The other day I posted about how badly I need some TLC, specifically a facial and a massage. Well, I am booked, but my appointment’s not until next Friday. In the meantime, my neck is killing me.
That’s a slight exaggeration. It is stiff. Turning my head to the right hurts. But mostly, it feels tired, like my head is too heavy for my neck. It’s nothing life threatening. Just uncomfortable and annoying, because it’s ‘there’, all the time. My neck and shoulders are my ‘weak spot’, so this is something I’ve experienced before. It happens often.
I’m doing what I can to alleviate the discomfort, until a professional masseuse gets her hands on it. Or at least, I’ve been trying. All kinds of stretches. Rolling my neck over a tennis ball (not the most fun I’ve ever had, by the way), to unknot the muscles. Long, hot showers. A heating pad.
Sleeping with no pillow. Sleeping with one pillow. Sleeping with two pillows. A water pillow. A down-filled pillow. Tylenol. Advil. Aspirin. No, I did not take all the drugs at the same time. My neck’s been bothering me for about a week.
Nothing’s really worked.
Yesterday I remembered my Warming Pillow. It’s oblong in shape and it’s filled with wholegrain and lavender. You heat it in the microwave (can also be put in the freezer, depending on what’s ailing you) for a couple of minutes and wrap it around your neck. You can’t imagine how soothing it is.
What’s more, my pain is gone. Totally gone. Not surprising, because lavender is known to have healing properties. I decided to do some research:
First of all, the scent alone relaxes you and calms you down. It’s oil has antiseptic properties, which makes it perfect for cleaning scrapes, cuts and even surfaces in your home like countertops and tables, where bacteria likes to hang out. Linalol, which is an active ingredient in lavender, heals sores, burns and other wounds. It also reduces pain and inflammation. It reduces anxiety and soothes painful joints and muscles. Don’t I know it?
Massaging lavender oil into your temples can help get rid of headaches. It can reduce spasms. It helps you fall asleep, and stay asleep. I know this first hand, as well, because within minutes of wrapping my pillow around my neck, I was down for the count. I used the pillow four separate times yesterday, and each time I fell asleep, instantly. It’s an expectorant, so it’s good to use when you have a cold or cough. It can get rid of yeast infections and can even help with depression and pain management, following surgery.
All of this leads me to this question: Why is our first line of defence always to reach for traditional medicine?
I’m not saying to never use it. Sometimes we must; and, on those occasions, we should. But sometimes there are different choices we can make. Personally, I am a believer in integrative medicine. A combination of both alternative and conventional treatments, depending on what’s wrong with me.
Luckily I have a doctor with an open mind. Frankly, she wouldn’t be my doctor if she didn’t have an open mind, if she didn’t encourage me, and all her patients, to read and do research. She gives us websites to go to, because she believes when you’re educated about your health and any conditions you might have, or have a propensity for, you’re a better patient. You’re her ‘partner’ in your health. You are a participant.
Like me, she also agrees that, as a society, we are over-medicated. It always shocks me when I hear how readily many doctors prescribe antibiotics, for example. When they’re needed, they’re needed. But I don’t believe they’re needed as often as they’re prescribed. I can count on the fingers of one hand, how many times I’ve had an antibiotic, in my entire life. I prefer, whenever possible, for my own immune system to fight whatever’s trying to attack me. With the help of good vitamins and immune boosters, properly prescribed, taken in moderation.
Moderation, of course, being the key. In all aspect of our lives.
Except when it comes to lavender. I love it. I love it’s scent. I love how it makes me feel. It’s beautiful to look at. Perhaps I should move to Provence, where fields of lavender would be right in my backyard. At least for three months of the year.
I have more than enough points to fly there. Au revoir, mes amies …