Posts tagged #menstrual cycle

The Divine Magic of Essential Oils

Essential oils are amazing! I can't sing their praises loudly enough. If you haven't fallen under their spell and been beguiled by their charm and magic, I urge you to give them a try. They will seduce you into certain moods based on their character and human reactions, or out of other negative moods due to the same alchemy.  It's all quite marvellous when you stop and take a moment and understand how they are made and their value to daily life.

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Essential Oils

100% Natural. 


My first exposure to essential oils was 22 years ago when I worked as a travel agent for Winners. I was working away at my desk and computer  and a lovely ginger-haired customer by the name of Annie noticed I wasn't my usual happy self as we were discussing arrangements for her upcoming trip to California.

"Hey Ally, is everything ok?" she asked with a genuine look of concern furrowing her brow.

"Not really" I admitted "I have a headache but I don't want to take anything" I said while simultaneously rubbing my swollen and heavily pregnant belly. 


"Oh, try this"

 she said as she took her necklace off and proceeded

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 to unscrew the tiny little bottle that was attached to it. "It's lavender oil. Just rub a few drops onto your temples and your headache will subside."

My alice-in-wonderland moment with a lovely and always laughing and smiling bohomenian gypsy

"Wow. Okay. How lucky for me that you have this on you today." I exclaimed as I did what she said and rubbed some into my temples, and on my wrists, and under my nose. I gave her back the bottle and she screwed the lid and put it back on her necklace and then around her head and big shiny hair and eyes and smile. 

"I swear by it. It always helps and it can't hurt.  I get headaches a lot myself and lavender is like a fairy godmother, making it disappear." 

"Thank you." 

"My pleasure. I hope it works for you."

"Thanks. I'll book your Cali trip and come find you with final reservations."  

She left and I concentrated on booking her itinerary as it was a last minute trip and she needed the details confirmed asap. I printed her travel plans and walked it over to her desk in the buying department to get her confirmation that everything looked okay before I printed the tickets, yes, this was back in the day when people needed real airplane tickets to travel and couldn't book it themselves. 

"Hey Alison. How's your headache?" she asked as she saw me approach.

I stopped for a second and realized with amazement that it was gone. Poof! Magic. 

After that though I was too busy having babies and caring for them that I truly didn't give essential oils another thought and it was a time before home computers, smart phones or the internet so...

Lavender field in France 

Lavender field in France 

My second exposure to the magic of essential oils was when my husband asked me to put a few drops of the Eucalyptus oil into the washing machine when I put in the laundry detergent. A friend of his told him this brilliant hack for getting rid of the stinky, sweaty, putrid smells in his workout wear, especially the socks and shirts.  No matter how hot or cold or what detergent brand I used, the stench was never quite eliminated . Guess what? It worked! Fresh! Pleasant even. 

Then, last summer for my birthday my ever so thoughtful sister-in-law gifted me with an essential oil diffuser. I love it! The first time I used it I filled it with water and a few drops of Saje's "refresh" blend of oils which combines lemon, eucalyptus and sweet spearmint. I found myself invigorated while working away near the diffuser and was not only revitalized but also highly productive.  The next time I used it I switched to the "liquid sunshine" blend of  bright citrus notes of grapefruit, lime and a dash of bergamot. How did it make me feel? Lighthearted and cheerful. I was quite impressed with the effects of the essential oil fragrance on my overall mood and energy. So much so in fact that this past year everybody on my birthday gift list has received an oil diffuser and a package of oils. Everybody. I'll have you know that each and every one has thanked me profusely and professes to use them all the time. My son has one in his bedroom at university and switches between a "focus" blend and a "tranquil" blend, depending of if he wants to study or sleep. My mom has her set up in her sitting/reading room and says she most enjoys the "bloom" blend which combines rosewood, ylang ylang and geranium for a fresh and soothing experience. She also experiments with different flower oils she picked up at Winners. My niece says hers is constantly on overnight and provides a calming scent, a faint light and sound that helps her sleep. 

Now I am hooked on essential oils and always looking for new ways I can incorporate their wonderful effects into my life when I'm not hanging out for an hour or two in a small room. 

Just last week I was cooking bacon in a pan on the stovetop and as often happens, some bacon grease splattered onto my bare inner arm. Ouch! That's a sensitive area and the sting of the burn was lingering. Then I remembered that while researching this article I read that Lavender oil can reduce the pain of minor burns. I quickly rooted in my handbag and put a few drops on the burn area and I am not kidding you, the pain completely disappeared. Wow! Lavender oil is also a natural antibacterial agent so now I always carry a small bottle in my purse in case of small cuts or burns, headaches and it even helps with other minor skin irritations (read pimples). 

Some benefits of other oils are:

JASMINE OIL :  is a popular natural remedy for improving mood, overcoming stress and balancing hormones. 

YLANG YLANG OIL : it is extremely effective in calming and bringing about a sense of relaxation, and it may help with releasing feelings of anger, tension, and nervous irritability.

NEROU OIL : it has a sweet and intensely floral aroma. Will help fight lethargy, depression, anxiety, and stress.

The above certainly can help combat a variety of menstrual cycle related woes. 

Some wonderful blends that also help during menstruation in particular are lavender, clary sage and rose to reduce the severity of menstrual pain and slightly different but equally effective a blend of lavender, clary sage and marjoram can reduce the duration of menstrual pain. 

One of my oldest friends swears on a combination of lavender and peppermint oil, mixed with almond oil and rubbed onto her abdominal area to relieve both pain and intensity of menstrual cramps. 

I highly recommend you try a few essential oils out, either in a diffuser, rubbed onto your skin or even when washing your clothes to appreciate the amazing benefits they possess. 

Stay tuned to this space to see how I am incorporating essential oils with the Female Empowerment Bracelet in a fun, and even more empowering way!


World Book Day


Today is one of my favourite days - it's World Book Day! 

Books are my obsession. Literally.  Pun intended. I cannot walk by a bookseller without going in and I can rarely, if ever,  leave without buying at least one new book. 

My house is overflowing with literary treasures and I'm am not embarrassed by it in the least.

I read every single day of my life and all three of my children are also bibliophiles and I am proud of that. I'm sure I had a lot to do with them loving books so; reading to them each and every night before they went to sleep (which is probably one of my favourite memories of their childhoods) and having them see me reading for pleasure on the daily.

I honestly don't think I could fall asleep without reading a chapter or two. Books are many things to me; companions and friends, fountains of knowledge, windows into other worlds, vocabulary expanders and the list goes on and on.

In keeping with the theme of this website, today I thought I'd share with you five fabulous books about periods and the menstrual cycle.

1. Moody Bitches by Julie Holland, M.D. 

  Ms. Holland sees the moodiness of women as a blessing and not a curse and invites you to do the same through the pages of her book. 

We are designed by nature to be dynamic, cyclical, and yes, moody. We are moody bitches, and that is a strength - not a weakness.
We evolved that way for good reasons; our hormonal oscillations are the basis for a sensitivity that allows us to be responsive to our environment. Our dynamism imparts flexibility and adaptability. Being fixed and rigid does not lend itself to survival. In nature, you adapt or you die. There is tremendous wisdom and peace available to us if we learn how our brains and bodies are supposed to work. Moodiness - being sensitive, caring deeply, and occasionally being acutely dissatisfied - is our natural source of power.

This 400+ page books imparts wisdom on how to embrace a woman's natural moodiness, there is a chapter entitled 'Own Your Moods',  and what to do and when to seek help when you cannot, 

2. The Curse: A Cultural History of Menstruation by Janice Delaney, Mary Jane Lupton and Emily Toth

This book was first published in 1976 and updated and reprinted in 1988. No doubt it could use a new update or perhaps an entire new volume dedicated to the current status of menstruation in our culture, which thankfully is more open and accepting than ever before. #smashtheshame and all that. 

If you are interested in understanding the myths and taboos surrounding the entire menstrual experience  throughout history - from menarche to menopause - then this book is for you. 


3. Womancode by Alisa Vitti, HHC

The subtitle on this book is "Perfect your cycle, amplify your fertility, supercharge your sex drive, and become a power source". Ms. Vitti was diagnosed with Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) but her doctor was not very knowledgeable or helpful. She decided to research on her own and discovered some amazing results that she achieved through changing her diet and lifestyle.  The author focuses on helping women regulate their periods, alleviate PMS, restore their energy, enhance their fertility and improve their overall mood and wellbeing . She does this by focusing on 5 different areas; hormones, body, lifestyle, diet and exercise. 


4. Code Red by Lisa Lister

"Know your flow, unlock your monthly super powers and create a bloody amazing life. Period."

This lively and well written book teaches women how to live in alignment with the rhythms of nature, the moon and their menstrual cycles. The focus is on accepting and respecting the divine feminine within each of us and instead of fighting our natural inclinations during different phases of the cycle, learn how to ride the emotional and physical waves to maximize the best in us. 


5. my little red book by Rachel Kauder Nalebuff

This is an anthology of first period stories along with reflections on them from women around the world and was first published in 2009.  As you can imagine, some of them are sad, some hilarious, but they all excel at making you feel a member of the sisterhood of woman and incites empathy especially for the women who got their first period with no prior information that this was going to happen to them at some point. If nothing else, it highlights the need for formal and early informational sessions for girls so the poor darlings don't think they're dying. 

Quick question: Do you read print books or are you more inclined to read books on your tablet, kobo or kindle?


Spanish Edition Now Available

Hello beautiful people. I am pleased to announce that a Spanish edition of the Female Empowerment Bracelet is now available for purchase.

It is important to be able to reach as many young women as possible, especially when the product is as universal as this bracelet that explains the menstrual cycle.  It is my hope that this Spanish edition will be successful and will make those of you who have requested it happy.