There’s nothing like a spot of housesitting to remind me of how many hidden toxins are commonly in the average home. My strong reaction inside one particular house sent me on a mission to find the source of my headaches, nausea, dizziness, aches and pains, asthma and hay fever. I’d forgotten how many toxic products were on the market, supposedly offered to us to enhance our home environment. Don’t get me wrong… my partner and I have always found house/pet sitting very rewarding. Homeowners were delighted to find their home fresh and clean on their return and were grateful to find their pets healthy and happy. For us as a couple, it has meant our long term, long distance relationship has gained some sense of normality. It’s a win-win for all!
Our first week in this particular home was difficult for me. The pets were indoor-only pets. To contain them, the windows and doors were always locked. On close inspection, there was mildew, mould, dust, pet hair, air fresheners, cleaning products, insect repellent sprays, mothballs and naphthalene in the wardrobes and linen chests. It’s an older home, so mildew and dust is expected. The fact that the pets had a penchant for sleeping on our pillows sealed the deal for my allergies! For the first time in a long time, I was in need of Ventolin for my asthma. I was starting to break out in hives. I felt bilious, I sounded like I was full of cold and I was lethargic. Not ideal when you plan to commence locum work in a natural therapies clinic!
This is how I turned the home environment into a much healthier one and ensured my body recovered as quickly as possible.
1. All I Need is the Air That I Breathe
Well, not quite, but I think we all agree that we need clean air! The variety of synthetic “air fresheners” in this house was an education for me. They were clearly meant to mask the mustiness of the air and the pet smells. These were a source of toxic chemicals in the air – not good for the pets nor the humans. I gathered the plug-in air fresheners, reed diffusers, fragrance oils and solid air fresheners and placed them in a container I stored in the garden shed. I opened up the highest windows just enough to get some airflow without creating escape points for the non-humans of the household.
Next, I set up my Ultrasonic diffuser (I never use oil burners). This is where I get more creative with my writing to stay TGA compliant:
I only ever use the purest, top-shelf range of essential oils I know of. The thing I love about these oils is that they are guaranteed to never have a synthetic component, even though having “pure” on the label would allow this. Crazy, right? In the bedroom at night, I diffused a blend that assisted me to breathe AIR more EAS-il-Y into my lungs. During the day, I alternated two blends. One to PURIFY the air and the other as a PROTECTIVE measure against mould, mildew and bacteria in the air and on surfaces.
2. Green Clean
Thankfully, there was a quality vacuum cleaner in this house, similar to mine at home and I knew how to clean the filters. I set about vacuuming the floors and every nook and cranny. I kept the cleaning product cupboards closed at all times. I’ve always been one of those people that should wear a gas mask whilst navigating the supermarket cleaning aisle. I had a bottle of concentrated PROTECTIVE BLEND cleaner on hand. I diluted it with water in a spray bottle and easily cleaned the mildew off the doors, skirting boards and the grout in the shower. The aroma was amazing! This product included wild orange, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary essential oils. I could have also used Dr Bonner’s Pure Castile Liquid Soap with a few drops of the Protective Blend added from my 15mL bottle.
Thankfully, I had my own toiletries that were free from nasties, such as sulphates (SLS/SLES), EDTA, Propylene Glycol, phthalates, parabens, synthetic fragrances, mineral oils artificial colours and PEG’s.
3. Eat Clean
To help support the liver and kidneys after this onslaught of toxins, I chose to eat foods as close to nature and grown organically where possible. I carry an oil blend at all times containing Tangerine Peel, Rosemary Leaf, Geranium Flower/Leaf, Juniper Berry and Cilantro Herb essential oils. I sometimes pop a drop or two into an empty capsule to take orally, but usually I pop a drop or two into a water jug, top it up with water and drink it throughout the day. This blend can also be useful diluted with a carrier oil and applied topically over the lower ribs front and/or back.
4. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
The 5 main elimination organs are liver, kidneys, lungs, intestines and skin. I enabled them to do their thing by drinking plenty of filtered water. For women, 2L to 2.5L per day and for men, 2.5L to 3L per day is generally regarded as ideal. For every cup of tea or coffee, I added another cup of water, as these beverages were dehydrating. When I felt as though the water was going straight through me, the tiniest sprinkle of Celtic Sea salt or Himalayan salt assisted with absorption. A squeeze of lemon juice or just one drop of quality lemon oil may also be beneficial. An even quicker way of hydrating is to have an enema. Even British adventurer Bear Grylls would agree. If ever I feel as though I can’t lose that thirsty feeling’, I find myself a fellow Colon Hydrotherapist and wonder why I put it off for so long!
5. Living with the Seven Dwarfs
I felt like the dwarfs had all moved in. First was Sneezy, Dopey, Sleepy and then Grumpy. Doc moved in to sort them out: I placed one drop of each of lavender, lemon and peppermint oils in the palm of my hand, rubbed my hands together, closed my eyes and cupped my hands approximately 10cm from my nose while breathing in. This sent Sneezy packing. Bashful made a brief entrance, due to my not feeling sociable. When all was sorted, Happy moved in and the rest of them had moved out.
*When diffusing oils around pets, always ensure they have an exit from the room. They don’t need a big dose to gain benefit and some oils can actually be toxic to cats and dogs. In my experience, they know intuitively if they need to leave the room.
Debby has been involved with Colon Hydrotherapy since 1993, when she turned to a naturopath/kinesiologist to address her own chronic health concerns. She was so impressed with the way her health status turned around, she began studying everything she could find at the time in the field of alternative health. Kinesiology, Bowen Technique, Reiki, Flower Essences (Australian Bush, Bach, Gem essences and Californian), Homoeopathy, Herbalism and Aromatherapy were her first ventures into this new way of being.
Debby gained her international qualification to teach Touch for Health kinesiology in 2007 while studying naturopathy. In 2008 she was invited to formally train as a colon hydrotherapist, which, believe it or not, was her long-time dream. She initially studied at the College of Applied Natural Sciences and later furthered her study with Australian Colon Health. In 2015, Debby commenced a two-year practitioner training in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, which is fast becoming her most popular modality with her clients.
Debby has a clinic in the Noosa Hinterland. She regularly visits family in Sydney and has enjoyed working with the staff of pH Clinic and meeting its lovely clients while Nicola is on maternity leave.