Bye Bye Back Pain (cont.)

Last week I wrote a post about kissing back pain goodbye. I was not finished when I finished! I have a few more thoughts and suggestions to offer.

Suggestions #2 and #4 I mentioned previously and I am re-writing; reminding you again of their healing virtues.

1. Stop doing whatever activity is disturbing your back health. This suggestion is sometimes easier said than done. For example, vacuum cleaning can be rough on the low back. Paying attention to body dynamics and how you actually push the vacuum cleaner (whole body push vs. pushing by bending from the waist, waist pushing creates and exacerbates the low back problem.)

2. Acupuncture helps to relieve the inflammation allowing the body to go back into alignment.

3. Yoga is an amazing whole body wellness tool and creates a good "aahhhh" feeling in the back.  Yoga builds core strength: strength in both your abdominal and back muscles. This strength of core is a gift to your spinal health. Strong muscles support the spine and your whole body has better posture and carries you through life like a dance.

4. Chiropractic care helps to put the body back into alignment. Here in Potsdam, NY we have BodyWorks Chiropractic Care:    Dr. Roy and his wife have a beautiful healing practice.

5. Ma-RollerThe MA Roller is a self-massage tool that gently stretches the spine and deeply massages the anti-gravity paraspinal muscles, like very deep-tissue work.

This tool helps to relieve pressure points and get the kinks out.

How to use the Ma Roller is explained quite well on the website link above.

I have one, I use it, and I love it.

6. Lumbar Extender: This little gem is great for returning the natural curve of the lower back relieving pain and inflammation created from incorrect posture (the low back bulging out instead of curving inward) and poor sitting habits.

The Lumbar Extender is used to help relieve chronic back pain, correct postural imbalances, restore the natural curvature of the back, and improve flexibility in shoulder and back muscles.

I have recommended this "back bender" many times over the years. It has helped relieve disk problems and avoid disk surgery.

Me, draped over my back soothing device.

Me, draped over my back soothing device.

I confess, I receive zero kickbacks for suggesting these products. You can find them on eBay and Amazon, new and used. Do not buy the knock off version of the Lumbar Extender called the Back Magic. The story is that the less expensive product is made with lower quality materials that have been known to break soon after purchase.

I have had the lumbar extender for 15 years; no damage, wear, or tear!

Cheers to a healthier back in 2015

                                                                                                            Join the School of Self Healing to learn more health enhancing skills To place in your own medicine bag & use in your daily life and quest for vibrant health!  

Click image above or one of the links below to learn more information and get Self-Healing today!

Seasonal Allergies: Gear Up Now!

nettles What would a healing post, from me, be without my favorite herb... stinging nettles!  It is my "go to" herb for all nourishing and healing needs.  Start with nettles + herbs specific for the health symptoms = healing equation!

Got allergies?  Gear up now to fortify your body before pollen season. (I know, it does seem like winter will never go away, here in Northern NY!  But, pollen season will happen!) This self-responsible, preventative health action will help to ease the seasonal allergy symptoms.  Breathe freely this spring, summer, and fall...

1.  Freeze dried stinging nettles:  Get to Nature's Storehouse, Canton, NY and purchase some freeze-dried stinging nettles.  Start taking them now to calm and heal your immune system and relieve the seasonal pollen allergies.  

freeze nettle

2.  Local, raw honey.  Start eating 1/2 to 1 teaspoon two times daily, now.  Local, raw honey will acclimate your body to the local allergens before they bloom and blossom. This local honey will help to relieve or even rid your seasonal pollen allergies.


3.  Herbal Formula:  Herbs Etc. is a great company.  I use many of their formulas in healing ways with friends, family, and clients.  They work!

Allertonic® Enhances healthy inflammatory responses of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. Stabilizes mast cell walls and fixed antibodies found in the eyes and respiratory system, keeping the tissues calm. Normalizes secretion of the respiratory system, liquefies mucus, stimulates its removal from the lungs, and keeps pulmonary tissues hydrated.

Ingredients: Fresh Stinging Nettle herb, Licorice root, Eyebright herb, Horehound herb, Osha root, fresh Horsetail herb, fresh Mullein leaf, Elecampane root, and fresh Plantain leaf.

Suggested Use:

Acute: Take one soft gel or 40 drops with water every two to three hours until comfort is achieved or as directed by your health care professional. Noticeable comfort is attained within the first or second day. Switch to ongoing use.

Ongoing: Take one soft gel or 40 drops with water three times a day.

Proactive: Two months prior to seasonal challenges, take one soft gel or 40 drops with water twice a day.


4.  Yes, you can use all three of these natural, allergy relief "foods" as a preventative measure.  Start now, before the snow melts!

5.  Whole foods:  I would be seriously amiss as a whole food, holistic healer if I did not tell you that the foods you put into your body, every time you eat, affect the way you feel.  Eat crap, feel like crap!  If you over load your body with packaged, factory made foods, you overwhelm your immune system (actually, you overwhelm your whole body, every body cell!).  Your immune response to allergens in the seasonal air will be seriously heightened if your body is already overwhelmed by crap food.  Eat whole, love your body cells!

6.  Liver Nourishment:  As I write this post, I have a draft post on liver nourishment, ready to go.  Be looking for it.  Keeping the liver healthy will cut down on seasonal allergy symptoms.

7. Acupuncture: is an excellent healing tool in the seasonal allergy toolbox. Give Five Elements Living a call if allergy relief is in your plans!

PS:  I can order any product from Herbs Etc. for you.  Check Nature's Storehouse OR the Potsdam Food Coop for a similar product.  Compare the ingredients as many herbal companies make allergy relief herbal combinations.

Need Help? Not sure about herbal healing foods:  what to take, how to take it, when to take it, etc?  As a Certified Herbalist, I can help with this!  Give me a shout.

My Secret Face Lift In A Jar

face cream

As I skip down the path of life, getting closer to 50, I realize the signs of aging are here on my face. Now I also realize that my sister, who is 2 years older, looks remarkably younger.  Oh the hazards of a nature girl; worshiping the sun by day and the moon by night, hiking, biking, canoeing, swimming my youth (and any adult moment I can squeeze out) and life away out under the open skies.  If, given the chance, I could do it all over again, I would not hide inside for fear of the sun, wind, rain, snow, and cold's aging effects on my face.  To hell with it all, I have lived to be on the tops of mountains, wandering deep in forests far from civilized life as we know it, riding country roads on my bike, swimming lakes and river .... so be it, I will take the sun and natural elements, wrinkles and all!

Ok, now with all that said, I have some secrets to prevention and repairing the natural elements effects on my skin and its visible signs of aging.

Number one is a whole food diet.  Eating real foods, natural foods, fortifies the body with nutrients we do not even know the names of.  These nutrients work hard to protect and repair. Thank you local farmers, I will eat your whole foods!

Number two through five is good sleep coupled with plenty of fluids, daily body movement, and finding peace within.

From there it helps to use only natural products on your skin.  If I would not put the '"ingredient" in my body because it is not a whole food, why would I put it on my body?

So here are my natural face lift secrets:

1.  I use no sunscreen lest I make it myself (the lotion recipe below is the base for my natural sunscreen).

2.  I wash my face with water only, splashing cold water on in AM and PM.  When living outside I use the springs, rivers, lakes and streams of the Adirondacks for face splashing.

3.  I put pure aloe on my face after splashing:

Aubrey Organics from Nature's Storehouse in Canton,

Mountain Rose Herbs via mail order:

4.   Then I use the lotion I am about to give you the recipe for.  To this I add essential oils specific for sun damaged and aging skin.  There are essential oils specific for sensitive skin, skin from every decade in life, oily and dry skin.... you name it.  Want details, email me.

In the summer, the lotion I use is much lighter, mostly an aloe gel with a just a very few drops of carrier oil and the essential oils specific for sun damaged and aging skin.  This works best in the aloe gel from Mountain Rose Herbs as it is a gel.  The Aubrey Organics aloe is a very liquid consistency, great for putting on after the morning and evening face splashing.

To this face lift in a jar I owe thanks to three fabulous herbalists:  Rosemary Gladstar  (Family Herbal: A Guide to Living Life with Energy, Health, and Vitality), James Green (The Male Herbal), and Valerie Ann Worwood (The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy).  Blending their secrets has created my secret!

face cream

Rosemary's Perfect Cream



2/3 cup distilled water--OR distilled rosewater or -- orange flower water) 1/3 cup aloe vera gel 1 - 2 drops essential oil of choice (here is where I mix and match from James Green and Valerie Ann Worwood's essential oil recommendations) Vitamins A and E as desired


3/4 cup apricot, almond or grape seed oil (I have used organic olive oil, as well) 1/3 cup coconut oil or cocoa butter 1/4 tsp lanolin 1/2 - 1 oz grated beeswax


1. Combine distilled water, aloe vera gel, essential oil and vitamins in a glass measuring cup. (Tap water can be used but it will sometimes introduce bacteria and encourage the growth of mold.) Set aside.

2. In a double boiler over low heat, combine remaining ingredients. Heat just enough to melt.

3. Pour oils into a blender and let cool to room temperature. The mixture should become thick, creamy, semisolid and cream-colored. This cooling process can be hastened in the refrigerator, but keep an eye on it so it doesn't get too hard.

4. When cooled, turn blender on the highest speed. In a slow, thin drizzle pour the water mixture into the center vortex.

5. When most of the water mixture has been added to the oils, listen to the blender and watch the cream. When the blender coughs and chokes, and the cream looks thick and white like butter cream frosting, turn off the blender. You can slowly add more water, beating it in by hand with a spoon, but don't over beat!  The cream will thicken as it sets.

6. Pour into cream or lotion jars. Store in a cool place.

7. For a thinner lotion, use more water.

Paula's IMPORTANT NOTE:  I do not add the essential oils in step #1 as described above.  To me, heating them destroys their natural nutrients. I add the essential oils as an additional step, my step #7.  I add the number of drops, based upon the size of the jars I have put the cream into, and stir with a tiny baby spoon to blend the essential oils well.

Essential oils for sun damaged and aging skin:  Add 4-5 drops per tbsp. of the lotion. James Green's Recommendations (the book Male Herbal) and what I have used for years: lavender, frankincense, carrot seed, Helichrysum italicum (Immortelle). Immortelle is a very expensive oil, but well worth it as per James Green, for its effects on sun damaged skin and skin cancer.

Essential oils for skin over 40: Neroli, lavender, frankincense, rosemary, fennel, carrot, lemon, evening primrose

Sunscreen you ask?  To the above Rosemary Gladstar's lotion I add: 

  • 1 rounded tsp. of Mount Hagen Organic Fair Trade Instant Coffee,

  • 1 rounded tsp. of organic fair trade cocoa powder, and

  • 5-10 drops wild pansy extract.

  • 1/2 tsp. wild pansy powder

  • Wear a wide brim hat during the high, hot hours of the summer days and wing it with the sun and wind on my face at every other moment.

Chemical sunscreens?  Not a chance.  Frankly, I believe they cause skin cancer!

PS For another option to restore your youthful glow:  Call Shelby Connelly, Acupuncturist in Colton. She does an amazing acupuncture face lift. This is a series of treatments to restore vitality to the facial skin.