Home Remedy for Muscle and Joint Pain

When I was in high school, I remember my left knee getting awfully sore and swollen during my senior year–particularly after physical activity. As a show choir member (we did lots of dancing if you’re not familiar with show choir) and golfer, I was fairly active. As a right-handed golfer, specifically, my left knee took the majority of the turning and follow-through weight. With summer fast approaching, marching band was coming, and I was the captain of the colorguard. Let me just say we did A LOT of running, often wearing shoes or even strappy sandals with no support.

I finally decided to get it checked out at the doctor. I was told I had bursitis. If you’re not familiar with bursitis, it’s the inflammation of the small, fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that lubricate and cushion your joints. My doctor recommended a compression sleeve whenever I was participating in physical activity, followed by a rotation of heat and ice to ease the pain and swelling.  Though basic home treatment typically clears it up in a few weeks, it’s not uncommon for recurrent flare ups to happen.

After high school, I’ll admit I was fairly lazy and not nearly as active, so I didn’t have many issues for several years. At the ripe old age of 32, I decided it was time to get into shape. I started with Insanity at home. For the record, Insanity is indeed insane. Works great though if you stick to it! After I finished that, I thought it sounded like a good idea to become a runner. I always liked the idea of being a runner, but I’d never done it. Why not start in your 30s with no help?

I’ll tell you why not: your body isn’t ready for it, and proper shoes are ESSENTIAL. I went into it cold turkey and picked shoes I thought were cool–Five Fingers. While I loved the feeling of nearly shoeless running, I quickly learned it was a terrible idea for me. When my left knee started to get sore just minutes into a jog, I knew something was up. Back to the doctor I went. He diagnosed me with a sprained MCL, due to overpronation. He also suspected a bit of flare up of bursitis.

I was told no running for 2-3 weeks, and when I was ready to start again, I needed different shoes–shoes that better supported my gait and would minimize overpronation. I also incorporated a compression sleeve with side braces when I started running again to help stabilize my knee. Though all of these things helped, my age wasn’t on my side, and I still had some minor discomfort following runs, volleyball games, and sometimes even lawn mowing. That’s when I turned to essential oils for the last bit of relief.

I made a roller bottle that I would apply after any sort of physical activity, and let me say it helps a ton! It includes the essential oils of copaiba, Deep Blue (a doTERRA proprietary blend), and frankincense. Let’s first talk about why I chose those three oils:

  • Copaiba is a powerful antioxidant known to reduce pain and inflammation*.
  • Deep Blue is a doTERRA proprietary blend containing the oils of wintergreen, camphor, peppermint, ylang ylang, helichrysum, blue tansy, blue chamomile, and osmanthus. This combination of oils has an amazing cooling effect and provides great relief to achy muscles and joints*.
  • Frankincense is often referred to as the “king of oils” for its many health benefits. It has a warming and soothing effect that nicely counters the cooling effect of Deep Blue. (Think Icy Hot.)

Become a doTERRA wholesale member today to get the absolute best pricing on certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils available!

The last ingredient you’ll need is fractionated coconut oil. I love Molivera Organics, and I typically order it on Amazon. The especially handy thing about this particular bottle is that it comes with a pump top. That makes it easy to fill your roller bottle! Get it here.

For storage, you’ll need a 10-mL roller bottle. For ease of application, I prefer a steel roller ball vs. a plastic one; it just rolls more nicely. Additionally, I like to store mine in cobalt or amber glass to prolong the life of the oils. When not in use, keep your roller bottle in a cool, dark place. Need roller bottles? Get a 6-pack here or a 24-pack here. Okay, now we’re ready to make your roller bottle!

Ingredients:

  • 15 drops Deep Blue essential oil blend
  • 7 drops copaiba essential oil
  • 3 drops frankincense essential oil
  • Fractionated coconut oil

Make It:

  1. Add essential oils to your roller bottle.
  2. Fill the bottle with fractionated coconut oil.
  3. Cap and shake gently.

To use it, simply roll it on as needed to your achy muscles and joints. When possible, allow to dry before covering with clothing.

Don’t want to make it yourself? Buy it now.

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

Colic Relief with Essential Oils

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Being a parent is tough; there are no ifs, ands, or buts, or about it. Newborns bring with them a whole set of unique challenges. Between middle-of-the-night feedings, constant diaper changes, and all the other struggles that come with newborns, parents are just plain tired. We’re told to “sleep when they sleep,” which in theory is great, but who has time for that?

The time when they’re sleeping is when you finally have a few minutes to clean up the kitchen, throw in some laundry, or just grab the mail. Or if you’re like me, you’re working from home, so those precious minutes when they’re sleeping are when you’re trying to get some work done. Throw colic into the mix, and your stress level doubles. No matter what we do, we just can’t seem to console the poor little one.

Our son was less than a week old when the colic started in. As a first-time parent, I didn’t even know what was going on. I knew he was fussy almost all the time, but I didn’t know why. Then I learned about colic. I had of course heard the word but had no idea what it really was. I still don’t. What I do know, though, is it’s no fun, and it’s often digestion- or gas-related.

Our first phone call was to the chiropractor. My chiropractor has two (now grown) boys of his own, and he has tons of experience with chiropractic care for people of all ages–including babies and young kids. When I called to make the appointment, I was nearly in tears just explaining what was happening. I was ecstatic to get in that same afternoon. By the time we arrived at the appointment, I was desperate for anything that would just calm him for more than a few minutes.

After a brief discussion of the delivery and a Q&A about his current health and behavior, I handed the little man over to our doctor. He made a couple tiny adjustments and passed him back, and we were on our way. It was like a light switch! He went from seemingly nonstop fussy to happy and chill almost immediately. My husband, who had previously been a bit unsure of chiropractic care, was SOLD.

To help our little guy going forward, I also mixed up a roller bottle with essential oils and fractionated coconut oil. For babies under a year, you only need about 4 drops of essential oils in a 10-mL roller bottle. Be sure to use only certified pure therapeutic grade oils–especially on babies and kids. I use and recommend doTERRA oils. Sign up as a wholesale member today, and order doTERRA oils for 25% off retail price!

Ok, enough talk. Ready for the roller bottle recipe?

Ingredients:

Make It:

  1. Add essential oils to your roller bottle.
  2. Fill with fractionated coconut oil.
  3. Cap and shake.
  4. To use it, apply after feeding or as needed to baby’s tummy in clockwise circles around the belly button.

*Lavender and wild orange worked great for us, but you may find other oils are more successful for you and your little one. Other good options to consider are cardamom, ginger, and chamomile. What other natural remedies have you found success with for colic?

Stress & Anxiety Relief with Essential Oils

AnxietyRollerEver since I was a kid, I’ve struggled occasionally with anxiety. I’m not anxious all the time, but I do have some specific triggers that give me panic attacks. As a kid, I didn’t understand what it was, so I just “dealt” with it–I was NOT successful on that front! When I got into college and gained a better understanding of what was happening, I spoke with my doctor. He gave me a prescription for Xanax and told me to take it as needed. I’ll admit–the stuff worked great. But, it also knocked me out for hours. That wasn’t terribly ideal.

Then I got pregnant for the first time. One of my biggest anxiety triggers is pretty much anything medical–pain, blood, and especially needles. Needless to say, the whole idea of going through the pregnancy and childbirth was scary. Obviously, I couldn’t take Xanax to help me, so I suffered through it. Every blood draw resulted in my getting light headed and often throwing up. (Did I mention my anxiety comes with a super nervous stomach??) If you know anything about the glucose test, you can only imagine how that went! And when they put my IV in in prep for delivery, well I threw up then too.

OK I digress, and I’m sure you didn’t come here to read my crazy story (and believe me when I tell you that’s just one…). Anyhow, since my first pregnancy, I got into this whole essential oils and all-natural approach to my health care. I’m now into my third trimester with our second child, and I’m happy to report I’ve had no issues with blood draws this time around. Why? I created a simple roller bottle with doTERRA essential oils, and I apply it as needed.

If you’ve read any of my other posts, you know I only use and recommend doTERRA oils. I won’t go into the why of that right now, but if you’re interested, check out this video. I can’t say it any better!

Now if you’re wondering how this stuff could possibly work, let me briefly explain. When things are applied to our skin, it takes about 30 seconds for said “things” to get into our bloodstream and about 30 minutes for it to circulate throughout the entire body. The chosen essential oils have their own unique benefits and properties. For this recipe, I use oils known for their calming, grounding, and uplifting effects. I also include cardamom since my anxiety comes with a nervous stomach; cardamom is good for calming the stomach.

A roller bottle with these essential oils is applied topically. Where you apply varies a bit depending on the purpose, but you can’t really go wrong since it will get into the bloodstream eventually either way. For stress and anxiety, I apply it on the back of my neck along the spine as well as the insides of my wrists.

In addition to the ingredients, you’ll also need a 10-mL roller bottle for this recipe. Click here to see the ones I use, available on Amazon. If you would like to get doTERRA oils from me, click here for more info.

Ingredients:

  • Fractionated coconut oil
  • 10 drops Citrus Bliss essential oil blend
  • 10 drops Balance essential oil blend
  • 5 drops cardamom essential oil (not necessary if you don’t have a nervous stomach)
  • 3 drops frankincense essential oil

Make It:

  1. Add essential oils to roller bottle.
  2. Fill roller bottle with fractionated coconut oil.
  3. Cap and shake.

Don’t to make it yourself? Buy it now.

My Favorite doTERRA Holiday Diffuser Blends

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Don’t you just love the holiday season? I’m not generally a fan of winter–or snow, or ice, or any of that other fun stuff, but I make an exception for the holidays! I just love the sights–fresh snow, lights and decorations, a lit tree through the window. I love the smells–baking goodies, hot apple cider, pine trees and garland. Every year from Thanksgiving through the New Year, I love putting different blends of doTERRA oils in my diffusers to create a holiday aroma in the house. Here are a few of my favorites:

Holiday Joy

  • 3 drops wild orange
  • 3 drops peppermint
  • 2 drops frankincense

Christmas Tree

  • 2 drops douglas fir
  • 2 drops Siberian fir
  • 2 drops juniper berry

Hot Cider

  • 3 drops wild orange
  • 2 drops cinnamon bark
  • 1 drop cardamom
  • 1 drop clove

Candy Cane

  • 5 drops peppermint
  • 3 drops bergamot

Ginger Bread House

  • 3 drops ginger
  • 2 drops cinnamon bark
  • 2 drops clove

Merry & Bright

  • 3 drops Siberian fir
  • 2 drops grapefruit
  • 2 drops frankincense

A quick search on Pinterest will find you LOTS more! What are some of your favorites? Share them in the comments!

my favorite diffuser blends

When you get going with essential oils, you’ll quickly learn just how many different things you can do with them! My favorite is diffusing. Because of their aromatic qualities, essential oils are perfect for diffusing. Not only do they provide a pleasant fragrance, but they also can provide many other benefits!

We have three diffusers in our house: one in our bedroom, one in our son’s bedroom, and one in the living room. Two of them are the InnoGear diffuser that I purchased on Amazon. These can run either continuously or intermittently, and they have a fun LED light available (don’t worry, it can be turned off). When you run them intermittently, I find they can run for 10-12 hours! That’s perfect for overnight diffusing in the bedrooms. The other diffuser we have is the doTERRA petal diffuser. It runs continuously for 1 hour, 2 hours, or 4 hours. Both types hold up to 150 mL of water. Assuming you’re using pure oils, I recommend using 8-10 drops of oil per 150 mL of water.

I’m always trying different combinations of essential oils in my diffusers! As I’ve mentioned before, I use and recommend doTERRA oils. Click here for more information on those. Here are some of my favorites (again, per 150 mL of water). Share your favorites in the comments!

  • Runny nose: 4 drops OnGuard (doTERRA proprietary blend), 3 drops Breathe (doTERRA proprietary blend), 3 drops lemongrass
  • Cough: 4 drops Breathe (doTERRA proprietary blend), 3 drops melaleuca, 3 drops eucalyptus
  • Congestion: 4 drops Breathe (doTERRA proprietary blend), 3 drops peppermint, 3 drops eucalyptus
  • Relaxation: 6 drops lavender, 4 drops wild orange
  • Fever: 3 drops peppermint, 3 drops lavender, 3 drops eucalyptus
  • Increase focus and alertness: 4 drops peppermint, 3 drops lemon, 3 drops frankincense
  • Headache: 5 drops peppermint, 5 drops lavender
  • Upset stomach: 6 drops peppermint, 4 drops ginger
  • Sadness: 3 drops lemon, 3 drops lavender, 4 drops ylang ylang
  • Immune boost: 5 drops frankincense, 5 drops OnGuard

my top 8 essential oils

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Did you know there are nearly 100 essential oils? Some are pretty common like lavender and lemon. Others are more obscure like cardamom and helichrysum. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s also important to consider the quality of the oils you choose, as they are not all created equal. I use and recommend doTERRA oils. They are therapeutic-grade and pure; that makes them far more effective.

Now I know what you’re thinking…nearly 100?! Where do I even start? I’m going to tell you about my eight favorites and their uses to give you a starting point (in alphabetic order):

Cedarwood

  • Relaxes the mind and body, easing aches & pains, anxiety, restlessness, and more
  • Supports healthy respiratory function
  • Promotes clear, healthy skin
  • Repels insects
  • Used in my recipes: flea/tick repellent collar, bug spray

Frankincense

  • Clears the mind and allows for better focus
  • Is anti-inflammatory, making it great for headaches, arthritis, sore muscles, sore joints, and more
  • Used in my recipes: pain relief roller, soothing muscle cream

Geranium

  • Hydrates dry skin
  • Repels bugs, making it great for homemade bug spray and flea/tick collars for the dogs (recipes coming soon!)
  • Used in my recipes: flea/tick repellent collar

Lavender

Lemon

Melaleuca (tea tree)

  • Clears blemishes like acne and blackheads
  • Is anti-bacterial
  • Soothes minor skin irritations from things like scrapes, rashes, burns (including sun burn), and skin allergies
  • Used in my recipes: butt balm, face wash, lotion

Peppermint

  • Eases cough, congestion, and sore throat
  • Soothes upset stomach, including diarrhea, morning sickness, and indigestion
  • Reduces aches & pains like headaches and muscle & joint soreness
  • Used in my recipes: deodorizing spray for dogs, pain relief roller, flea/tick repellent collar, bug spray

Wild Orange

happy tot roller

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Feeling anxious, stressed, uptight, or just a bit down? This essential oil roller has a wonderful calming, uplifting effect. I use it whenever my toddler gets a bit unruly! Lavender essential oil is a great natural remedy for, among countless other things, anxiety and stress. Wild orange also eases anxiety as well as sadness and nausea. Make this simple roller, and you have a perfect, natural solution to your anxiety, stress, and sadness. You’ll need a 10-mL roller bottle (any color or clear). Not sure where to get one? Check here.

Ingredients:

Make It:

  1. Add essential oils to roller bottle.
  2. Fill with fractionated coconut oil.
  3. Cap and shake to mix oils.

Apply as needed to the chest. This roller can be used on all ages!