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This year’s end and a new one to start, finds me in a reflective mode. At the moment I’ve been thinking about this newsletter and am struck with a deep sense of gratitude for all of you who welcome Prairie Inspiration into your home each month
Thank you - for sticking with Prairie Inspiration, for your good suggestions, and your kind encouragement. I also appreciate those of you who pass along the newsletter, or the information it contains, to your circle of family, friends and coworkers. This effort to educate ourselves and share what we’ve learned is certain to impact many lives.
As I toss out my 2005 calendar, I plan to likewise toss out the mistakes I’ve made throughout the year; keeping only the lessons learned, the good memories and as much joy as possible.
I wish you each a heaping portion of joy as well, not the entertainment-generated enjoyment from holiday activities or from getting new stuff, but deep and lasting happiness that will stay with you day in and day out.
Happy New year and Joy to the world in 2006!
A Favorite Quote
“My past is forgiven. My present is secure. And my future is irrevocably assured. What on earth is there to be negative about? It was an epiphany for me as I realized that you get up every day and make a choice about your attitude."
For Your Health
Chicken is going to make a more frequent appearance on our dinner menu and you may want to do the same; the most current data suggests that eating chicken may lower your rate of colon cancer by a whopping 21%:
Refrigeration and adding vinegar to food will lower the glycemic index of the food you eat and help control blood sugar levels:
Our food choices truly make a difference to our health and well-being:
Food Choices & Health
Answers to Your Questions
How do you explain MCS so that your friends and family understand? Do you have advice on getting people to use fragrance-free products around you?
This question pops up almost as often as questions regarding skin care so I’m finally going to tackle it in the newsletter. Even though I realize that many of you do not deal with this problem, I hope that you will still benefit in some way from the information.
Explaining Chemical Sensitivities:
Explanations are useful only when the person is actually interested, so I keep the details brief and then just answer their questions. This is an example of what I usually say:
“I’m extremely sensitive to many synthetic chemicals. Tiny amounts of these chemicals make me severely ill. These chemicals are found in perfumes, dry cleaned clothing, dryer sheets, fuels and exhaust, glues, pesticides, solvents and other commonly used products.”
To help someone understand how a minuscule amount of something they don’t even notice can harm me, I ask them if they know anyone with asthma and then compare an asthma attack with the reaction I experience from exposure to synthetic chemicals. This is what I normally say:
“If you know someone with asthma, you know that you can’t tell they have asthma just by looking at them, unless they are having an asthma attack at the time. If an asthmatic person breaths in just a bit of cat dander, perfume, house dust or what ever substance triggers their asthma to kick in, within minutes they are in serious trouble and may even die.
It works that way with me too. With my chemical sensitivities it is small amounts of chemical compounds that trigger the problem within my body, but there is not an inhaler to stop the damage from progressing. The only thing I can do to help myself is to stay away from the chemicals that will trigger this disease until Doctors and Scientists find a way to cure or treat it.”
I save more detailed and more accurate information for those who have a genuine desire to understand.
Attitude -The desire to have another soul understand our struggle is basic to our nature. Putting those feelings second and placing priority on the goal of seeking help over the need for empathy can be of great benefit in keeping the health you currently have.
Toward that end, I believe that cooperation is vastly more important than understanding and so I choose to focus my energy on first securing that cooperation. There is no way to put a value on someone willing to make changes or expend some effort to help safeguard your health.
This outlook doesn’t change my commitment to educating the public on the potential risk of synthetic chemicals or working to raise awareness about chemical sensitivities.
As you think over this change of attitude, also know that it’s not always an “either or” situation; understanding can follow and often does. Just realize that it will take significant time for some people to get to that point.
Approach -Once the goal is clear, consider how best to ask for the needed help. An approach that is respectful, simple and direct works best for me.
Because the stakes are high, it’s easy to be insistent, aggressive or angry; realize that this will not get you closer to your goal. I don’t see demands or threats as useful in any way.
When I ask someone to use fragrance-free products or to make any change in their routine, I focus on what a difference this would make to my health and ask if they are willing to help. I find it important not to accuse them of harming me, if they feel defensive it is doubtful that they will try to help
People generally feel good if they can help out someone in trouble, I know that I do; make it even easier for them by asking for that help in a manner that doesn’t require much cost or effort on their part. Spend some time, if possible, thinking about exactly what’s needed and how to ask for their assistance.
Appreciation – When a person is willing to help in any way, it is important to let them know their efforts are appreciated. If they know what they have done makes a difference, they will be more likely to help you or someone else with similar needs in the future.
These are my methods and they work for me, I hope you find them helpful in your situation
Tips from customers
“I found a new use for your massage oil. Since my hair is very dry and curly - after shampooing, while the hair is still wet, I rub a little bit on my hands and then rub though the hair. It helps the curl and shine. Thank you for such great products!”
You can read more about Massage Oils that work well for this purpose on DakotaFree.com