How to take care of yourself when you are facing an infection…
After a long day of travel from Tucson, Arizona to Moloka’i, Hawai’i, and another day of waiting for our friend’s delayed arrival, I was tired. I felt well, though, and was surprised to find after a late dinner that my tooth was quite painful. When I felt around, it was actually my gum and the tooth below the gum line that was painful, and made me think it might be the beginnings of an infection.
My first thought was that with all the travel, and the busyness of preparing to facilitate two healing retreats, my immune system was probably low. At the same time, while I was feeling my tooth and gum, I started doing Reiki. Since I was first initiated with a Reiki attunement 9 years ago, that’s always my first response to pain, injury, or signs of illness – do Reiki. That started to help immediately, as it always does, bringing healing energy and touch to the pain on the surface. I placed my 4 fingertips on my cheek along the gum and jaw on the side that was sore, and could feel the pain start to melt.
My mind jumped to the guests that were arriving the next day, and my desire to be completely physically and mentally present for the next few days of facilitating our healing retreat. I did not want to be dealing with a tooth infection – not having to go to a new dentist who I didn’t know, nor recovering from pain and the stress of being sick. I used my Life Coaching skills and shifted my thoughts to positive ones, seeing myself feeling completely well and pain-free. Getting clear in myself that this was a time for taking care of my body, so that I would then be able to serve my clients in the ways that would serve their greatest and highest good.
I thought of the rest of my “natural first aid kit” that I had with me – what would be best for a possible infection? Echinacea tincture always comes to mind, as a great immune system booster. I know if I start to take it, 1-2 dropperfuls every 4-8 hours at the first sign of infection or illness, it always seems to lessen the severity or keeps me from getting sick at all. I make my own Echinacea tincture, which is very easy to do, saving money and putting Reiki into the tincture as well.
The next wonderful remedy I travel with is a Young Living essential oil blend called “Thieves”. This contains cinnamon, clove, lemon, eucalyptus and rosemary essential oils, all documented as having extraordinary anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. The name of this blend comes from a story of a group of thieves who traveled during the time of the Plague, stealing from the victims, who used a similar combination of essential oils to protect themselves and were able to stay healthy. I use it whenever I feel like I might be getting a cold, sore throat, or infection. I take it orally, one drop in a glass of water or cup of tea. When I traveled in India, I would put a drop of Thieves in my bottle of filtered drinking water each day, and didn’t have any problems with digestion that are quite common for many Westerners traveling in that part of the world. Essential oils are extremely potent and concentrated (one drop of rose essential oil is made from 30 roses!), so taking internally needs to be done with great caution.
I immediately took a dropperful of Echinacea tincture and drank a large glass of water with a drop of Thieves. I know that plenty of rest is an essential aspect of staying well, and I was already low on sleep from travel, so I prepared to go to bed right after dinner. When I went to brush my teeth, I remembered that I hadn’t flossed for a few days with my travel preparations taking my time and attention. So I carefully and gently flossed, and found that area of gum was very sore and bled, but I made sure to clean it as well as I could. I then took another dropper of Echinacea, and placed one drop of Thieves essential oil blend right on my gum, where it was inflamed and sore.
Another great remedy for mouth/throat infections is to dissolve sea salt in warm water and using it to gargle, which I could have added to my treatments, but didn’t think of til the next morning.
When I got in bed, I spent another ten minutes or so giving myself Reiki, especially the tooth and jaw area, and fell asleep with my hand resting on my cheek.
For those of you who aren’t Reiki practitioners, anyone can channel healing energy, simply opening yourself as a conduit or channel. You might imagine opening the energy centers at the top of your head and the bottoms of your feet, seeing a beautiful light enter your body, meeting at your heart center, and sending it down your arms and legs and out through your hands and feet. Ask that Divine healing energy flow into you and through you, going to whatever parts of your body need healing, and trusting that this is happening. You may feel warmth or tingling, and you may see colors as you see and feel this healing energy flowing through you, but you don’t need to see or feel anything to trust that it is working. There is universal healing energy available to everyone, so tap into it anytime you need.
The way one of my Reiki teachers taught me about this concept is that there is always universal healing energy around us, and it is similar to radio waves. There are radio waves around us all the time, but until you tune into a particular station, you don’t hear anything. All you need to do is consciously “tune into” the healing energies, and they will begin flowing.
With Reiki, you become “attuned” to a particular channel of energy, which is always available once you are initiated in a sacred ceremony. The Reiki energy has its own unique qualities, of deep quieting, relaxation, and is an intelligent energy that goes exactly where it is needed: to the physical, mental, emotional and/or spiritual bodies. If you are interested, experience a session with a Reiki practitioner and then if you are called, find a Reiki Master/Teacher who you resonate with and receive a Reiki attunement. It is a wonderful way to keep yourself healthy and lower your stress levels, as well as a great blessing for your friends, family, animals, and clients!
When I awoke the next morning, my tooth and gum were totally pain free! I couldn’t find any place that was tender at all. I didn’t take it for granted that whatever had appeared was gone, so I continued for another day or two with Echinacea tincture, Thieves essential oil in my water, and careful and gentle flossing, as well as staying clear that I wanted to be completely well with plenty of energy. The pain did not come back, and the rest of my time in Hawaii I felt very well – fully present physically, mentally and emotionally for my clients and grateful to my body for its own healing capabilities.
I am also grateful for having learned some simple remedies over the years that may help my body to heal more quickly and with less pain. I like to share these with others so that more people can take greater responsibility for their health and wellness, and not have to be so reliant on a health care system that does not always respond as quickly and easily (and inexpensively!) as our own resources.
(These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness. Please consult your health practitioner with any signs of serious illness.)