» September 2018

Month: September 2018

Adrenal Fatigue – A Big Reason Why You’re Tired – Part 2

Adrenal Fatigue, Chronic Stress, Feeling Burned Out, healing burned out adrenal glands, why am I so tired all the time, why am I always tired, adrenal fatigue test, adrenal glands and cortisol

Last week, in Part 1 of Adrenal Fatigue – A Big Reason Why You’re Tired, I began sharing my experience with burning out my adrenal system. This issue is very real and more prevalent than you might think. This week, I’m delving into the steps I took to regain my health.

Why is Adrenal Fatigue So Ignored?

I fought over the adrenal issue with 5 (!) different doctors. Adrenal fatigue is even worse for women because there’s still a lot of doctors who will simply prescribe some sort of pill and send a woman on her way. The first doctor I went to told me that I was depressed and needed to see a psychiatrist and prescribed an anti-depressant. 

I’m still shocked over this – she wasn’t willing to look at anything remotely close to my adrenal system and told me I needed to stop being so stressed out, take this little pill and all would be well.

The second, third and fourth doctors weren’t much better. One told me I was working too hard and I needed to relax. They said that blood tests were in the “normal range” and to stop worrying about it. One even said that I was most likely imagining my symptoms! Can you imagine a doctor saying that to a man?

See what I’m getting at?

What I’ve learned is that doctors are not trained in medical school to be aware of anything except that the adrenal glands exist. There’s no time to learn about chronic stress, there’s no time to dig a bit deeper for the root cause and rare is the physician who knows what a saliva test is. The very best adrenal fatigue test is a saliva test. A saliva test will tell you what’s been going on in your body over the last 3 – 6 months.

Another reason it’s ignored is that the main therapy for regaining your health from adrenal fatigue is through diet and lifestyle adjustments. Ooooh, doctors don’t believe that this is legitimate medicine – you must be on some sort of prescription pill for it to be real!

Many allopathic physicians have never heard of adrenal fatigue (so it must not exist, right?) and if they have heard of it, they’re sadly misinformed.

What I’m about to share with you is what I did – it’s important to talk with a medical professional who understands adrenal fatigue and burnout. Very important.

The Beginning of Getting Healthy

The fifth doctor I saw was an integrative physician but, in 1999, I had to travel 75 miles each way to see her. There was no one in Winston-Salem at the time who understood adrenal fatigue and I’d never heard of functional medicine or naturopaths.

What’s the difference between an allopathic and integrative physician? It turns out a whole lot. The best explanation I’ve found for integrative medicine is this from Dr. Andrew Weil:

Integrative medicine is healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person (body, mind, and spirit), including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship and makes use of all appropriate therapies, both conventional and alternative.

The integrative physician is focused on the body, mind and spirit connection and how each is important to the other. An integrative physician combines the best of Western medicine with the time-honored traditions of Eastern medicine to give his or her patient the best methods for well-being.

Anyway, I digress.

Doctor #5 worked closely with a compounding pharmacy and that compounding pharmacist suggested Dr. Wilson’s Adrenal Health products would do the most good. I am not an affiliate, I’m simply giving you the information of what I took – these products have stood the test of time and they worked amazingly well for me.

Doctor #5 told me that it would take approximately one month of taking these supplements for every year my adrenal system had been compromised. For me, that meant several years.

I took the Adrenal Rebuilder and Super Adrenal Stress Formula. I couldn’t afford to take all of the supplements, so I chose the two that would do the most good for me. I also took a probiotic and at the time, that wasn’t as readily available as it is now.

I’m currently a patient at Robinhood Integrative Health in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Their approach is simple: to focus on the underlying cause of your symptoms. I can tell you from the last 10 years of being a patient at RIH, I believe the medical professionals there want you to be as healthy as possible in the simplest and most natural way possible.

An integrative physician, functional medical professional, naturopath, herbalist and certified aromatherapist all understand that getting to the root cause of your symptoms is the only way to get you back to health.

Diet and Lifestyle Adjustments

Here’s the BIG thing – you can’t just take a few supplements and keep making the same poor lifestyle choices and expect to get any better. For starters, my sleep habits had to change immediately. I was going to bed as late as 11:30 PM and rising at 6:30 AM which is not enough sleep.

My doctor told me that the body processes cortisol around midnight. Your adrenal glands produce cortisol in response to the conditions of your daily life. When you’re constantly stressed out, your adrenal “tank” gets depleted and can’t keep up, especially first thing in the morning. She also said – and this is immensely important – every hour of sleep you get before midnight is worth two hours of sleep after midnight

Most nights, you’ll find me heading for bed around 10 PM. Sometimes it’s a bit later, but almost always before 10:30 PM.

When it comes to stress, only you can find the best way to deal with it. So let me put my holistic life coach hat on for a moment and ask you a few questions.

  • How much do you take on in your life and how long will you bend before you break? Learn to say NO!
  • And tell me, if you’re chronically stressed and your body rebels and it puts you flat on your back, what then?
  • What good are you doing for anyone – much less yourself – if you can’t get out of bed?
  • Do you think you’re a super hero and must do everything for everyone?

Okay, I’ll stop asking questions – but think about it!

Next, get rid of any food that is processed. All those chemicals and dyes that are in processed food are stressing your already over-taxed adrenal system. Whole foods that you cook from scratch are the biggest help here. That’s why farmer’s markets are so popular – there’s good clean food from your local farmer and food is medicine!

Caffeine is a no-no. I began drinking coffee the moment I got up and stopped about the time I went to bed. This is disastrous. I immediately cut back and these days, I enjoy one or two cups of coffee in the morning and the rest of the day is water. 

Sugar causes more damage to your body than just about anything. Get rid of cakes, cookies, candy – including alcohol. All of that processed sugar taxes your adrenal system beyond belief and causes major inflammation. You don’t have to give up your mixed drink or glass of wine or beer forever, but see if you can’t go without them for at least a few weeks. I had to do this and now enjoy 1 or 2 glasses of wine most evenings.

Another culprit – surprisingly – is over-exercising. Working out too much can spike cortisol levels and your adrenals are already taxed. Take it slow and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. That seems counter-intuitive, but it’s true.

How Does Aromatherapy Help?

One last thing. I had no idea what aromatherapy was in the late 1990’s. Now I do. The proper essential oils are excellent for helping to restore your vitality and nourishing your adrenal glands.

Aromatherapy works incredibly well in conjunction with proper lifestyle choices. Just remember, if you’re not willing to change anything, nothing will help you.

I noticed the same adrenal symptoms a couple of years ago, made the necessary lifestyle changes and added:

  • Magnesium Oil – your body is in desperate need of this daily, but especially when your adrenal system is taxed.
  • Stress Support Aromatherapy Roller Ball is ideal as a tonic for your stressed out adrenals.
  • Peaceful Ease Aromatherapy Roller Ball helps with the wound up feeling and depression.
  • Anxiety Ease Aromatherapy Roller Ball is ideal for assisting with anxiety and stress.

Adrenal Fatigue does not go away by itself. You need to talk with an integrative physician, a naturopath, herbalist – or certified aromatherapist. Fill out this simple contact form and let’s talk today. Don’t wait!



P.S. Please take a moment to share this article with someone you care about.

Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult your medial professional for any and all health concerns.

Adrenal Fatigue – A Big Reason Why You’re Tired – Part I

adrenal fatigue, adrenal fatigue symptoms,

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about 5 sneaky reasons you’re always tired and I left out one major reason – on purpose – as I want to go more in-depth. It’s adrenal fatigue and adrenal burnout – it’s likely you’re not familiar with your adrenal glands and what they do for you.

Adrenal fatigue and burnout is very real as I went through this 12 years ago. I had to jump through a million hoops to simply figure out what was going on. Most physicians don’t believe in adrenal fatigue much less burnout.

There’s a lot of controversy and resentment over this issue because the main healing therapy consists of diet and lifestyle adjustments and the medical community doesn’t view these changes as “legitimate medicine”.

Hello – food and exercise are medicine!

Any doctor will tell you that all sorts of problems occur when your hormonal system is out of balance. I was frustrated, exhausted and told that I was fine – just get some rest. No fooling – so tell me again why I need a doctor?

I’m sharing my journey so that hopefully, through a little bit of information, you won’t have to jump through those same hoops that I did. You’ll have an easier time healing your symptoms and maybe – just maybe – you won’t get as far down as I did struggling to find information and help.

What Are Adrenal Glands?

Your adrenals are pea-sized glands that sit on top of your kidneys. Among other things, they regulate the fight-or-flight system of your body, the stress hormone called cortisol, blood pressure and how your heart works.

They’re very important in the grand scheme of your body, but most doctors don’t know enough about the adrenal system to be of any help. That’s where a naturopath, functional medicine physician, herbalist, aromatherapist and/or health coach can all be of assistance.

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

Dr. James Wilson created the website which brought the subject of adrenal fatigue to the forefront in 1998. He’s a naturopath and chiropractor and, at the time, one of the few physicians that delved into this issue. He describes adrenal fatigue as:

Adrenal fatigue is a collection of signs and symptoms, known as a syndrome, that results when the adrenal glands function below the necessary level. Most commonly associated with intense or prolonged stress, it can also arise during or after acute or chronic infections, especially respiratory infections such as influenza, bronchitis or pneumonia. As the name suggests, its paramount symptom is fatigue that is not relieved by sleep but it is not a readily identifiable entity like measles or a growth on the end of your finger.

According to Dr. Josh Axe, in layman’s terms, adrenal fatigue is the over-stimulation of the adrenal glands through long term chronic stress. This could lead to an inconsistent level of cortisol (the stress hormone) in the bloodstream, sometimes far more than normal and at other times, far too low. In addition to this overload or improper cortisol level, people with adrenal fatigue often don’t have enough DHEA, the “parent hormone” responsible for the creation of many necessary hormones in the body.

What Causes Adrenal Fatigue and Burnout?

At the time that I was diagnosed with adrenal burnout – yes, my adrenal system was completely burned out – I lived a very stressful life. I was a small business owner, I had just finished my bachelor of science degree (going full time at night) and had a very full life on top of that. I was always doing something, going somewhere, staying up late and getting up early, not eating very healthy and pushing, pushing, pushing.

In short, I wasn’t really taking good care of myself. Maybe not all of the above applies in your case; you believe you’re living a fairly healthy lifestyle, but you’re still bone-tired. Some other causes are:

Chronic stress in particular is a major culprit. For instance, anyone who’s a caregiver, has a stressful job, is a frequent flyer, or simply doesn’t handle stress in a healthy manner is prone to adrenal fatigue. 

That chronic stress keeps your body in a continuous state of fight-or-flight. When that happens, your adrenal system dumps a lot of cortisol into your bloodstream and if there’s no recuperation period, you ultimately burnout. That’s a very simplified description, but that’s exactly what happened to me.

I knew something was wrong – seriously wrong – but my doctor ran a bunch of blood tests and told me the results “were within generally accepted normal ranges”. She told me I was the picture of health and I was fine.

So why did I feel so depressed, lousy and exhausted?

Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms

Here are some common adrenal fatigue symptoms:

  • Foggy thinking
  • Dependence on caffeine
  • Depression
  • Craving sweets and salt
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Weight gain
  • Hair loss

The biggest symptom that you may experience is the “wired and tired” feeling – all the time. You’re sleeping 8 hours a day, but you’re using caffeine in coffee or sodas to keep you going during the day. Maybe you feel really tired around 9 PM but you push through for just a few minutes so you can get more done and fall into bed at 11 PM or midnight – exhausted but unable to sleep. Or if you do sleep, you wake up just as tired as when you went to bed.

A contributing factor – for me – was a chronic yeast infection. I lived with this for over 30 years and doctors would simply give me that worthless OTC cream and send me on my way. Not once was I told that a chronic yeast infection was suppressing my immune system and a suppressed immune system is prime for adrenal fatigue.

To this day, I feel betrayed by the medical community – why didn’t they ask about this chronic issue? Are you that blasted busy that you can’t help me with something so simple as a yeast infection? Knowing that it makes such a difference?

The Test for Adrenal Fatigue

It wasn’t until 1999 when I found an integrative physician in a town about 75 miles away that I finally got the help I needed. There was absolutely no physician in my town with any real knowledge of the adrenal system.

I can tell you from experience that a blood test will not give true results. I took a saliva test – I spit into a small tube three times a day for 5 days. A blood test tells you what’s happening at that moment in time. A saliva test tells you what’s been going on over the last few months.

When those results came back, it confirmed exactly why I felt so lousy. A word of caution: chances are high that your physician won’t recommend or allow a saliva test.

My hormonal levels (including DHEA) were so out of balance that it’s a wonder I was on two feet.

Now What?

There are some simple things that you can do to help yourself if you believe your adrenal system is fatigued. Next week, I’ll continue my story of taking matters into my own hands and how I got healthy again. It’s much easier than you might think. In the meantime, if you see yourself in this post, there’s help now.

My blend Stress Support Aromatherapy Roller Ball is made specifically for your adrenal system. The essential oils act as a tonic for your adrenal system to help enhance your vitality.

There’s also Peaceful Ease Aromatherapy Roller Ball to help you with chronic stress.contun

Is aromatherapy a cure? Nope. I can’t fix, cure or heal. You have to do your part and we’ll talk about that next week. In the meantime, aromatherapy can help you begin to make adjustments to your diet and lifestyle.

If you need more information, please fill out this short contact form and let’s talk today!



These statements and products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Good Essential Oils For The Changing Seasons

Sinus Infection Remedy, Good Essential Oils For The Changing Seasons, Sinus Headaches, Sinus Pressure, Essential Oils for Sinuses, Sinus Infection Remedies, Essential Oils for Nasal Congestion,

Each time the seasons change, a lot of us experience sinus headaches, sinus pressure and breathing problems. There’s actually some very good essential oils for the changing seasons to help you deal with sinus problems – did you know that?

Why Do I Have Sinus Problems When The Seasons Change?

The biggest reasons people have more sinus problems when the seasons change are things like pollen, ragweed, change in barometric pressure, humidity and temperature. If you live in an area where it’s 65 degrees one day and 85 degrees the next, you know your sinuses take a beating!

All of these changes whether they are gradual or sudden, cause a build up of sinus pressure which in turn causes sinus headaches, sinus infections, sneezing, watery eyes and many times, trouble breathing.

If it’s windy, you know it’s going to bring in gawd-knows-what and of course, that will affect your sinuses.

According to, when your sinuses become blocked and filled with fluid, germs can grow and cause an infection.

How Do Essential Oils Help With Sinus Problems?

Essential oils are excellent for sinus and respiratory issues as they can help open up your airways, act as expectorants and keep the fluid moving in your sinuses (possibly preventing a sinus infection). Many essential oils are also excellent anti-inflammatories, anti-virals and anti-bacterials. Use the same caution with essential oils as you would with any type of medication.

Here are a few essential oils for sinus problems that are excellent:


Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) is an excellent oil for opening up airways, supporting healthy lung function and boosting your immune system. This oil is often used in the presence of bacterial, fungal, or viral activity. The best way to use Eucalyptus is to put two drops in a steaming bowl of water, drape a towel over your head and breathe in as deeply as possible 2 or 3 times daily. This oil should only be used with adults and children over the age of 10.

Tea Tree

Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternafolia) is known as the workhorse of essential oils. It is often the first choice when looking to reduce infections caused by unwanted bacteria or fungus – especially sinus infections. Tea Tree essential oil is great for reducing minor inflammation as well. It supports a healthy respiratory system and is useful for treating coughs and other lung ailments. You can use Tea Tree the same way as Eucalyptus by putting a couple of drops in a steaming hot bowl of water and breathing in. This oil is safe for children over the age of 2.


Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) essential oil is respected for its many therapeutic properties and is helpful in reducing unwanted bacteria and viruses as well as reduce pain and inflammation. It’s also a popular choice for clearing the respiratory system and can be of great help with allergy relief. Take great care in using Peppermint essential oil if you are on blood thinners as this could cause nose bleeds. This oil should only be used with adults and children over the age of 10.


Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is another one of nature’s powerhouse oils. Along with helping to purify the body and surrounding environment from unwanted microbial activity, Oregano is a fantastic oil for healthy lung support, especially when one is dealing with a cold or flu.

It’s packed with potent antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and analgesic properties, and is ideal for treating a myriad of infections, both inside and outside of the body. CAUTION: YOU MUST DILUTE THIS OIL BEFORE YOU APPLY IT TO YOUR SKIN! Combine one ounce of olive oil and no more than 5 drops of Oregano oil and apply to your chest if you’re experiencing chest congestion. Use this oil very sparingly and not on children under 10.


Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) is one of those oils that I recommend no matter what the situation. This oil is gentle enough for a two-year old, has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties as well as being a very good analgesic.

If sinus issues are causing stress – they often do, Lavender is amazing for de-stressing!

You can combine one drop of each of the above oils in a cold mist diffuser and let it run for 30 minutes every 2 hours to help relieve your symptoms and to clear the air in your home.

Other Things You Can Do

Don’t forget to change the air filter in your HVAC unit – it makes sense to spend a bit more and get a good HEPA filter. Air purifiers will help keep the air cleaner in your home oh – and did I mention drinking more water will help?

I make some products that help you deal with sinus issues and have them ready for sale on the Scented Balance website:

If the sinus medication you use makes you drowsy or feel disconnected, why not give aromatherapy a try? I believe you’ll notice a difference and you won’t experience any negative side-effects.

How can I help you with your sinus problems? Please fill out this short contact form and let’s talk!



P.S. Know someone who suffers with sinus problems? Please do them a favor and share this post with them!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. 

New To Essential Oils? Here’s How To Use Them – Wisely

New To Essential Oils, Inhaling Essential Oils, Diffusing Essential Oils, Applying Essential Oils On Your Skin, Essential Oils On Your Pet

Are you new to essential oils? Here’s how to use them – wisely. There’s a lot of misinformation floating around out there and I’d like to help you get started with good information. It’s not hard to use these gifts of nature, but there is a right – and wise – way to use them.

Is this blog post the end-all-be-all of aromatherapy? Nope. Not even close. But the information you get from me is safe, ethical and sustainable. That’s important!

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are the gifts of nature. They are derived from plants, trees, shrubs, flowers and fruits. The “essence” of the plant is most commonly distilled using steam, or in the case of citrus fruit, the rind is cold pressed to extract the oil. There’s several other ways of extracting oils, but these are the two most common ways.

Andrea Butje, the Owner of Aromahead Institute says this:

Essential oils come from aromatic plants. Not all plants are aromatic. If a plant has a scent, it is generally an “aromatic plant.” You smell essential oils in a plant when you breathe in the aroma of a rose flower, peel an orange, or crush basil leaves. Depending on the plant, the essential oil is found in different parts: the flower of a rose, the fruit of citrus, the leaves of many herbs, the resin of frankincense and myrrh, the roots of vetiver, the twigs of the bitter orange tree (for Petitgrain), the seeds of coriander.

So, How Do I Use Them Wisely?

Here’s the easiest and wisest ways to use essential oils:

  • Inhaling from the bottle or a personal inhaler
  • Applying essential oils to your skin
  • Diffusing them by using a cold mist diffuser

Through my classes at Aromahead Institute, I learned an ethical and sustainable method of aromatherapy. That’s important because prior to modern life, people used only what they needed from the earth – nothing was wasted. Since these aromatic plants come from the earth itself, they are a limited resource. Using only what you need for a blend and no more is wise and ethical.

Personally, I rarely use Sandalwood (Santalum album) because in order to harvest the bark of the tree to get the oil, you have to kill it – cut it down. There are sustainability programs in place, but I see it this way: if you have a hundred or more oils (and I do), you have more than enough to create your blend without harming the environment!

I’ll quickly talk about each method below. Please note that if you’re pregnant, on certain medications or under 10 years old, talk with your certified aromatherapist or medical professional first. Not all essential oils are safe for everyone!

Inhaling Essential Oils

Inhaling is the quickest and easiest way to get the oils themselves into your system. A few oils that are safe to inhale are Lavender, Lemon, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Rosemary, Sweet Orange, Cedarwood and Patchouli.

Simply open the bottle, hold it under your nose (don’t touch the bottle to your nose) and inhale deeply while keeping your lips closed. Do this for 30 to 60 seconds. You can also add a few drops to a personal nasal inhaler or on a tissue with the same effect.

If you’re experiencing a sinus infection, add two drops of Tea Tree essential oil to a bowl of steaming water, put a towel over your head and breathe in as deeply as you can.

Topically Applying Essential Oils To Your Skin

When you want to apply essential oils to your skin, it’s wise to dilute it first with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba wax or avocado oil. You can pour a small amount of carrier oil into the palm of your hand and add one or two drops of essential oil. Then simply apply to your skin always avoiding your eyes and ears.


For instance, to relieve an upset stomach, add two drops each of Sweet Orange and Peppermint essential oils to a dab of carrier oil – just enough to rub on your belly.

Congested? Add two drops each of Eucalyptus and Tea Tree essential oils to a small dab of coconut oil and rub on your chest. 

All of the body butters, lotions and roller balls that I create are perfect for applying to your skin. With the roller balls, especially for anxiety and depression, rolling the blend over your heart area is ideal. For headaches, you simply apply the roller ball blend to your temples, forehead and the back of your neck nearest your hairline. 

Diffusing Essential Oils Into the Air

Diffusing essential oils into the air is one of my favorite ways to use them everyday. I keep a diffuser going in my studio and in my home. Most folks who visit my studio always stop at the door and simply inhale. You never know what will be in the diffuser!

Make sure the read the instructions that come with your cold mist diffuser for proper use. For the most part, diffusers use a small amount of water. Simply add 5 or 6 drops and enjoy the scent! There are even some models that will fit into the cigarette lighter or USB port in your car!

What Method Did I Leave Out?

I purposely left out the subject of taking essential oils internally. Why? It’s a controversial subject and there’s a lot of folks who swear by it. So here’s food for thought. Would you drink 20 cups of peppermint tea all at once? Would you eat 10 lemons all at once? But that’s exactly what you’re doing when you internally take a drop of essential oil.

It takes 256 pounds of peppermint leaves for every quart of peppermint essential oil. For that precious bottle of Lavender, it takes 3,000 pounds of the flower for one quart of essential oil. Are you getting the picture of just how potent essential oils are?

Listen, I know there’s oil companies out there that advocate ingestion but I disagree with this practice because it can be downright dangerous. As in toxic. A clinical aromatherapist or naturopathic physician can safely guide you if that’s the method you need for a particular concern.

As a certified aromatherapist, my advice is unless you know exactly what you’re doing, don’t take essential oils internally. Ever.

Can I Use Essential Oils On My Pet?

If you have cats, the short answer is NO! Cats can’t metabolize essential oils in their liver and it could be very toxic to them.

If you have a dog, the short answer is it depends. My advice is avoid it. If you have a dog over 50 pounds, use them sparingly. If you insist on using essential oils on your dog, then treat Fido as you would a small child. You wouldn’t overload your toddler, so please don’t overload Fido!

Be Wise, Be Ethical, Be Sustainable With Essential Oils

You now have a thimbleful of information about essential oils – a drop in the bucket if you will. Do you see why a certified aromatherapist is important?

Since plants and trees are a limited resource, using just what you need from your essential oils is sustainable – and ethical. Using 50 drops when you really only need 5 drops is really kind of greedy and wasteful.

If you look at history, you learn that essential oils (along with herbs and botannicals) were used as medicine. In the case of essential oils, more is not better. You wouldn’t take 10 aspirins when all you need are two – so why overdose on essential oils? Treat them with care – treat them as you would medicine – with respect.

I want you to be safe and healthy in body, mind and spirit. Aromatherapy is ideal for your physical and emotional wellbeing. I would be very grateful for you to share this information.

As always, blessings,


P.S. Want a custom blend or more information? Fill out this contact form and let’s get started!