Aromatherapy vs. MLM

An aromatherapist is an under recognized health care professional who has the botanical knowledge and chemistry of essential oils.  Additionally in Canada, anatomy and physiology is part of the professional curriculum.  This is a 450 hour course, not some weekend workshop.  The average Canadian college course is 40 hours, so you can equate the hours to two full semesters of full-time college work.  This is different from the US, as aromatherapy courses can be as little as 50 hours and up to 350 hours to be certified with their association called NAHA.

I developed a study group that was two and grew to three girls all building businesses with doTERRA so we could remain accountable to each other to complete the course on a 6 month timeline.  This was important, as I have 4 kids and was helping two teens during all this.  I completed my studies and became fully certified and insured in May 2017.

But something totally new to me and unexpected happened during my studies; I discovered a world of MLM hate and aromatherapist distaste.

You see, the Canadian and US aromatherapy courses fall into a category I would call the holistic model of health.  In these courses lots of details of oil usage is covered, but ingestion is very limited, it would actually require much more details of the human body and how oils react in them to allow this.  So aromatherapists are forbidden by our certifying bodies to advocate for ingestion. 

This is a huge conflicting issue for MLMs, because they often suggest ingesting oils.  So this creates a problem for aromatherapists, because they have been taught ingestion can be dangerous and should be followed by a doctor and are very frigid in their approach on this, at least online that was my experience.  Plus they seem generally annoyed that Wellness Advocates (WA) with MLMs are making health recommendation that could potentially be dangerous or create an oil injury.  Additionally they tend to get into full blown attacks on social media, accusing MLM reps of being in it for the money and not caring about health.

MLMs dislike the advice of aromatherapists, because what they have been taught by other WAs is ingestion is okay.  There are countless issues with WAs making posts that claim or suggest using oils in an unsafe manner compared to holistic aromatherapy standards.  To be clear, ingestion can happen under the right circumstances with the right qualified practitioner, but holistic aromatherapists don't have enough training for this and WAs are usually not trained at all to give this advice.  This doesn't mean I am or any association in Canada as far as I know against internal uses, they just don't have enough training to safely do so.

As you can imagine, this created a little bit of conflict on my part, as in my profession I am taught one thing, but in my business I am seeing other things happen.  So my curious self, did some digging around, attended some workshops and course, and read some research papers and here is my opinion on the whole Aromatherapists vs. doTERRA.  Please note I am not advocating for other MLMs, because I actually disagree with some of their positions on things from a science and aromatherapy perspective, that doesn’t mean I go making bad remarks about the company or people who use them, they are just not my preferred brand based on my advanced knowledge in this field.

So let’s truly analyze these issues with some science to back it up.

MLMs are in it to make money….

First let’s be clear, every business is in it to make money, I mean how else do you justify doing anything that costs money.  If you aren’t making money, then it’s just a hobby.

Some aromatherapists feel this very strongly, but I have yet to meet an aromatherapist that will give you an oil for free, or a massage for free, at least not without some other reason like a case study or an experiment, both designed to eventually make them money.  Additionally, many aromatherapists take their creations and make them up 5 fold, that’s 500% mark up, so obviously they are making money off oils, not that far off from MLMs.

MLMs have a markup too, the mark up is based on 7 levels of commission, I estimate to be around 33% of the item cost and any additional markup will go into things like customer service salaries, website development, etc.

The average markup in business is 55%, that’s what you are paying for most of the things you buy from a store, 55% more than the actual cost.

MLMs don’t care about health….

This statement makes zero sense in my opinion, if a company didn’t care about the side and health effects of their products, and those products could and would cause bad reactions if misused, do you think the company would survive?

DoTERRA has a several sections throughout their website that recommends people consult with their doctor before using their product.  And if you call customer service and ask a question about health, like can I use essential oils on my baby, they will tell you to talk to a doctor.  This in my opinion means they do care about health.  The customer service rep is not a doctor, so the fact that they said to contact one is caring.  In fact if you want to look up oils for most specific conditions, you won’t find them on doTERRA’s website, they don’t make disease claims.  They do however provide safe usage guidelines.

Aromatherapists care too.  They generally will sit down and take a detailed look at your issue and provide you with a very specific recommendation based on what you share.  Often this will be one or a few blends for your specific issues, along with some cautions, like don’t ingest or keep out of eyes.

The reality is, if any company producing health care products didn’t care about its customer base, it would not thrive, because every time a customer experienced a negative reaction, they would be turned off by the company or its products.  And social media grievances results in bad business or loss of business, so being safe it top priority.

MLMs practice unsafe oil usage….

This area gets a lot of scrutiny from several angles, not just aromatherapists, but after more research into why they do have the things they do on their usage, I discovered there is a lot that people don’t know about aromatherapy.

For example, if aromatherapists can’t suggest ingestion and they feel strongly WAs shouldn’t, who can?  The answer to my question is this, only those who are covered by their professional scope of practice to advice on things they have been taught.  What does that mean?  If you were a doctor let’s say and you got training as an aromatherapist, your insurance and professional body might allow you to advocate for essential oils.  However if you want to advocate for ingestion, you will need advanced training, not the limited holistic training available in Canada.  So I would suggest that if a health care professional wanted to take this route, your training would like have to come from a country like France or Australia and then your insurance company and professional body would have to be willing to accept it.

All that being said, Aromatherapy is an unregulated industry in Canada and nothing stops WAs from recommending ingestion because of this.

DoTERRA does offer supplements and suggest ways essential oils can be used internally, however if you look closely at their websites, they also say consult a doctor and their statements are not FDA approved.  At no point do they suggest or make themselves out to be health care professionals they are not, nor do they actually make medical recommendations, they just have suggested uses.  Some will argue that putting the responsibility on the consumer to use products wisely is actually irresponsible.  I disagree with this, take websites like well.ca, you can buy countless vitamins or health shops, you can walk in and buy just about any natural health product, but some products are unsafe if misused.  But I don’t see those health shops and websites getting the same kind of scrutiny.

Sometimes I see WAs making unsafe recommendations, this can reflect badly on doTERRA, but I highly doubt they understand their recommendation is unsafe and there are mistakes in every business model.  I do know that doTERRA educates on compliance, which is basically ensuring WAs understand safety and following FDA guidelines, but it doesn’t prevent people from ever making a mistake.  I have seen even aromatherapists make oil choices that are unsafe, these mistakes can happen anywhere.  Ever hear the saying those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

MLMs cost way too much money to buy products from…

You get what you pay for, quite literally in the essential oil world.  I know some will argue that oils can be sourced for cheaper, and that may be true, but are they really the essential oils you want.  Some oils can’t be sourced cheaper, take Frankincense for example, it comes from the resin of an 80 year old tree in India.  Do you think that 80 years of growing and then carefully extracting the resin that creates the essential oil with the distillation process, plus shipping could bring you a bottle of Frankincense for $15, uh NO!

Essential oils properly distilled and sourced from their original sources all over the world are not cheap , they cost money, you have to pay for the material, the distillation process, farming the plants, testing, shipping, bottles, etc.  For some oils, this can be cheaper, like lemon, but others this can expensive because of that variable or the fact that they are a plant that requires special harvesting and yields a very low amount of oil.  Take Rose for example, one bottle of 5ml essential oil is rumoured to take 18,000 roses, but yet we buya dozen roses in a store for $60, if you do the math the same way, 5ml of rose essential oil should cost $90,000.  It doesn’t by the way, but it does go for a few hundred dollars, which makes sense.

So do essential oils cost more from doTERRA, in my experience if you want whole unadulterated oils, with access to GSMS testing by lot number, from a company that is fair trade and offers integrity, then no.  If you want expensive chemical perfumes disguised as essential oils, cut with other cheaper oils, with zero access to testing reports and grows their products in warehouses to obtain false organic certificates, then maybe.

In my experience, my local health shop carries one brand of oils I believe to be comparable and they cost about the same as doTERRA.  So no, they don’t cost more in my opinion.  Actually with all the benefits doTERRA offers its customers with reward programs, I save a lot of money compared to buying them at a store.

Additionally, doTERRA offers lines of body care products and vitamins that are superior to anything I have ever used from a health shop.  If you want toxic free ingredients, there is definitely a mark up there, because everything in natural products costs more to product.  But my doTERRA shampoo and conditioner actually costs less than my health shop versions, in fact some of my favourite health Shoppe brands were nearly twice as much.

Essential Oil University is a Facebook page that has some public posts about essential oil pricing and talks about how to use price point as a method of distinguishing true oil from a fake.

Aromatherapists just hate MLMs….

I can see where this rumour started, having attended events or listened to some of the most recognized chemists and aromatherapists in the world, many are not fans of MLMs and they express that openly.  Take a certain well known aromatherapist for example; his New Years resolution was “Do Not think evil thoughts of Gary Young”.  This is a big deal, because many aromatherapists respect his opinion on essential oils, he is a the author of an Essential Oil Safety book, the only book to date that documents the science and research into what safe usage is, the author of one of the first English books on aromatherapy and is known for sparking interest in the field.  Or a weekend course I attended run by a well-known Australian chemist, he commented several times throughout the course about his distaste for Mr. Young and his experiences with him. To be clear I am sharing an experience and well known facts, I have no negative feelings towards Young Living or Mr. Young, if you are Young Living rep or user reading this, this is not an attack on you or your oil choice, simply my experiences.  I have heard good things about Young Living essential oils.  Nor is this an attack on those aromatherapy professionals, I am simply commenting on my experiences.

Let’s be clear, doTERRA is not Young Living!  Young Living has been around longer than doTERRA and was created by Gary Young.

DoTERRA was created by 6 founding executives that left Young Living feel free to investigate that yourself, this is not a website for company bashing.  Something worth noting, the lawsuit against doTERRA was vindicated, you can read about that here.

DoTERRA has scientists and doctors on staff or contracted to help with the purity of their products.

At its inception, I can only assume that doTERRA took what they learned from their previous professional experience and build a company with the addition of co-impact sourcing and superior 3rd party testing.  Co-impact sourcing is sourcing the oils from other countries from legacy farmers who use the money to sustain their families and communities.  Many essential oil companies grow a green house version of their oils in the states and in some cases they bought the seeds for those plants from countries with struggling farmers.....stealing that farmers chances of making any money from their products going forward.

Some of this basic knowledge could have been poor practices past down or misinformation.  If you look at the history of doTERRA, they have made great strides to be the best and safest essential oil company.  But because of this rough start if you will, many aromatherapist have a harsh opinion of their previous practices or instantly misjudge a post they don’t understand.  Additionally many aromatherapists just lump the two companies together, despite there being some pretty major differences.

But with the new advances of doTERRA growth, superior oils, and an opportunity to build a business like never before, I can assure you that new aromatherapists will not only be neutral on the topic of MLMs, but many will likely gravitate towards the business model.  Many existing aromatherapists aren’t making huge amounts of money, several of them do it for fun or just passion, which is great, but when you are using your holistic health practice as a source of income to pay bills, the MLM option offers you a chance to teach classes with superior education and respect….and obviously sustainable money.

Additionally with new developments in aromatherapy, where aromatic medicine will be advocating for internal use where the holistic model was not, I would forecast the distaste for MLMs on this basis will disappear.  In fact there is a lot of curiousity and personal development happening among reps to educate further, I wouldn't be surprised if most reps became qualified over the next 5 years.

With doTERRA recently becoming the largest essential oil company in the world and a leader in the health care industry as well as business development, they are quickly gaining respect by several people that were previously reluctant.

And the MLM model is genius for essential oil education and support.  When a consumer runs to a local grocery store to buy garbage oils that don’t work and are full of chemicals, they run the risk of reaction, they use it in unsafe ways and they don’t fully understand what it is they actually bought.  When a consumer joins doTERRA, they get a community of support, a sounding board for their personal concerns, they connect with like-minded people, they are empowered to make safer health choices, they get science based answers and recommendations, and they are educated on ways to filter out those toxic oil knock offs from true pure oils.  Even an aromatherapist can’t offer all that, they can offer some of it, but not all it.

Rhonda Greenbury

Modern hippie mama of 5 bio babes and an adoptive teens. Passionate about natural health and helping people heal and thrive.....live the life you always wanted in a body that will enjoy it!

Searching for the best essential oil company…..here’s how and why I run my business with the best affiliates

First I want to cover something that some will take issue with, I am a doTERRA Wellness Advocate AND a Certified Aromatherapist.  The issue with this is some will believe that my opinions or business is based around my growing doTERRA business, without considering the professional ethics of being a certified Aromatherapist.

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As a certified Aromatherapist, I am insured, I registered with the Canadian Federation of Aromatherapists (CFA), I have to follow ethical guidelines that may or may not be in line with my doTERRA business and I am expected to keep my Aromatherapy knowledge current or up to date with continuing education requirements.

So naturally, when someone makes a claim that I am affiliating with doTERRA because it is one of my sources of income, it’s ridiculous and unfounded, as I can make money in many ways and I can’t affiliate with a brand without good reason professionally.

So this is my intent with this article, to explain not only why I affiliate with doTERRA and some other companies, but also what any person in the essential oil world should be considering before settling on a brand.  If you know me, you know I follow my heart, with logic and passion, money does not cloud my thinking at all!

When considering essential oils, it’s important to ensure you are getting the purest oil, because like many things, plants can be exposed to pesticides, bug infestations, or can be cut with a synthetic alternative for profit.

One of the best ways to ensure purity is through advanced chemical testing.  For this reason, if a company does not publicly and easily provide access to their GCMS report testing, I won’t even consider them as an oil company.

There are huge advancements in the essential oil industry, where chemists and perfume enthusiasts have found synthetics that only advanced labs could detect…meaning they are so advanced about adulterating oils that synthetics do test as natural compounds in less advanced labs and sometimes what an oil is being adulterated with is actually natural, but not necessarily good for us or the oil.  Scary to think that we could be inadvertently applying synthetic compounds with little or no evidence of their safety or effective uses and even scarier the companies that get away with it because of unregulated labeling laws.  Plus isn’t the whole point of using plant matter, or essential oils in this case, to get away from unnatural chemicals?

Now some companies have claims like soil analysis or limited testing, unfortunately, I don’t feel this is adequate and it does take the little guys out of my practice use.

Next after being fully informed and made aware of their testing, what it is and if a neutral third party tester provides the results, I look at how the oils are obtained, also known as sourcing.

We know that the best oils are grown in their natural habitat.  Any company could collect a plant, replant it in large greenhouse and alter it to grow in a country they can control the whole process, but they miss out on its ACTUAL natural compounds and they take away from in many cases small farming businesses or developing countries doing this.

The best oils will come from the country that they grow naturally and free.  Lavender grows everywhere, but the best lavender does not grow on the side of highway and would you really want to use lavender grown wild next to smog pollution in north America?

Many countries have plants that are owned for hundreds of years and passed down through family lines.  Those plants are maintained and harvested with the intention of keeping the plant alive and the family business thriving.  When a company takes seeds from those developing countries, they are effectively stealing the profits of that farmer and the development of that country.  I don’t know about you, but I prefer to buy products that do more good than harm.

Additionally, those same plants would have to be seasoned to grow someone unnatural, leading to a modified plant.  Modified plants don’t have the best history in science and health matters….I can think of a few food products that have been altered this way and there is a ton of controversy around it.

Lastly when we allow them to grow naturally in their environments but under pay the farmers or use brokers…a middle man designed to make profits…the plants themselves become at risk of being endangered or extinct.

Take Frankincense for example, it grows wild on mountains cliffs and rocks.  It can’t be cultivated, so people can’t replant it if it dies, it has to grow wild on its own.  It grows exclusively in Somalia in both Somali-land and Punt land.  It takes in some cases 60-80 years to mature enough to even be safely harvested.  It involves making calculated cuts to the trunk to extract and must be limited to around 100.  If a farmer, or someone illegally stealing it for profit makes more than 100 cuts, the trees could die and we have no way to recover them.

And women in Somali-land sit sorting the resin to pick out the best product for sale, typically only make super low wages, like 8 cents a day.  Both the farmers and women don’t have access to information to know how popular this plant is all over the world, they have no idea what we pay for it or the fact that they could be demanding more money and fair trade concessions.  They fall victim to brokers under paying them and then the brokers mark it up for profit to companies and the companies barter to get the best price…..but this is all sacrificing the plant and the people of this land.

You can learn more specifically about Frankincense at http://www.conservecalmadow.org/.

So because businesses can under pay farmers or source their oils through brokers or other illegal means, price is actually a consideration for me.  If an oil is so cheap it’s too good to be true…..it is in fact too good to be true.  Remember the best oils are sourced from all over the world, so shipping a 15ml bottle of Frankincense alone would cost more than $15 from Somaliland (I presume), it costs me that to ship it from the US to Canada, and that doesn’t even cover the wages to the farmer, the women sorting it, the broker if you use a company that sources that way, the third party testing, bottling, labeling and packing.  So yes, Frankincense comes with a higher than some price tag, but it definitely should and you should be very wary of oils being sold for prices that just don’t make sense or seem fair.

How a company operates is a distinguishing factor in my oil choice.  No company is void of mistakes, but how they respond to their mistakes says a lot about a company.  You can search just about anywhere and find a mistake by almost every oil company out there, whether it be a bad batch of oil or a labeling error.  The important thing to consider is not a company with a flawless history, as at some point, they will error, it’s only human, but what does the company do if they did err?  Some companies will become defensive and try to defend or smooth over the wrong without ever admitting a wrong existed.  Obviously I can’t trust a company that can’t even admit their own errors.  Other companies will accept that an error was made, make a public statement to address it and correct their processes so it won’t happen again.  So investigate long and hard, find the oil company errors and then decide if the rebuttal to the error falls within your comfort zone or not.

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Finally I like to look at all the extras an oil company does.  Is your oil company of choice a business in it for profit exclusively, or do they give back.  Charities are huge, one of the things that makes holistic professionals want to earn more money is so they can give back more....holistic health practitioners tend to be givers.  But not all companies give back, some just keep padding their own nest egg.

Now before I conclude my thoughts I want to point a few things out about Aromatherapists and MLMs. 

To be clear, I run a holistic wellness community online that operates primarily as my Aromatherapist practice and will continue to branch out as I develop my holistic qualifications…I am studying holistic nutrition at the moment.  To explain how this works, in my Aromatherapy practice, a client can come do a wellness consultation with up to 3 health concerns and a follow up of up to 2 concerns for an upfront cost of $110…$65 for the wellness consult, $45 for the follow up.  After completing their initial consult, I would refer them to the best places to access oils and they would pay for oil in additional to the consult.  As an added benefit to my doTERRA business, I offer to waive the consultation fees when my clients enroll to purchase oils through my doTERRA business.  I do make a commission off their oils choices and I am very upfront about that. 

Interestingly, many Aromatherapists run practices where they charge the consultation fee….which no health care plan in Canada covers currently so its exclusively out of pocket….and then they sell the oils they relabeled or marked up 5 fold (minimum) for profit.  Aside from the initial consult in a typical practice and buying the Aromatherapists marked up oils, the support going forward is based on paid consults or appointments.  My business, the wellness community gives you access to science, a professional opinion shared among many and continued support, all with just the cost of your annual membership ($42 in Canada the first year and $30 in subsequent years, but doTERRA sends you a free bottle of peppermint, so its almost a free renewal).

If however a client was adamant that they didn’t want to save 25% off their oils with a wholesale account and have the opportunity to earn free oils and shipping, I would happily connect them to the oil companies I feel are reputable for their specific conditions upon completing their wellness consults ($110 up front).  I honestly believe when it comes to holistic health, we need to follow our heart and our passion, that may or may not be with me or the company I affliate with, but it should feel right.

So in conclusion, do some research before settling on an essential oil and don’t assume everyone in a business model you don’t like has ulterior motives.  Many of us are actually helping more people make safer and smarter oil choices than tiny practices accomplish anyways.....isn't the whole point to help people thrive and heal.

If you want to learn more about my wellness community, feel free to contact me.  I don't push sales, in fact pushing sales would be compromising my ethics as a practicing professional, but I am candid and honest.  I won't bash your brand, but I will share why I may or may not choose to use them.

Happy oiling!!!!

Rhonda Greenbury

Modern hippie mama of 5 bio babes and an adoptive teens. Passionate about natural health and helping people heal and thrive.....live the life you always wanted in a body that will enjoy it!

Reminiscing on a Facebook memory

OMGosh!

So cute....almost miss the baby stage, but then I remember this was one of the only 3 times this girl smiled in her first 18 months of life.

This pregnancy was my hardest emotionally and easiest physically.

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Emotionally this mama was done having kids and was working hard at getting back to me, getting my body back, my time back, my house back in order, relearn what life would look like given all the medical trauma we experienced right before moving here. I was freshly forced out of my "secure" job of 8 years, had to discontinue my care with my doctor of 9 years as my health was no longer the priority and I had to sell and move from my first family home. So becoming pregnant and carrying through 9 months with a tiny bit of resentment that this is just the wrong time for so many reasons was emotionally one of the hardest things to endure, right after a lifetime of abuse and losing a baby....this sits around 3 for me.

But physically, I was blessed to be home and armed with my body forcing me to do it the healthiest way possible. Being able to nap and move when possible vs. being trapped in a corporate cubical meant I gained way less weigh, I had way less pain and I was less likely to snack on "garbage" to drag through my afternoon. I avoided ALL medical interventions from the beginning to the end (except two ultrasounds I was talked into). No heartburn meds, no pain meds, no nausea help, NOTHING!

Thank you aromatherapy! I honestly equate most of my success avoiding things like heartburn meds to aromatherapy....this is also why I am so passionate about helping others now too!  Pretty amazing I could pull that all off for 9 straight months while being an emotional wreck about my circumstances. And labour was a breeze, literally, she was born 13 minutes after I was done registering at the hospital....5 minutes after Brendan walked into the room from parking.

Pregnancy was not the end and I waited anxiously for a precious baby that I could nap with, that would give me time to occasionally eat, or shower or do my own thing.....maybe just 5-15 minutes of calm. But this girl did not sleep unless she was bundled tight in my arms. She didn't even like her daddy, it took 4 months before she would even let him hold her without freaking out. She didn't sleep for more than 40 minutes for a year and a half.....you read that right, 18 months of sleeping in 40 minute intervals, I never experienced exhaustion like this before. And she cried constantly, for no reason at all, for 18 months. None of my boys were ever like this, they all varied in sleep patterns and personality, but we could put them down once in awhile.

Occasionally I could capture a smile and I made sure to get it on camera, because I needed that reminder every now and then that there is a rainbow at the end of this storm. And I was not new at this, I pulled out all the parenting stops, I mean she was my 4th full term baby, so it really shouldn't have been so hard, and yet it was harder than any other baby I had ever experienced.

At 18 months, she slept, first for 2 hours, then 3, then 4 and suddenly 5-7 hours of no crying became a very real thing. Since then, I have been sleeping a lot, probably recovering from adrenal fatigue so sometimes needing 10 hours, sometimes just 7 hours. I am healing, finding me, and working on a lot....in between the chaos of having my boys and all there drama and trauma too.

Now she is an energetic combination of moody, demanding, smiles, love and trying to do it all....if you don't let her do it the world will literally end! And at Micah's Christmas concert, she had us parents running around the gym breaking a sweat to keep her out of peoples purses or from stealing the front stage of the show. All while other parents of toddlers had them patiently sitting and watching the concert. Micah and Aidan would have sit for the concert as toddlers too, Dimytri was a busy body too, but not like her. Most days she is happy, but very strong in what she wants and needs....something I suppose worth fostering if I want her to be a strong minded female leader ;) Some of this is complicated by the fact that she doesn't speak yet, so communicating is frustrating on both ends, but we are working on it.

Everyday she teaches me about gratitude. I mean I did after all wait 16.5 years to get the girl. And all children are a blessing, even the ones making my hair grey faster and literally fall out.....my hair literally has been falling out for almost 2 years now (I have slowed it a lot with vitamins and specific hair care).

One thing I never experienced before, I am done, like 100% done having kids now.....no more maybes over here. And if anyone is ever unsure, feel free to spend a week with this girl, she will either having you falling head over heals in love with her or make your hair fall out too, there is no in between with this girl!

Oh and the idea of in 12-30 years I may be blessed to be a grandmother to experience this all over again from a different but very exciting perspective, that I truly do look forward to. I really do hope my kids fill our family with lots of little people for us to love. I never considered myself someone to be that into kids, except my own really, but as time passes I realize, I truly do love kids and I was definitely meant to have 4 babies and help other kids struggling. Its where my heart is and has been for longer than I ever realized before. Ask my husband, I try to rescue or help all the kids.....now I just need to make my wallet as big as my heart <3

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Rhonda Greenbury

Modern hippie mama of 5 bio babes and an adoptive teens. Passionate about natural health and helping people heal and thrive.....live the life you always wanted in a body that will enjoy it!

To CBD or Not to CBD....Is that the question?

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As promised here is my experience with CBD.

First off, I started taking CBD after a very traumatic family event...my son was stabbed and was airlifted to a Toronto hospital, given blood several times and is now somewhat happily recovering...but initially received life threatening injuries (despite the media’s efforts to down play a very serious event).  So at the time of starting the CBD, I was experiencing a high level of anxiety, depression, anger and general exhaustion from the whole ordeal.  Not to mention that I am still battling an autoimmune skin issue that has been in flares on and off since November.

I started my experience with the lowest dose necessary for my body weight....so approximately 18mg of CBD twice a day.  I only had enough for 16 days use in the 15ml bottle I choose to start off with.  I took this dosage internally added to a veggie capsule....disclaimer, as a certified holistic Aromatherapist I can't recommend ingestion of anything and my experience is not advocating anything.

Upon starting this, I immediately noticed two things.  I had neck pain and have been getting frequent migraines all summer.  The pain relief and the migraine relief is incomparable to anything natural and synthetic I have tried so far.  So pain relief for the win!  Because migraines are so debilitating for me, this is definitely a remedy I would consider.

I had an immediate sense of calm, a calm I am not sure I have experienced in years, all my anxiety literally and immediately lifted within 20 minutes.  This was an amazing and very unfamiliar feeling.  It wasn't apparent to me how much anxiety I live with on a daily, hourly, minute basis, until there wasn't any.  It was almost scary, but somewhat relieving I suppose.  I always knew I had anxiety, I have been medicated in the past several times for my anxiety, but this sense of calm, was like nothing I can ever remember experiencing.....even my float experience wasn't as calming, sleep isn't as calming, having a glass of wine or a few drinks wasn't as calming and being medicated wasn't as calming.  So anxiety relief for the win too!

A few other things I experienced, sugar cravings, I lost 2 pounds despite eating way more carbs than I ever do...literally I eat nearly 100% grain free.  I had a need for more sleep, but CBD does not help or make you sleepy, it just seemed to make me want to sleep more.

CBD is well known to help with a variety of other conditions and body systems, but it may take more long term relief or the relief experienced may be situational.  I have been doing some light research into CBD studies and there is a mountain of research for its uses in treating mental health issues, including depression, as well as autoimmune support. 

Unfortunately, CBD internally has not helped with my skin condition....I plan on ordering a salve to see if direct application would be better....so I am not concluding it not useful for this yet, it will just require more time.

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Additionally, after experiencing calm like never before, I fell into a very very very deep depression, within days of starting it and remained fully immersed in a state of mental darkness until about 2 days after stopping it.....so it’s a good thing it leaves the system fast.  I can't say for sure if this would happen for me every time, but there are a few things I have learned trying to research why this might happen.  When people who experience anxiety receive relief from that anxiety, they sometimes experience a deep depression.  This is not studied as being a CBD specific effect, but a result of anxiety relief common to many forms of treatment.  I can't be clear if the depression was induced by CBD, anxiety relief or all the traumatic family situations happening around that time.  But I can say, the level of depression I fell into, happened very fast and was paralyzing like nothing I have ever experienced before and I am not new to depression or depressive disorders.  Even my husband expressed a great level of concern, as he had never seen me that low before.  People I spoke to on the phone said I sounded different and not okay.  And my inner demons were running rampant, in a scary, nonsensical way.   I am so fortunate to have a husband who is supportive, yet willing to point out something I didn't immediately notice, I can't imagine how bad things could turn if I didn't have positive support in my efforts to find holistic alternatives.

Additionally, much of the research done on CBD, THC, and CBN is pro helping conditions, but very little talks about the participants that experienced negative side effects.  The only bit I have noticed in researching, THC is more appropriate for use with severe pain and cancer, all other health issues generally benefit best from CBD.  Because THC induces psychoactive side effects, and I am a work at home mom full-time, I am not interested in exploring that alternative at this time.  I do qualify medically for a green card, but I have no intention of getting one at this time, or anytime during my children's younger years....its just not right for me at this time and maybe never.

I am not done experiencing this natural remedy, but because the state of depression I fell into happened so fast and uncontrollably and was a level of darkness I hadn't experienced before, I can't continue to experiment with CBD at this time....the risks are too high.

I will however attempt this remedy again and try it topically for my skin issues in a few months when I feel I have found a better state of mental and/or physical homeostasis.  And it is something I look forward to diving into more if I can prevent falling into a depression for migraine relief and anxiety relief.

So do you have any CBD experiences you would like to share with me?  I would actually be more interested in unusual experiences, negative or positive, as the research is good on common things, but what can you share that doesn't fit the norm?

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In the meantime, because I am a chemistry nerd with a passion for essential oils and all things natural, I am planning to develop more understanding of oils that activate our cannabinoid receptors within the body.  I have attached a very short description of oils that have currently been studied to do this via doTERRA article https://www.doterra.com/US/en/blog/science-research-news-caryophyllene-cannabinoid and as a I learn more, I will detail my experiences with them.  Stay tuned for my holistic life adventures and experiences....including real life family and mom experiences.

UPDATE NOVEMBER 2017: Since my first experience with CBD I have had the opportunity to explore it more for anxiety, sleep, digestion and a skin condition my doctor and dermatologist can't figure out.

I have successfully been able to manage and recover from my skin condition using CBD 3-5 times a day during a flare up.  My dermatologist suspects is stubborn eczema that doesn't respond to steroid creams or allergy medications.  In addition to the CBD, I use a custom blend of essential oils with peppermint to help stop the itching.

For sleep, CBD does help with sleep for sure.  I have a diagnosed restless leg syndrome, I did one of those dreaded sleep clinics and learned I can't move non-stop while trying to sleep, so I often don't feel rested because well I don't lie still, I move all night.

1ml of CBD and I am sleeping restfully like a baby!  The only other affective sleep aid I have managed to use is doTERRA's Serenity capsules, I believe its the synergistic combination of essential oils and L-theanine, a green tea extract, that works for me.  I prefer to have more than one option, because I feel and have experienced that over using one thing, our bodies get used to it and it no longer works or we develop sensitivity and allergy issues from over use.

Digestion is a huge issue for me, I have my whole life suffered from digestive issues and in 2014 I was forced out of my job from a digestive flare that left me painfully unable to work for over a year.  I have since been able to successfully manage it about 80% of the time, but about 20% of the time without warning or reason, I get flares that leave me in bed at home looking for solutions or at least relief.  CBD surprising can calm and balance my digestive issues.  It was an accident I discovered this as I was taking it for an anxiety issue that happened at the same time, likely my anxiety was actually spiked from the digestive issue....because I live my whole life having to know where all the bathrooms are and how fast I get to one.

Anyways, immediate relief from digestive flare up pain and when I use it, it seems to rebalance the unknown issue within 1-3 days.  That's huge for me, I am actually very allergic to anything my doctors have tried to prescribe to me to help with my issues.  So being able to find any relief, whether natural or not, was an amazing discovery.  I also use essential oils to manage my digestive issues, which works most of the time.

Lastly the anxiety.  I am happy to report, my anxiety has still been successfully calmed with CBD.  After the initial trauma with my son, I thought perhaps the CBD was inducing a severe depression, so I had to stop it.  Since then, I have worked hard to manage the anxiety without CBD and well, nothing compares, nothing prescribed or otherwise oily in nature works quite as well.  So I just had to go back and try again when I felt some of the trauma had settled.

So far, I don't use it daily, just as needed, I found after using some Neroli essential oil in my new doTERRA roller touch and the occasional CBD to help with sleep or anxiety or both, I only need to use CBD when I can't calm the anxiety with other means.  And now when I do use it, I don't experience a deep depression at all, but I do still find the sense of extreme calm seems to numb me from many feelings.  It's not depression, I suppose its an unfamiliar calm I need to get used to is all.....imagine living your whole life never knowing what calm was an then suddenly you felt it, its foreign, a little uncomfortable to start, but perhaps a great start to healing.  

I feel this is more based on some of my own internal healing I need to do.  I grew up being abused by two of my parents (both my biological parents remarried three times so I had 6 parents in total), and experienced abuse from the ripe age of 4 that didn't stop until I left home at 17.  4 separate family members were responsible for the abuse I endured in my lifetime and some of my relatives and family members I have had to let go of because I was accused of making it up....not really sure why someone in their mid-late thirties would make up these things, but it kinda explains why I have spent the majority of my life hiding all the trauma of my childhood.

So to conclude with a current update, I think CBD definitely has some use in helping with anxiety, sleep, digestion and skin issues.

If you are interested in learning how to access CBD in Canada, send me a message, I can connect you to my supplier.  I did a great deal of research before settling on a supplier, and would love to connect you to healing too.

Rhonda Greenbury

Modern hippie mama of 5 bio babes and an adoptive teens. Passionate about natural health and helping people heal and thrive.....live the life you always wanted in a body that will enjoy it!

How My Essential Oil Journey Began

I wasn’t a fan of becoming part of a network marketing company...

I wasn’t a fan of becoming part of a network marketing company or buying oils that seemed more expensive than the health shops.  So this is where my year and half long journey of brand testing, following a book about oils with conditions and experimenting with oils in general began.  In that year and a half I had a surprise pregnancy and gave birth to my beautiful surprise and only daughter.

What I experienced, some oils smelled amazing, some not so much.  Some oils left stains on my pillows when I read on Google to use lavender on my pillow.  Some oils clogged my diffusers or left weird residues.  Some oils seemed to offer zero health benefits like I had experienced with my samples.  My belief that oils worked was there, because my samples worked, but my experiences were telling me that store bought oils just weren’t cutting it and I needed to know more.

I attended a few webinars and learned that apparently there are two areas of legislation that essential oils can fall into, one being cosmetics and the other being health care.  You see when you walk into your health shop and all the oils are all conveniently stocked next to lotions and makeup, that’s because the oils you were purchasing are likely considered cosmetics.  Where when you buy oils from a reputable company with science backed research and are pure, not cut with other oils for profit, these oils fall into health care products and are often registered with Health Canada.

Distinguishing the difference is important, because cosmetic legislation hasn’t changed much since the 60s.  Groups like Environmental Working Group and documentaries like the Human Experiment were created to expose these issues, issues where it has become acceptable to put toxic carcinogen chemicals in baby products, even by seemingly reputable companies.  Scary to think that I am using the same everyday diapers and creams that have been around since I was born are actually some of the reasons why cancer is on the rise or why women are struggling to have babies or why there is an increase in mental health issues. 

Chemicals in your everyday life can cause or at least contribute to your health problems!

So finally when my daughter was 5 months old and I was so nervous knowing all that I do about our health, and the toxins we are blindly exposed to, I bought my enrolment kit with doTERRA.  I bought this kit, because I knew after a year and half of research and experimenting with my own family, this was a superior company with superior oils.  And at this point in my journey, I decided to start building a natural health business. 

I teach people how to avoid health problems that are likely caused by those toxins we don’t realize we are exposing ourselves too.  I teach how avoid the pharmaceutical drug cycle of prescriptions for every symptom, you know here is a med for migraines, then you need a med for the side effects of that, then the side effects for that, etc, etc.  I also introduce you to alternatives that don’t cause liver damage, like some health therapies, but may in fact reverse that damage.

I am not saying conventional health practices in our western societies is not needed, I mean an essential oil won’t heal a broken arm, but it might help with pain management, or sleep or the emotional effects of the trauma you experienced getting the break.  And if it doesn’t help, that’s exactly why we have western medicine and we are so lucky to be part of a world with these advances in our health care.

Essential oils fall in the complimentary and preventive health care categories.  We don’t necessarily use them to treat things, but to aid our body in healing issues or keep our immune system in check.   So obviously everyone should be using them, I mean do you really want to deal with health issues as they arise after several years of your body being exposed to the things that likely created the condition.

Aromatherapy is NOT a bunch of stay at home mom’s playing with scents and candles. It’s a profession like naturopathy, homeopathy, massage therapy and herbalism.
— Mark Webb

When I decided to dive into this world of teaching and advocating a holistic lifestyle, I noticed people were reluctant to listen or I didn’t have all the answers I wish I had.  And so I enrolled in a course to become an aromatherapist.  This was so important for me personally, I wanted to be able to teach from an area of proficient knowledge and education.

So here I am on the journey to natural health, helping everyone willing to be as healthy as they can be.

Are you ready to get healthy?  Connect with me and I can guide you on your natural health journey.