About a year ago I started loosely looking into essential oils. I’d seen some stuff on facebook about doTERRA and some other oil brands, but I definitely wasn’t ready to make the plunge and drop money on something I was so unsure about. I ordered some kits off of amazon and a diffuser. I will say, the cheap stuff got me hooked, but I love doTERRA so much more and the cost is absolutely 100% worth it.
When I started with oils I was really just diffusing them. What really got me started in looking into essential oils at all was Bath & Body works Aromatherapy line. When I was in the process of healing from my headaches I found a lot of relief from the stress relief products from Bath & Body Works. That lotion was a life saver at the time. I’d rub it on my neck and shoulders and shortly after feel relief from my headaches, which helped until the ibuprofen and caffeine kicked in. It was really the peppermint and eucalyptus in the lotion that helped me.
Before we get too far I’m going to back-track and share a little bit of my story. My sophomore year of college I got my monthly migraine with my monthly cycle. I’d gotten one for years and had learned to accept as my little warning sign for my cycle. In October of that year my cycle ended but my migraine hadn’t gone away yet. My professors started to notice I was off. My roommates, friends and parents all started to express concern after a couple weeks of this headache teetering between debilitating migraine and functional headache. In November I started going to doctors. First I went to my family doctor, and what he wanted to try didn’t work. My nursing professor sent me to her kids ENT. He cleared me, saying my sinuses were great and referred me to a neurologist who I couldn’t get in to see until January. I continues to persevere through January until I saw him where I was diagnosed with chronic tension migraines.
My neurologist started my treatment plan with a physical therapist. I had terrible balance and poor vision. We also utilized heat therapy on my tense neck and shoulder muscles. After a month with minimal improvement my neurologist gave me the option to start taking nortriptyline a tricyclic antidepressant to help suppress my nervous system. From February through the first week of April I took my medication, went to therapy twice a week, and slept more than I thought possible. Slowly I started to feel better and April 4, 2013 I woke up for the first time since mid-October 2012 without a headache. It was the most glorious day. I graduated physical therapy and was able to decrease the frequency of my neurologist visit.
Over the course of nursing school I had to increase my medication dose (always discussed with my doctor first). I was able to keep my headaches at bay. Still getting them with my monthly cycle, but they were manageable and I wasn’t constantly in so much pain I was nauseous 98% of the time so I was pretty pleased.
Fast forward to summer going into my final semester of nursing school. I started working out on a regular basis and was taking baby steps to live my life rather than exist and “get through” life. I was doing a lot better than I had been through most of nursing school. I’d learned to say no to people. I’d learned to take a weekly “self-care” night. I was taking 30mg of nortriptyline and was struggle-busing to wake up. I was back to wanting to sleep 16+ hrs a day. I knew the side effects of my medication were sleepiness, that’s why I took it before bed. I was eating healthy, I was exercising, the only thing I saw that I could change was my medication. I decided to start decreasing my medication and see what happened. I went to by 10mg at a time (they were 10mg pills). I took 20 mg for about 6 weeks and had a few weeks where I wasn’t plagued by exhaustion, but then it came back so I decreased by 10mg again and was only taking 10mg which was what I had started at. The same thing happened, and eventually I was weaned all the way off. My doctor knew I was a nurse and we discussed safe titration of this medication. In July of 2017 I was cleared from neurologist and was told only to make an appointment if I felt I needed it. By October 2017 I was completely off my medication.
A couple other things to know – prior to getting sick I was around 130lbs. At my first neurologist appt I was 108lbs, when I later learned how much weight I’d lost from October to January it really put into perspective for me how sick I was. By the time I was cleared from neurologist I was 157lbs. I needed to gain about 20lbs of the 50 I had put on. One of those negative side effects of mood stabilizing medication is weight gain.
Alright, so now that you know a little more about me, let’s continue with my oil journey.
I was dabbling in oils right. Diffusing. Occasionally dropping some lavender in my bath. I was really nervous about putting them on my skin. There was still a lot I felt I didn’t know. Then a nurse blogger that I follow started posting more stuff about doTERRA and using essential oils. I learned that doTERRA oils are CPTG (Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade®). Which is the purification and testing process to ensure these oils are the pure plant product and there are no additives. To read more about that click here. The nurse blogger I mentioned started sharing this face wash recipe that I really wanted to try, she was doing these different education groups that I joined to learn more about oils to see if it was something I wanted to invest my money in. I was quickly convinced that doTERRA was absolutely worth it.
I’ve only been buying doTERRA since January but I am absolutely hooked. I am so excited to continue to learn and grow more. I love making my own face wash, body butter, face masks, hair masks and more. I love diffusing different combinations of oils and genuinely noticing a change in my mood.
As I’m working on my oil stuff tonight I am diffusing 4 drops of motivate and 2 drops of peppermint to keep me going. I diffuse lavender before bed everyday. I love diffusing peppermint, wild orange and lemon while I drink my coffee in the morning.
When I first bought doTERRA I was encouraged to use oils everyday in some capacity. For the most part I just diffused them. I started small and now they’re my go-to. I started feeling congested so I rubbed breathe on my chest and on guard on my feet. Since I started diffusing lavender each night and rubbing it on my feet before bed I sleep so much better. I drove to New Jersey the other weekend to visit my boyfriend. When I started to get tired in my 9 hour drive I pulled out my peppermint oil, rubbing it on my temples and putting a drop in my 32oz water bottle. Within 5 mins I was feeling much more alert and energized to finish my drive. I carry a roller bottle of balance with me in my scrubs pocket at work for when I’m starting to feel overwhelmed. My coworkers know I have oils with me and ask me if they can put a few drops in a mask prior to doing a stinky task.
The thing is doTERRA and essential oils are only one piece. In addition to utilizing oils, I set a goal to go to yoga twice a week and run twice a week. I cook a majority of my food, especially dinner food. I pack snacks for work, and try to pack my lunch so I don’t end up eating chicken fingers and fries for dinner 3 days a week.
Since December 2017 when I graduated nursing school, I have had less headaches with a maximum of 2 a month, I have lost nearly 20 lbs, I have more energy, I’m happier and healthier. I don’t miss eating pizza and chinese take out for dinner 3 nights a week. I’ve learned a lot in the kitchen (though my meals are really rather basic). I love cooking. I save money by cooking most of my food, and I feel so much better.
To learn more about joining doTERRA and starting your oil journey follow this link.
If you have any questions about oils, healthy living, headaches, or really anything please comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org