Magnesium: Hype or Help?

What is the Magnesium Craze All About?

Is it all Hype, or is there really something to the magnesium deficiency that we all seem to have?

I researched this topic extensively and have put all you need to know in this quick-read blog post.  If you’d like to continue your own research, you can start with the links at the end of this article.

I’ve learned that we all are magnesium deficient. There are several reasons for this:

  • Our soils are depleted
  • Taking too much calcium robs our magnesium levels (this includes all the fortified foods that we consume),
  • Stress flushes out magnesium
  • Caffeine and alcohol rob us of magnesium
  • Many medications are responsible for malabsorption of magnesium

Signs that you may be lacking magnesium:

  • Leg Cramps  
    • Restless Leg Syndrome
      • Magnesium plays a role in neuromuscular signals and muscle contraction. You’ll also want to increase your potassium along with magnesium if you suffer from both cramps and RLS.
  • Restlessness
    • Hyperactivity
    • Anxiety
    • Insomnia
      • Magnesium deficiency is often a precursor to Sleep Disorders, insomnia, anxiety, hyperactivity. Magnesium is vital for GABA function, a chemical in the body known to calm the brain and promote relaxation. Magnesium has been shown to calm the body, muscles, and improve mood.
  • Muscle Pain
    • Fibromyalgia
      • Studies have uncovered that increasing magnesium consumption reduces pain and tenderness and improves immune blood markers.
  • Gastrointestinal Conditions
    • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
    • Crohn’s Disease
    • Celiac
      • Since magnesium is absorbed in the gut, issues like IBS, Crohn’s and Celiac al have a tendency to cause magnesium deficiency. 
  • High Blood Pressure
    • Protect the Heart
      • When partnered with calcium, Magnesium supports proper blood pressure.If you have high blood pressure, you may be magnesium deficient and also low in calcium.
  • Type II Diabetes
    • New and Old diabetics are magnesium deficient
      • Diets rich in magnesium significantly decrease the risk of Type II Diabetes because of magnesium’s role in sugar metabolism. 
  • Fatigue
    • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
    • Low Energy
      • Studies show that those suffering fr om fatigue, low energy or chronic fatigue syndrome are magnesium deficient.
  • Migraine Headaches
    • Magnesium deficiency has been linked to migraine headaches due to its importance in balancing neurotransmitters in the body.
  • Osteoporosis
    • Bone Fracture
      • Those who supplement with Calcium, or get a LOT of calcium in their diet through milk and fortified foods actually have MORE osteoporosis than those who don’t consume those. The reason:  It is absolutely imperative that Magnesium accompany Calcium for proper absorption. Calcium cannot build bones or prevent osteoporosis without adequate levels of magnesium. Our bones can actually become more brittle with too much calcium and not enough magnesium to form the flexible matrix and proper density to make bones more resistant to fracture.

 

How to get more magnesium in your diet

Even if you eat a 100% organic, raw plant-based diet, you likely can’t get enough magnesium, due to depleted soil and GMOs.  However, these are foods that are rich in magnesium

  • Spinach
  • Chard
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Almonds
  • Black Beans
  • Avocados

Supplementation:

You may consider taking an all-natural magnesium supplement, but there are some problems with those, as well. A magnesium supplement that is ingested orally is absorbed in the gut.  However, the bioavailability of these supplements (meaning how it is absorbed and used in the body) is not always very good.  Cheap supplements abound, and many manufacturers don’t use the proper form of magnesium.  There are many considerations:

  • Magnesium Glycinate: high bioavailabity, has laxative effect
  • Magnesium Chloride: Topical absorption, highly bioavailable
  • Magnesium Carbonate: Has antacid properties
  • Magnesium Citrate:  Laxative effect
  • Magnesium Oxide:  Stool softening properties
  • Magnesium Sulfate: (milk of magnesia) Typically used as a laxative
  • Magnesium Taurate: Magnesium combined with taurine, an amino acid that tend to provide a calming effect on body and mind
  • Magnesium Threonate: newer type of magnesium appears to be promising.

As you can see, many of these magnesium supplements have a laxative effect, perhaps unwanted.

What I recommend

Magnesium Chloride.   Magnesium Chloride has  a low percentage of Magnesium but the best absorption rate. Delivery is in form of an oil or bath salt, and is absorbed through the skin. It doesn’t need to make it through the gut and get poorly absorbed, and is therefore, a very effective method of Magnesium supplementation. 

How to use Magnesium Chloride

Get your magnesium chloride in the form of a spray, bath salt, or balm.  Start out slowly, and use it daily to gradually increase your magnesiumlevels.  There may be some tingling or stinging when you first start, but will dissipate the longer you use it.  Keep track of your well-being and ailments prior to starting your regular use of magnesium oil so you can see how the magnesium is affecting your healing and whether you need to change your dosage.  You can buy a magnesium oil spray at you local natural food coop, Amazon, or Whole Foods. Magnesium Chloride Flakes are readily available for a bath soak.  Or, you can purchase my specially customized Magnesium Balm with calming Chamomile infusion and German Chamomile and Lavender therapeutic quality essential oils.

PennySue Mueller

Penny Mueller
Email: Penny Mueller
www.pennysuemueller.com

 

 

 

References:

https://draxe.com/9-signs-magnesium-deficiency/

articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/12/08/magnesium-health-benefits.aspx

drcarolyndean.com

Violet Inclines to Purple

Violet Inclines to Purple, and so seems to conceal under an ashy blue, the pride and passion of red.

~Charles Blanc

 

 

Semi-Colon

A raw, true, autobiographical tale of heartache and pain, poisonous people, and why I didn’t go to my own mother’s funeral

I sometimes wonder how my heart can possibly take any more pain.

It’s been 32 years since my brother took his own life. I remember that day as if it were yesterday. Even though my brother aimed the gun at his own head and pulled the trigger, he wasn’t the only one who died that day. Suicide never kills just one.

When I heard the news, I felt like I had just been kicked in the chest by a Clydsedale horse. All the air was knocked out of my body, every cell felt like it collapsed. I couldn’t exhale because the air was all gone, but I couldn’t inhale either. Maybe this news was a sick joke.  Maybe this was a nightmare.  Maybe I’d get home to find it all was a mistake.   None of that was true.  Time stood still for what seemed like hours, days, months. Time became nothing on that saddest day of my life.

I don’t know how many years it took to feel any sense of normal. To be able to go out and not see my brother on the street, or in the the car next to mine at a stop  light, or in a crowd at the mall.  The years it took to get used to the feeling of that hole my life, to stop blaming myself, to be able to get through a day without feeling overwhelming guilt. My mind continued to lie to me:  “I should have known.” “I should have been able to help him.” “I should have been able to stop him.”  That sick, crippling feeling in my heart  when I pondered the depth of his despair and loneliness that night that drove him to believe that the only solution was to end his life.  Over time that sickness became scar tissue that only occasionally re-opened.

Shortly after his death, we stopped talking about my brother.  The family seemed to have made an unspoken rule that we weren’t going to talk about this.  My parents sold the house and property and tried to escape from those horrible memories.  I tried to move on by getting married too soon after my brother’s death.   Suck it up and stuff it down.  Life continued on for some time, as normal as I could make it.

Eleven years ago, came another fateful time in my life.   I made a decision that was unpopular in my family. After years of an unhappy, loveless marriage to a man who is best at meeting his own needs first before anyone else,  I decided to end my marriage. By that time, I was completely flat. I had no self-esteem, no self confidence, no self-worth. I believed the lies that I was ugly, stupid, evil.  There was only one lie that was told that I didn’t believe, the one about me being a  bad mom.  I never believed that lie.  My children were everything to me, and I know that I was a good mom.

Never, in a million years,  could I have imagined that things would turn out the way they did. In an instant, I went from being a daughter, a sister, and a mom, to being the devil incarnate, the spawn of satan. In that tight-knit, evangelical, fundamentalist born-again, literal interpretation, Bible-banging Christian community,  divorce was not just frowned upon, it was considered a sin. I ended up being asked to step down as leader of my small group Bible study. I was informed that there wasn’t really a good place for me at church while I was going through all this messy stuff, but maybe in the future, when I get things figured out, there would be. “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out,” my church said.

My family shunned me. Not once did anyone in my family check in with me to offer an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, ask me how I was doing, try to put themselves in my shoes, or empathize with me, or support my decision.   They didn’t think to do those things, because they did not like my choices nor did they respect my ability and right to live my life as I saw fit. They tried to coerce me into not divorcing. They tried to change my mind.  They threatened me, they shamed me, they believed all the lies being told about me without asking me directly. They thought I must have picked up an evil spirit when I was in South America. My dad told me I would be welcomed back into the family if I “called off” the divorce.  One of the things I remember a family member telling me, life isn’t just about being happy.

 

My mother chose sides, and she didn’t choose mine. She lent her full support to my ex-husband who brilliantly manipulated her and my dad. That is the part that is still hard for me to understand. When I got engaged, she hoped that it wouldn’t work out.   When the time came that we chose a date to get married, she and my dad were “not in favor” of this marriage. We chose a church and a pastor who planned to wear a robe, and recite some traditional Catholic script in order to be more welcoming to the Catholic guests, but my mom and dad did not like that, and took over the wedding plans.   They put multiple conditions on their support, and stated that they would go along with this wedding and marriage, if I did it their way. They chose the pastor, they chose the church. I wanted their blessing and support, but I also wanted to get out of their house. I felt trapped. So I did what they wanted for the wedding. Throughout my marriage,  and  throughout  the years, I knew that my parents never liked my husband, nor did they have a whole lot of respect for him. Yet,  after all those years, my own mother found herself able to sit  before a judge, under oath, and lie about me in an ugly custody battle by choosing to testify on the side of my soon-to-be-ex-husband. While barely tolerating him over the years of my marriage,  during my divorce she put her dogma, her christian doctrine, her fundamental beliefs over and above her own daughter. She turned her back on me, I lost my mom that day and didn’t talk to her for eleven years. Over the years I tried to understand how a mother could forsake her own daughter that way. I wasn’t a criminal, wasn’t a murderer,  I wasn’t gay (sorry, my gay friends, but that’s how they think, nothing new to you, I’m sure), I didn’t forsake my religious upbringing, I wasn’t a heretic,  I wasn’t prostitute,  I wasn’t a thief or a cheat. My crime was being in an extremely unhappy, loveless  marriage and making a decision to get out of it.

Years later I learned why my mom did what she did. Apparently my sister’s marriage was on the rocks at the exact same time as I was going through my divorce. The family could not possibly have two failed marriages. So, my mother did the only thing she could think to do. She threw me under a bulldozer in sacrifice to help save her other daughter’s marriage. Her tactic worked, because they are still together.

I lost my sister that day, too. She too, chose sides, and not my side. She was another of my ex-husband’s witnesses at the custody trial.   She went under oath in a court of law, and testified against me. In my sister’s eyes, I went from being Super-Mom, Martha Stewart Clone to being a person unfit to watch her children. When asked at the custody trial why she didn’t allow her children to play at my house anymore, she said “how can I possibly allow her to watch my kids anymore? She’s getting divorced.”

And so, for the past eleven years, there has been no place for me in the family.  Every single event, birthday, holiday, graduation.  Sitting  at home, lonely and alone on the holidays where my ex-husband took my children and together went to my parents’ to celebrate Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or Easter, or any other holiday.  I wonder what the atmosphere was like at those gatherings:  My parents, my sister and her family, my children, and my ex-husband.  I did not get invited to one of these gatherings in eleven years.  I was invited to my nieces’ graduation parties, but I was invited by my nieces.   The tension was so high one year that I didn’t even go to my own son’s grad party that my ex-husband was hosting.  The family had chosen to invite an ex-boyfriend of mine.  That’s a story for another time, but I had dated my deceased brother’s best friend a couple years ago. I think it was a way for me to connect to my brother.  This man was my brother’s very best friend some 35 years ago and I had reconnected with him. My parents always had a problem with him while my brother was alive.   They even nullified my brother’s hand-written will to exclude this best friend.  But after he and I were no longer dating, it was deja vu all over again.  The family started inviting him to family functions, and were sure to invite him to my son’s grad party.  It was all so surreal, I couldn’t participate and keep my sanity.  And so, the eleven years continued, without a place for me, the evil-doer, in the family. What always struck me as odd was all the other divorced cousins, uncles, aunts, in the extended family who were all still welcome. Even my dad’s brother is a divorced man,  and both of his kids.   They never got kicked out of the family. 

This past Christmas time, 2016, my ex-husband informed me that my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer with a 4-6 month life expectancy.  He told me that I needed to go see her. He told me that I needed to make things right with her. It was interesting, this news coming from the one who manipulated my family away from me.   Two weeks ago he told me that she wasn’t doing very well. He told me that I should go see her. He even told me that she wanted to see me.

I wasn’t very sure about all of this.  I hadn’t talked to her in 11 years and I was supposed to go to her house. “Hey mom, how are you doing? Long time no see. How’s your cancer?”

I did end up going to see her. One day after work, the strangest thing happened.  My car basically auto-piloted itself to her house. When I first saw her, it was shocking. I saw a broken woman. I saw a sad, lonely, empty shell. I saw someone who had given up and was waiting to die. During the last two weeks of her life, I saw my mother several times. Our conversations were like that of acquaintances, she asked me what I was doing for a living the way you’d talk to a clerk at a store. She commented about the birds on the National Geographic tv show with more passion than she did about me being there. Of course, I understand that she had no idea how to relate to me. Nor did I know how to relate to her. It was superficial and without meaning, but I continued to visit. At one point my dad told me I needed to relate to her on a “more meaningful level”. I told him that I had no idea what that meant.  He said, “you know, the whole thing from the past, with you and Bob.”  I asked my dad if he meant the part about where my mother disowned me eleven years ago in court. I told my dad that I had forgiven my mother a long time ago and had moved on from that. He then stated that maybe he should let “sleeping dogs, lie, and that it’s all between me and her.”

The very last time I saw my mom, I knew she had only hours left to live. My sister was there, as always. My sister never left her side in the end. She was laying in the bed next to her. My mother had no life left in her, any spark was long gone. She could barely speak, and I couldn’t understand the words she  weakly uttered. Around 6pm that day, my son called me while I was there visiting my mother. My son and I had been planning on having dinner together but when I told him I was at his Gramma’s, he said he’d come right away.   Before he came, my mother said she didn’t want to see anyone. I told her it would be brief, my son, my brother’s namesake, wanted to see her.  My son came in and saw his Gramma for the very last time. While standing next to her  bedside, my mother frequently asked for my dad, and for my sister’s husband.  She said that she wanted to hold their hands. My sister was still lying in the bed next to her, and one of my nieces was on Skype on the computer on the bed.  A flower delivery came. The card read: “We love you Gramma, Love, Your girls.” The “girls” were my sister’s four  daughters. When I heard those words, suddenly, out of nowhere, I had total understanding and clarity. It was as if a light bulb went on inside my head and I could see clearly for the first time years. I finally understood how it all worked, how my mom, who had lost an infant to sudden infant death syndrome, a grown son to suicide, was able to disown her own grown daughter. During my divorce, she had already taken my ex-husband as her son to replace my brother. And then, she took my sister’s four daughters and made them her own daughters in replacement of me. It all made sense. So there, as I stood at her death bed, standing with my son,  as my mother was taking the last few hours of breath, I had total understanding. She spoke very softly to my sister, words that I couldn’t hear.   My sister announced to me what my mother had said. “Mom doesn’t want to see anyone here anymore. She doesn’t want anyone to see her.  Visiting hours are over, people.” Us ‘people’, my son and myself,  left the house.  I  knew that would be the last time I saw my mother.  I also knew she only had hours left. My dad told me that he would let me know of any “news”.  Over the years, my dad did the best he could.  He was mostly caught in something in which he didn’t have a voice.  He tried to mediate and make things right between everyone, but he just wasn’t able to.

My mother died a few days ago. Nobody called me. Nobody let me know. My my oldest brother didn’t call me. My sister didn’t call me. My dad didn’t call me.  I heard about my own mother’s death from my daughter, who was informed by my ex-husband.  My daughter called me the instant she heard because she needed to know how I was doing. I ended up receiving a text from the ex-husband eight hours after she passed. I didn’t reply. What was I supposed to say, thanks for letting me know?   I knew his text to me was designed to rub salt in the wounds.

Today was her funeral service.  I didn’t go to my mom’d funeral. Instead, I went to my brother’s grave.  I spread out a blanket, I cracked open a bottle of Lonely Blond pale ale, and toasted his life and memory.

 

My favorite quote is attributed to Gandhi, although there is some question if he actually said this.  Regardless of who said it, the words resonate with me:   “I like your Christ. I  do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.”    I fully concur.

The next chapter of my life is yet to begin. My heart is broken. It’s deeply filled with scar tissue and re-opened wounds.  But I know a few things. I know the sun will rise again tomorrow and I’ll get out of bed. I know those wounds will one day stop bleeding. My journey is not over.   There is no period in the sentence of my life.  Only a semi-colon, I am the author, and I know there are many more good things to come.   I’ll be okay, because I always am.  And yes, my God, my Christ, is watching over me and will never turn His back on me.PennySue Mueller

Penny Mueller


 

Soap, naturally

I’m a simple woman and I like simple things.   I don’t like a lot of complication in my life.  Several years ago I started simplifying my life, partly out of economic reasons, but mostly out of ethical and philosophical reasons.  I’ve tried to reduce my consumption and  reduce my waste.  I look for simple, natural ingredient lists, and I’ve migrated to more natural products.  I’ve reduced my reliance on western medicine and increased my reliance on natural healing.  My journey has taken me in directions I never imagined. I’m studying to be a healing touch practitioner and certified clinical aromatherapist, and will be opening my own practice in the near future.  I started making my own homemade soap, and personal care products and hand crafted jewelry using raw and natural materials.   I make my own laundry detergent, home crafted kombucha,  I crochet blankets, I cook, I sew, I bake bread.   I absolutely adore crafting things with my own hands, and trying to get as close to natural as possible.     I love knowing the ingredients in the things I put on and in my body.

I’ve spent years researching and developing my own recipes and line of products.  During all of my research and development, things got far more complicated than I thought they would.  So all along the way, the mantra that returned time and time again was “keep it simple and uncomplicated”.

Life shouldn’t be complicated so I go for straightforward, natural, high quality,  fine ingredients and products that are as hassle-free as possible.

I’ve come up with my simple little line of products.  Nothing fancy.  Nothing extravagant, just pure, clean, simple, effective, fine products and beautiful jewelry that serve a purpose.

My recipes are short and simple, and my inventory is small.    The base of all soap is coconut oil.  I love coconut oil!    use it in cooking, baking, on my skin, it’s my make-up remover.  I feed it to my dog.  It’s  simply amazing. This medium chain of fatty acids makes for the perfect oil. It is in virtually all of my products: soaps, lotions, lip balms.  Coconut oil is highly cleansing, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, soothing,  and healing.

My other favorite oils are Argan oil (organic only) and jojoba oil.   Argan is a rich, non-greasy cold-pressed oil that is anti-aging and conditioning.  Jojoba oil is actually a wax that is very similar to our own natural skin sebum.

I use therapeutic grade pure essential oils that I source from a local Minneapolis distributor.

I don’t clutter my products with a lot of weird or useless ingredients.  Everything serves a purpose.

My sea salt spa bars are dreamy.  Salt is a natural detoxifier, it creates a lotion-like creamy lather, it imparts healing magnesium, potassium, calcium and zinc minerals to your skin, which help reduce inflammation. It is mildly exfoliating, balance the natural oils in your skin, and actually acts as a humectant (adds moisture) to your skin.  It also seems to make your bar of soap last longer.

This is what I’ve been working on.  If you are interested in purchasing any of my products, please hop over to my Etsy shop or click on a picture below.   You can find me at the Mound Farmer’s Market, starting May 20th.

Lavender Bar:  this is a beautiful hard white bar of soap.  Has incredible cleansing properties without being drying.  At first use, you may think that your skin is dry after use, but actually, it is simple very clean.  It does not strip your skin of the natural oils, and is not drying because is it super-fatted with coconut oil, But, it does not impart extra conditioning oils like some other soaps.  I always use lotion after showering anyway, so I would recommend using lotion as a general rule after cleansing with 100% coconut oil soaps.  Give it a try, I think you’ll love it.  The lather is sublime.  Ingredients: unrefined coconut oil, distilled water, sodium hydroxide, lavender essential oil.   Net wt: Approximately 4.5 oz.

 

Black and White Charcoal Salt Bar:  This is a lovely dexotifying salt bar.  I use charcoal and bentonite for the detox properties.  Sea salt helps with exfoliation.  Olive oil and shea add conditioning benefits.  This is a lovely face and body bar.  Ingredients:  Saponified coconut oil, olive oil, shea butter, sea salt, activated charcoal, bentonite clay, coconut milk, patchouli and lavender essential oils.  Approx weight: 4.5 oz.   Patchouli is anti-inflammatory, anti-septic and tonic.  Lavender is good for everything!

Frankincense and Myrrh Argan Facial Bar:  Argan oil is a wonderful moisturizing, healing, anti-aging oil. Frankincense and myrrh  are lovely oils that help heal your skin.  They help with scars, wrinkles, inflammation, soothing, infection.  In addition they lift your mood both emotionally and spiritually.  Ingredients:  Saponified coconut oil, argan oil, distilled water, frankincense, myrrh.  Approximate weight:  4.5 oz.

 

Gentle Enough for Baby Soap:   This is a castille-type soap.  Traditional castille soap is 100% olive oil, and usually takes 6 months to cure and harden.  My soap is a modified version of the tradition.  I use coconut oil for cleansing and lather, joboba oil, because it is similar in composition to our own skin oils, and olive oil, for the wonderful, gentle conditioning it offers.  This is a very gentle soap, but is not “no more tears”, and care should be taken when using on baby.  This soap is good for everyone, all over face and body.  Ingredients: Olive oil, unrefined coconut oil, jojoba oil, distilled water, sodium hydroxide, lavender essential oil.

 

Into the Woods Soap:  This soap is the same as my lavender 100% coconut oil soap, but with a woodsy blend of essential oils.  This soap is a nice, hard white bar of soap with glorious bubbles.  Super cleansing.  Ingredients: Unrefined coconut oil, distilled water, sodium hydroxide, rosemary, cedarwood, lavender and black pepper essential oils.  Approximate weight: 4.5 oz.

 

Dark Ale Juniper:  What could be more fun than beer?  I make it with coconut oil, shea butter and olive oil in a dark ale base.  The essential oils are juniper and cedarwood for a rustic, forest aroma.  Cedarwood is antiseptic, anti-infectious, calming, purifying, helps with anxiety, and is purifying.  Juniper is a great cleanser, calms the skin, good for dermatitis and acnes, and is emotionally balancing.  Ingredients:  coconut oil, sea butter, olive oil, sodium hydroxide, distilled water, dark ale beer, cedarwood and juniper essential oils.  Weight: approximately 4.5 oz.

 

Honeybee Lemon:  A friend asked me to make a lemon honey soap, so here is my version:  It’s a lovely bar of coconut oil, beeswax, olive oil, raw local honey, and lemon essential oil.It’s sweet and delicious.  Honey and beeswax both work as moisturizers, as well as being antibacterial.  This just reminds me of summer.  Ingredients:  Unrefined coconut oil, Olive oil, avocado oil, castor oil, beeswax, honey, distilled water, sodium hydroxide, essential oil.

CocoCoffee Salt Spa Bar:  This is a wonderfully aromatic coffee, chocolate and orange salt bar.  It’s exfoliating and invigorating.  Ingredients are coconut oil, distilled water, sodium hydroxide, sea salt, coffee grounds, cocoa powder, essential oils of tangerine, orange, grapefruit, black pepper, juniper.

 

Eucalyptamint Salt Spa Bar:  Take a deep breath and clear those sinuses!  Mmmmm!   So aromatic, and so mind clearing.  Eucalyptus, Peppermint and Rosemary essential oils all work well on the respiratory system. This bar contains coconut oil, sea salt, distilled water, sodium hydroxide and essential oils.

 

Banana Shampoo Bar:  Oh my goodness.  This is THE shampoo bar.  I’ve never been a fan of shampoo bars, because I find them to be a bit drying. But I hit the jackpot with this recipe.  It’s loaded with conditioning ingredients, and smells amazing and the lather is luscious.  It contains coconut oil, olive oil, castor oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut milk, sodium hydroxide, egg yolks, banana, citric acid, vetiver essential oil, rose geranium essential oil.

 

A WORD about sodium hydroxide.  Sodium hydroxide is lye.  Is lye natural?  I’m not going to argue whether it is or isn’t natural.  I could make my own lye out of wood ash, but like I said before, I’m a simple woman, and that just seems far more complicated than I care to tackle.  To put it simply, NO LYE, NO SOAP.  Sodium hydroxide and fat react chemically, called saponification.  Once full saponification takes place, the lye is chemically changed and is no longer lye.  Some would argue that it needn’t even be listed in the ingredients, but I disagree with that.  I will always list it in my ingredients.  Also, if you ever see “saponified olive oil” or any other oil—-that’s a slightly deceptive way of saying olive oil and sodium hydroxide.

Remember:  what goes on your body will go in your body.  Your skin is your largest organ and it is very porous.  Next time you put something ON your skin, remember that it will end up IN  your body.  So, keep things simple, look for natural, and be sure there is  healing purpose in all you do.

PennySue Mueller

Penny Mueller
Email: Penny Mueller
www.pennysuemueller.com

 

 

 

Coloring and Anxiety

School Nurses see a lot of anxiety

As a school nurse at a very large high school, to say I saw a lot, is an understatement.   Kids came to me with paper cuts, tummy aches, rashes, headaches, anaphylactic reactions to latex, sprains, strains, dislocated shoulders, sore throats, on and on.  But the predominant condition that stands out most is the anxiety and depression, along with self-injury that I saw.  At first, in my inexperience, I thought these kids were coming to the nurse’s office simply to get out of class or to get attention.   As I grew in my assessment skills and awareness, I realized there was something real happening.

Kids came to me saying that they couldn’t breathe, or they felt as though there were having a heart attack. Heart rate and respirations were elevated, sometimes they were sweating, pupils often were dilated. Something physical was happening.  I came to understand that these “frequent fliers”, as became know as, were experiencing physical manifestations of anxiety.  Turns out, it wasn’t all ‘in their head’.

Anxiety is Real

These kids, often high achievers, sometimes introverts, sometimes the forgotten ones…..they were experiencing a host of conditions related to anxiety, stress and depression. Some were taking medications, some weren’t.  Some had supportive teachers and families, some didn’t. Some were highly pressured by their parents to excel, some had parents who seemed to not care at all.  But what they all had in common, was that they were looking for help.  And they saw my office as a place to get it.

This was long before coloring was a “thing”.  Long before adult coloring was cool.  I got the idea that they needed something to take their minds off of their problems, free them, if only for a few minutes, from their worry, their stress, their anxiety, their sadness, their depression.  I went online and found some mandalas and printed them out, bought some markers and colored pencils, and started in intervention for anxiety.

Coloring is the same as meditation

I watched kids go from total panic mode to relaxation just with the act of coloring.  I watched their personalities flow as they colored. Some were Type A, intricate and colored with perfection, others sketched.  Some stayed well within the lines, others ventured outside the lines.  I kept their work, and they’d come back when they needed to, and they’d finish masterpieces.  I had an entire wall of mandalas.  As word got out, I even had some teachers or staff come and color.

Who knew that I was so ahead of the times. Now, it seems, coloring really is “a thing”!

I’m a member of  a coloring club, and I love it.  If you know someone who might benefit from coloring, you should check it out.   It’s so fun, so relaxing, so gratifying.  You’ll see physical change as you or someone you know goes from fight or flight parasympathetic activation, to relaxation and balance.  For a double whammy, I my essential oils diffuser going with a wonderful blend, and forget about it! Don’t even get me started on the bliss that happens.

PennySue Mueller

Penny Mueller
Email: Penny Mueller
www.pennysuemueller.com

 

 

 

Color Monthly

Coloring Therapy

No doubt you’ve seen all the adult coloring books, markers, colored pencils everywhere! I’ve even seen ads on TV and QVC for adult coloring books.  So, what is the big deal? Why all the hype?  

Well, have you colored lately? If you have, you know how relaxing and enjoyable it is. Coloring therapy is real, and it’s effective. When we color, studies have shown that we get into a serene state.  In fact, our brain waves are the same when we color as when we meditate.  What a fantastic way to help manage stress and anxiety.

Why should you color?

  • It’s relaxing
  • It’s enjoyable
  • It’s peaceful
  • You can do it anywhere
  • You can spend minutes or hours working on it-you get to decide
  • You can use your creations for any number of craft projects
  • You can form coloring clubs instead of book clubs
  • You can drink wine and color at the same time
  • You can manage your stress

 

One of the problems with coloring books is that it is difficult to color in a big book. What if you could download your pages, print them on your own choice of paper, and then color on a flat surface instead of struggling with a book?  

You should definitely join Color Monthly.  Here’s why:

  • You ‘ll get monthly downloads of coloring pages
  • You can print them unlimited times
  • You get to choose your paper: do you want to print on colored paper, card stock, texture, vellum?
  • Your downloads will be seasonal
  • You can make any number of crafts: greeting cards, tags, scrapbooking, wrapping, envelopes, artwork, etc
  • You only print the pages you like
  • You’ll never run out of coloring ideas

Color Monthly is launching it’s revolutionary, premier membership program tomorrow, February 16, 2017.  This is ground floor and innovative.  If you’d like to get in on the coloring craze, check out Color Monthly.

Its easy to join, it’s only $10, and, as a bonus, you can also earn while you color, if you’d like to maybe have a side biz going.  If you know people who like to color, what a great way to come together!

Please contact me so I can get you a link to join.  I’ll also add you to our private Facebook group.   And….. get ready for the launch tomorrow!

 PennySue Mueller

Penny Mueller
Email: Penny Mueller
www.pennysuemueller.com

 

 

 

Which Essential Oil Should I Buy…Part 2

Is There Really a Difference?

In Which Essential Oil Should I Buy? Part 1, I talked about how essential oils are manufactured, from seed to bottling.  We learned that a lot goes into producing a bottle of essential oil, and that along the way, there are multiple ways that manufacturers and distributors can affect the quality of the oil.

How and Where to Purchase Essential Oils

Now that you know some basics about essential oils, the next step is to find quality therapeutic grade oils. It’s not as easy as you’d think.  I’ve tried over ten different brands of essential oils, and I’m studying to become a certified clinical aromatherapist.  I’d like to think that I’ve learned a thing or two about essential oils, and I’d like to share with you some of what I know.   Read More→

Which Essential Oil Should I Buy?

Why Are Some Essential Oils So Expensive?

Why Are Some Essential Oils So Cheap?

Is There Really a Difference?

People have been asking me what is the best brand of essential oils, so I thought I’d write a post to help clear up some myths and misconceptions about essential oils.

I’ve been using essential oils for several years, and have tried at least ten different brands of essential oils. There are good ones, and there are bad ones.  There are cheap oils, and expensive oils.  Let’s sort through them, shall we?  I’ll show you what to look for in an essential oil, reduce some confusion, and maybe even end up saving you some money, because I’ve wasted a lot of money on cheap oils.  And I will say right up front, that cheaper isn’t better. So, let’s get started.

First off, What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are the lifeblood of the plant.  Just like we have blood that flowing through our bodies, carrying nutrients to all of our cells, essential oils carry nutrient throughout the plant.

Essential Oils Are A Plant’s Life Blood:

  • Carry nutrients to the plant cells
  • Protect the plant from any form of stress
  • Protect the plant against infection and disease
  • Give the plant its characteristic aroma
  • May be found in any portion of the bush, flower, herb or tree.
  • Just like we can’t live without blood, plants can’t live without this essential part of the plant.

Read More→

What is Ebates?

Do you like free money?

Recently I discovered a great little treasure called Ebates.  Well, I can’t take the credit for discovering it.   Chris Peach actually told me about it.  I’ve been taking his Awesome Money Course, and learning a great deal, by the way, about how to stop living paycheck to paycheck.    Anyway, he taught me about many ways to save money.


Here’s how it works.  You  don’t have to do anything but add the extension to your browser. This is for real. It runs in the background when you’re shopping online and lets you know how much of a rebate you will get when you order. 

I started with Ebates in December, did most of my Christmas shopping online, and I already received at $23 check.  Now, I realize that doesn’t sound like much Residual Income Explainedmoney, but, if you shop online a lot, like I do, this will really add up.  I’m all for free money, so even if it only adds up to $100 in a year, who doesn’t want a free $100?  

Plus, I like that I don’t have to do anything, it just runs in the background and updates me.  Also, Ebates sends out email promos, to alert for additional deals.  For instance, this morning, there was an email from Ebates about Petco. Now, I’ve never considered having my pet food delivered, because I always thought shipping would be too expensive.   I would not have known about the current deal from Petco had it not been for  Ebates.  So, I went to Petco.com, and shopped for the cat food that I buy.  There was a Petco Members promo with a discounted price, plus free shipping, plus an additional $5 off. And, there was a a 4% rebate.  I ended up getting my pet food for far less than retail, and I don’t have to remember to stop at the store on my way home from work to buy cat food.  I won’t have angry cats meowing at me because I forget their food. Big bonus!!  

When you sign up for Ebates, they will put $10 in your account just to get you started.  

I think it’s a no-brainer. I love saving money, and this is one of the easiest ways I’ve ever found to do so.

How do you save money?

PennySue Mueller

Penny Mueller
Email: Penny Mueller
www.pennysuemueller.com

 

Why Stress is Bad for Your Heart

Modern life is full of hassles.

Jobs, bills, mortgages, households to run, children to raise, demands, deadlines, frustrations, responsibilities! And then we add on more without even thinking. Continuing our education, working for that promotion, taking on a car payment,  remodeling the house, spinning all those plates and hoping one doesn’t fall.

Whether we realize it or not, whether we like it or not, our body responds.  And we have no control over it.  The nervous system releases a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.  These hormones force the body to go into emergency response. The heart pounds faster, muscles tighten, blood pressure rises, breath quickens, your senses become sharper.  The purpose of all this is to get you to rise up and meet the challenges that you face.  We are preparing for fight or flight!

Stress related diseases are on the rise and are not only  affecting our ability to cope, but are also destroying our immune function. Read More→