This is the story of my oily AH-HAH moment.
You see, I was desperate to find something to help my son that wasn't medicating my (then) five year old. Please don't hear me say to you mamas that have gone this route there is ANYTHING wrong with this choice. I know this is a very personal decision and we are all doing the very best we can for our children. To this day, I will never say "never" to medication. Admittedly, the decision to not medicate was overwhelming in itself. Because this means we had to find another way. We started with diet changes (helpful). Then - enter my dear oily friend (VERY helpful). As I mentioned in my last post, she had been trying to rub oils on me for years. I finally agreed to some samples to try with Reed. (I wouldn't even buy them -🙄 )
YOU GUYS, 3 weeks in, his teachers noticed a significant difference in Reed. One even asked if I had medicated him. Another teacher wanted all the details to try on her own son. I literally cried tears of joy. Could this be for real? If it is, then take ALL OF MY MONEY Young Living.
What do we do specifically? That's what I plan to share with you today. Both oily and non-oily tips that have worked for us.
Essential Oils: First, our oily regimen with Reed. Cedarwood, Vetiver, and Lavender have been shown to achieve clinically significant results in individuals with ADHD by Dr. Terry Friedmann, MD. If you care the read the research, you can do so HERE. I combine equal parts of these 3 essential oils in a roller ball and apply twice a day on the base of his neck near his brain stem and bottom of feet (we started with 3x a day in the beginning). We also diffuse any one or a combination of these oils in his room at night. Valor and Peace and Calming are 2 blends that we use as needed; typically for anxiety or erratic type behaviors that stem from Reed's Autism.
Supplements: As a whole, Americans do not get near enough omegas in our diet to properly feed our brain. In my opinion, everyone should take a good fish oil supplement, but this is especially important for those with atypical neurological configurations. Gut health is also very important which I'll talk about next. A good probiotic is instrumental in balancing gastrointestinal health. We prefer Young Living's supplements. Because they are infused with essential oils, studies have shown the body is able to absorb them up to 46% better. Reed takes 4 Omegagize per day plus a Life 9 probiotic. If your child won't swallow a pill, Young Living offers wonderful chewable options for both of these supplements.
Gut Health: If you or your child is on the spectrum, chances are you have dealt with gastrointestinal issues. There seems to be a complicated relationship between Autism and the GI tract. We are no exception and our boy has been through a battery of doctor visits, testing and procedures; all to no avail. Doctors couldn't provide us with answers and at some point the procedures became more agonizing than the symptoms. Because I'm sensitive to the fact my son might one day read this post, I won't be specific with his symptoms but I'm happy to speak to anyone individually in more detail. But I will say constipation was not a symptom. And even though Reed never exhibited any signs of constipation, the doctors recommended we put him on a low dose laxative every single day of his life. What?! I really felt like they didn't have an answer, so just slap some random medicine on it and hope for the best. My gut (and his symptoms in my non-expert mom opinion) said this was not the answer. As we got more consistent with our oils, we started reaching for Digize and Peppermint instead of the synthetic meds. Immediately we saw incredible results. Like all his symptoms DISAPPEARED ya'll.
As a side note, the quality of essential oils absolutely makes a difference. I've tried to save a buck with essential oils from other sources (health food store, amazon). They simply did not work for us. If you ever doubt the difference in quality, one easy test will convince you: Take a whiff of a store bought bottle of peppermint vs. a Young Living bottle of peppermint. (or any of their oils for that matter). Each and every bottle of Young Living essential oil is 100% of that actual oil, and nothing else. It is also vigorously tested to ensure therapeutic grade. This means they don't just smell good, but work with your body at the cellular level to support your emotional, neurological and physical wellness.
Diet: To piggy-back on gut health, we must talk diet. So many physical and neurological imbalances can be traced back to the gut. A good probiotic can help balance your gut bacteria, but we also must be mindful of what we put in our body (and on our body but we will discuss that next). Think about this: our bodies and organs expend energy to keep us going. If we consistently feed our bodies the wrong types of food, our organs go into overdrive trying to digest, process, and eliminate the junk. And if we are taxing our organs in this way, you better believe our bodies and brains will be exhausted and imbalanced. There are many chemicals found in our food that actually exacerbate ADHD/Autism behaviors. 7 years ago, we threw out 80% of the food in our home and made a drastic change in our diet. As a family we do our best to avoid any foods with artificial color (food dye, red 40 seems to be the worst), artificial flavor, artificial sweeteners (no diet drinks), and mainly 3 preservatives found in many packaged foods: BHT, BHA, TBHQ. Increasing nutrient intake has shown to have a beneficial effect in resolving ADHD/Autism so Ningxia Red, a whole food supplement, is also a staple in our home.
Environmental toxins: As much as possible, we've eliminated toxins from our home. We clean our entire house with Thieves Household cleaner and have switched our laundry soap, hand soaps, and personal care products to either Young Living products or other natural alternatives. Instead of candles, we diffuse essential oils. Instead of Lysol to disinfect, we spray Thieves. It was a serious game changer for us to realize that every substance we inhale or put on our skin is absorbed into our body. I'd highly encourage you to download the Think Dirty or EWG app and start scanning products in your home. You might be surprised what you find.
I wouldn't be real if I didn't wrap this post up by admitting one thing. These changes did not happen overnight for our family. It is EASIER to just take a pill. But the side effects and long term dependence ramifications were really worth a hard look at alternatives for us. We've had difficult and emotional conversations with so many people, all with the very best intentions, about medicating Reed. I have defended our decision to not medicate more times than I can remember all the while wondering if I'm making a terrible mistake. If I'm really messing this kid, who I love with all my heart, completely up. But all we could do was pray and ask for direction. Then parent as we felt called to. I am thrilled to be able to say today that we are now 6+ years into Reed's diagnosis and have managed to successfully support him without the use of one single synthetic neurological medication. I won't say we don't face parenting challenges with Reed; that will never be the case; but he is truly thriving and we thank God every day for where he is today.
Interested in learning more? Contact Heather HERE. Or come to our next Intro Class at the studio on Friday January 11, 2018 at 11:30am.
Becoming a member with Young Living affords you a 24% discount on all products plus lots of freebies and rewards with their Essential Rewards Program. To become a member is easy. Purchase a starter kit (at nearly a 50% discount), and get started with a diffuser and Young Living's 11 most diverse essential oils. You can literally replace your entire medicine and cleaning supplies cabinet with this kit!