Calm in the Chaos

by admin on July 23, 2009

“Every adversity carries with it a seed of greater benefit.” If anyone knows me, they would tell you that this is my daily tag line. I read it for the first time 10 years ago in a book written by Napolean Hill but didn’t really understand it until adversity slapped me in the face, knocked me to the ground and dragged me through the streets of NYC’s financial district on September 11, 2001.

I entered the twisted, internal psycho-emotional world of Dante’s Inferno, otherwise known as Post Traumatic Stress. It wasn’t pleasant to be afraid of the sounds of trucks backfiring, or having panic attacks while sitting on a subway train or contemplating how I might stop my scalp from forming bloody plaques of psoriasis brought on by stress.

I had no idea that the beneficial “seed” of a 5,000 year old origin was taking root in a classroom in the middle of the same great city that imposed on me my biggest adversity. One day before 9/11, I began my official academic quest into the eastern healing art of Oriental Medicine. The words art and medicine are rarely ever found in the same sentence however I learned early on in my career as an eastern practitioner that there is indeed a need for creative interpretation of someone’s symptoms of complexity. The human landscape is complicated, diverse, highly individualized with each of us beings holding our own unique set of blueprints.

It is quite fascinating to learn that Oriental medicine is an intricately woven thread of philosophy, culture, mysticism and empiricism. What appears to be as simple as the insertion of one needle into an appropriate acupuncture point on the skin, it could become the actual compass that points you on the direction of internal balance. When a mind-body and spirit-mind are equilibrated, the dance of life is rhythmically in tune with being healthy and well.

So, I ask you, could you be open to finding the calm in the middle of your chaos? Could you allow yourself to become the architect of your own life by being ok with the scaffolding and infrastructure that you were given? Could you welcome the needle that might in fact direct your very own “true north”?


Lavender Lemonade in the NEWS!

by admin on May 13, 2009

Summer is here! I just found this…enjoy and lets get cooking and drinking LAVENDER!!!
July 11th, 2009 is Lavender Harvesting time at the Young Living Farm in Utah…anyone up for a 5k run through the Lavender fields?

To order this therapeutic grade Lavender, find the YL link on my website:


The Path…

by admin on April 17, 2009

The theory of Oriental Medicine goes like this…you and I were created through the intricate weaving of the threads of our Ancestral Essence. In our mothers belly we relied on the perfection of what is called the “Extraordinary vessels” to guide our way through nine months of incubation. These “vessels” transport energetic information to us during our time of growth and development and they are extraordinary because they enforce our flawlessness in body, mind and spirit. The moment of birth releases us from our core support system and with our first breath we begin creating a protective screen to the outside environment while we drift farther away from our state of pure grace.

The shield of armor that we all possess is unique to each of us. It is our energetic thumbprint. It is fueled by the strength of our own personal Qi (vital life force).

We start our journey without mapquest, without street signs, without any language to communicate that we might be lost. We stop to eat and sleep along the way because we somehow know that this is the only way to refuel. We live in the wonderment of the present moment enforced by a circus of sensory delights and we are not aware yet that there is an illusion that waits for us. This illusion is called LIFE.

The paradox is this…the more aware you become of the outside world (fueled by thoughts and emotions) the less connected you remain to your extraordinary self. The illusion plays a funny trick with us by sending us down paths that might have trick doors, funhouse mirrored walls, glass ceilings or floors that seem to be made of squeaky wood.
Every bump, turn, jug-handle, u-turn or dead stop that we make in this journey causes us to lean on those vessels that originally made us perfect. We do have access to the ancient roadmaps of our very own existence however most of us have chosen to drive on the roads of life with blurred vision.

Stop and visually take in your surroundings daily…
Breathe in deeply to open the senses of smell…
Pause after you listen to someone’s words to clear your ears to hear…
Wrap your arms around someone to enliven the touch receptors on the tips of your fingers…
Chew slowly and savor the flavors of prepared nourishment from Mother Earth…


Mineral Oil: OH NO!

by admin on February 10, 2009

I was thrilled to have been asked to give a lecture to RN’s a few weeks ago about the Efficacy of Essential Oils in the Health Care Model at Fairleigh Dickinson University. I just finished my Certification in Aromatherapy and spent countless hours creating a highly visual and enlightening power point presentation. Unfortunately my 2 hour talk happened right after lunch in a dimly lit room. As any teacher knows, this is the hardest time to keep students interested as they are often going into a carbohydrate slump. Fortunately, I had my Peppermint Essential Oil and passed it around for a sniff every 1/2 hour to help boost alertness!

As I was preparing for this lecture, I found myself sidetracking into reading about the non vegetable and non nut oils that we put on our skin daily and how these are wreaking havoc.

Most people do not understand that our skin is like a sponge. They do not realize that when you apply lotions and use hair products that the chemicals in them seep into the superficial blood stream and then get carried throughout the body and the organs alike.

Here is a good test about skin absorption if you are willing to possibly smell like an Italian Restaurant :-)

Take a few cloves of peeled garlic and place them into a vat of hot water. Soak your feet for 10 minutes in the garlic water. You will notice that 20-30 minutes after your soak, the pores of your skin will begin to emit a garlic odor. That is how fast it takes garlic to make its way through your body! Luckily the chemical constituents of garlic (allium sativum) is excreted in a natural way.

I want to shed some light on Mineral Oil. This is also known as Petroleum jelly (Vaseline) and mineral oil laxatives. It is even more well known as the branded name of BABY OIL. Mineral Oil is a byproduct of the distillation of gasoline from crude oil. It is considered a “left over” liquid and is readily available and very inexpensive. It has been used in the cosmetic industry, personal care and baby products and the baking industry (think additive for glazing in white breads/doughs). I am including a link from the FDA about Mineral Oil

Mineral oil DESTROY Vitamin D in the body. This petroleum byproduct interferes with the absorption of Vit D.

Let me explain what Vit D is, just in case you don’t know.

Vit D is actually considered both a vitamin and a HORMONE! It is imperative for normal cell growth and proliferation. It helps to regulate the immune system. It assists in regulating blood levels of calcium and phosphorus from the GI tract (which is why it is important for its role in preventing tooth decay and keeping bones strong). It regulates the function of the thyroid and parathyroid glands!

The best way of getting Vit D into your system is through natural sunshine! 20 minutes of exposure per day is ideal! We have now become a society in fear of the sun. We slather on the sunscreen in fear of Skin Cancer, but we need to keep two things in mind: 1. Is our sunscreen riddled with mineral oils? 2. If we keep ourselves fully blocked from the sun, we are not receiving adequate amounts of Vit D. Now, this is in no way an intent to tell anyone to burn themselves or to lay in the sun for hours without a protectant! It is just me playing the “what if we don’t buy into the commercial machine” game.

My suggestion…instead of using commercial lotions filled with chemicals that we can’t pronounce or eat for that matter, use a vegetable based oil or nut oil to use on the skin to help keep it soft and supple if you are plagued with winter dry skin.
Obviously if you have a nut allergy, keep away from the nut oils! You can replace them with vegetable oils!

I keep a bottle of organic Sweet Almond oil in my bath tub. After showering, with my skin still wet, I put about 1 tablespoon of almond oil into my palms and rub it into my skin. I then pat dry. Almond oil mimics the human sebum and is a very thin oil, so if used correctly, it will absorb into the skin and not cause any staining on clothes. I then add different Essential Oils to the almond oil base depending on my mood that day!

Keep yourself informed! Read the labels in all of your body products for Petrolatum, Petroleum or Mineral Oil.

If you have any questions about this post, please send me an email!


The Power of Essential Oils

by admin on June 26, 2008

I just returned from the magnificent Greek island of Syros. I was there for 10 days on an expedition to learn about the benefits of medicinal plants. Not only did I experience the plants and flowers in all of their glory, but I was honored to have learned how to harvest and distill them.

Let me tell you about some of the amazing properties of Essential Oils in general:

1. Plants create essential oils to detract insects from itself…(kind of like it’s very own insect repellant!)

2. Plants create EO’s to sometimes decrease the ability of it’s neighboring plants to flourish…so they can have primary access to the water supply and nutrients from the soil (call it survival of the fittest, or greed!)

3. EO’s have a chemical makeup with properties that can incorporate any or all of the following: antifungal (Tea Tree Oil), antiviral (Clove) (yes, antiviral!), anti-inflammatory (Lavender), pro-circulatory (Cypress), antibacterial (Roman Chamomile), expectorant (Eucalyptus globulus), carminitive – stimulates digestion and relieves gas (Anise), analgesic (Wintergreen), diuretic (Juniper Berry), astringent (Frankincense), diaphoretic – induces sweating to eliminate toxins from the body via the skin and to dispel a fever and chills (Ginger), emmenagogue – promotes and regulates menstruation (Clary Sage), sedative (Neroli), wound healing (Calendula).

The most important thing for a consumer to understand is that the majority of EO’s that are distilled are sold to the perfume or food industries where they often become adulterated. The adulteration of these oils is to increase the amount of material so that they can “stretch” the end product thus increasing profits. The typical adulteration method is to add synthetic chemicals to the original EO, which in a nutshell is BAD! We all know and understand (hopefully) that synthetically derived chemicals are just that: SYNTHETIC…meaning NOT from us, but made in a laboratory! Many of these chemicals are carcinogenic (cancer causing) or irritants (to the skin) and wreak havoc on the body. SO, not all smell pure!

While taking a class titled “What smell is that?” we were all subjected to the original plant extracted chemicals and then its synthetic adulterated form. Since we live in an over chemically scented saturated society, I was shocked that I was preferring the synthetic smells over the natural ones. Our olfactory senses (our smell receptors) are accustomed to chemicals! This was very disconcerting!

So, before you go off and buy an essential oil OR a detergent OR a perfume with “oils” make sure of a few things:
1. All EO’s should be labeled with their latin name (e.g…Lavender is Lavendula angustafolia)
2. All EO’s of a single product line should not be priced the same! (e.g…if you are paying $10 for lavender AND $12 for Damascus Rose, you can be sure that there is major adulteration going on! 2 oz of a pure Rose oil could cost you upwards of $150!) The reason for oils to be so expensive is the amount of plant material versus the amount that has been distilled. If there is little amount of distilled oil versus a large amount of starting plant/flower material you can almost guarantee that the price of the oil will be high!
3. “Perfumed” oils are NOT pure.
4. “Organic” oils are not always pure.

I hope this sheds some light on Essential Oils. They are earth’s medicine!