We all know when we are thriving. We have energy. Our to-do list turns into a got-it-done list. The family is happy. When we are thriving, we look forward to life. Sure, we might be tired at the end of the day, and there are hiccups in life, but overall, we know we can handle it. We can tell when we aren’t thriving, too. We feel drained. Life loses its luster and vitality. We have the blues. Life is a struggle, even if there doesn’t seem to be an external reason for it. We want to thrive, but something is off. What is wrong? For a thing to thrive, it must be treated according to its nature; for a thing to be good for us, it must be used according to its purpose.
Let me demonstrate. A tomato plant has a nature. Its nature demands sunlight, water, and good soil. Stick your tomato plant in the closet with no water or sunlight, and you will have a dying or dead tomato plant and no tomatoes. A tomato plant also has a purpose. Its purpose is to produce tomatoes. Now that’s pretty simple. We can’t use a tomato plant to produce grapes or potatoes. Nor can we eat the leaves for salad. For tomatoes to be a healthy part of our lives, we have to treat them according to their nature and use them for their intended purpose (on tacos).
Every system of our body has a nature and purpose that interacts synergistically with the others. The purpose of our digestive system is to break down food into the proper components and absorb them. We must treat our digestive system according to its nature by feeding it food. That sounds very simple and silly to say, but how many things on the store shelves are what Micheal Pollan calls, “food-like substances”? The internet teems with testimonials of people who have healed damage and disease by removing processed foods. They treated their digestive system according to its nature, nourished it with the proper food and took away those things that damaged it or the rest of the body, and they thrived as a result. Of course, the primary purpose of food is to nourish. Use it for nourishment instead of pleasure, or an anti-depressant, or a companion, and the body thrives.
Our systems work with each other. Make your digestive system sick and everything else suffers. Force your liver to process alcohol or high fructose corn syrup daily, and your fatty liver isn’t the only result. The whole body feels worse. Unbalance the delicate hormones of the brain and develop struggles with depression and anxiety. Eat a constant diet of sugar and processed grains and every cell in the body becomes resistant to the insulin produced by the pancreas. Any of these can lead to skin problems, reproductive problems, nervous system problems, brain problems . . . if one system is unhealthy, all the systems are taxed. But food isn’t the only thing that can tax systems.
Anything that gains access to our body will either support or damage the various systems. Since our skin interacts with the world before our other organs, anything that can permeate the skin can affect us. What can permeate the skin? A discussion on Stack Exchange’s Chemistry site brings up some food for thought. Organic compounds (that’s anything containing carbon), lipophilic solvents (solvents that attach to fat molecules), hormones, phenols, nicotine, and military toxins can all enter our bodies through our skin. While many factors affect whether or not something can “soak into” the skin, it is apparent that many things actually do! A diabetic friend of mine has seen her blood sugar reading rise simply by using a sugar scrub on her hands! Another friend is suffering from numbness and pain in her hands due to using an industrial cleaner at work. If it is on our skin, it is likely in our blood.
Chemicals and compounds can also enter the body by being inhaled. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety lists inhalation of chemicals, mists, and dusts as a workplace risk to be avoided. Numerous medical sites list inhalation as an effective way for certain drugs to enter the bloodstream and go directly to the brain. If we can smell something, we should assume it is in our bloodstream and has access to our brain! And frankly, indoor air is polluted. The EPA itself lists both cleaning products and air fresheners as common sources of indoor pollution. So does the American Lung Association. These things are not working with the nature of our bodies! They are not helping our systems thrive!
What we put in our mouths matters, because it either works with the nature of our bodies and nourishes us or not. What we put on our skin matters, because it either works with our body, or against it in damaging ways. What we inhale matters, because those substances can enter our bloodstream and either support our systems or break them down.
Are your cleaning products, air fresheners, scented candles, body lotions, shampoos, facial care products, make up . . . everything you inhale and slather on your skin . . . are they working with the nature of your body? Is health the purpose of the chemicals in them? In many cases, the answer is either no, or frighteningly, we don’t know! The Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 grandfathered in 62,000 chemicals used in household products. Another 22,000 have been added to their list, but only 200 of those have been tested, and few of them have been tested very thoroughly. Testing for toxic effects of chemicals is not actually required.
And that’s what I’m getting at. There are products that can clean, products that improve the appearance of skin by working with the skin cells, products that can support healthy digestion and bowl function by working with the cells of the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine, not by fighting against them. That’s where natural products, infused with Grade-A essential oils can do so much for the health of the body. Grade-A essential oils–and Young Living is the only place to buy them–work with your body just like real, nutritious food works with your body.
Essential oils function beautifully in plants, fighting diseases, keeping away pests and predators, and they provide a way to work with the systems of our body. They work with the nature of our body’s systems, supporting their purposes instead of overwriting them. It is the difference between something that kills off disease by killing off healthy cells as well, and something that arms the healthy cells to do the job themselves. Essential oils contain dozens of molecular compounds, and these work to help cells function better. Apply an essential oil to your skin, and it reaches every cell in your body in 20 minutes, supporting every cell.
The respiratory system’s nature and purpose is to bring in clean air to the lungs. The lungs’ nature and purpose is to exchange oxygen for carbon dioxide. So many things in our homes and towns work against that purpose, either from particulates in the air, or from chemicals that cause burning, coughing, narrowed passageways, and irritation. Take them out and replace them with diffused essential oils that don’t burn or cause coughing, that don’t narrow airways or irritate them. If the body is expressing irritation, pain, discomfort, or dysfunction, it is not thriving. It is a signal that it is not being treated according to its nature.
How can we say that essential oils are treating our bodies according to their nature? Substances from plants and animals, instead of those synthesized in a lab, are often more bio-available to us. Vitamins found in our food absorb more easily and thoroughly than synthetic vitamins. Natural progesterone and bio-identical progesterone do not carry the risks of stroke and heart disease that synthetic progesterone does. That’s working with the nature of the body.
Oils, many of which come from edible plants, are very bio-available to us without detrimental side effects. Essential oils from edible plants such as cinnamon bark, clove, lemon, and rosemary are excellent for cleaning and purifying–but they do not harm us. Oils from plants such as citronella and lemongrass are naturally repellent to many insects, but again, are not harmful to us (lemongrass is edible, too). When something supports a body system so it can work better on its own (like bioidentical progesterone helping the reproductive system do its job), we are treating our systems according to their nature. We will thrive, just like that tomato plant in good soil soaking up sunshine and water.
When we make the choice work with our bodies, we are making the choice to thrive. We are choosing vitality. That choice starts by taking away things that work against us and replacing them with things that let our body do its job. We make the choice to keep harmful things–whether processed food or toxic chemicals–away from ourselves and our homes. Amazingly, when we do this, the body fulfills its purpose so much better. The lungs breathe better. Our digestive system absorbs nutrients better. The brain thinks better! We thrive! Isn’t that everyone’s goal?