that I've made is to utilize alternative health support.  I have no problem with prescribed medication, but when that doesn't take care of the cause, it's time to take additional measures.  I emphasize cause, because a lot of medications take care of symptoms but leave the underlying cause to remain.  That does nothing in the long-run and my health is proof of that.  Relieving symptoms is good when what you have is a very short-term illness, but when it comes to chronic conditions, you really need to attack the root of the problem, not just throw a band-aid on it and hope for the best.  Example:  I've had hypothyroidism since I was a child.  It does not go away.  The magic pill the doctor gives you does not cure it.  Sometimes it doesn't even make you feel better.  And even if it does today, it doesn't mean it will a week from now.

One of my intensive researches for alternative health options led me to investigate essential oils.  I read articles, browsed forums, read up on every company I found that sold essential oils, and checked into how those oils were sourced and their efficacy.  I found out that essential oils have been used since around 1,500 B.C.  The Egyptians used aromatic botanicals - cinnamon, frankincense, myrrh, and early forms of cedar and juniper essential oils to prepare their deceased for burial and mummification.  It was these early Egyptians that started chronicling recipes and other information onto scrolls for preservation and to pass on.  Sources say that ancient Egyptian healers copied important details from even earlier texts, which means that the use of aromatic botanicals and oils have been around even earlier than what is documented.

I became a believer when I began using my oils to make my own cleaning products and my own beauty cleansers.  I haven't found a single thing that I've made to be ineffective in any way.  I also apply or take oils on a regular basis.  Now does this mean that my use of essential oils is going to cure my hypothyroidism?  Hypothyroidism doesn't just go away.  However, using oils that support my endocrine system will help.  Using oils for other body systems will help keep me healthy and support those system functions.  This is an ongoing process, folks.  It's also a bit of trial and error.  Not every person responds the same to every oil.  There is also a bit of overlap of what various essential oils do on a molecular level to various body needs.  It's up to us as users to determine which oils work best for our own bodies.

So how are things going?  Well, my diet still needs some adjustment.  My hope is to transition to a completely organic diet.  Organic things cost money.  We aren't made of it.  But I do what I can.  We have reduced the amount of processed foods that we eat drastically though.  And I think we all feel better for it.  The occasional cereal and granola bar is fine. Rome wasn't built in a day and sometimes you just have to grab something and go.  No one is perfect and I'm fully accepting of that.  We also have switched from reduced fat to whole milk.  I would love to give raw milk a try because I hear that does wonders but I can't figure out how to get it aside from accosting a cow.

My stress levels and the frequency that I feel like pulling my hair out is going to take some work.  Anyone with a family and responsibilities knows that it's hard work.  Kids will be kids.  Husbands will be husbands.  Pets will be pets.  I have no idea where I was going with this but things are improving.  I actually take time out now for myself.  Sometimes I read, sometimes I work on a personal project, and sometimes I just breathe.  Breathing is good.  In fact it's pretty damn important.

Exercise is also a work in progress.  You actually have to feel okay to move.  Sometimes it's all I can do to just stay awake.  A lot of people say that if you exercise, it will make you feel better.  Let's put it this way - my doctors don't even suggest it anymore because of how they realize that I feel.  Now that tells you something.  So if it's a good day, I go for a walk around the neighborhood or step on my treadmill.  Any movement is progress.

What we've been most successful with so far is the reduction in the amount of chemicals used our home.  I don't use any cleaning product any more that has harmful toxins.  Yeah, that seems to be the catch phrase these days (harmful toxins) but it is what it is.  Even if you don't have the time to read the ingredients, if it has a huge warning on it that says, 'don't eat, don't touch, don't breathe' - well then that tells you whether or not you should be using it.  If you spray a cleaning product on a houseplant, guess what... more than likely, your houseplant is going to die or at least get rather sickly.  If it doesn't, consider yourself (and your plant) lucky.  It's been easy enough to just not buy the stuff at the store.  Now I make my own cleaning products using things such as baking soda, vinegar, and various essential oils.  I've purchased a Thieves concentrated cleaner from Young Living and I absolutely love it.  It works and it's all natural!  And making my own products is very cost effective.  Bonus!

Anyway, I think I've generally covered the majority of my health issues.  I'll put updates on the blog.  Hopefully, I'll be more active with it than I have been.  Being habitually tired kind of sucks and doesn't leave room for a whole lot of anything other than sitting or lying around.  That's the one good thing about my insomnia - oh did I mention I have that too? - it makes for some productive late night/early morning hours.


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