Self Care Is the New Health Care

I recently ran across a meme that really resonated with me; perhaps some of you have seen it. It was something to the effect of, “those who have their health have 1,000 desires; those who don’t, have but one.”

Our modern society is saturated with information about disease and cures. I used to think that medicine was the province of trained health professionals who dedicated many years of intensive study and practice to ferreting out illness and driving it out of our bodies with various pharmaceutical therapies. I’m not sure when it dawned on me the extent to which we are complicit with either our own vitality or decline.

We feel perfectly comfortable using the term “alternative” when it comes to unconventional approaches to staying healthy and well. I often wonder: What’s “alternative” about seeking and applying the wisdom of the natural world in conjunction with modern medicine? Wouldn’t it be a better approach to celebrate the unique strengths of both approaches as we seek to be proactive, informed, and completely involved in our own health and wellness?

My training as a holistic health coach and my own health journey has led me to the belief that we have both the obligation and privilege of making everyday choices in those spaces “in between” the needs for modern medicine. In the pursuit of health and wellness, we are our own best advocates and as it turns out, what we do every day matters. The choices we make, make us. And the good news is that the goal of health and wellness begins with us and what we do each and every day. It begins with what we put in and on our bodies including the thoughts we allow to fill our minds.

Like most people, I’ve tried a lot, and I’ve failed a lot, and as a result I’ve learned a lot. I’ve anchored my own practice around the use of essential oils for what I call “the everyday moments” of health and wellness. Since essential oils are natural, aromatic compounds extracted from plants, we can use the supportive and protective properties they provided for the plant. Essential oils are most often used topically or aromatically since the airborne molecules interact with our olfactory organs and almost immediately interact with the brain. Each interaction with a specific oil can provide therapeutic, healthful benefits for our mind and body and can even cleanse the environment around us without the harmful effects that chemicals may have.

Here’s an example: One of the most important cornerstones of a healthy lifestyle is quality sleep. Sleep is the time when our body restores itself, supports our brain and physical health including repairing our hearts and blood vessels and so much more. Ongoing sleep deficiency can raise our risk for chronic health problems including affecting how we think, react, work and even learn. Quality sleep may be negatively impacted by stress or travel across time zones, or it may even be disrupted due to the aches and pains associated with exercise or injury.

Essential oils can help enhance your sleep experience, and they are an easy way to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Lavender and Roman chamomile are two popular essential oils that have calming and sedative properties. An easy recipe to make and use is a pillow and linen spray. To make: Add 10 drops of lavender essential oil and 5 drops Roman chamomile essential oil to a 2-oz spray bottle. Fill the bottle the remaining way with distilled water. Shake gently before each use to evenly distribute the essential oils. Spray on your pillow, sheets, or favorite stuffed animal for a restful night’s sleep.

Stay tuned for further insights on self care and the simple things we can do to consistently be well.

Paige Koeberle is a holistic health coach, essential oil educator, and member of the AADP (American Association of Drugless Practitioners) and the owner of Clean Slate Essentials, LLC in Pawling, NY. For a personal health and wellness assessment or for more information, call (732) 735-7314 or visit online.