We live in a pretty toxic world these days. And we don’t have to look further than our own home to realise just how overloaded with chemicals our lives have actually become. Think of all the chemical products you keep in the bathroom and laundry cupboards and even under the kitchen sink. Everything from the conventional toothpaste to hand soap, laundry detergent, dish washing liquid, shampoo, bubble bath, sunscreen, moisturisers, insect spray, baby wipes, deodorant and perfumes – all contain man-made synthetic chemicals that don’t work in alliance with our body.
Have you ever scanned the ingredients on your shampoo, but stopped as soon as you couldn’t pronounce the scientific 28 letter word? I know I have! Ingredients are sadly no longer real, but rather chemicals produced in a laboratory. We unknowingly breathe in toxic scents and lather ourselves (and our children) with thousands of chemicals every – single – day. Literally – thousands.
Beware of the word “fragrance”
The ingredient ‘fragrance’ which is found in an overwhelming number of cleaning and cosmetic products can be a concoction of over 3000 different synthetic chemicals. The toxic ingredients that make up the ‘fragrance’ don’t have to be listed on the label – in order to protect trade secrets. Tell me, when did it become okay to place toxins in our ‘beauty’ products? Washing and cleansing our body with toxins in order to ‘clean’ it is oxymoronic. So, I encourage you to have a look at how many products you have at home that list the ingredient ‘fragrance’, ‘perfume’ or parfum’. Collect them, line them up and seriously consider whether you need these products in your life.
Our babies are born pre-polluted
We are led to believe that anything that hits the supermarket shelf is safe. But this is far from the truth. There’s no governing body or ‘watch dog’ monitoring the safety of these products. Basically, we are the human experiment and products are deemed safe until proven otherwise. A study driven by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants in the umbilical cord blood of babies. A total of 287 different chemicals were detected! But wait, it gets worse. Of the 287 chemicals that were detected, 180 of them cause cancer, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests.
This is not good enough. Today’s babies aren’t even given a chance. They are born pre-polluted. It’s not right, and it’s time we start questioning what products we bring into our homes and use on our children. I do feel that there’s a conscious shift happening and parents are starting to create a grassroots movement towards a more natural way of life. I encourage this wholeheartedly.
Essential oils are gifts from the earth
While I’ve always been a huge advocate for kicking toxins to the kerb, until recently I’ve never had a safe, effective and affordable tool to replace my conventional products. But now I do. I was introduced to essential oils a little over a year ago. To be honest when I first heard about them I thought they were a little too hippy woo-woo for me. I thought they were for people who wore tie-dyed pants and no shoes. But what the heck, if they could replace some of my nasty chemicals, I was willing to give them a try. And I am so grateful I did. In fact, I can’t remember how I solved 99% of my problems before these gifts of the earth walked into my life. I not only use them for cosmetics and cleaning – I use them for first aid, in my cooking, mood management and so much more. They are incredibly versatile.
Essential oils do seem like the latest hype, but they have been around for a very long time. They are simply pure extracts from a plant. These pure extracts can work in powerful ways to support a healthy lifestyle. When you find a tool such as essential oils that is safe and effective, it’s very hard to contemplate using chemicals again.
How do oils relate to autism?
So how do essential oils relate to autism you may be thinking? Well, in many ways. But to keep this succinct I will quickly address two:
- Autism is an epigenetic condition – meaning that environmental and lifestyle factors can influence how are genes are expressed. Diet, chemicals, stress, pollution, infection and a damaged microbiome all have a profound influence on gene expression. These factors can literally turn our genes on and off. This is SO empowering. It means that the daily choices we make and impose on our children – matters. So choosing to clean the house with natural gifts created by mother nature instead of toxic chemical poisons will certainly promote health in your child.
- In my practice as an OT I use essential oils as a therapeutic sensory tool to promote self-regulation. When we breath in an aroma, this sensory information is sent straight to the limbic system of the brain – this is our our emotional switchboard. No other sense – visual, auditory (sound) or tactile (touch), sends information directly to this area of the brain. This may be why smells are so successful at influencing emotions….. and therefore behaviour. So if smells are so effective at triggering emotional responses they can be used to aid children with self-regulation. For example, they can:
- wake up the nervous system in the under-responsive kids; who seem to watch the world go by
- to calm and ground the over-responsive kids who are constantly operating in a state of flight or fight, who are anxious, have frequent meltdowns or living in that state of stress.
I would LOVE to show you how you can embrace this low-tox lifestyle and support your child’s wellbeing through the use of essential oils. I am a Wellness Advocate for doTERRA and when you place an order through me I provide FREE ONGOING SUPPORT to guide you on your journey. For more information on how you can bring essential oils into your life please get in touch via social media or firstname.lastname@example.org.