After 15 years of being a massage therapist, I have finally, FINALLY, decided to branch out and expand my massage therapy-ness. If you are reading this, you are not too close, you are actually inside of my career/my website/my head. And this blog is only part of how I am expanding. The other parts include recording myself massaging and posting that on YouTube, connecting parents to that part of their brain that really does know what's best for their kids as opposed to some doctor who takes 20 seconds to figure out what's wrong, and, finally, making my own massage lotions. And the craziest thing started happening to me as I ventured into this last arena. I imploded.
Not literally, of course. But have you ever started to research something only to find that there is so much to learn that, at 46, you realize "what the fuck am I thinking?" That might be what happened in this instance. Lotions/butters/creams/oils... There are so many ingredients and so may variants of those ingredients and so many combinations of those ingredients that can be paired with carrier oils and cream bases and understanding essential oils and herbology and the list goes on. As you can imagine.
It's very similar to what happens whenever I consider nutrition. I've been an optunivore my whole life. I really eat whatever and love food and HATE dieting. But then I do the research and invariably discover that meat is bad for you and so are carbs and so is dairy and don't even think about eating anything that is genetically modified or not organic and we must consider the packaging and whether or not it's local and what I'm left with is a cherry tomato that I grew myself on my balcony because I don't trust anything anymore but I hesitate to eat that because I really don't know where the tomato seed came from. Or the soil for that matter.
Anyway, this is what happened when I started making massage butter and decided I wanted it to smell better than pachouli. I love essential oils, I really do. But I despise smelling like a hippie. Not that I don't love hipppies. I just have a slight case of PTSD from my college years. So I started doing some research on "natural fragrance oils". And here is what I found: The line between what is natural and what is pure is so thin even Kate Moss is jealous. Apparently, natural fragrance oils are made by natural isolates that are removed from the plant in a handful of different ways. These are not synthetic so they are still considered natural. But yet they are manipulated and, therefore, not considered pure. One of the websites I researched discussed the mixed bag of morals that accompanies "pure". I found it fascinating. Example being, to make sandalwood essential oil, one not only has to cut down an entire tree, but these trees are now being illegally poached because the demand is higher than the supply. Doesn't exactly make me want to go out and douse myself in sandalwood.
So... here I sit. With my organic butters and vitamin oils. And my natural fragrance oils. And my conscious. And maybe I won't implode. Maybe I will actually survive the incredible amounts of information and do what I do best - decide what is right for me. That is ultimately what it comes down to. Because I think, after all, that this is exactly why it took me 15 years to get to this place in my career. Finding out who I am takes tiiiiiiime. Who'da thunk?
P.S. Big shout out to Bulk Apothecary for supplying me with the natural fragrance oils I love!