Painless Tick Removal 101: The Great Experiment

We live in TN. Ticks seem to regard TN as their own personal utopia and seem to be everywhere both in quantity and variety. I did some reading/research a while back on how to safely remove ticks without the traditional yank and pull method which risks leaving the parasites head behind OR causing a chunk of skin to be removed along with the tick. Neither of those are fantastic situations and are often painful. Somewhere or other I stumbled over the recommendation of saturating the tick with essential oil, the oil soaks into the skin and around the ticks mouth and causes them to turn loose automatically because their tasty blood feast isn’t so yummy anymore.

All excited about this “pain free” alternative (which btw was also alluded to as being an effective prevention of Lymes and other diseases carried by ticks) I eagerly waited for the next victim -I mean, person to get a tick for me to experiment on. I waited…And waited…And waited some more. TheMan had spread diatemateous earth around our yard a couple of years ago because it was reputed to do away with ticks and other problem bug like critters. We had seed ticks by the thousands. Apparently it worked because the past couple of years ticks have been kinda scarce around our yard. Still. There were plenty of ticks elsewhere and in the woods so it had to be only a matter of days…maybe a couple of weeks…right? Try a couple of MONTHS later I finally got my hands on a real life person with a tick that wasn’t too terrified of my concoctions to allow me to experiment on her.

It was a nice medium sized tick that had a firm grip upon her scalp. What I had read recommended soaking a cotton ball in essential oil and taping it over the tick for a little while, checking periodically to see if it had let go.  Since this was in the middle of her head tape didn’t seem like a viable alternative so I decided to just drip drop the essential oil neat directly over the tick. Once assured that the oil would in no way hurt her hair, my trusting companion consented to the modified protocol.

I watched closely to see any reactions from the tick as the Tea Tree Essential  oil (my weapon of choice since it is very safe to be applied neat, or, without dilution) slowly saturated him and the surrounding hair and skin. A miserable squirming commenced, and after a couple minutes I could see him frantically trying to back away. He opened his jaws and seemed to be trying to “spit out” or unhook his little pincers from her skin. When he had just barely a bit of it left in his jaws I quickly tugged him away (concerned that at the rate of his current squirming and scrabbling if he got totally unhooked he would disappear into other parts of her hair). A tiny flake of skin came away with his jaws. BUT there was no bleeding, no red mark, no NOTHING. You couldn’t even tell where he had been. Thankfully for once I remembered to take before and after pictures of the process. Well, they are really more like during and after…I forgot to take a picture before I dropped the oil on.

Tick sqirming miserably after the oil is dripped upon it.

Tick sqirming miserably after the oil is dripped upon it.

Same area after the tick was removed. Can't even tell it was ever there!

Same area after the tick was removed. Can't even tell it was ever there!

I plan on trying this on any future ticks we come across and hopefully will have as good a results as we did this time. I’m thinking about trying Lavender Essential oil next time since quite frankly I like the smell of Lavender better than Tea Tree essential oil.

Anybody else have tried and true painless tick removal methods? I’d love to hear about them! =D If anybody is brave enough to try this protocol on themselves or someone that will allow you to experiment please take the time to let me know how it works.

Wise Traditions: Excerpts/Notes/Comments from Acid Reflux Article

Acid Reflux

Acid Reflux

All disease begins in the gut.


I am reading through the latest edition of Wise Traditions, Published by the Weston A. Price Foundation. One article in particular is quite fascinating to me. It’s by Kathryne Pirtle and entitled Acid Reflux: A Red Flag with the sub title A Precursor to Chronic Illness.

The following are excerpts from this amazing article. If you wish to read the full length version (what I share here barely scratches the surface!) you can write and request it directly from the Weston A Price Foundation. I also highly recommend anybody who is able to subscribe and become a member so that articles like these are delivered straight to your door! =)


In the United States, sixty million people have acid reflux, or one in five. Acid reflux and related digestive disorders now constitute an epidemic, and no age group has been spared. In fact, 50% of infants suffer from acid reflux in the first months of life, and during the last few years, there has been a 56% increase in sales of medicine for acid reflux and digestive disorders in infants and children from birth to four years old!”

“The medications for acid reflux have a  poor track record. In 33% of the people taking them they don’t work at all. Sixty percent of those taking these medications continue to have problems three times a week, and 75% are double up on over-the-counter drugs.”

“According to Hippocrates, ‘All disease begins in the gut.’ An underlying principle in Chinese medicine is that good digestion is the key to good health. As a corollary Dr. Weston A. Price noted that the principle cause of disease is malnourishment.”

Acid Reflux and Asthma

“Interestingly, 41.1 percent of non-smokers who have a chronic cough and 60% of those who have asthma also have acid reflux. Asthma in children and adults is increasing at exponential rates. In 1995, almost fourteen million people were diagnosed with asthma while today that number has jumped to over thirty-four million.

How does acid reflux lead to asthma? First, acid reflux may cause people to breath tiny drops of hydrochloric acid into their lungs, which can irritates the delicate pulmonary lining and cause spasms in the airways, triggering an asthma attack. Second, frequent episodes of acid reflux may cause digestive acid to damage the esophageal lining and expose some of the nerves that are connected to the lungs. Irritation of the nerve endings may initiate a constrictions of airways, thereby causing an asthma attack. Additionally, the acid can cause inflammation of the throat and larynx.

Surprisingly, asthma medications that dilate the bronchial tubes can trigger acid reflux symptoms, as they may cause the cardiac sphincter to relax, allowing acid to escape up through the esophagus. Regrettably, the conventional treatments for asthma merely address the symptom of narrowed breathing passages. While this is a very necessary step, such treatment does not address the underlying causes.

Seven Million people suffer from ear infections every year. Acid Reflux may cause persistent ear infections as refluxed liquid enters the upper throat and inflames the adenoids causing them to swell. The swollen adenoids can block the passages from the sinuses and Eustachian tubes, and fluid can build in the sinuses and middle ear.”

Program for Recovery from Acid Reflux

STEP ONE: The first step to recovery is eating foods that are easy to digest, end the candida cycle, heal the digestive tract, and offer superior nutrition. Start with bone broth soups exclusively for the first week. Make soups with homemade broth containing a variety of vegetables and a little chopped meat or liver.

STEP TWO: The second step to recovery is inoculating the gut with foods that will build a healthy intestinal flora. This is the time to add full-fat cow or goat milk kefir or yogurt – kefir has beneficial yeasts that literally “eat” candida, and contains other probiotic bacteria that will colonize in your intestinal tracts. Ideally, you should make your own kefir or yogurt out of whole raw milk, but if you cannot find raw milk you can purchase a high-quality, organic plain whole milk yogurt such as Traderspoint, Brown Cow, Seven Stars or Stoneyfield. If dairy is not tolerated, try other fermented foods and beverages such as homemade sauerkraut or pickles, coconut kefir, beet kvass, lacto fermented sodas and kombucha.

STEP THREE: The third step to recovery is to consume a diet consisting solely of nutrient-dense, easy to digest foods that continue to heal the intestinal tracts and support a healthy flora. Your diet should include:

– High quality fats – for nutrient absorption and healing the gut lining- including raw butter, coconut oil, palm oil, and lard, goose fat, duck fat, and tallow from pastured animals. Take cod liver oil for Vitamins A and D.

– High quality animal foods including liver and other organ meats, eggs (especially the yolks) from pastured hens, wild caught seafood including fish eggs and shellfish and dairy foods like raw whole milk and cheese.

– Bone Broths in soups, stews and sauces.

– Cultured vegetables and beverages-saurerkraut, pickled beets, beet kvass, kombucha.

– Vegetables- limit vegetables, at first to those you consume in bone broth soups or saute or steam- always add butter or coonut oil.


These are just the highlights that I found easiest to pass on. Do you or someone close to you suffer from acid reflux? Have you found any products that have offered long term relief?  Do you know of anybody who has tried an acid reflux healing diet like this?  Please share in the comments section! =)

Tired, Weary and Bleary: An Experience in Vulnerability

I have an autoimmune disease. My adrenals are shot. My Vit. D levels are in the basement and way below the bare minimum required to support good health. There are about a lot more tests I need to have done to get a bigger and more accurate picture of what is going on with my messed up, screwed up, crazy body.  It’s going to cost a lot of money but it has to be done at this point.  Over the years I’ve spent a lot of money on this ol’ fleshly house without many solutions or answers to show for the sundry problems my body has presented me with. Do I sound frustrated? That is probably because I am sometimes. Tonight happens to be one of those times and you my unsuspecting blog reader shall subsequently have to endure some verbal spewing on the subject.

Most women struggle with body image. Body self esteem. Accepting the understanding that they are inherently valuable and beautiful just because they are women and as such something special and to be treasured. We all have our memories and those pivotal moments in our childhood or youth when we first became self conscious. First felt inferior. First became aware of the sinister reality that the world was geared to respond well to beauty and and not so much to plainness or even flat out homeliness. Then there is the other side of the coin. The side where there is a realization of a certain amount of beauty, a certain awareness that one or two or five aspects of your looks are pretty exceptional attributes. Especially for those raised with the concepts of modesty, decency and a fear factor when it came to creating problems or temptations with men there can be a whole host of insecurities and fears tied up in those ideals. For these women instead of asking “Do I look good in this?” or “Does this make my already pronounced rear look even bigger??” their self doubt questions are more along the lines of “Does this draw too much attention to my already attention getting bust?” “Does this reach long enough? Are people going to think I’m being indecent because of this?” It is as though womankind, regardless of which end of the spectrum they are coming from or even if they are some jumbled up mess of both ends  is destined to be over aware and struggle to have an emotionally healthy and positive view of themselves.

Image aside there are certain undefined, unspoken expectations most women have of their bodies. Some are rather futile feeling hopes (accompanied with the knowledge that there are those women in the world that are blessed with this as a reality) that a monthly visitor won’t include any pain, discomfort or bloating. We expect our bodies to have the capacity to support reproduction. We expect our bodies, when treated with respect and care to function in daily life without excess pain or discomfort. We expect to be able to set reasonable weight and fitness goals, work hard and attain them.

Or maybe that was just me that had those expectations.

In hindsight my poor ol’ bod wasn’t treated very well. My life has had a lot of stress. I internalize most negative emotions and tend to have delayed emotional processing of bad or stressful situations. Until the past couple of years my diet has been pretty horrible. Although a life long fan of sleep in my late teens and early twenties I often went a couple of days at a time with no sleep at all until crashing to sleep sometimes 24 hours straight in a sleep-catch-up marathon. There were months long periods where I averaged about 3 hours of sleep per night. I discovered caffeine and coffee became my weapon of choice. Back then I didn’t know a good brew of smooth coffee even existed and drank some of the most bitter, burnt and acidic gallons of coffee you can imagine as a means to the end of requiring less sleep. (The above routine is, for those of you who don’t know it, the prescribed method for rapidly burning out even a healthy adrenal system. Not good. Pass the word along. )

Despite the physical appearance of being a very healthy child I had some semi chronic health issues that required the use of pharmaceuticals all through my life. First two years of life were punctuated by antibiotics and surgeries for tubes due to chronic ear infections. Later came the asthma and lung complications that at least once or twice a winter resulted in me being on steroids or antibiotics or both a couple of times per winter. The inhalers and allergy medications were also par for the course. In my early teens after months of the rather dangerous problem of randomly losing consciousness at various times I was finally given the hard earned (after dozens of tests by various medical experts) title of having Neurally Mediated Syncopy. Which was simply a fancy way of saying my brain randomly decided to tell my heart to stop supplying blood to the brain. Rather suicidal of my brain but it wouldn’t listen to reason. =P This resulted in being put on yet another slew of pharmaceuticals designed to help me manage the array of symptoms that went with this syndrome. Fast forward a few years after that and add a year of chemical birth control in early marriage to the mix. Just reading through the list of documented/potential side effects of all the medications I’ve been on in my life is enough to make my eyes cross and vow to never swallow another pill ever again.

All that to say. My body has not had good nutritional support and it’s actually had a lot of help in the opposite direction, actual support in developing some of it’s chronic issues. As a result my body has not cooperated with those undefined reproductive expectations. I have had numerous miscarriages. That we have a daughter with us here on earth is nothing short of a miracle and was called such by my Dr. at the time.  My body does not perform well on a daily basis. There is fatigue, at times debilitating, extreme, mind numbing fatigue. Muscle and joint aches. Lethargy so thick you can cut it with a knife. Muscle weakness. I remember being so surprised to learn that running, as in, just running across the yard to pick up a ball was not uncomfortable or painful for most people. Running at all for me has = pain and discomfort even in my childhood. I just thought everybody had that and that most were better at pushing through discomfort than I was. In my adulthood I read about physically active people having to develop mental discipline and push through the pain and discomfort. Of throwing up after a good workout. At various points in time I decided to suck it up, and do what I needed to do to attain physical fitness. I pushed myself hard and was usually rewarded by heat exhaustion, asthma attack/coughing fit or losing consciousness. Needless to say I did not try this all too often and have led, by and large a sedentary life.

To sum up this long, sad tale of depressing self pity…I haven’t just had insecurities about my looks. About my chubbiness, or weight that was always higher than that of my peers. About my nose that was too big and my bushy eye brows that looked like they were constantly brooding and trying to hatch a plot to take over the rest of my face. About my clumsiness and lack of coordination.  About my super squinty eyes that are puffy 99% of the time. I have been disappointed in every other functionality of my body as well. Those hips that I always comforted myself as being good for child-bearing turned out to be a big chubby dud. That regular as clock-work indicators of my genetically pre-disposed rabbit like fertility was nothing but a false assurance. In almost every way imaginable I have felt like a failure as a woman. I have experienced deep seated self frustration and self hate. Asked all the deeply emotional and illogical questions of God. Looked at the image in the mirror with loathing. I have wondered and questioned if only I had done or had not done xyz would some of our children be alive.

And I have been frustrated. Managing and owning a health supplement company and the roller coaster educational ride that has completely redefined my world. My body is now getting the nutritional support it needed for so long. Many of the underlying issues that are causing my body the plethora of miserable symptoms are being addressed via supplements and alternative resources. But, although there is always hope, in some ways it feels like very little that might possibly be too late. Autoimmune diseases cannot be cured. One cannot deactivate a gene that has been activated. However, it can be neutralized and I know of quite a few people with various autoimmune diseases who have lived symptom free for years. The body is constantly seeking to normalize and optimize it’s performance so the key to that thing we call a magic cure is to find what tools the body needs to obtain optimal functionality with your particular body and make sure that there are lot’s and lot’s of those raw materials around for the body to use. First to heal, repair, do damage control, build up some reserves and then get to work actually making you FEEL better. All of this is very good news on the physical side of things. I do have hope that one day my body won’t feel the need to stockpile weight like it’s going out of style and that I will actually regain a waistline again.

And yet, I still feel frustrated. Still sometimes feel betrayed. But you know what? Those are just feelings. And feelings I CAN deal with. Right here and right now. I don’t have to wait for my body to normalize to healthy and fully functional first. I don’t have to wait for those workouts to start paying off. This can be combated with truth in the here and now.

The truth is I am blessed.

I have two feet that carry me where I need to go.

I have the ability to play with my precious little girl and take her for walks.

I am able to jump up and down, to bumble through dance steps with my man and to sing at the top of my lungs.

I am able to cook, draw, play the piano, write and anything else I want to do in the creative realm.

I am able to eat healthy and delicious foods.

I can smile with the confidence and radiance that only a woman who knows she is loved unconditionally by her man can have.

I can hold, cuddle, kiss and care for the Doodlebug.

I can have joy. I can have peace. I can be content. I can trust. I can believe.

That I am beautiful. From the inside out. I am who I am supposed to be. The past is the past and I cannot undo what is done. Our babies cannot be brought back. I believe somehow, somewhere it is all for our good and theirs although I cannot understand the why or how behind that concept.

Contentment is something I used to think was a gift. That some people were born having and others were not. I believe now it’s a skill. As much of a mental and emotional discipline as it is anything else. This is a skill I am committing to actively learning and practicing. Contentment. It is an amazing thing to obtain. I theorize that the feeling a person get’s at the end of a marathon…After all the hours of training, blood, sweat and tears. The mental discipline and the day in and day out follow through required to condition their bodies…That feeling at the end though has got to be similar to a person who has conquered the emotional marathon that is contentment.

I challenge every woman who has made it this far into reading this (and by the way you totally deserve an endurance metal just for that!) to seek truth. Specific, exact, freedom based truth for every fear, insecurity, self doubt and disappointment that you have about yourself. Whether it be personality, body, looks or whatever. Specific truth for specific emotional bonds that we find ourselves in can be earth shatteringly freeing. Once a truth is found that combats a particular problem or self-struggle please take the time to write it down.

Make a list. Memorize the list. Speak truth to yourselve when you are going through one of those life workouts that tend to obliterate any vestige of emotional contentment that you have been able to summon. Practice the mental skill of speaking truth to yourself and then believing it and then acting upon it emotionally. Find an accountability partner, someone who will speak truth to you when you are too tired, weary or bleary to see anything but mountains of negativity. Learn to love the person God has created you to be. Skinny or chubby, long or short, average or exceptional…Learn the “good” side to whatever coin you have been given and find contentment there. Contentment does not come from obtaining some particle of perfection, contentment comes when we accept and find joy and happiness in the imperfections. When we can recognize the good and the beauty that is more clearly shown and reflected back in our woefully imperfect selves and lives.

I wish you grace, peace and freedom! =) And a Good-Night, Good-Afternoon or Good-Morning!