Oct 302013
 

Spiritual Wellness  – the ultimate freedom.

I heard it said that wellness of body, mind and spirit is the ultimate freedom. As caregivers we can certainly agree how important physical wellness  and mental wellness are, but even if the former are lacking, having  spiritual wealth makes coping easier. It guides our actions and thoughts  and allows us to close our eyes, if even for a moment, to go into  spiritual retreats for harmony and balance.


Spiritual wellness is the glue that holds us together Chaplain (Capt.) Dwayne A. Jones 88th Air Base Wing chaplain


Spiritual well-being gives you a feeling of connection to something larger than yourself. Through it you find meaning in life and it allows you to keep life in  perspective. It makes it easier to deal with everyday life. Those who  have spiritual wellness more likely will have a positive attitude, eat a  proper diet, exercise, interact better with others and overall enjoy  the things  that build happiness.  As a caregiver that is especially  important because your attitude and well being nurtures not only you but  also the one you care for.

I agree with Capt. Jones who wrote: “You don’t have to be religious in order to be spiritual. Contrary to popular belief, I believe spiritual wellness supersedes any religious concept, except for God.”

If this is something you are interested in, you might consider developing a spiritual wellness plan which can include prayer, affirmations, meditation and a variety of  spiritual practices of your choice. You can offer those for everybody in  the household or do on your own. You also can invite others to come and  join you or practice on their own for the benefit of the caregiver and  the patient. We all have heard of the benefits of healing prayer.

Several years before my husband developed Alzheimer’s, I had joined a religious spiritual science center. There I acquired the spiritual gifts inventory I needed to cope with the stress of caring for him later.

If you feel that you could use some help in that department, and who doesn’t, I’d like to recommend a number of resources such as spiritual healers, Reiki, and spiritual retreats where you can get one on one support.

Many local bookstores have a large spiritual gift inventory, such as spiritual books, CDs, DVDs, jewelry-for-a-purpose, crystals,  fragrances, candles, and incense. I do, however, caution you about the  burning of candles and incense, as well as some fragrances. Many can and  will be more like pollutants. Please make sure that you use and diffuse  natural organic essential oils with a specialized air diffuser, not  heat based. I recommend you visit the essential oils page to read more  about the importance of the purity of healing essential oils. Knowing about this is even more important when family members already have a challenged immune system. So, please do not ignore this information but act in the interest of  greatest well being for everybody in your sphere of influence, but  especially in the home of a caregiver and the one who is being cared  for.

You can also go online and find this information.

One of my favorite spiritual sayings which has helped me during many stressful times is the serenity prayer:  God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;  courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

There also is spiritual wealth in Henry Ward Beecher’s words: Life – God asks no man whether he will accept life. That is not the choice. You make it. The only choice is how.

Oct 302013
 

Reminiscing:

When I was a caregiver, I asked myself “How can I balance the serious nature of my work while maintaining my spiritual, mental, emotional and physical health?”

I can pray, but how often does prayer give me the immediate relief I need?

When I don’t take care of myself it shows. I’m short with everyone, and wear a permanent scowl. I have dark circles under my eyes, I eat junk food all day long, you get the picture.

I start to wonder why I haven’t heard back from God with my care package of patience, tolerance, and love.

When I pause long enough, I realize that God did not abandon me without adequate tools for my job.  How many times each day do I laugh out loud? What stops me?

I started to ponder these questions. I began to think of my role as care taker and decided to looked at it like any other job. A smile crossed my face when I realized that caregiving would be in demand for the foreseeable future. Could I really have a hot commodity on my hands and not even know it?

I began to ponder the essential skills and abilities required to be successful in this field.

· Time management (three meals/day; trips to the bathroom; bathing; nurse, nurse practitioner and doctor visits; staying on top of the television schedule and visitation schedule; scheduling massage therapy)

· Communication skills (deciphering medical terminology; decoding medication induced conversation; listening to complaints about  nurses, practitioners, doctors, what’s on TV, who came to visit, and the massage therapist)

· Blue collar mentality (emptying the bedside commode, changing diapers, changing clothes, changing the batteries in the remote). Salary for my position will remain steady for the next two decades. Benefits include high stress, low energy and lack of exercise including loss of personal life.

Retirement benefits include:

Having my own caregiver. Teaching my caregiver the benefits of time management, communication skills and a blue collar mentality.

· No money in the bank · Hypertension, chronic fatigue, and no friends.

The good news is there are three meals a day, my own bathroom and adjustable bed, a flat screen TV w/ remote, more nurse and doctor visits than the law allows and the occasional massage! Did I mention I get my own bedside companion?

In all seriousness, my most underused and valuable tool is laughter.

I spend so much time and energy caring for others and forget to take care of myself. Before I know what hit me I am on the brink of emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical bankruptcy.

Laughter can provide that quick fix.

It takes practice for me to look for and find the humor in a given situation, but one thing is for sure, it is there. So, here is the challenge. How long will it take before you can laugh out loud three times per day? It is the best medicine out there and on my salary, the only one I can afford!

With Love and Gratitude

Margarete

Oct 302013
 

There is a physical toll on caregivers which is based  on the exertions needed  in daily care giving. Those often include lifting, carrying, stretching, bending, squatting on a regular, often frequent rate throughout the day.  In addition, many caregivers are elderly or in poor health themselves and not used to lift or support the weight of an adult sometimes larger than themselves.

Physical exhaustion combined  with the emotional stress of caregiving can lead to caregiver burnout  and result in many serious conditions  ranging from high blood pressure to a compromised immune system  which shows up as frequent colds,  headaches, and other afflictions.  Highly stressed caregivers are also  more prone to fall, to cut and bruise themselves.  According to a study  quoted in  the Dec. 1999 Journal of the  American Medical Association,  the death rate of older caregivers is over 60 %  higher than that  of  non caregivers in the same age group.

Caregivers, while taking care of somebody else, often don’t seek help for themselves and muddle along to the detriment of their charge and their own.

Signs to look out for:
Various physical health problems showing up.
(back pain, sore feet, eating disorders, elimination problems, headaches, arthritis, vision and hearing problems, tooth and gum problems, inflammation, etc.
Feeling fatigued, tired and listless.
(lack of energy, needing frequent rest, lack of interest)
Changes in sleep patterns.
(not enough sleep, too much, waking frequently and not being able to go back to sleep.)
Change in eating patterns.
(eating less or more than usual)
Changes in hygiene patterns.
(neglecting to bath, shave, brush teeth, wash and tend to hair)
Change in emotional behavior.
(increasing frequency of outbursts of anger, crying spells, self loathing, self pity)
Change in social patterns.
(withdrawal from  family, friends and other former activities)

Are you a caregiver who neglects your own well being?

Stop right now and FIRST take care of yourself because you cannot and should not  care for others without foremost taking care of your own needs. You owe it to yourself and to the one you take care of, as well as the rest of  your family.

As a caregiver, when I was at my wits end, nothing helped me as much as the use of essential oils to quickly regain balance. Taking just a few minutes of focusing on balance while inhaling the soothing fragrance of an essential oils such as Lavender or Orange, or one of the blends such as Harmony, Peace and Calming, or Grounding allowed me to quickly be back in control of my emotions and often also get physical relief.  After refocusing this way, both my husband and I benefited greatly because the stress of what ever the situation was, had been broken.

Of all the various tools to help caregivers to stay balanced, none worked as fast and as well as did organic, therapeutic essential oils. Give them a try.

Oct 302013
 

Each of us either has or will experience the emotion of grieving. Where it will come from doesn’t matter. It may be from the loss of a loved one. That special pet. Or it may be some felt internal loss buried way down deep within you. A failed relationship, losing your job, or having to move from your home, these are all loses that in order to heal require us to grieve.

Funny thing, emotions. While most people think of emotions as being simply a feeling, and if you can just think about something positive the feeling will go away. This is not true. Psychologists and others who study the relationship between our physical body and the mind long ago discovered that when we experience a strong, life changing, emotion, there are physical manifestations of that feeling. This mind-body relationship affects all of our senses. The deeper the grief the more prominent the physical manifestations of that feeling.

While grief is a normal human response it also can take over your life. It is not unusual for unresolved grief to turn into clinical depression. For others the price for not dealing with grief becomes anger. If you could be the fly on the wall in a session with a therapist you might well hear them say “…is your turning your grief inward, upon yourself.”How are we to deal with grief. Especially when the hurt is so powerful that it takes up much of our life? Again, the mind-body relationship must be addressed. Once you can bring these elements into alignment you can get on with your life. This alignment is no great mystery. It simply means that as you are able to relax your body your mind will follow the body’s lead. As the mind relaxes so will your body. It’s a part of what I like to call the circle of life.

Soothing oils is one of the most powerful ways to relax the mind and the body. Found throughout scripture essential oils have long been used to assist people in reclaiming their life. Let’s listen to the words of Fran: “Marjoram is supposed to be very good. They used it at funerals and weddings. It is referred to as the oil of gladness in the Bible. We went to a memorial service yesterday for one of my 2 daughters’ teacher and on the way there my oldest was overwhelmed by everything in general and crying. I gave her Marjoram to smell and it calmed her down right away.”Or how about these healing words from Mona: “…Three Wise Men. This oil has done wonders for me and also helped a seriously troubled young man I am close to get through some major, traumatic grief. He went from acting like the grief would do him in and near freaking out, to simply crying, and to now smiling and almost “miraculously” 90% healed once the old repressed garbage came out. It took a lot of prayer and Three Wise Men to bring the repressed stuff to the surface so it could be dealt with, but it all worked wonderfully! Thank You, God!”

These are but a few of the testimonials flowing in about the power of essential oils in the healing process of grief. Whatever your loss, no matter how much it hurts, ask yourself this one question:” is my unbridled grief what God would have me do regarding this event?” I think not. Remember grief is a normal human reaction to the loss you have suffered. Unbridled grief that keeps you from being that person you want to be is not normal. If you or someone you know can’t let go of their grief maybe it’s time to address the issue head-on. Maybe it’s time to give essential oils a try.

If you or someone you know can’t let go of their grief, it’s time to face the issue head-on. Selecting the right essential oils can give you the strength to start living again.

Schedule a free consultation to discover how essential oils can help reclaim your life! <>

Find more scientific studies, articles and stories on how essential oils influence the body. Follow Essential-Caregiver on Facebook, or check out our blog!

Oct 302013
 

Grieving is experienced not only when somebody passes on, grief can  be deeply felt when we lose valued parts of our lives such as jobs, a  home, a friendship, love ends, or we lose our identity as we find  ourselves “stuck” in caregiving.

I remember vividly when my sister and her husband made plans for an  overseas trip, when I suddenly realized that my husband and I were  denied such pleasures and would never be able to travel. At that moment,  the tears would simply not stop for hours. Of course it was not just  the trips, it was so many other things we had looked forward to  – now forever lost.

Every person grieves differently, grieves over different things,  grieves at different times after the loss. Probably more than at any  other time, I have found essential oils to give the greatest relief as  their fragrances soothed the soul, the emotions in a way nothing else  could.

Oct 292013
 

We’ve all heard about the “Mind-Body Connection”.  This is more than a myth or mystical belief; it is the workings of the body as a whole that include the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects within us all.  Understanding the interaction of mind and matter will help you to better understand the power the individual has over the effectiveness of an essential oil application.   When you consider essential oils as “living energy”, you can see how human intent can have an impact on the action of that oil.

Regarding the power of thought:  It is a well known fact that the mind can affect the electromagnetic frequencies of essential oils. Prayer and positive thinking elevates the frequencies while negative thoughts will decrease the frequencies.  This is why, historically, essential oils were used in conjunction with prayer.

In the 1950’s, Franklin Loehr, an American scientist explored the effect of prayer and human thought on water. Water molecules are composed to a single oxygen atom with two hydrogen atoms attached at specific angles ranging from 120-110 degrees. Loehr found that human thought alters the bonding angles between the oxygen and hydrogen atoms, thus changing the physical properties of the water.

More recent experiments by the Japanese scientist, Masaru Emoto, graphically prove that human thought and emotion affects the crystalline structure of frozen water. The results of his experiments show that if one is to aim beautiful thoughts at water, such as “love,” “angel,” or “appreciation,” it will crystallize into beautiful icy patterns. Aim ugly or mean thoughts toward water, such as “hate,” “demon,” or “kill” and the frozen water produces ugly crystals. Emoto deduced that interaction of mind and matter is a scientific fact.

Study shows that human thought and human intent has an affect on electron behavior.  Electrons are an integral part of every chemical and neural process that goes on inside the body.  This means that our bodily functions go beyond that of simple chemistry and classic physics.  Because the observer is a part of the outcome, our inner workings have more of a quantum physics law to follow.

In applying essential oils, it is clear that what occurs is an amplifying of an already existent intent.  This goes for the giver and for the receiver.  This is why saying a prayer while applying oils increases efficiency.  Essential oils also have a more powerful effect on the person who has faith and belief in the oils being used.   Essential oils have electrical properties, and hence can be affected by thoughts and feelings.  Therefore, the same oil can have a different effect on two different people.  This could be because of the different chemical makeup between the two people; or it could be the workings of their mind over the matter of the oils.

Oct 282013
 

The Basics of Quantum Physics

It may seem that Essential Oils and Quantum Physics made strange bedfellows; but when you look closely into the intricacies of essential oils, everything will make perfect sense. Many people assume that an oil with a pleasant fragrance would involve the laws of chemistry and stop there.  Essential oils employ both the laws of chemistry and the laws of modern physics.

How does the science of physics fit into all this?  Scientifically speaking, there are two fundamental forms of physics. First, there is “Classical physics” and then there is “Quantum physics.”  In talking about essential oils, both forms of science are necessary to describe the ways in which essential oils work.

Let’s take a look at Classical physics first.  The principal laws of this form of science were first made known by Sir Isaac Newton (1642–1727).  In Classical physics, one can work with things large enough to measure with the five senses. It is by using the principles of Classical physics that engineers can build bridges across rivers, design cars to ride in, and send rockets into space.  If something has the dimensions the size of an atom or larger, than Classical physics deals with it.

The idea of Quantum physics came about at the end of the 19th century.  The principles of quantum physics were set forth by men such as Max Planck (1858–1947), Erwin Schroedinger (1887-1961), and Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976). This form of science deals with matter too small to experience or measure using the five senses. Things such as electric eyes, solar panels, and spectrometers can be explained using the laws of quantum physics. If it’s smaller than an atom, Quantum physics is your go-to science.  This means that quantum physics deals with the behavior of things with such as electrons, protons, neutrons, and other subatomic particles.

The difference between the two forms of physics is that in the study of classic physics, the experimenter is an observer.  In the study of quantum physics, the experimenter is an integral part of the experiment itself.

This was determined long ago, and solidified by a series of experiments performed during the 1980s.  These experiments were performed by scientists working independently in Germany and the United States.  The purpose of the experiments was to explore the relationship between the observed and the observer.  They were called “Double Slit, Delayed Choice” experiments.

In these experiments, light was released from a common source and aimed through a pair of vertical slits.  As the light travelled towards the point where it was to be recorded, the observers could make a decision as to whether the light would show up as a wave or as a series of particles.  Observers made their decision while the light was in transit from one point to the other.  What occurred was that whatever the observers chose, the light would do.  If they chose that the light would manifest as a continuous wave, this is what recorded on the photographic place.  If they chose that the light would manifest in particles, this is how it recorded.

The results of these experiments brought the question “What is light beam in flight on its way to being observed; a wave or a stream of particles?” The conclusion was that a light beam in transit is neither; it simply does not exist as light until observed.  Light in transit is nothing more than a possibility.  What this possibility manifests as is dependent upon the observer; thus reinforcing the law of quantum physics that the experimenter must be a part of the experiment.

Oct 272013
 

We’ve all heard that exercise is “good for you.”  But is it really all it’s cracked up to be?

You bet it is. For caregivers, it can make the difference between pain and harmony.

There seems to be no end to the benefits of exercise. Studies have found that regular exercise can prolong life, keep your lymphatic system moving, build stronger bones, and help maintain a healthy weight among many other things. And those are just the primary benefits; as a result, you are less likely to  suffer from arthritis, broken hips, sore knees, and countless other ailments caregivers are often only too familiar with.

Caregiving is already a physical job. Adding a workout when you’re full of aches might sound like a recipe for pain. However, you will find your level of hurt decreases as your body strengthens. Exercises that work with your “core” – your abdomen and mid to lower back – are especially helpful in reducing pain in a life full of lifting, crouching, and bending.

Here’s a simple core exercise to get started;

Lie down on your back. Keep your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Cross your arms over your chest, touching your shoulders (you’ll look sort of like a mummy!) Take a deep breath. Then, keeping your chin straight up, lift your upper back and shoulders off the floor while tightening your belly. Remember to slowly exhale as you go up – it keeps your blood pressure from rising during this exercise. Hold for three seconds, then slowly lower yourself back to the floor. Take another good breath, and repeat. Do this a few times every day or two, and your   (not you’re) core will grow stronger.

Want something even easier? Try going for a nice, refreshing walk! If you can, a stroll outside in fresh air can calm your mind while the cardio exercise does wonders to help your body.  Over time, build up to short spurts of  brisk walking, followed by a few minutes of slow walking. This alternate walking intensity  is an easy, yet most beneficial exercise.

Even if that’s not an option, there are plenty of ways to benefit from walking. “Mall walkers” visit their local mall and stroll from end to end (a setting which might be fun for some, not for others). Going up and down stairs at home is another, often quieter choice. Or, if you can afford it, investing in a treadmill could be worthwhile.

Oxygen feeds your muscles, so it’s important to take full, deep breaths while exercising.  Using essential oils also oxygenates your system. Scientific studies have shown that  therapeutic essential oils increase the intake of oxygen and ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the fuel for individual cells.  Black Pepper is a single oil noted particularly for increasing cellular oxygenation.  In studies conducted at Vienna and Berlin Universities, researchers found that sesquiterpenes, found in essential oils such as Cedarwood, Frankincense, Melissa, Patchouly, Sandalwood, Vetivir can increase levels of oxygen in the body and  brain by up to 28% (Nasel 1992).”

One or two drops of an essential oil, applied to your hands, then rubbed over your head, neck, chest, and/or bottom of your feet  is all it takes.

Research indicates that when essential oils are diffused, they can increase atmospheric oxygen and provide negative ions. My understanding is that all the low pressure, low heat, steam distilled therapeutic grade oils increase the uptake of oxygen in the body. All the citrus oils are excellent and smell so good.

Caregivers, if you feel cooped up or are too exhausted to exercise on a regular basis, rethink those thoughts – your caregiver performance will get better as you get more oxygen in your system and as you strengthen it with regular, even if brief, activity and essential oils.

With Love and Gratitude.

Margarete

P.S. also an excellent choice is the “Rebounder.” It gets your lymphatic system moving – and those benefits are excellent and needed.

Oct 262013
 

It is well documented that for every minute that you exercise, you add one minute to your life. This enables you at 85 years old to spend an additional 5 months in a nursing home at $5000 per month.

My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was 60. Now she’s 97 years old and we don’t know where in the world she is.

The only reason I would take up exercising is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.

I joined a health club last year, spent about 400 bucks. Haven’t lost a pound. Apparently you have to show up.

I have to exercise early in the morning before my brain figures out what I’m doing.

I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.

I have flabby thighs, but fortunately my stomach covers them.

The advantage of exercising every day is that you die healthier.

If you are going to try cross-country skiing, start with a small country.

I don’t exercise because it makes the ice jump right out of my glass.

I used to watch golf on TV but my doctor told me that I need more exercise; so now I watch tennis.

If exercise work pays off in the future, shouldn’t laziness pay off now?

A daily exercise regime never killed anyone, but why chance it?

Isn’t having good health merely the slowest possible way you can die?

I don’t exercise at all. If God meant us to touch our toes, he would have put them further up on our body.

You could run these over to your friends but why not just e-mail it to them!

(This little gem arrived in my inbox and was attributed to G. Pedersen.  I truly enjoyed this and am sure others who need a little chuckle do too. Unfortunately I was not able to find  G. Pedersen who authored it.  If anyone knows this author, please let me know, so he or she can be fully acknowledged.)

Oct 252013
 

Using essential oils has been widely practiced throughout the world for ages.  The power of nature is full of possibilities that are only limited by those who could receive their abundant benefits but simply will not allow themselves.  While many believe that any given essential oil will produce a specific result within every person who would use it, this simply is not the truth.

Essential oils work effectively in part due to the chemical components each is made up of.  Some therapeutic grade essential oils can rid an area of bacteria and create an overall cleaner environment.  Others can grant the receiver relief from crippling anxiety and stress.  But research has shown that what a person receives from the use of an essential oil is not solely based on chemical properties; quantum physics also plays a part in determining the results one will receive after using essential oils.

The basic premise of quantum physics as it pertains to the use of essential oils is that the outcome is determined by the recipient.  In classic physics, the observer is merely that; the person watching an outcome unfold before him.  In quantum physics, the observer decides what the outcome will be.  This is possible when dealing with phenomena smaller than an atom which is essentially non-existent until recorded.

While every essential oil has chemical compounds that determine what possibilities lie within that particular oil, it is the faith and feelings held by the giver and the receiver that decide what result will come after use.  A person who believes that the therapeutic grade oil being used will calm their stressful mind can focus on that result while applying the oil and see astounding results.

This belief was proven by the Japanese scientist, Masaru Emoto.  He set out to prove that human thought and emotion could affect the crystalline structure of frozen water. In his experiment, participants aimed beautiful thoughts at water, such as “love,” “angel,” or “appreciation,”.  The result was that water crystallized into beautiful icy patterns. When ugly or mean thoughts were aimed toward water, such as “hate,” “demon,” or “kill”, the result was that the frozen water produced ugly crystals. Interaction of mind and matter is a scientific fact.

What was learned from these and other experiments was that human thought and human intent effects electron behavior.  This lead to the confirmation that using essential oils all alone can and does produce some result in a person;  but that use of therapeutic grade essential oils coupled with an intent that directs the oil to work as desired produces results that cannot be matched by any pharmaceutical drug manufactured in a factory.

Using a therapeutic grade essential oil can not only rid your home of harmful bacteria; but can also provide powerful antioxidants that cleanse the system of free radicals.  Essential oils can elevate our body’s frequencies, helping us to stay healthy and immune to disease. The energy filled vibrations of essential oils resonate with our tissues in helpful ways according to our wishes and mental directions.