IF YOU'RE STRUGGLING, DON'T LOSE HOPE.
YOUR ANSWER MAY COME WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT.
I'm Laera. I have epilepsy. I'm a survivor of “anti-epilepsy drug" Levetiracetam, which worsened my epileptic seizures to the point that I was forced to uproot and leave my current life in New York City. Until Levetiracetam entered the picture, all was going swell in Gotham with my freelance medical writing job, my part-time bartending gig, and my Upright Citizens Brigade comedy classes.
Eight years after leaving NYC, I'm immensely grateful that I can say my own health struggles have served as one of my greatest teachers thus far. My epilepsy introduced me to the world of natural medicine.
I'm now a certified Reiki practitioner, doTERRA essential oils Wellness Advocate, and wellness coach and meditation guide in Portland, Oregon, working at my very own entrepreneurial Lair.
I'm also a student of energy medicine at Portland's LightSong School of 21st Century Shamanism and Energy Medicine, and a former pharmaceuticals researcher.
Since being diagnosed with epilepsy at age 14, I’ve experienced ebbs and flows in the severity of my condition.
There have been chapters of my life that were years long and entirely seizure-free. However, the chapter I'm about to share was when multiple daily gran mal seizures were the par for my course.
Shortly after beginning to take Levetiracetam while living in NYC, I saw the frequency of my seizures literally exponentially increase. I soon was averaging three gran mal seizures per day.
[Since further researching Levetiracetam, it’s become clear that I’m far from the only epileptic who’s had their condition worsened by this particular FDA-approved “anti"-epilepsy drug (AED).]
I was living in a constant post-ictal state — that is, the mental fog that comes after a seizure, and which can last anywhere from hours to days.
I begrudgingly accepted that I couldn't keep living in NYC like this, and so I packed my bags, picked up, and made a pit stop at my parents' house in Arkansas while I tried to get a better grasp on my health and determine my next move.
I continued writing for my job in New York from afar, hoping to soon return to the city after subletting my room in Bushwick for a few (hopefully short?) months.
However, I soon found that the conventional neurologists in Little Rock weren't any more skilled with their AEDs than were NYC's conventional neurologists (surprise?).
It looked like time to start exploring some other treatment options, so I moved to Portland because I'd heard good things about the thriving alternative medicine scene there.
In Portland, I tried using still more AEDs prescribed to me by conventional neurologists and epileptologists, while trying various alternatives to pharmaceuticals on the side (including medical cannabis, ketogenic dieting, meditation techniques, neurofeedback therapy, and acupuncture).
Nothing seemed to work.
Over the span of thirty months spent focused on finding a solution, only medical cannabis had had any effect on decreasing my seizures. Yet, even with this decrease, my seizures were still daily. So, I was still constantly post-ictal.
After thirty months, I finally gave up hope.
I was 27 years old, and I'd had aspirations in life. That's why I'd moved to NYC, the Capital of the World.
But, here I was on disability. Unable to support myself. And things showed no signs of changing.
I stopped fighting.
I proceeded to taper off of the latest AED I'd deigned to give another test run, since all it had done was increase the sluggishness I already felt from being chronically post-ictal.
But, I surrendered with a peaceful acceptance of my situation.
I realized that things could be way worse.
And . . . I really still had so much to be thankful for.
It was only one week after my surrender that, to my surprise, I was introduced to the solution to my (no longer!) unstoppable daily seizures:
Frankincense. On my feet.
I would never have thought to use Frankincense. At that point, the plant's cameo in the Christmas story was really all that I knew of it. And even if I had thought to use Frankincense, I would never have thought to put it on my feet.
However, during yoga class at my local food co-op one day, I (not surprisingly) had a seizure. My yoga instructor (also a shamanic healer) unsolicitedly told me that it “came to" her from spirit guides that I should use essential oil of Frankincense, applying it to the balls of my feet three times per day.
I didn't know my teacher very well then, and I was skeptical of her suggestion, to say the least. I'd been living in Portland for a couple of years by that time, but I was still schlepping enough East Coast cynicism so that — whenever somebody told me that after all my fruitless searching, that oil on my foot should be my schtick — I paused.
I'll admit that the fact that my teacher was a doTERRA essential oils Wellness Advocate, who just happened to have her pack of free oil samples with her, didn't help. I was somewhat wary that she was just playing the role of a New Age Avon lady, of sorts — simply aiming to make a sale.
Nonetheless, her guidance-giving struck me as coming from a place of true wisdom, despite my guard being up. Her confident genuity — honestly believing that this would help me — was like nothing I'd experienced before during an interaction with any epileptologist. She also didn't seem terribly interested in whether or not I would ultimately end up making a doTERRA purchase.
I had nothing better to do than ask myself, Why not? and give it a shot anyway. (It's not like applying three daily drops of oil per day was going to detract time from any job I was currently working!)
So, after having a free sample bestowed upon me, I proceeded to adopt the daily regimen she’d recommended. Despite how impressed I'd been with her energy, I kept my expectations low, in light of having just survived two and a half years of disappointments, and finally having come to terms with my life as it was.
Lo and behold! I soon saw the frequency of my seizures begin to rapidly decrease. Six weeks from the time I began using Frankincense, I was down to one seizure per week.
Three years later, I no longer live in a chronic post-ictal state. My seizures are only an occasional inconvenience.
Hence, my passion for promoting awareness of essential oils.
Essential oils not only are just as effective as pharmaceuticals; they can prove to be more effective than pharmaceuticals. For me, they were truly life-changing.
My passion for natural healing extends to the realm of energy medicine. I was partly inspired by my yoga instructor’s ability to intuit, and to channel knowledge of, just the answer I'd been seeking — especially after having been disappointed with
-ologist after -ologist.
As I continue my studies of energy medicine, I continue to be impressed with the results of my spiritual journeys conducted on behalf of myself and of others, and with the feedback that I receive from my Reiki clientele.
I also thoroughly enjoy the sensation of channeling energy as I practice Reiki healing.
Because of both my own healing journey and my firsthand experience as a practitioner, I now am impassioned to further awareness of, and respect for, energy medicine.
[If you're still skeptical (as, once was, Yours Truly!), I recommend a book entitled The Quantum Enigma. The existence and influence of frequencies beyond those which we are able to yet scientifically measure is clear.]
Alongside my love of natural healthcare exists my utter disgust with the Untied States' corporatized conventional healthcare system.
As a patient of conventional healthcare, I had both positive and negative experiences with doctors. Unfortunately, the negative largely outweighed the positive.
I spoke with too many neurologists who clearly lacked much respect for me and my input as a patient.
I also gained some insight into the Untied States' conventional healthcare system through my work as a researcher of pharmaceuticals while in New York.
Basically, I was amazed by how lacking some of the medical case studies were that I read. I came across some pharmaceutical case studies based on sample sizes that were surprisingly small. (Appallingly small, given that people's health is on the line here!)
And yet, these same studies (in which, for example, 17 out of 17 participants fared well throughout the experiment) were almost always advanced to the next tier of FDA approval. (CORPORATOCRACY much?!)
I’d learned in fifth grade science class that the smaller the sample size, the less credible the study. For a brief moment, I questioned whether the work I was doing was ethical.
However, I was happy to have found a relatively well-paying writing and research job right off the bat upon my move to the Big Apple. So, I chose to set my concerns aside and continue with work as usual.
Ironically, not long after choosing to ignore those concerns, I learned my lesson the hard way when I went to see a conventional neurologist who prescribed me a conventional AED. The rest is herstory.
(Herstory which, by this point, you've already read.)
It was only thanks to my own trials that I questioned whether it was reasonable to believe that a pharmaceutical was safe just because a doctor or pharmacist — a doctor or pharmacist who may very well be receiving commissions from that same pharmaceutical company for each prescription written — presented it to me as being safe.
To do so was an out-dated concept that I'd been taught.
WHY would we NOT turn to natural healthcare as the primary go-to when in need?
Is it because of the lack of corporate lobbyists in — and the general public's lack of knowledge of — natural healthcare?
Is it because of the lack of insurance coverage of natural healthcare??
This is our HEALTH, my fellow humans — the foundation of our existence!
It's well worth whatever financial leaps and bounds are required to take care of our health, in whatever way is least harmful to us. Less-than-optimal health can make or break the quality of our time spent alive on this planet as humans, regardless of how rich we may be in other arenas.
There are exceptions to any rule, but one tenet upon which people from all social spectrums and cultures from around the world can agree is . . .
IT IS HARD TO BE HAPPY WITHOUT OUR HEALTH!
Now, back to doTERRA. I'm proud to announce that, since my initial wariness, I've done a 180 degree turn and am now a doTERRA Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils Wellness Advocate. (Just like my yoga teacher!)
I'll admit that, from the get-go, I wasn't terribly excited about the idea of network marketing. However, after a couple of years of telling people left and right about how doTERRA's high-quality essential oil of Frankincense had stopped the multiple daily seizures from which I'd been seeking relief for two and a half years prior, a friend pointed out that I already was serving as a living doTERRA billboard.
So, I figured I might as well try and support myself while doing this advertising for doTERRA that I'm going to keep on doing anyway.
The reason I felt it was worth mentioning (even before I ever began selling) that it was doTERRA's brand of Frankincense I used, is because their oils are the highest-quality on the market: Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade.
And — just as with any product — quality makes a difference when it comes to essential oils.
I don't know that I would have had the healing results I did have, had I been working with oil of a lower quality.
(Plus, the potency of doTERRA's oils means that just a little goes a long way! I was surprised that all I needed per dosing was one drop of Frankincense, split between both feet.)
I'll also readily admit that I'm still not much of a network marketer, even with my deep-seated affection for this particular multi-level-marketing company's products.
[Aside from epilepsy relief, I've also found within doTERRA's array of single essential oils, proprietary blends, and personal care products: a sleep aid, skin healing, migraine and headache relief, face wash, and more.]
If you're curious as to just what doTERRA products could benefit your own life,
click here to browse my online doTERRA store.
Regardless of whether you feel compelled to pursue my Reiki sessions, my doTERRA essential oils consultations and sales, or my package deal that includes all of the above plus personalized health coaching and meditation guidance . . .
I hope that, above all, you find my story inspiring.
IF YOU'RE STRUGGLING, DON'T LOSE HOPE. YOUR ANSWER MAY COME WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT.