Friday, July 14, 2017

5 Element Essential Oils

Art by Sue Schmidt

Ingredients: Vetiver, Cedar, Clary Sage, Tangerine. I use 100% essential oils by Wyndmere Naturals in organic jojoba oil.

This blend is earthy and uplifting. The vetiver and cedar reminds us of our grounded connection to the earth. Clary Sage is emotionally stabilizing and the Tangerine adds an element of brightness and cheerfulness. Can be used as a perfume or diffused whenever focus, stability and liveliness are desired. 

Bright Earth is ON SALE at  50% off till Sept. 2017!!

Sue Schmidt CMT, C.Ht 

Monday, July 10, 2017

5 Element Essential Oils by Sue Schmidt CMT C.Ht

Art by Sue Schmidt

Ingredients: Rose, Jasmine, Cedar, Cinnamon, Ginger and Basil. I use 100% pure essentials oils by Wyndmere Naturals in organic Jojoba oil 

The oils in this blend support and balance the cardiovascular system. The emotional qualities this oil elicits are joy, creativity, passion and upward/outward energy. When Fire Element is balanced our heart and spirit is open, willing, strong and stable. Fire element energy moves our dreams, desires and intentions toward manifestation! It reminds us that we are co creators in tandem with Spirit. 

Summer is here! To celebrate this season of Fire Element  the blend is ON SALE at 20% off till Sept. !

Enjoy Summer!
Sue Schmidt CMT, C.Ht

Sunday, November 27, 2016

How Essential Oils Work

Hi All,
I've been enjoying blending essential oils for a while now and love sharing my blends with clients and friends.
I want to be able to explain to anyone who buys my blends how and why these blends work from   a scientific perspective. So I did a bit of research. Here's what I found:

All essential oils are made from plants. Plants have chemical constituents that our bodies need and react to. Most of our modern day medicines have links back to plants, herbs, and trees. A few examples are: aspirin (from willow bark), and for heart problems nature has given us digitalis (from the Foxglove plant).  There are over a hundred organic compounds found in the plant world that benefit us. Learn more
So when we  use an essential oil, we are absorbing the chemical constituents of the plant the oil came from which has therapeutic effects on the processes and tissues of the body. We absorb these chemical compounds through our skin and through our lungs. Some essential oils such as Sandalwood, cross the blood/brain barrier and therefore are directly able to interact with our brains.

 Essential oils have the added benefit of being wonderfully aromatic in addition to being chemically therapeutic. Aromatherapy is the art and science of how smell effects us on a emotional  level.

How exactly does the sense of smell interact with our feelings and emotions?

When an odor molecule is inhaled, it is first sensed by olfactory cells inside our nose. These cells extend into our nasal cavity via  cilia (small hairs). There are receptors on these cilia that match to a specific odor. So when you inhale Lavender, for example, the unique  chemical structure of the  molecules of the scent Lavender zoom up your nose.  When the molecule finds the correct receptor it  locks into the receptor like a key fitting into a key hole.

 When the molecules "lock" into the appropriate receptor, a cascade of neuro chemical events occur. The  cilia send a signal to the olfactory bulb. The olfactory bulb is like a relay station sending signals to different structures within the brain. At this level, electrical and chemical signals are the same. The chemical constituents of the plant cause an electrical impulse to travel between synapses.

 The olfactory bulb routes much of its information to the limbic system. The limbic system is composed of the amygdala, hippo campus, hypo thalamus, and cingulate gyrus.

Lets look at the structures of the limbic system and how they interact with oils:

1. Amygdala: The amygdala is responsible for emotional learning, fear and aggression. The amygdala receives information from the olfactory bulb. This is why some fragrances are calming and deactivate the fear response. That's why some scents may cause a fear reaction if there is a negative memory or survival significance  linked  to the smell.

2. Hippocampus: The hippo campus is involved in long term memory storage. This is why a fragrance can remind us of a person, time in our life, situation or event. I remember clearly the first time I smelled Cedar. My Dad took me to get a puppy and the breeder kept the puppies in a clean bed of shaved cedar. The fragrance hit me and I instantly loved it! It was so different and so intense and it effected me in a way that was wordless but powerful. And now, when I have time and am paying attention, when I smell Cedar I feel more alive, more positive and I remember the feeling tone of the first time.
This ability for a fragrance to stimulate a memory maybe the reason why we like some aromatic scents and don't like others. Some people love the scent of pine, its fresh and reminds of us being outdoors and Christmas. But....if you had a negative experience in a pine forest or sad memories of Christmas gone wrong, pine can be an unpleasant smell for you. If it is pleasant smell for you, it will activate positive memories through your hippo campus and these memories will  have an actual bio chemical effect on our physiology in positive ways. All emotion is bio chemical event!!

3. Cingulate Gyrus: The Cingulage Gyrus regulates blood pressure, attention and heart rate. Essential oils have been shown to have positive effects on our cardiovascular system and some oils wake us up and help us pay attention!

There is another theory of how oils effect us. This is the theory of Energy Medicine. 

Energy Medicine  proposes that all living systems have a frequency. A frequency is the measurable rate of electrical energy between two points.The human body emits electromagnetic energy that can be measured in terms of frequency. Anything that has a frequency also oscillates (repeats). The principle of entrainment states that anything that oscillates will cause other oscillators in the vicinity to vibrate at the same frequency. For instance, when we listen to a sound that repeats, our brain waves start to oscillate at the same frequency. The Heart Math institute has done a ton of research as to how entrainment works, and specifically how the human heart acts as an oscillator that will entrain our brain waves and respiration.

So when we inhale an oil or absorb it through our skin, the cells of our body may resonate with the vibration of the oil. t In this way, essential oils are thought to effect the frequency of our electromagnetic system positively. We can only benefit from those substances that are vibrating at a frequency that is helpful and useful for the human body.

I hope this article has shone a little light onto the subject of how essential oils effect us in positive ways. I am enlivened by the idea that we are so connected to Nature!

 The fact that we have evolved to have specific receptors in our noses designed to smell and derive benefit from the plants around us is a testament of our connection to all of Nature. We truly have evolved to live in synchronistic relationship with the natural world. 

Be Well,
Sue Schmidt CMT, C.Ht
(720) 890 7453

References and Links

Connie Higley, Alan Higley,
 Reference Guide for Essential Oils, Twelfth Edition, Revised April 2010

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Wood Element Essential Oil Blend and Spring

Wood Element Essential  Oil Blend  and Spring

In 5 Element theory, spring is the time of Wood Element. 

Wood Element makes visible and known the energy of "pushing through". All the plants and trees are waking up and pushing out of the ground pushing out of their tight buds.

You can see this energy in the effort it takes a chick to peck its way out of an egg, a seed to crack open, a baby to be born. Have you ever seen a plant growing out of a crack in the sidewalk or a rock and wondered at how such a fragile thing could "push through" rock? That is the energy of Spring and Wood Element.

When this energy becomes blocked we experience anger. The anger gives us an extra umph to push through or go around or do things differently. It can be useful! 

If, however, we are not able to resolve the blockage our anger may turn to frustration or resentment and eventually depression. This is the shadow side of the Wood Element. 

The healthy balanced side of Wood is Power! The power to move toward what nourishes you and turn away from what doesn't. The energy to push through obstacles.

 The organs associated with Wood are Liver and Gall Bladder. At this time of year it is helpful to drink water with lemon, and eat lots of fruits and green vegetables. 

The blend I've created for Wood Element uses oils that are helpful for liver and gall bladder. On a another level, the oils in this blend are helpful for the release of anger and depression. The oils I chose also will help you manifest your dreams and push through obstacles.

Wood Element Essential Oil: 
Ingredients:  Cedar, Rosemary, Pine, Melissa, Rose, Geranium, Helischryum

On Sale 50% off!!

1 dram/3.7 ml                    $3.50
1/3 oz. Roll On/10ml         $7.50
15ml                                    $9.00

Click Here to Purchase Wood Element Oil

So......use your sense of smell to celebrate all the green and growing things! Use your power to manifest what you truly want and need and if you encounter obstacles remember the plant that grows through the crack in the rock. And sometimes if the ground is barren, we need to move to manifest our heart's desire. 

All the Best, 
Sue Schmidt CMT, C.Ht

5 Element Theory and Essential Oil Blends by Sue

Saturday, April 16, 2016

5 Element Theory

5 Element Theory and Essential Oils by Sue

Five Element theory is an ancient system originating in China  that organizes our experience on physical,emotional and spiritual  levels. 
It is based on the idea that human beings are as much a part of nature as a rock, a tree or rushing stream. Therefore, the elements of nature are used to organize our experience and physicality. 
In each one of us, the principles of the 5 Elements can be seen in our physical bodies, meridian energy, personality and gifts/challenges.

The five elements are: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, Wood. The dominant element we express and manifest is called our constitution. 

I've developed a line of essential oil blends for each elementusing 100% oils from Young Living, Do Terra and Wyndemere Naturals. The blends are crafted to enhance, balance and strengthen each element as it is expressed in our bodies and spirit. 

Wood Element expresses itself most strongly in Spring and so Wood Element blend on sale till May 30. 
 Click Here to Purchase Oils/Learn More

Fire Element by Sue Schmidt
Fire Element
Season: Summer

Color: Red

Organs: Heart, Small Intestine, Pericardium, Cardiovascular System

Meridians: Yin: Heart, Heart Protector Yang: Small Intestine, Triple Heater, 

Balanced Emotion: Joyful, Creative, Passionate, Loving

Excessive: Loud, over excited, anxiety, hyperactive

Depleted: bored, dull, tired, "burned out"

Fire Element Essential Oil Blend: 
The Oils: Jasmine, Cedar, Ginger,Cinnamon, Basil,Rose, Rosemary

The oils in Fire Element blend are good for the cardiovascular system and are warming, and uplifting. They inspire a creative, energetic mood. They naturally enhance balance whether you are "burned out" or feeling anxious and hyperactive.
The blend smells warm, and sweet and joyful.

Earth Element by Sue Schmidt
Earth Element
Season: Late Summer or when the most Yin or most Yang energies are expressed e.g., at the Solstice and Equinox

Color: Yellow/Gold

Organs: Stomach and Spleen

Meridians:Yang/Stomach Yin/Spleen

Balanced Emotion: Focused. Grounded. Calm. Stable. Able to receive and give nurturing  both to oneself and others. Compassionate. In tune with the rhythms of nature and self. Good digestion. 

Excessive: Worry. Scattered thoughts. Overthinking. Overcaring. Co-Dependency. Lack of focus. Digestive Problems. Difficulty "digesting" emotions and ideas. 

Depleted: Sluggish, Stubborn, Stuck, Rigid in ideas and thinking. Digestive problems. Difficulty "digesting" emotions and ideas. 

Earth Element Essential Oil Blend:
The oils in Earth Element promote calm,focused, grounded energy. They are especially nurturing emotionally bringing  a feeling of security and calm. They benefit stomach and spleen. They help us digest our food. They help us to be receptive and open to receive the sweetness and nourishment of life.

The Oils: 
Vanilla, Bergamot, Orange, Lemon, Ginger,Vetiver

Metal Element by Sue Schmidt
Metal Element
Season: Fall

Color: White/Metal

Organs: Lung and Large Intestine

Meridians: Yang/Large Intestine Yin/Lung

Balanced: Able to take in what is needed and let go of what is not needed. Able  to move through grief and sadness in an appropriate way. Good boundaries. Good Immunity.  

Excessive: Overly rigid boundaries. Unable to receive. Stuck in grief or sadness. Unable to let go of emotions, thoughts and things. 

Depleted: Poor immunity. Unstable boundaries. Weeping, crying excessively. 

Metal Element Essential Oil Blend:
The oils in Metal Element Essential Oil blend benefit the immune system, lungs and large intestine. They help us release and let go of what is not needed. 
We have to let go in order to receive!

The Oils:
Grapefruit, Eucalyptus, Ravensara, Jasmine, Pine

Water Element by Sue Schmidt
Water Element
Season: Winter

Color: Dark Blue

Organs: Bladder and Kidney

Meridians: Yang/Bladder, Yin/Kidney

Balanced: Courageous, Able to Hold Center, Perseverance, Stable Nervous System, Resilient to Stress, Strong Kidneys and Adrenals, Able to Purify the body and emotions, Stable sleep, Strong bones. Healthy reproductive system, balanced hormones

Excessive: Driven, unable to relax, unable to flow with emotions and life, over preoccupation with time and deadlines, Insomnia

Depleted: Fearful, tired, very effected by stress, unable to persevere in the face of obstacles, scattered, depleted adrenals, Insomnia, brittle bones, fertility issues

Water Element Essential Oil Blend: 
The oils in Water Element blend help our nervous system to relax. They benefit the kidneys and bladder. They promote sleep, and rest so we have the energy to persevere.
The Oils: Ylang Ylang, Melissa, Patchouli, Clary Sage, Orange

Wood Element
Season: Spring

Color: Green

Organs: Liver and Gall Bladder

Meridians: Yin/Liver Yang/Gall Bladder

Balanced: Balanced will, able to manifest your dreams in 3D reality, appropriate expression of anger, able to overcome obstacles, able to work hard and rest when needed, knowing life purpose, able to purify body and emotions

Excessive: Angry, Impatient, Workaholic, Overdeveloped will

Depleted: Depressed,tired, unable to manifest dreams/desires, stuck, frustrated, stagnant

Wood Element Essential Oil: 
The oils in this blend help us to release anger, purify the emotions and benefit liver and gall bladder. They are good for manifesting our desires and dreams. 

The Oils: Cedar, Rose, Helischryum,Pine,Geranium, Melissa

The oils in Wood Element blend helps us to manifest our dreams with good use of our will. When we are free to move toward our dreams, anger and frustration subside. Good for liver and gall bladder

On Sale for Spring!! 50% Off click here

A Note about Balance:
It occurred to me today that for something or someone to be balanced there must always be the potential for movement. We continually wobble away from center only to come back into balance. To know healthy balance we must be off balance sometimes. The question is how quickly can we find balance again? 

We can be both excessive and depleted in an element at the same time. And we can find balance in that element as well. It is a dance, always coming back into alignment. Yin is always becoming yang, and yang is always being coming Yin. 

So its best not to hold balance as some sort of ideal we need to work to attain, but rather as a touchstone we can return to.

Essential oils are a way to express, align and balance our elemental natures.  And they smell beautiful!

Enjoy Spring, 
Sue Schmidt CMT, C.Ht

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Understanding Sciatica

Chances are...  you or someone you know  has experienced Sciatica. It's a very common problem! 

All pain, injury and chronic conditions are caused by a variety of factors such as: genetics, environment, lifestyle and emotional, spiritual issues. I’m going to say a bit about each of these levels.

First,  its important to understand what and where the Sciatic nerve is and how it becomes injured.

Pathway of the Sciatic Nerve

The Sciatic Nerve is one of the longest nerves in the body. It is also quite large-as big around as your little finger! 

It attaches to the lumbar vertebrae of the low spine (L3,L4). It travels downward, underneath,around and through the Piriformis muscle in the buttocks. It then travels  down the leg and out the foot.  For some people, the Sciatic nerve also passes through the Psoas muscle (one of the hip flexors.)

Any nerve can be compressed by tight muscles, and/or entrapped(pinched)  by our skeletal system. A nerve can also be overstretched. 

The Sciatic nerve has the ability to stretch 5 inches! When it becomes overstretched from injury or postural imbalances such as one leg longer than the other, we experience pain.

Nerve pain is tricky because where the pain is is usually NOT where the injury is. The pain you experience with Sciatica is actually below the level of the problem or injury.

The Sciatic nerve can be injured in two places:

1.   The Lumbar Vertebrae: This kind of Sciatica is called Appendicular Sciatica. It is caused by the lumbar vertebrae pressing on the nerve, which  causes it to become irritated and inflamed. The vertebrae can bulge which can may press on the nerve root. 

The nerve root at the vertebrae can also be injured directly by physical trauma.

It can also be effected by tight low back muscles that are compressing the nerve. 

If you are experiencing this kind of Sciatica you will experience the pain in your low back, and/or buttocks or anywhere along the pathway of the nerve. It is also possible to vertebrae problems and have no low back pain, but pain in the buttock, leg or foot.

There may be numbness, tingling, and weakness in the leg on the effected side with this type of Sciatica. 

Other causes of Appendicular Sciatica are:
-Alignment issues in the spine such as vertebrae moving anteriorly to the one above or below
-Tight Psoas muscles (only true for some people)
-Postural alignment problems

 2..The  Piriformis muscle: The other place the Sciatic nerve can be injured is at the Piriformis muscle. This kind of Sciatica is called Appendicular Sciatica, or Piriformis Syndrome or False Sciatica. Altho if you are in pain, there is nothing "false" about it!

   If the Piriformis  becomes tight and inflamed, it can easily press on the Sciatic Nerve.  If you have this kind of Sciatica, you most likely will not experience low back pain. Or if you do, it is probably from another cause. 

You will  experience pain in the buttock that may or may not radiate down the leg and and/or into the foot. 

This kind of Sciatica is much more common and luckily is easier to treat. It occurs much more commonly in women than in men. Men tend to suffer more from disc issues.

This kind of Sciatica is caused by:
-Tight inflamed Piriformis muscles
-Sitting too much
-Sitting with your wallet in your back pocket
-Injury to the Piriformis muscle
-Pelvic misalignment
-Driving with your seat too far back. If you have to point your toe to press on the gas or brake, and you drive a lot or for long distances, this can overstretch the Sciatic nerve

So what can you do about Sciatic Pain?

First of all, its important to differentiate between Acute Sciatica and Chronic Sciatica. 

Becoming injured is part of being human! An acute condition is one that has a discernible cause and gets better with time and care. 

We’ve all had the experience of lifting something too heavy, helping a friend move, dancing all night, skiing all day (my personal favorite!) and waking the next morning with low back pain or pain in the buttocks and legs.

If this occurs, the best course of action is to rest, apply ice and take anti inflammatories for 24-48 hrs. Massage can really help at this stage!
However, it is very important to not apply direct pressure to the nerve as this can further irritate it. So it is important to have a therapist who understand this and knows the path way of the nerve.

After a day or two of rest, its time to get moving! For most people gentle exercise really helps with Sciatic pain. Gentle walking is probably best at first and just engaging in your daily activities.

The most important thing to know about acute Sciatica is the the body knows how to heal! Most injuries resolve by themselves over time.

If you experience numbness, tingling or sharp pain and the pain does NOT diminish over time you should see your doctor to determine if there are disc injuries or other problems.

Chronic Sciatica pain is pain that does not go away with good care and time. Or the pain reoccurs regularly without there being any apparent cause. Often, an acute condition becomes chronic when we ignore the initial pain and don't rest. By rest, I mean to stay off your feet for a day or two. 

 With any chronic condition, emotional, mental and spiritual factors come more into play both on the causative level and as a result of pain that is unresolved.

Massage can be a big help with any kind of chronic pain. A good massage not only works on the muscles of our body but also works directly on the nervous system. When a doctor or anyone tells you, "Its all in your head." That is not helpful at all! But it is true that much of the pain we experience is in our nervous system rather than our muscles, ligaments, and/or tendons. 

Our nerves learn! 

When we are in chronic pain, the communication between the damaged nerve(s) and the brain becomes faulty. Its like a conversation where only one party is listening, or what is being said is misinterpreted.

When communication breaks down, the  body may begin to be hypersensitive to any sensation: interpreting light touch, or even temperature changes as pain. 

Massage provides a non noxious stimuli that is comforting and positive. As the nerve gets new info that is not painful, it begins to adapt to the new stimuli in positive ways. Its kind of like rebooting your computer!

Treatment for Sciatica with Vertebrae Issues:

If you are experiencing Sciatica pain at the nerve root caused by a herniated disc or other vertebral problems its important to get his evaluated by a doctor. You may suspect this if you have low back pain that does not go away, along with  numbness, tingling, weakness or very sharp pain along the nerve path. It is possible to have a disc issue but have no low back pain, and instead experience pain in the buttock or leg or even foot. 

If you have a skilled massage therapist, she can carefully decompress the vertebrae allowing for more freedom for the nerve. Its important to note that direct pressure on the vertebrae or nerve can make the condition worse. So know your therapist!

Chiropractic adjustments can work for some people to realign the vertebrae.
Acupuncture can help with any kind of pain.

Treatment for Piriformis Sciatica:

A skilled massage therapist can massage the attachments sites of the piriformis to allow the muscle to relax. It is important not to just mash the piriformis into the nerve, as this may cause more irritation. Rather lifting and separating the piriformis from the other muscles and off the nerve may be helpful. 
Gentle stretching of the piriformis can provide relief as well. But the key word here is gentle!

A massage therapist can also massage the hamstrings, working to separate the muscles to allow more freedom for the nerve. The nerve can also be released at the back of the knee.

If your Sciatica does not go away with time, rest, massage etc. it may be time to look more deeply

The body and mind are in constant communication with one another. There is an ever changing very sensitive flow of information. I have already mentioned that chronic pain can cause this information to become faulty and that massage can help with this. It's as if one side of the conversation breaks down and mis communication occurs. 

It is also true that every thought we think has a bio chemical effect on the body. This is both a scary and amazing fact! Its not as if  one negative thought will necessarily impact us on a physical level. 

But….a pattern of stressful or negative thinking and emotions will impact  most people  physically at some point.  

Of course, the same is true the other way as well. The state of our physical body effects our mood, emotions and even thoughts. Its like a conversation. Both the body and the mind get to talk!

There are schools of thought that feel that where pain occurs is significant. 

In other words, if you have Sciatic pain, there is a different emotional, mental thought pattern associated with that pain, than if the pain were somewhere else in your body.  

Two  good questions to always ask when experiencing chronic pain are “Why here? (meaning this location in the body) and “Why now?”

Emotional Pain Chart

It is often said that Sciatic pain and low back pain in general is indicative of feeling that there is a lack of support in your life. 

I would suggest that you evaluate this in a curious, open minded way. It may be true for you, or somewhat true or not at all true. It is, however,  a good place to start your inquiry.

It is in our wonderful human nature to want to categorize, and pigeon hole all of our experience. It is my belief that you if you have ten people with Sciatic pain, you will have ten different reasons for that pain. But..there most likely is some commonality as well. 

It is also to helpful  differentiate between a lack of support and perceived lack of support. If you really don’t have support in your life, you can begin to cultivate relationships that do provide you with support. And often to become more  supported, it is good idea to begin to be more supportive of your family, friends and loved ones.

We get support by being supportive!

For some of  us, however, we give more support than we get, simply because we don’t ask, or don’t become vulnerable enough in our relationships to reveal our wants and needs. Or we simply we may not how to ask for support.

So ask for help, appreciate the help you have, cultivate gratitude and appreciation for all the ways you actually ARE supported.

You can begin to cultivate spiritual resources to begin to build a place of love and support within that is relatively free from external circumstance

Many of us, myself included, actually do have all the support we need. But we forget that it is there! Then it may become more important to notice, appreciate and call upon the support that actually exists for us. And that is especially true of spiritual support. 

The positive energy of life, healing and love is always there for all of us. We just need to be aware of it and use it!

In order to realize and appreciate the support we have, it is important to have a calm, stable mind. 

Meditation is an excellent way to do this! I suggest beginning with a general meditation approach that can allow you to connect more deeply with your mindbody. An excellent app I have found for this is

It is also helpful   to engage the unconscious mind in the process of healing. The body is the unconscious mind and the unconscious mind is the body.

We visualize and affirm the positive change we want to see in our body and with time and practice it becomes so! For guided meditation that helps heal any issue you may have click here

The most important thing to remember if you are experiencing Sciatic pain is that you have all the tools you need to heal. It may be helpful to get massage from a skilled therapist to help you along your path to healing. 

Chiropractic and acupuncture can also be helpful. And if all else fails, surgery can and does fix vertebrae problems.

One thing I see constantly in my practice is that people with many structural, organic, physical injuries experience little or no pain. While people with little or no discernible physical causes of pain, suffer greatly.

We can retrain our nervous system to process pain differently. Massage is especially good for this. 

We can learn to be more at peace, happier and more stress free through meditation which will  have a positive effect on the degree of pain we experience.

I hope you have found this article helpful! 

Let me know about your experience of Sciatica or any low back pain and what you found to be helpful.

 What helped you may help someone else!

Be Well,

Sue Schmidt CMT,