The umbilical cord—consisting of one large vein and two smaller arteries—forms very early in pregnancy and serves to shuttle oxygenated blood from the mother to the baby and deoxygenated blood and waste from the baby to the mother. The umbilical vein carries oxygenated blood from the placenta to the fetus, and the umbilical arteries carry deoxygenated, nutrient-depleted blood from the fetus to the placenta. Shortly after birth, the umbilical cord is clamped and cut leaving us with a constant reminder of the nourishment we received from our mother in the form of a belly button (also called the umbilicus or navel).
Once cut, the exterior remnant of the umbilical cord withers away and turns into a firm stump until it falls off. But what about the blood vessels that once exchanged blood between mother and baby behind the belly button? The part of the blood vessels closest to the belly button degenerates into a ligament called the round ligament. This ligament extends from the belly button to the porta hepatis—a deep fissure on the surface of the liver where neurovascular structures (except the hepatic veins) and hepatic ducts enter and leave the liver—where it joins with the ligament vernosum (the fibrous remnant of fetal circulation) to separate the left and the right lobes of the liver. The round ligament contains some small veins, called paraumbilical veins, which can expand when high pressure occurs in the veins around the abdominal organs.
Two additional ligaments are formed from the remnants of the umbilical cord behind the belly button. The medial umbilical ligament runs from the belly button to the liver and contains the obliterated arteries of the umbilical cord, whereas the median umbilical ligament is formed from the veins. Essentially, the inside of the umbilical cord behind the belly button degenerates into connective tissue and becomes a vestigial remnant.
Recently, essential oil users have adopted a technique used by cannabis users called the Pechoti method and administered essential oils through the belly button. This method is commonly used among cannabis users to absorb CBD and THC into systemic circulation. The claim is there is a gland called the Pechoti gland behind the belly button that houses more than 72,000 veins and millions of nerves. When substances are applied in or on the belly button, this gland distributes the substances into systemic circulation. However, the existence of the Pechoti gland is not accepted in science and there isn’t any actual evidence to suggest this gland exists.
Essential oils rely on entrance into systemic circulation through capillaries (the smallest blood vessels in the body that are only one endothelial cell thick) not veins. Since the belly button does not have a noteworthy capillary supply, it is not likely that significant amounts of essential oils will enter systemic circulation via this route. Instead, you are more likely to experience a localized effect to the abdominal region. There are however some capillaries within the abdominal region, so it is possible small amounts of essential oil may enter systemic circulation.
This doesn’t mean that application of essential oils to the abdominal region is pointless. It simply means that you need to choose the method of administration based on what you are trying to accomplish.
A more practical approach for systemic circulation is to take the essential oils in a capsule or sublingually. This method will result in more essential oil reaching systemic circulation. So, for now, this method seems to be more myth than reality.
Aromatherapy has captured the senses, especially the sense of smell, for centuries. From pampering Egyptian pharaohs to the anointing oil of spices mentioned in the Bible, majestic botanical essences have been highly esteemed and prized throughout history. Aromatic essences have also been an integral part of the healing systems of multiple ancient and modern cultures. So, what is all the fuss? Why have aromatic essences and essential oils stood the test of time? It may be partly related to the most powerful sense human beings possess—the sense of smell.
The sense of smell is vital to human health, allowing humans to identify food, mates, and predators, and detect pleasure and danger (e.g. smoke from a fire or harmful chemicals). Olfaction is the sensory receptors that form the sense of smell. Odor molecules travel to specific sites (olfactory epithelium) and bind to olfactory receptors located in the nasal cavity. Once bound to olfactory cell receptors, intensified signals are transmitted via the olfactory bulb (lying inside the nose and extending to two important areas of the brain: the amygdala and hippocampus) that rapidly reach the limbic area of the brain.
The limbic system is responsible for controlling emotions, memory, learning, instinct, and motivation. In addition, it is involved in sleep, libido, appetite, cardiovascular regulation, breathing, and hormone balance. Through this system, the aroma of essential oils can influence multiple physiological responses to hormones and neurotransmitters in the body.
Here are six fascinating and amazing facts about the sense of smell in humans.
The sense of smell is considered 10,000 times more potent than taste. Other senses like touch, taste, sight, and hearing must travel through the body via neurons in the peripheral nervous system and the spinal cord before reaching the brain (central nervous system). The olfactory response is immediate because of its direct link to the brain. Indeed, this is the only location where the central nervous system is directly exposed to the environment. Direct access to the brain means more rapid and substantial effects.
The sense of smell is the only sense directly connected to the brain. Unlike other senses, that must rely on neuronal communication from the peripheral to the central nervous system to operate efficiently, the sense of smell has a direct link to the central nervous system. Any disruptions in communication from the peripheral nervous system to the central nervous system can diminish these senses. As stated earlier, the olfactory bulb receives odor molecules first and then sends signals to the amygdala and hippocampus, which are strongly linked to emotions and memory. The other senses don’t pass through these areas of the brain, showing us the unique influence odors and smell have on human emotions and memories.
Females use the sense of smell to find a mate. Men and women are attracted to pheromones that the opposite sex produces. Men produce androstenol in fresh sweat (not exposed to oxygen), which is highly attractive to women. Research shows that women who are at the peak of fertility during their menstrual cycle prefer the smell of men with higher testosterone levels. Females also tend to prefer partners with different genes than their own according to scientists. A more diverse set of genes (major histocompatibility complex) produces offspring with a stronger immune system. In essence, women are sniffing out a mate with presumed healthy genes to ensure their offspring are healthy with a more robust immune system. Unfortunately, males don’t appear to have this same “superpower.”
Women have a greater sense of smell. Individuals have differing abilities to identify scents based on various factors. However, women outperform men when it comes to olfactory sensitivity that goes beyond social and cognitive differences between the genders. One study found that women on average have 43% more cells (50% when only neurons are counted) in their olfactory bulb when compared to men. This may account for their greater olfactory sensitivity and also contribute to their above mentioned “superpower” of sniffing out a mate.
Human Olfactory System: 1) Olfactory bulb, 2) Mitral cells, 3) bone, 4) nasal epithelium, 5) glomerulus, 6) olfactory receptor neurons
Olfactory receptors are not isolated to the nasal cavity. Olfactory receptors are chemical sensors responsible for your sense of smell. Scientists once believed that these receptors were isolated to the nasal cavity. That all changed when researchers at John Hopkin’s University School of Medicine (Maryland, USA) published a report reviewing discoveries of olfactory receptors on the kidneys, gastrointestinal tract, muscles, heart, pancreas, liver, lung, and skin. These fascinating findings help us understand that scent receptors play important roles in full human physiology and well-being.
Aromatherapy and scent memories. The sense of smell communicates directly with areas of the brain that store memories and govern emotions. You’ve likely walked into a house or shop and been captivated by a familiar aroma that instantly reminds of a past place, event, or person—think grandma’s perfume or cookies. You may have even felt strong emotions associated with this scent. These experiences are called scent memories and demonstrate how powerful odors are in relation to memories and emotions.
All things considered, the sense of smell is not only fascinating but an absolutely vital part of human well-being. It also shows us how potent aromas, like essential oils, can significantly influence our entire well-being by leveraging this influential sense. Maybe we need a new mantra of smell and be well.
Eating whole and healthy foods does your body good. But if your body is used to refined and processed food, a transition to healthy foods can be difficult. Indeed, it isn’t uncommon to experience gastrointestinal symptoms and even vomiting during this transition. Discover why this occurs and how you can work to make your transition more bearable.
It begins at the cellular level
The surface of cells is full of receptors responsible for binding with signaling molecules and then transmitting those signals inside the cell. The signals that are received inside the cell determine the cell’s behavior. Whether a cell makes more or less of something, your overall health, and your risk of disease depends on this activity. Each signal triggers the formation of action plans that improve or harm your health.
So what exactly are these signaling molecules that regulate our health? Several molecules can interact with these receptors and their influence on cellular behavior and overall health is largely determined by how many of these molecules are present in your blood.
Some molecules can produce positive results:
- Nutrients — vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, etc. — from whole foods
- Dietary supplements
Other molecules are not as good for us and can produce harmful results:
- Synthetic food additives (MSG, aspartame, trans fats, sodium nitrite, etc.)
- Excess sugar, alcohol, or caffeine
Stress also triggers the release of signaling molecules (cortisol, adrenaline, etc.) that can adversely affect the way you feel. The reality is, your cells continually make decisions based on the signaling molecules that are available in the blood. If your cells are constantly bombarded with rubbish, you will quickly feel like rubbish yourself.
Your body was masterfully designed to adapt to a variety of situations. It relentlessly strives to maintain balance and homeostasis regardless of what is thrown at it. However, we can reduce the body’s workload and make it easier to thrive by a few simple healthy behaviors. Your body’s initial reaction the first time you bombard your cells with greasy, fried food, sugar-laden soda, and empty refined carbohydrates may be severe. Your cells gradually adapt to these signaling molecules and adopt them as the “norm.” Eventually, the severe responses also stop.
Indeed, your cells and body may actually feel “good” or pleasure in response adopting this new norm of negative signaling molecules. That is until you remove the pleasurable signaling molecules or introduce positive signaling molecules. Just like your cell receptors adapted to the dysfunctional regimen, they need to adapt again if you change to healthier options.
Your body has the same response to the new signaling molecules — whether reducing what it was used to or introducing healthier molecules — the same way it initially did to the bad signaling molecules. This change of available signaling molecules feels bad at first, even though it is a positive change to reduce the availability of bad molecules and increase the healthy molecules.
You will continue to feel bad — digestive discomfort, nausea, headache, mood swings, low energy — until your body adapts to the new normal. How long this process of adaptation takes depends on your current state of health, lifestyle factors, stress levels, genetics, and nutritional status, but on average it takes from 3 to 7 days.
Another factor that can leave you feeling sluggish, moody, and even anxious when changing what you eat, is modifications in dopamine levels. Foods loaded with sugar, fat, and salt trigger the release of dopamine (a “feel-good” neurotransmitter) that activate the brain’s reward center. This is one reason why eating highly processed foods is so enjoyable. However, when you remove these dopamine-triggering foods, you can experience withdrawal symptoms.
Changes in gut flora (the microbiome)
In addition to adapting to changes in signaling molecules, your gut microbiome (balance of healthy to unhealthy bacteria) rapidly changes in response to what you eat. Recent research reveals that the gut microbiome begins to change within hours and dramatically changes within three to four days after switching what you eat. (1) In other words, what you eat feeds different types of bacteria.
This is one reason that adding prebiotic foods (chicory root, artichokes, dandelion greens, raw onions or garlic, etc.) or high-fiber foods like beans and lentils can increase in gas and bloating. If your body isn’t used to these foods, the gut microbiome undergoes a significant transformation due to the feeding of different sets of bacteria. The result is a few to several days of excess gas until the new normal gut microbiome is fully established and accepted.
Too much sugar, saturated fat, and not enough fiber can alter the gut microbiome enough to trigger immune and inflammatory responses and increase the risk of inflammatory bowel disease. (2) Other studies suggest that your gut microbiome impacts your risk of allergy, asthma, and arthritis. (3) These modifications to the gut microbiome also increase the risk of digestive discomfort such as diarrhea, nausea, and bloating. (4) The overwhelming evidence suggests that we need to provide our gut foods that feed healthy bacteria and even supplement with a good probiotic to maintain overall health.
Toxins released during dietary changes
Changes in eating patterns, particularly those that result in weight loss, releases toxins from fat stores and into the blood. The body preferentially stores toxins in fat tissues rather than vital nervous and muscle tissues. During weight loss, fat breaks down and toxins are discharged into the bloodstream. An increase in oxidative stress — an imbalance in reactive oxygen species and the body’s ability to neutralize them — may occur as a result of a large number of toxins in the blood.
Oxidative stress increases the production of free radical and peroxides that damage cells and disrupts cellular signaling. Indeed, a host of diseases (cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders, pulmonary disease, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney disease, eye diseases, and abnormal fetal development) are linked to oxidative stress as well as the aging process. Symptoms of oxidative stress include fatigue, muscle or joint pain, headache, and brain fog.
Recent research suggests that eating smaller frequent meals (4-6 daily) with 20 to 25 grams of protein at each meal may help the body deal with this release of stored toxins. This eating pattern, called Protein-Pacing Caloric Restrictive Diet reduces calories (1,200 to 1,500 calories daily) to promote weight loss but also aids the bodies normal detoxification processes. Other solutions to reduce a toxic attack on cells is to drink plenty of water to flush them out, get sufficient antioxidants from your food, and use essential oils that aid normal detoxification processes (lavender, frankincense, Eucalyptus radiata).
The difference between an allergy, intolerance, sensitivity and an adjustment
Some people may experience an allergy, food sensitivity, or food intolerance rather than an adjustment. Food allergies occur when your immune system overreacts to a food or substance in a food. It is estimated that up to 8% of children and about 3% of adults are affected by food allergies.
When an allergy occurs, the food or substance is identified by the immune system as a threat, which triggers a protective response. Eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, shellfish, and fish account for approximately 90% of all food allergies. Allergies affect multiple organs in the body and cause a wide range of symptoms. The most common signs and symptoms of a food allergy include: skin reactions (hives, eczema, itching), tingling or itching in the mouth, respiratory trouble (difficulty breathing, wheezing, nasal congestion, repetitive cough), pale or blue coloring of the skin, swelling of the lips, tongue, throat, or face, dizziness, and gastrointestinal problems (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain).
Food sensitivities and intolerances are more common than food allergies. Food sensitivities trigger the release of chemical mediators (like histamine) into the blood causing a delayed and less obvious reaction to the food. They may take days to occur and can involve the skin and respiratory system just like allergies. The primary difference between an allergy and sensitivity is the time it takes to occur. Allergies appear within minutes to as long as two hours, whereas sensitivities generally take days for a reaction to occur.
Unlike allergies, food intolerances don’t involve the immune system. Instead, your body is unable to properly digest the particular food. They may occur due to insufficient digestive enzyme production, chronic stress that causes sluggish digestion, or an overreaction to a food additive (MSG). Depending on the type of food intolerance, people may be able to eat small amounts of the problem foods without a reaction. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea or constipation, gas, bloating, and abdominal pain. Food intolerances are generally less severe than allergies and limited to the digestive system.
The gastrointestinal system is affected in a similar way by adjustments, allergies, intolerance, and sensitivities. Unfortunately, adjustments can mimic allergies in some ways beyond digestive problems. The general fatigue and headaches, and mood swings may make people think they have a food allergy. It is important to distinguish allergies, food sensitivities, food intolerances, and adjustments because there are common symptoms and a severe allergy can be life-threatening.
Rapid reactions that involve the skin and respiratory system following the consumption of a food or substance are likely allergic reactions. If you experience chronic respiratory symptoms (runny nose), long-lasting skin issues (eczema), frequent headaches, or poor appetite it suggests a food sensitivity. Food intolerance is almost always isolated to digestive problems. Food intolerance symptoms generally occur fairly quickly and when many foods or enough of the problem food is consumed.
How to make transitions to healthier foods more bearable
- Ease into it. You wouldn’t try a 180-degree direction change in your vehicle at 70 miles per hour, so why would you do this with what you eat? Your body will adapt better if you slowly introduce healthy foods and gradually eliminate unhealthy foods. Try to eliminate one unhealthy food or add one healthy food for 4 to 7 days before making the next change.
- Eat whole foods. Whole and real foods are the best signaling molecules for your body. These foods contain vitamins, minerals, and other vital nutrients that your body readily recognizes and can use to function optimally. Real foods with fiber and protein are particularly important for breakfast so your cells begin the day with the right nutrition and signaling molecules.
- Eat frequent smaller meals. Eat the same amount of calories — or fewer if you’ve been eating an excess amount — but in more frequent smaller meals. Don’t let more than three hours pass without having a meal or snack. This helps to control blood sugar levels, maintain energy levels, and improve mood.
- Stay hydrated. The majority of your body is composed of water and it is essential to convert food into energy and helps your body absorb nutrients. Drinking enough water is essential to carry out wastes and toxins produced during metabolism. In addition, optimal hydration supports body weight goals by triggering the release of fat for energy and producing a feeling of fullness. (5) Water should be the primary beverage you consume.
Nutritional transitions aren’t always easy but the temporary discomforts are well worth the vast health benefits you will realize. Stick to it and focus on the benefits you’ll see on the other side. Your body, mind, emotions, and spirit will thank you — eventually.
Test your knowledge of essential oil safety based on research and evidence.
While essential oils are natural it doesn’t mean that they are inherently safe. Anything that has a therapeutic effect can also cause an unintended reaction. What determines whether you have a positive therapeutic result or unintended result is largely based on the exposure (dose and time) and method of use.
This short quiz is intended to help you discover a few of the reasonable cautions that should be followed to reduce the risk of an unintended result when using essential oils. To learn more and have a resource to guide you see one of Dr. Johnson’s books: http://authorscott.com/shop.
The decisions you make every day influence your personal health. Whether you decide to have that donut laden with trans fat and sugar or choose to run on the treadmill for 30 minutes ultimately affects your long-term health. The more good choices we make each day the better our health and the lower our risk of disease. But what if your decisions today affected not only your health but the health of your offspring for generations to come. As weird as this may sound, the field of epigenetics suggests this may be something we should consider as we make our daily choices.
What is Epigenetics?
Epigenetics is the study of potentially heritable (transmissible from parent to offspring) changes in gene expression that does not involve changes to DNA. Each of us has unique DNA contained in our cells ― unless you have an identical twin. Virtually every cell in our body contains all of our DNA and genes that make us who we are. Despite this similarity among most cells, difference cells perform different functions. Our brain cells act differently than our muscle cells, our skin cells perform different functions than our heart cells, and so forth. What differentiates their behavior is epigenetics. Epigenetics basically comprises the instruction aspect of our DNA that tells it what to turn on or off, up or down, and how and when to perform.
We inherit our genes from our parents and they cannot be changed. However, methyl groups (compounds made of carbon and hydrogen) are attached to genes that affect their expression ― whether genes are activated or deactivated (or turned up or down) to express a trait. The methyl groups are influenced in various ways, including eating, activity, and environmental exposures. So while epigenetics doesn’t alter our DNA, it does orchestrate what genes are expressed and when.
The exciting and emerging field of epigenetics continues to reveal how eating, activity, aging, disease state, and substances influence the human genome. Some experts believe that epigenetics will completely change the way we treat disease in the future.
How Essential Oils Influence Epigenetics
Landmark research, revealed that like other substances essential oils can influence the way our genes express. Through careful evaluation of billions of data points, it was discovered that essential oils fall into one of six zones of epigenetic influence: circulatory/respiratory, digestive/excretory, lymphatic/immune, muscular/reproductive, immune/nervous, and skeletal/integumentary. For example, helichrysum belongs to the skeletal/integumentary zone, orange to the muscular/reproductive zone, and myrtle to the circulatory/respiratory zone. By altering epigenetics, essential oils can profoundly influence the human genome and therefore human health.
To discover more about this exciting research read Synergy, It’s an Essential Oil Thing.
Hormones, Epigenetics, and Essential Oils
A woman’s hormones fluctuate each month during her fertility years and then alter again when her fertile years end. These fluctuations can lead to the uncomfortable symptoms of menstruation (cramps, minor mood changes, water retention, etc.) and menopause (hot flashes, vaginal dryness, etc.). Similarly, a man’s hormones (predominantly testosterone) tend to decline slowly after the age of 30, which can decrease performance and energy levels. Carefully balancing these hormones is key to healthy aging and well-being during our mature years.
Fortunately, this groundbreaking research revealed that certain essential oils play a role in overall hormone balance. While bioidentical hormones are an option for some women, an even better approach is to positively influence epigenetics in a way to improve the overall balance of all key hormones. The same can be said for males. Hormones are so tightly controlled within the body, that when one is deficient or excessive it cascades to the other hormones and soon you have a significant imbalance in multiple hormones. What the researchers found was that rosemary, lemon, vetiver, bergamot, clove, and tea tree essential oil positively affected the genes associated with female hormones such as progesterone, estrogen, and prolactin. For men, sweet basil, tea tree, bergamot, clove, eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), and vetiver promoted positive expression of male hormones like testosterone. Knowing this allows us to create better balance of all hormones.
So the obvious question becomes how can we best utilize this research to promote normal hormone function in men and women? The following are essential oil formulas intended to do just that (added to a capsule for a systemic benefit):
One drop each of the following in a capsule morning and evening with food and water, six days per week:
- Tea Tree
Alternately, create a blend with equal parts of the above oils. Add 3 drops of the blend to the capsule and take morning and evening with food and water, six days per week.
One drop each of the following in a capsule morning and evening with food and water, six days per week:
- Sweet basil
- Tea tree
- Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)
Alternately, create a blend with equal parts of the above oils. Add 3 drops of the blend to the capsule and take morning and evening with food and water, six days per week.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult with a healthcare professional.
Chlorine bleach is one of the most common chemicals found in homes, but it is also one of the most corrosive and dangerous materials we regularly expose ourselves to. And our children suffer the most from its toxic effects because of their smaller size.
The dangers of bleach include:
- Respiratory problems (including an increased risk of infections in children)
- Skin burns
- Sensory irritation
- Headache or migraine
- Asthma flares
- Damage to the nervous system
- Creates a deadly gas when mixed with ammonia (in fact, mixing chlorine with dish soap can create deadly mustard gas used in chemical warfare)
- Damage to the mucous membranes of the digestive tract
- and much, much more
Don’t expose your family to chlorine bleach! Use a safe alternative made from just six ingredients found in Synergy, It’s an Essential Oil Thing.
- Enough distilled water to fill half-gallon jug (after all other ingredients are added)
- 1.5 cups 3% hydrogen peroxide
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon citric acid
- 20 drops of lemon essential oil
- 10 drops of thyme essential oil
Instructions: Add all ingredients except water to half gallon glass jug. Fill the remainder of the jug with distilled water. Shake well and use as you would regular bleach.
Is your child smart but disorganized, excitable, scattered, and struggling? Do you long for the day when his true brilliance and talents will be revealed? Your grueling wait is over! Renowned natural health expert, Dr. Scott A. Johnson, reveals indispensable evidence-based methods to release your child from the distracting obstacles that have repressed him for too long. Retrain your child’s brain to perform optimally and inspire him to realize his fullest potential with the unique and complete strategies shared in Beating ADHD Naturally. In this revolutionary book you will explore:
- the mysteries of what causes ADHD, including brain irregularities, genetics, and environmental factors;
- dynamics driving the skyrocketing surge in ADHD frequency;
- customary treatment options, their risks, and why they are not the solution long-term;
- nutritional shifts that encourage optimal brain function and signaling;
- evidence-based dietary supplements and essential oils that balance brain neurotransmitters and reduce ADHD symptoms;
- and how music and sensory integration diminish ADHD symptoms.
Free printable Daily Sample Routine for children with ADHD.
For more information about the power of essential oils to influence ADHD symptoms, see chapter 5 of Beating ADHD Naturally.
Today’s society all too often judges a person based on their race, gender, ethnicity, wealth, possessions, fame, awards and even the degree(s) they hold. Those with the most wealth and the loftiest degrees from elite universities are often revered as leaders. But, is this truly what leadership has become—fancy degrees and affluence?
While a great number of brilliant minds have come from the elite universities, an equal or greater number of brilliant minds sprouted outside these institutions. One only need to review recent history to discover that leaders are predominantly made through hard work, persistence, learning, and observation.
Henry Ford was born on his father’s farm in Dearborn, Michigan in 1863. His mechanical ability was demonstrated early on, when he taught himself—and other local boys—to build steam engines and water wheels, and to fix watches. Driven to learn more about the machines that fascinated him so much, he apprenticed wherever he could learn something new. Ford did not invent the car, nor the assembly line, but he took these concepts and improved upon them to implement his dream for the future. His only formal education occurred at Goldsmith, Bryant & Stratton Business College, yet his vision completely transformed the automobile industry (making automobiles affordable for the middle-class) and really the world as we know it.
One of the most influential businesspersons of all time, Walt Disney was a pioneering force in cartoons and the mastermind behind the most popular theme park in the world—Disneyland. Born in Illinois, Disney spent much of his childhood drawing, painting, and selling pictures to neighbors and friends. He attended the Chicago Art Institute, but dropped out to join the Army, only to be rejected because he was underage. Rejected by the army, he joined the Red Cross and drove an ambulance in France instead. Disney’s innovative ideas transformed the way the world looks at animation, introduced some of the most beloved and well-known characters in the world, and his accomplishments are an extraordinary example of hard work leading to success in business.
Steve Jobs co-founded Apple Inc. and produced some of the best animated stories to date with his animation company Pixar. His biological parents placed him for adoption, which lead him to a mother and father who was an accountant, machinist and Coast Guard veteran. Jobs worked on electronics in the family garage with his father, instilling skills that would benefit him later in life. Those who knew him well during his childhood call him an innovative and intelligent thinker that struggled and experienced severe frustration in formal schooling because of boredom. A college dropout, Jobs leadership and innovation at Apple helped the company pioneer several revolutionary technologies that have dominated the global mobile phone and tablet industry.
These are just three examples of uber-successful leaders and visionaries who left an enduring mark on the world. While self-education and the sum of experiences isn’t always the way leaders and innovators are produced, it certainly proves that this route to leadership is very possible. It also suggests that success is not contingent of formal education and that huge contributions to society can be made by so called self-made individuals. Indeed, Jim Rohn once said “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”
The reality is leaders don’t always have fancy degrees and letters behind their name; they share passion, drive and the desire to inspire others to be leaders. The measure of a leader is not the degrees and accolades which the leader has collected, but his ability to inspire others to greatness and to improve the lives of others. Leaders recognize that they don’t have all the knowledge they need to realize their goals. Instead they attract the right people to achieve success and surround themselves with other strong and successful people. Innovative leaders create lasting change in the world. They take concepts, whether their own or an existing idea, and develop and promote those ideas until they become the vision of what the future should be.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that formal education from schools, colleges, and universities is not necessary. Perceptive societies recognize that structured formal education is central to the development of a nation and provides the knowledge and skills necessary to progress towards the achievement of societal goals. No one can deny that certain knowledge and skills can only be acquired through formal education. But, formal education provides a narrow view of one institutions view of the world; hopefully coupled with a greater ability to think and evaluate reality for one’s self.
The greatest leader of all time was Jesus Christ. He recognized that if serving people is beneath you, leading people is above you. He tirelessly served others, added value to them, and dramatically changed lives for the better. His desirability was not his wealth, formal education, or appearance, but his attributes and skills demonstrated so perfectly. Jesus operated from a fixed base of principles and truths that made his leadership style not only correct, but constant. He loved others with perfect love, trusted his followers to share in his work, listened without being condescending, and put his own needs second to the needs of others.
Everyone needs mentors and leaders. Leaders who will add value to them and help inspire them to greater things. We thirst for leaders that embody the attributes of Christ’s leadership. Unfortunately our expectation of a perfect leader like Christ will remain unfulfilled among flawed men. Flawed men make mistakes. The difference between flawed men and those who become leaders is leaders learn from each and every mistake to improve and realize success. Our challenge is to distinguish between true leaders from those who falsely lead. False leaders change their views to fit situations, desire control or people and situations, seek to manipulate, and are motivated by power at the expense of principle.
It’s time that we evaluate leaders and human beings based on their contribution to society, their ability to inspire others, and their ability to improve lives; not the degrees they hold, the wealth they have obtained, or other superficial attributes.
The Waterfall Technique: A new essential oil application technique to encourage homeostasis
The number of people enjoying the benefits of essential oils is growing daily, and more people are looking for effective ways to use essential oils to encourage homeostasis. This can be achieved in many ways from simple inhalation to foot massages with essential oils, to oral administration; but one way to really promote optimal well-being is an application to the spine and feet.
Dr. Daniel Penoel was the first to introduce the application of a specific sequence of essential oils to the spine in the 1980s, referring to it as “live embalming.” His technique involves applying large amounts of undiluted essential oils to the spine followed by the use of a hair dryer to drive them into the skin.
In the spirit of Dr. Penoel’s remarkable technique, I have developed a technique called the Waterfall Technique® that employs a special sequence of clinically-significant essential oils and proven restorative touch techniques, each of which serves a specific purpose to balance, renew, oxygenate, protect, soothe, quench, synergize, enhance, and rejuvenate. I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Penoel in October 2015 as we both attended a wellness summit. We discussed this technique, my books and new certification program, and Dr. Penoel walked away happy and excited to read the course materials for my certification program (which I gifted to him).
The Waterfall Technique® is the culmination of thousands of hours of essential oil research, years of clinical experience, and scientific evaluation, united with the art of essential oil application techniques and reflexology. It serves to support and rejuvenate cells (clean cell receptors, enhance cellular communication, and affect cellular behavior) and key body systems (nervous, circulatory, immune/lymphatic, musculoskeletal, and endocrine systems), and reduce limiting factors in health (stress, toxins, harmful substances, and negative emotions). Through this technique many have experienced extraordinary and wide-ranging wellness benefits.