The first two articles in this series were about head trauma and in particular concussions. Any car accident has the potential to cause physical damage to your body. Understanding the most common injuries and why they occur can provide you with information that will help you understand what treatment you will need. While the advent off airbags and protective changes in construction of automobiles have helped to prevent many more severe injuries but indirectly force is transferred to the major.....
Everyone has some stress. It’s easy to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms (alcohol, sugary foods) when you’re exhausted from a hard day. But these habits only lead to more stress. And too much stress can be harmful to your health. According to the American Institute of Stress (www.stress.org), three out of four doctor visits are for stress-
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By now you probably have heard of essential oils. It seems we all know of someone who is using essential oils or has spoken of their value. You may find them to be a passing phase. You may even think they are a young person thing. But whatever your opinion, essential oils are gaining the attention of young and old alike. What are essential oils and why are so many people using them in their everyday lives?
An essential oil is a volatile substance derived from plants containing the natural smell and characteristics of the plant. From the beginning of time, cultures have used plant oils and extracts. If you have ever broken off an aloe vera stem and rubbed it onto a burn, then you, too, have experienced the benefits of essential oils. The oils from the aloe vera calm the discomforts of the burn while at the same time encouraging skin repair. Essential oils in the very same way provide our bodies with natural building blocks to support cellular functions.
Today, instead of growing our own plants and distilling oils, we can buy them. But buyer be aware: Not all oils are the same. Depending on how the plant is grown, its distillation process and the attention to purity, oils on the market can be nothing more than fragrances. They can also contain toxic chemicals. Therapeutic grade essential oils, when used as intended, can provide a powerful complement to your daily health regimen. Because essential oils contain the actual building blocks
of plants, their cellular make up is similar to ours. Essential oils cross over our cellular membrane, encouraging and supporting overall health. Their aromas go beyond smelling wonderful. Essential oils can be used to stimulate and support our body systems.
How do essential oils work? The body is equipped with systems that regulate it. The endocrine system secretes hormones that regulate cell activity. The pituitary gland secretes stress hormones or cortisol. Both of these systems keep us alive and balanced. They help us respond to danger and they help us relax and rest in the off hours. Unfortunately, these systems can be overstressed. Our jobs, our environment, life’s demands – all can keep us in a constant state of stress. Our bodies are not made for constant stress. When our immune system is constantly under stress, we can become more vulnerable. Essential oils can help support these hormone systems of the brain.
Did you know smell is the only sense directly linked to the emotional center of our brains? This emotional center, known as the limbic system, is in charge of decoding smells and sending the appropriate message to the brain’s switchboard. The limbic system helps control body temperature, hunger, thirst,
fatigue and sleep. These hormone responses help the body regulate itself. In a nutshell, we smell an odor and our brain quickly decodes the odor’s message. Depending on that message, our body produces the necessary hormones. If the smell is paired with a good memory, the body relaxes. If the smell is paired with a stressful experience, the body sends stress hormones for action.
The hippocampus, which is the seat of memory, and the amygdala, which regulates emotions, are where we can see this concept in action. By inhaling an oil that has a pleasant association, it is possible to ease tension because the brain sends the message that all is well. Coupled with massage, essential oils can foster deep relaxation, which can alter our perceptions. If my brain says I’m okay, I must be okay. Helping ease the stress on the body and encouraging it to relax allows these important centers in the brain to function and perform at their ultimate capacity. With all the demands of today, who couldn’t use a little more natural help? And who knew one of the keys to well being could be right under our noses?
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Jennifer Lord is an office director and distributor of Young Living Essential Oils. She has a personal commitment to whole-