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Why You Should Shop Local – A Detour From Aromatherapy

Why You Should Shop Small, Shop Local, Big Box Stores, downtown, shop local, farmers market, gift shops

This week, I’d like to talk about why you should shop local – a detour from aromatherapy for sure, but it’s that important! We’re in the last quarter of the year which means holiday shopping has begun in earnest.

Yes, I know – let’s get through Thanksgiving before we talk Christmas! I get that. I simply want to get into your mindset before the holiday shopping season kicks into full gear.

Please hear me out!

Why It Matters When You Shop Local

Nearly everyone I know constantly shops online and at the big box stores. You tell me that you shop at Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon and a host of other nameless, faceless places because it’s “easier to get my shopping done.”

Hmmm…where does your money go when you shop at these places? Does it help support your community? Are you helping to create a living-wage job? Um…no, you’re not.

I have no intention of throwing a bunch of boring statistics at you about shopping local vs. big box. I do, however, want you to read for yourself why it’s so important to shop local:

Several retail studies have been done across the country, in big cities and small towns, and all have come up with similar numbers. When a consumer spends $100 in locally owned retail businesses, $45 is recirculated in the local economy. When that same $100 is spent in chain stores, the local reinvestment drops to $23. Spend that same $100 at an out-of-state online retailer, the local cut is almost zero.

Why? Because an independent business buys supplies from other local businesses, hires local accountants and web designers, and attracts customers who shop at neighboring establishments. A chain has centralized buying, its own accountants and lawyers, and sends its daily revenues directly to its own bank. And an out-of-state online entity doesn’t even employ local people, so their contribution is negligible.

Are you getting the point yet?

Ideas For Shopping Local

If you work in a downtown area, why not take your lunch hour and window shop at the local gift boutique? Why don’t you shop at the local Ace Hardware (which is independently owned) instead of the big box home improvement stores?

What about shopping at a local farmers market every week instead of a grocery store chain? You don’t think you can get anything good at a farmers market? Oh, I beg to differ! At most farmers markets, you’ll find eggs, meat, cheese, vegetables, fruit, fresh spices, baked goods, bread, jam and flowers.

And you support a local small business each time you make a purchase!

What’s that? You don’t like going to a farmers market? Why? Is it out of your way? Think it’s too expensive (it’s actually less expensive)? You simply can’t be bothered? I’m calling you out on the last reason – because I’ve had too many people tell me exactly that!

And the sales tax argument is quickly going the way of the dodo bird. Even when I purchase supplies online, I still pay sales tax – and shipping. Are you really so chintzy about a couple of bucks in sales tax that you refuse to shop local? (Yep – I’m calling you out big time today!)

And instead of giving more mindless “stuff”, why not give someone a restaurant certificate or tickets to the theater or movies from local establishments? Why do we believe Christmas gifts should cost lots of money and last a full year until the next Christmas?

Why do you want to give your hard-earned money to a big box store and reward a greedy CEO? Why not reward a hard-working small business owner and really make a difference in someone’s life?

You know, every time someone makes a purchase from a small independent business, the owners (including me) do a happy dance! We’re all very grateful for your business.

Where To Shop Local

Today, I’m going to take some of the work out of looking for small independent shops, restaurants and experiences so that you don’t have to dig.

  • Scented Balance Aromatherapy – I have a studio and online storefront. Give loved ones the gift of relief through aromatherapy for headaches, anxiety, depression, pain and other concerns. Not sure what to get? Get a gift certificate in any amount!
  • Sadie’s Shoppe in Mocksville, NC. Everything here is handcrafted, repurposed or upcycled. Unique one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on your list.
  • Dahlia’s Floral Design in Clemmons, NC. Decorate your holiday table with a gorgeous floral arrangement. This independent shop offers gifts and home accessories, too.
  • Gifts By Mia in Winston-Salem, NC. There’s gifts for all ages here that you won’t find anywhere else!
  • Lovingkindness Reiki and Yoga in Clemmons, NC. Tressa is the beautiful soul and owner of this small studio. She teaches yoga for every level, age and size. It’s also a wonderful gift of health.
  • Jasper & Fern in Winston-Salem, NC. Alyson is an ah-mazing photographer and her unique style empowers women to see their own beauty. In the studio, you can also get a massage, haircut and makeup lessons.
  • The Little Theater of Winston-Salem is in its 84th season – why not give tickets to your sweetheart for a date night? I still remember getting tickets to an Amy Grant concert and that’s been years ago!
  • The Himalayan Hideaway Salt Cave in Winston-Salem. Sitting in a salt cave for a few minutes promotes relaxation and lung health. 
  • The Tavern in Old Salem in downtown Winston-Salem offers a unique taste of local heritage and dining. Perfect for date night!
  • A Reflexology session from Planet Reflex in downtown Winston-Salem. Troy Hurst is the owner and loves to help people feel better through reflexology. It’s awesome!
  • Feeling adventurous? What about a skydiving experience from Piedmont Skydiving? Located in Salisbury, they offer year round tandem skydiving – you don’t have to know how to do it!
  • Fresh beef from Brantley Farms in Mocksville. Gwen and Russell are the proprietors of this full-time cattle farm. M-m-m-m-m-m! I’m hungry just thinking about it! You can also inquire about hosting your next event here – and they have a small Winter Farmers Market through the end of December.
  • What about a gift card to your beloved’s favorite coffee shop or book store? They’re everywhere!
  • A weekend at a local B & B would be awesome for a relaxing “stay-cation”.

If your recipient lives in another state or city, then by all means go online and look into gift certificates from small local businesses in their city. Better yet, why not get them a gift certificate from one of your favorite local businesses and invite them to visit for a weekend?

Many of these businesses are owned by women, so you can get an awesome gift and support women-owned businesses at the same time. It’s a win-win for everybody!

These are just a few ideas you can use to get started shopping local. See how easy that was? Why not sleep in on the Saturday after Thanksgiving – which is now known as Small Business Saturday – then visit your local retailers to do your holiday shopping with ease.

Just in case you’re wondering where Scented Balance will be on Small Business Saturday (aw…thanks for asking!), I’ll be in downtown Winston-Salem at Jasper & Fern for the Small Business Crawl from 10 AM – 4 PM. Plenty of parking and a wide array of small businesses with unique gifts and services for everyone on your list!

Blessings,

Melissa

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Spoken From The Heart

Spoken From The Heart, Compassion, Helping Others, Mister Rogers, kindness compassion and tolerance,

I wish I knew what to write about this week. My heart is hurting at all the hatred that has been spewed in the United States. So, this week, my words are spoken from the heart not about essential oils, but about kindness compassion and tolerance.

Anne Frank was such an old soul who knew so deeply what the world has yet to figure out. Here are some of her wise words – spoken from the heart:

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” 

It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.
I’ve found that there is always some beauty left — in nature, sunshine, freedom, in yourself; these can all help you.
No one has ever become poor by giving.
I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.
And then, there’s Mister Rogers. He is sorely missed as Fred Rogers had a unique and kind way of looking at the world and helping us – especially children – process the most painful of times.
There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind. 
In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.
When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’
Today, I’m simply reaching out to you with kindness, light and love in a world gone mad. We are the ones left behind to keep life going and to be kind to one another. We are the ones who can show kindness, compassion and tolerance to those who don’t look like us. 
There is beauty left in the world and each of us has a light to shine. Please, take time to shine your light today wherever you are. 
Sending you love and light,
Melissa
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Best Essential Oils For Nausea

Essential oils for nausea, nausea relief, best essential oils for nausea, natural remedies for nausea, aromatherapy for nausea, nausea and the flu

Finally, someone in the allopathic medical community understands the benefits of essential oils for nausea. Of course, it’s three cheers for all of you nurses who know the power of aromatherapy! You’re awesome and you know as well as I do, nurses keep the doctors from killing you. (I say that only half jokingly.)

Natural Remedies for Nausea

My aunt has been a registered nurse for over 40 years and she sent me a very interesting article about using aromatherapy for nausea. I say this because I was surprised that the allopathic medical community is open to natural remedies for nausea. Sorry to be so blunt, but amirite?

Health Leaders Media posted an article about a trial with essential oils when a patient comes to the emergency room with abdominal pain and nausea.

The emergency room nursing staff at a Council Bluffs, Iowa hospital conducted a test on patients complaining of these issues:

“But in spring 2018, the nursing staff tried something new to help patients with nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain find more immediate relief from their issues – essential oils.

And they experienced success, particularly in seeing a 26-minute drop in the time it took for patients to receive an intervention for these complaints.

In the past, “It was taking about 43 minutes from arrival for the patients to get something for the nausea,” Morse says. “After we started using [the essential oil blend], we noted our median time was about 17 minutes.”

Did you read that? A 26-MINUTE DROP?? 

It gets better:

Besides the significant drop in time to intervention once the essential oils became available, a retrospective chart review found there was documented improvement of symptoms in about 50% of patients who used the treatment. Fifty-two patients received the intervention over the one-month project.

Now, I realize this isn’t a full-blown clinical trial with millions of participants. But seriously, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that essential oils are ideal for nausea and abdominal pain. 

Best Essential Oils for Nausea

Here’s the essential oils the nurses used in this intervention:

  • Lavender (Lanvendula angustifolia)
  • Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
  • Peppermint (Mentha x peperita)
  • Spearmint (Mentha spicata)

If you have these oils on hand, put one drop of each on a cottonball or tissue and breathe in deeply through your nose while keeping your lips closed. Peppermint, when inhaled directly from the bottle, will help with nausea on its own.

You can also add a drop of each to a teaspoon of olive or coconut oil and rub directly on your belly. 

This blend is good for nausea relief from chemotherapy, post-operative recovery, food poisoning and motion sickness, too. If you’re experiencing morning sickness, you can use the lavender, ginger and spearmint to help you through the nausea. In all instances, if you’re pregnant, please omit the peppermint.

I make this blend on an as-needed basis, so if you want to stock up before you need it, now is the time to do it. A 5 mL bottle is $19.95. When ordering online, simply add the Custom Blend option to your cart and let me know you want Queaze-EZ in the notes. You can always fill out the contact form or send an email, too. It’s that simple!

Aromatherapy for Nausea

Do you see why I keep saying that aromatherapy should be part of your healthcare routine? I’m not saying that aromatherapy keeps you perfectly healthy forever and ever amen – not a chance! But using essential oils on a daily basis and especially when a minor health concern crops up simply makes sense.

How much money do you think you’d save if you could take care of minor concerns before they became full blown medical emergencies? And don’t you think that natural remedies are much better for you than all the toxic chemicals found on the drug store shelf?

Nausea and The Flu

Y’all, the flu season has begun – it runs from October to March here in North Carolina. Wouldn’t it make sense to keep a small bottle of this stuff on hand just in case? When you’re feeling puny, natural remedies for nausea are always the most effective.

Aromatherapy just makes so much sense in our complicated world and I’m grateful to the nurses out there who understand its’ value and power. Want more information? Simply fill out the short contact form and let’s talk today!

Blessings,

Melissa

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.

 

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Why Your Joints Hurt Before It Rains

Barometric Pressure, Barometric Pressure and Aching Joints, Why Your Joints Hurt Before It Rains, Knee Pain When It Rains, Aching Joints, Joints Hurt

If you live with arthritis, you probably wonder why your joints hurt before it rains. I never really understood how that works so I did a little digging. While I’m not a doctor by any sane stretch of the imagination, I want you to feel better. Knowledge is power and allows you some control over your health and doesn’t that make you feel better already?

In North Carolina, we’ve dealt with a couple of hurricanes this year already – dayum – enough is enough – and you’ve probably been in pain more lately. Here’s why.

Barometric Pressure

A lot of people believe they hurt more when it’s raining, but that’s not really the cause of aching joints. Most likely, you can tell me when the weather changes long before it ever gets here. All you know is that you have knee pain when it rains. Why?

Barometric pressure.

When the barometric pressure is higher, it “presses” in on your body holding your tissues in place. You really don’t feel it, but it’s there. Conversely, when the barometric pressure falls, there’s less pressure on your body which gives your tissues room to swell. And you hurt more.

If you are a weather watcher, then you know the barometric pressure falls right before it rains. That’s less pressure on your body, your tissue swells and your joints ache.

The Arthritis Foundation says this about cooler temperatures and falling barometric pressure:

A study from Tufts University in 2007 found that every 10-degree drop in temperature corresponded with an incremental increase in arthritis pain. In addition, relatively low barometric pressure, low temperatures and precipitation can increase pain. Researchers aren’t sure why this happens. They suspect certain atmospheric conditions increase swelling in the joint capsule.

We’re into October, it’s cooling off and your joints hurt more lately. Yes, it’s miserable and I’m sorry that you hurt.

If you’d like to track this, you can personalize your own weather forecast to connect the dots between falling barometric pressure and arthritis pain. Accuweather.com has an Arthritis Index based on the weather. When you go to their site, look toward the top of the menu (I’m working on a laptop) for the medical cross and click on the arrow to the right of the medical cross. You’ll see a dropdown menu and you can pick any number of concerns such as allergies, arthritis, migraines and cold/flu.

If nothing else, you get a heads up to better plan your day around the weather – even if it is unpredictable!

What Can I Do To Feel Better?

If you have chronic pain and/or arthritis pain – and have been diagnosed by a doctor – there are several things you can do to help yourself.

  1. If it’s cold outside, layer up! Most office buildings are freezing cold in the wintertime, so wear a couple of layers such as a camisole or an extra pair of socks to keep your bones warmer. I now have a pair of those fingerless gloves because I’m miserable when my hands are cold! I found a couple of links for you on Amazon (not affiliate links): Half Finger Gloves and Cable Knit Fingerless Gloves.
  2. Wear compression clothing – as in wrap your knee or ankle in an elastic bandage. This compresses the area and helps keep the swelling to a minimum.
  3. You’ll hate me for this one, but mild and gentle exercise is one of the best ways to reduce the stiffness. Swimming in particular is very helpful and doesn’t put any pressure on your already sore joints. Seriously – this alone is worth the cost of a Y-membership!
  4. Take regular Yoga classes. I love yoga. I’ve learned to breathe deeply and stretch my body and my bones. It’s gentle, effective, helps with your range of motion and who doesn’t need some awesome self-care? I absolutely love my yoga instructor at Lovingkindness Reiki and Yoga. If you haven’t tried, now is a great time. One more thing about yoga. You’ll find classes for women – and men – of all shapes, sizes and health levels. GO – today!
  5. Acupuncture has been proven to relieve pain along with many other health concerns. Please don’t use this instead of proper medical care! The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health has an excellent article on their website that gives you lots of information.
  6. Allow me to tell you about Flexatoid for Rheumatoid Arthritis. It’s one of my most requested products for chronic pain. Flexatoid is warming to your skin and the essential oils in the blend address the pain, inflammation and joint swelling. It’s good for any chronic pain.

I’m a huge fan of Integrative medicine as it incorporates the very best of Western medicine (if there is such a thing) yet looks outside the box for more holistic answers to your health concerns. If you live in or near the Winston-Salem, NC area, there are two practitioners that practice integrative medicine to serve your body, mind and spirit:

  • Robinhood Integrative Health on Robinhood Road. I’ve been a patient there for over a decade and appreciate their care and concern. They have an on-premises supplement shop and you’ll find some Scented Balance products there.
  • Thrive Integrative Health on Reynolda Road. While I’m not a patient here, I have met Dr. Young and appreciate her holistic approach.

Each of these practitioners are concerned about your well-being, not just shoving a pill down your throat. I realize that’s a sharp comment, but if you know me at all, you know the rough time I’ve had with allopathic physicians.

I hope I’ve helped you today because I want you to be informed and have an easier time of taking charge of your own health. If you’re looking for more holistic solutions to your health concerns, please fill out this short contact form and let’s talk – today!

Blessings,

Melissa

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 physician before beginning any exercise program.

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5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Take NSAIDs

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Take NSAIDs, NSAIDs, anti-inflammatory, ibuprofen, is aspirin an nsaid

There’s a lot of people out there – maybe you – who experience pain of some sort quite often. And, I’ll bet you take NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or aspirin to relieve the pain. Here’s 5 reasons why you shouldn’t take NSAIDs along with some excellent alternatives.

What Are NSAIDs?

According to the website Drugs.com, NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are a group of medicines that relieve pain and fever and reduce inflammation.

There are nearly two dozen different NSAIDs available, but they all work in the same way, and that is by blocking a specific group of enzymes called cyclo-oxygenase enzymes, often abbreviated to COX enzymes. These enzymes are responsible for the production of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are a group of compounds with hormone-like effects that control many different processes such as inflammation, blood flow, and the formation of blood clots.

They’re commonly used to relieve mild to moderate pain caused by headaches, migraines, muscle strains and sprains, menstrual cramps, arthritis and toothaches.

Ah, but at what cost? On the surface, it seems fast, cheap and easy to pop a couple and go on about your business, but in the long run, it’s damaging to your body. Truthfully, that cost is too high under any circumstances.

According to Drugs.com, if you take NSAIDs for long periods of time or at higher doses, you could be putting your life at risk. (Is aspirin an NSAID? The short answer is yes.)

The good news is there’s healthy and natural alternatives to NSAIDS and that’s where aromatherapy shines!

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Take NSAIDs

Reason #1 – Digestive Woes

NSAIDs, including aspirin and Ibuprofen, block the release of prostaglandins which protect your stomach against stomach acid. Taken too often, you may experience irritation to your stomach lining which shows up as heartburn, stomach pain and possibly bleeding. Other side effects an include bloating, diarrhea or constipation. If you’re experiencing these digestive symptoms, Tummy Tamer Aromatherapy Roller Ball helps to ease heartburn, stomach cramps, gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation.

Reason #2 – More Headaches

Huh? You take ibuprofen 3 or 4 times a week to relieve your stress headache, but doing so may actually cause a rebound headache. Constant use of NSAIDs may cause changes in hormones and inhibitory pathways resulting in headache pain. A plant-based alternative is Headache Ease Aromatherapy Roller Ball. It addresses your headache and migraine pain with no nasty side effects – and no rebound headache.

Reason #3 – Hearing Impairment

Hmmm…all this time you thought it was selective hearing! But, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, frequent use of ibuprofen increases the risk of hearing loss particularly in men. This also includes ringing of the ears known as tinnitus. It’s rare, usually associated with high doses and the issue usually goes away after you stop taking NSAIDs. 

Reason #4 – Nasty Skin Eruptions

Because ibuprofen blocks so many different pathways, your skin could erupt with no real explanation. Truthfully, any synthetic drug you take could cause skin rashes as you’re introducing a foreign substance into your body and rashes are a known side effect of most drugs. According to DermNetNZ.com (a website about all things skin) NSAIDs commonly cause itching, rashes and hives. PsoMaxx Salve will help to calm your skin and again, there’s no nasty side effects or damage to your liver.

Reason #5 – Kidney Damage

According to Drugs.com, NSAIDs may also affect kidney function and reduce how quickly blood flows through the kidneys. They may cause retention of sodium and water which can lead to edema and high potassium levels. Occasionally, they may cause more serious damage to the kidneys.

Why Aromatherapy Makes Sense

The more I studied to get my aromatherapy certification, the more scared I got. There’s a ridiculous amount of toxic chemicals in products we depend on everyday to make us feel better. These very products are making us sick!

If you’re taking NSAIDs everyday for pain from arthritis, please try Flexatoid for Rheumatoid Arthritis. It specifically addresses pain and inflammation without any negative side effects.

A certified aromatherapist is trained in the safe use of essential oils that make a huge difference in pain, skin conditions, digestive disorders, anxiety, depression, stress  and many other concerns that we deal with in daily life.

I’m proud to be a certified aromatherapist, and I can tell you firsthand how I transformed my life simply by reducing the chemical load on my body with aromatherapy blends.

If you know someone who takes NSAIDs regularly, please share this post with them. If you’re taking NSAIDs way too much, please fill out this simple contact form and let’s talk TODAY!

Blessings,

Melissa

P.S. Aromatherapy will transform your life!

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.