“Illnesses do not come upon us out of the blue. They are developed from small daily sins against Nature. When enough sins have accumulated, illnesses will suddenly appear.”– Hippocrates
Our skin tells the story of how well we take care of ourselves, both inside and out. Like a mirror that we show the world, it is a direct reflection of what is going on inside of us; what we eat, what we drink, how we think, and which vices we are most likely to indulge in.
There was a time in my life when I subsisted on coffee, cigarettes, and peanut butter cups. I wish that was a lie, or even an exaggeration, but sadly it’s the truth. My early adulthood was rife with bad decisions, and taking care of myself was an astonishingly low priority. I was raised in a holistic home where wellness was a constant topic of discussion, so I don’t have the luxury of claiming ignorance at my decisions. For the sake of time, we’ll call it a rebellion, and my health was the #1 casualty.
By my mid-twenties, I was in so much pain that I was popping anti-inflammatory drugs like they were candy. I had frequent headaches, my joints ached, and my menstrual cycles were unbearable; my entire body just hurt. I had little-to-no energy, but sleep often eluded me. My moods were erratic, and more often than not I felt a really fun combination of stressed, anxious, and depressed all at once. And to top it all off, at nearly 5’10” I weighed a whopping 110 lbs. (135-165 lbs. is considered ideal), my hair was coming out by the handful, and my skin was absolutely horrible; dull and blotchy, oily and dry, with cystic acne and wrinkles. Heaven help.
In my thirty-one years, I’ve learned that sometimes the best gifts come wrapped in ugly paper. I reached a point where I was so unhappy with the way I looked and felt that I knew I had to make a change, or I was likely headed towards an early grave. It took losing my health to realize how valuable being healthy actually was to me. Thankfully, I was introduced to doTERRA shortly after I’d decided that maybe I should quit smoking, eat real food, and maybe drink some water every now and then.
“If someone wishes for good health, one must first ask oneself if he is ready to do away with the reasons for his illness. Only then is it possible to help him.”– Hippocrates
Among the many reasons why smoking is bad for us, studies have shown that postpubertal acne is much more common among smokers than non-smokers. Smoking also increases inflammation, delays wound healing, and accelerates skin aging. Yikes!
I’ve found that the only way to break bad habits is to replace them with better ones; you have to fill the empty space so there’s no wiggle room left for the vice.
Quitting smoking is one of the hardest things that I have ever done. If you are a smoker and you want to quit, or even if you don’t, I want you to know that I have felt what you feel and I know your struggle. You will receive no judgment from me; it’s your choice, and yours alone.
For myself, I knew it was something that I had to do. Have I had relapses? Yes. Will I have more? All I can do is my very best, and be prepared for when temptation strikes. I know that I have a set of tools that can help me fight cravings and relieve stress, significantly decreasing my likelihood of tripping up in the future – the key is to be prepared. And I promise, it gets easier every day.
Cinnamon, Clove, and Black Pepper have all been used throughout history to ease nicotine cravings. These three oils also contain a significant amount of antioxidants, so they’re great for supporting your body after the carcinogenic effects of smoking.
Equally important during periods of withdrawal is emotional support. Having tools readily available that can help you cope with feelings of sadness and irritability is imperative.
British journalist Johann Hari has beautifully said that “The opposite of addiction is not sobriety; the opposite of addiction is connection,” and there is plenty of research to back this up. This is why Marjoram oil can be so beneficial. It is known as the oil of “Connection,” and helps foster feelings of trust, social acceptance, close relationships, and loving bonds. (1) I enjoy Marjoram in the diffuser, or diluted and massaged over the heart-space. It’s also very soothing to the muscle tissue, which can ease any discomfort you may feel in your body during periods of withdrawal. I found it helpful to massage diluted marjoram into my legs at nighttime, which is where/when I felt the most discomfort in the first week or two after I quit smoking.
Grapefruit oil, like all citrus oils, has an uplifting aroma that can help dispel feelings of doom & gloom. What’s truly special about it in the case of eradicating vices, however, is that it is known as the oil of “Honoring the Body” and encourages a positive relationship with one’s physical body based on love, tolerance, acceptance, and respect. (1) You can inhale the aroma straight from the bottle as needed when you’re out and about, or diffuse when you’re at home.
I know this will be controversial, and you might not want to be my friend anymore after you read this. Even in the vast world of medical professionals, no one seems to be able to agree on whether or not coffee is good or bad for you. I think some interesting points have been made on both sides of the fence, but my perspective comes purely from my own research and experience.
First, I’d like you to understand that I love coffee; I love the smell, the taste, and that nice little zing you get with your first cup in the morning that makes you feel human again. However, if you have skin issues, coffee can exacerbate them. There are two reasons for this: The first being that the high caffeine content overly stimulates the adrenal glands, which are responsible for releasing stress hormones and androgens (nicotine is also a stimulant, so if you smoke and drink coffee, it’s a double whammy) into the body; excess stress hormones and androgen production are known contributors to acne. Secondly, coffee is a substance that contains “damp heat” energy, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), thus perpetuating damp heat conditions, which are often characterized by inflammation and pus – remind you of anything?
So, how did I give up my beloved coffee? First, I replaced my morning cup with chai or green tea (because they still contain caffeine, just significantly less) before switching to herbal tea – usually spearmint, which has been studied for it’s ability to decrease excess androgens in the blood stream, and is caffeine-free. Next, I focused on supporting my adrenal glands naturally so I wouldn’t need to rely on stimulants for extra energy.
If you’ll go back in time with me to your high school biology class, it’s likely that “the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell,” is the one thing you remember learning.
We are comprised of billions of cells, and within each one there is a mitochondria responsible for converting what we eat and drink into usable energy. The better we eat, the better the fuel, and the more efficient our mitochondria can be. Caffeine and nicotine are what we might call “dirty fuel” but the standardized plant extracts and metabolic cofactors found within Mito2Max Energy & Stamina Complex can support optimal mitochondrial function, creating clean energy without robbing Peter to pay Paul, thus taking the stress off of our adrenal glands.
Bergamot oil is also worth mentioning; it is a beautiful citrus essential oil that has been studied and long been used for its ability to reduce stressful and anxious feelings. I love to diffuse this oil by itself or with Basil (to alleviate mental fatigue), which helps keep my adrenal glands from kicking into high gear when it really isn’t necessary i.e. while I’m sitting on the couch watching Netflix.
I hope what I’ve shared here has given you hope, and if you’re ready to take the leap and put down the cigarettes or coffee, please know that I am sending loving energy your way!
My next post will discuss common food triggers that might be causing your breakouts. Stay tuned, beauties!
Works Cited: Emotions & Essential Oils, 7th Edition (1)
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