Well, October wasn't a great month for us.
I got a cold and was out for almost a week. It wasn't Covid (I tested!); it was just a cold I often get in the fall, but I had to cancel massage because I didn't want to share. Then I was on vacation after a family wedding in D.C. We were masked the whole time in D.C. (with the exception of the wedding at the beginning of the week). We had a good time together seeing family and then some of the many great things there are in D.C. We even ate lunch at restaurants again—outside still, but yeah!
The Monday after we got back, John was feeling "puny," as they say in the south. Fortunately, he slept in the guest room the next two nights even though he tested negative for Covid early on (too early, it turns out). But then he tested positive Wednesday morning and moved to the basement where he's been for 9 days now. (It's a great basement, pretty much its own little apartment where he’s been working all week, so he’s ok.) Friday, October 28, will be day 10 when he can come out of quarantine. His is a mild case, thanks be to God and immunology! But it's a baffling one, because we were practically joined at the hip during vacation, and he got it, but I didn't. The only thing we can figure is that perhaps he picked it up at the Holocaust Museum on our last Friday because that's the only time we were separated that week. Even though he was masked, he was somehow exposed. Who knows? He could have walked through someone’s Covid-positive exhalation stream while walking on the Mall after he left the museum to come meet me at the National Gallery. It's a mystery.
Since I'd unknowingly been exposed through him, though, I immediately cancelled my life and holed up in quarantine. I was very tired a couple of days and did everything I could to boost my immunity, including resting, cleaning, and cooking lots of soup. Somehow, I never got it. Other than the fatigue for a couple of days, which, face it, could have been stress, I experienced no symptoms. I've tested negative twice now in accordance with CDC standards for healthcare workers, so it looks like I wasn't exposed to enough of a viral load for it to have gotten past my boosted immune system. Again, thanks be to God!
So I could finally resume massage a few days ago. But I've waited a few more days to be sure. If you want to reschedule for your own feelings of safety, please do. If you were one of the ones whose massage got cancelled and are in pain, text me (513-909-4232) with times you CANNOT get a massage and let's get you scheduled asap. My schedule was already pretty full, so now it's a mess. Bear with me as I try to get everyone in. Let me know the level of pain you're in so I can prioritize, too.
Argh! I think this is just how life is going to be now. We will continue to mask and do all we've been doing to keep you and your loved ones safe during your massage. As I've always said, I'd rather give up my practice than inadvertently hurt someone or their loved ones with an illness of any kind, including the flu.
If you've not gotten the new bi-valent Covid booster, I encourage you to do so. And get your flu shot. The flu's been waiting for its comeback with a vengeance for a couple of years now. If you're interested in my immune-boosting protocol that may have worked (who knows?), here it is.
Now let's get back to work alleviating your pain!
After some research on essential oils that have proven antibiotic, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-microbial (parasites included) properties, I decided to mix up my own blend of oils to help mitigate against these nasties. Some of you have been asking what the blend was that I was using for massage before closing, so here’s the recipe. Is it effective? I honestly don’t know. But between this and using ViraClear (or V Clear EPS 7630, its new name) at the first inkling that I might be getting sick, I’ve cut the number of colds and flu I get to one a year. This blend cannot hurt you as long as you don’t drink it. Here’s the recipe I use, which includes the ingredients used in the Middle Ages to ward off the bubonic plague.
I am allergic to mosquito bites, so I need a good insect repellant, but I hate pesticides of any kind. Pesticides are the only known cause of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which killed my mother. So I don’t like to wear insect repellant with any pesticides like DEET in it.
What to do? I mix my own essential oil insect repellant, which I found to be very effective, and much better smelling than store bought bug sprays.
Here's what you'll need:
Put 5-10 drops each of as many of the following oils as you have in a 2-ounce dark glass spray bottle:
geranium lemongrass rosemary basil
lavender catnip bergamot vetiver
arborvitae patchouli cypress melaleuca
eucalyptus clary sage cedar wood citronella
peppermint thyme litsea lemon eucalyptus
You can also add any of the following that also have some repellant properties, but these are second-tier:
lemon clove birch
cinnamon douglas fir ylang ylang
The more oils you use, the stronger your repellant will be. You must put these in a glass container because the essential oils are strong enough to break down plastic, and it needs to be dark (brown or cobalt blue) to keep the sunlight from breaking down the oils.
Because essential oils alone can irritate the skin, you need to add a little carrier oil to the mixture. Add about 10-20 drops of a light oil, such as fractionated coconut, almond, or avocado oil, to the bottle. The lighter this oil, the better, so that it won’t clog the sprayer. I use fractionated coconut oil, but I have that on hand.
In addition, you may want to add 5 drops of glycerin.
Fill the rest of the bottle with witch hazel. This will thin the spray, keep the sprayer clear, and distribute the oils evenly on the skin. About half of your mixture should be witch hazel.
Shake well before use, and reapply frequently.
Caution: citrus oils can make your skin more sensitive to light. And some of these oils are not pet-friendly.
So go mix up your own repellant, and enjoy the great outdoors.
If you'd like to purchase your own high-quality essential oils at wholesale cost, let me know and I can help you become a doTerra member to purchase these at cost.
Teresa Eisenlohr is a licensed massage therapist who's also an ordained Presbyterian pastor with a Ph.D. in Christian theology. Needless to say, it's been a weird and interesting healing journey.