Meet Salonpas® Wellness Warrior, Dr. Lindsey Elmore, a pharmacist and wellness expert, who is dedicated to helping people understand there is no wrong answer – there is only your answer. She came to this conclusion herself after deciding to stop looking externally for answers to life’s most important questions – because in fact, there is no right answer.
Lindsey’s mission is to teach others (and embrace herself) that life is just a series of choices and all we can do is make the best possible choices day after day. It is when acknowledge that the choice is ours, we tap into our power. Salonpas® sat down with Dr. Elmore to learn more about this unconventional pharmacist:
You don’t seem like any pharmacist we’ve ever met. How did you become a leading alternative medicine pharmacist?
In 2006, I tore my ACL and first sought alternative care from a chiropractor and a Doctor of Chinese Medicine. I was fascinated from then on and passionately studied all manners of alternative therapies. Everything from the relatively common such as herbs, essential oils, yoga and meditation, to the more esoteric such as energy work and crystals. I am a passionate student as well as user of alternative medicine, and I think that makes people value my opinions. It is my honor to help empower people to make difficult decisions about their health and well-being.
How can we eliminate ingesting or being around toxic substances in our household? What are some common toxic substances many of us ingest unknowingly?
There is are many toxins right in our homes! Phthalates in household cleaners are endocrine disruptors that change hormone levels and may increase the risk of allergies. Chlorine and ammonia are irritating to the lungs. Triclosan in toothpaste can increase the risk of both food and skin allergies, but switching it up is easy. Avoid products that have any of the ingredients listed above and add in products that are plant derived. Gentle sulfates from coconuts and sugar can lift away grime. Surfactants are very common ingredients in cleaners. Surfactants are molecules that have two sides: one side is fatty and the other is watery. The fatty part sticks to oily residue and the water part pulls it away. Look for mild surfactants such as decyl glucoside and coco glucoside on tables.
What are some myths about essential oils?
I think the biggest myth about essential oils is that they are dangerous. Can they cause harm? Of course! When do they cause harm? When they are used excessively, especially if they are low quality. Use small amounts of high quality essential oils throughout the day to stay safe. A drop is all it takes because they are so potent.
The second myth about essential oils is that you need special training to use them. Humans have been using essential oils for many millennia, and no special education is needed. Do your research and talk to a healthcare professional skilled in essential oils or an aroma therapist if you are unsure.
What essential oils are helpful for us – to relax, to be invigorated, to reduce stress, to induce sleep, etc.?
- To Relax and Go to Bed: lavender, ylang ylang, Roman chamomile
- To invigorate and Get the Morning Going: lemon, peppermint, petit grain, cinnamon bark
- To Focus and Survive the Afternoon: rosemary, lemongrass, vetiver
How should we use essential oils?
There are three primary ways to use essential oils: inhale them, apply them to the skin, and ingest them. To inhale them, simply sniff from the bottle. You can also place a drop in your hands, rub your hands together, cup them over your nose and mouth and inhale. If you want to change your environment, consider using a diffuser to percolate the aromas into the air. Inhalation is my favorite way to use oils to transform emotions.
Essential oils have been used on the skin for thousands of years to beautify. Add a drop or two of frankincense essential oil to your favorite moisturizer or tea tree oil to a blemish on the skin. You can also combine essential oils with fatty oils like coconut oil to make a simple skin balm.
Essential oils impart flavor and aromas to foods and beverages. Some classic essential oil infused recipes are lavender lemonade or peppermint brownies. Some essential oils are labeled as dietary supplements and can be added to capsules or dispensed directly on the tongue. I use essential oils in this manner if I want to support the digestive system or if I am about to go workout.
What are the benefits of yoga and meditation on our general well-being?
The benefits are many! Slow rhythmic breathing alongside mindful movement in yoga has been shown to change the structure and function of the brain. It increases the size of parts of the brain associated with stress management. It increases the size of the parts of the brain associated with long term memory. Slow rhythmic breathing during yoga or meditation can decrease blood pressure and increase heart rate variability. It may also decrease production of the stress hormone cortisol and may decrease the fight or flight neurotransmitter norepinephrine.
Describe a typical day in your life from when you get up to when you retire.
Because I travel so much, this is challenging question for me to answer! When I am at my most disciplined version of myself, I arise at 6 am, and walk to yoga class about a mile away at 7 am after a cup of tea. I return home or grab breakfast on the way home. I post a social media post around this time daily.
I bathe (yes, I take a salt bath every day that I can) and get ready while listening to podcasts. I work for several hours on blog posts, marketing, team meetings, payroll/finance/legal, etc. I then cook lunch while watching documentaries online or listening to. . . you guessed it. . more podcasts. I do a bit of meditation and breath control after eating and then head back to work for teaching, Facebook Lives, meetings with West Coast colleagues, and more. More social media.
After that, I will take another sunset stroll to pick up groceries, run errands, or head to the Hudson River. I chill at night watching Netflix or Food Network, do some more writing and planning for the following day. I go to bed around 10:30-11:00 on an average day, but have no shame in going to bed at 8:30 and have been known to have late night grind sessions until 2:00 am. It can’t all be perfect, right?