Monday, January 24, 2011


Over the past year, I have built up a collection of essential oils. I love learning about the different oils and their healing properties. Today I mixed a few drops of clary sage and cedarwood and hopped in my lovely claw foot tub and prepared to melt away my cares. Apparently my cat, Panther, also needed to melt his worries away, too. He had gobbled his breakfast down too quickly, his food bowl was empty, and he was pissed. But he sat there purring on the edge of the tub and let the scent carry him away (I assume to a place with a bottomless food bowl).

Early on in my illness, before it even had a name, I had a lot of pain; more than I can ever put into words. It turns out that the reason for that was that my body was fighting Lyme disease, mono, and a vitamin D deficiency. That time of my illness is a blur of the most agonizing pain I've ever known.

Sometime in those early months, my friend won two tickets to see an amazing jazz musician and took me along. It was one of the best and worst nights of my life. When you're in enormous amounts of pain, all of your senses are heightened. Listening to the music took me away to another world, a world where I wasn't sick anymore. The music was so beautiful it brought me to tears. It was one of the most intense and incredible experiences I've ever felt.

However, by the time we got home I was in utter agony. My muscles were seizing up from being cramped in a tiny chair for two and a half hours. That was the most pain I've ever been in. Now I'm no stranger to pain: both of my children were born 100% naturally, without so much as a Tylenol. But childbirth was nothing compared to that night.

So there I was, writhing on the floor in agony. I couldn't talk or move. My friend (who is a massage therapist) had an aromatherapy bottle and opened it up and waved it under my nose. I was in my own world and was unaware of anything around me other than my pain. All of the sudden, I smelled something so beautiful it took my breath away. It took my brain a minute to figure out where it was coming from. My senses were so heightened from my pain level that it made the smell so intense I felt like I could reach out and touch it. It gave me something to focus on instead of my pain.

From the moment that little bottle was held under my nose, I fell in love with aromatherapy. I credit that bottle (and the friend who held it) with not only saving my life, but sparking a passion for aromatherapy. My friend lent me that little bottle and many times when my pain level would start to escalate, I'd let that scent take me away to a peaceful place. What a wonderful outlet for pain!

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