Sarah Villafranco, M.D., is a doctor with a holistic bend, a mom, a nature aficionado, and an organic product lover—OMG! Need I say more?! Yes I do! She’s also totally funny, beautiful, approachable, no-nonsense, and as real as you’ll ever find. And she seems to have a wickedly goofy personality to boot (just check out some of her hilarious photos)!
Overall, I think what troubled me most was a lack of investment on the part of the patients, which, in large part, was caused by western medicine itself.With an ever-growing ego, western medicine over the last 50 years has swooped in and convinced people that they need doctors and pills to help themselves. This is certainly the truth in some instances, and doctors and pills have saved millions of lives. However, the bulk of our health problems as a society stem from not taking responsibility for our own basic health.WE must choose health, recognize our own potential to heal, and maximize that power within us. Only once we are eating well, exercising, caring for ourselves, our communities, and our planet can large scale change occur.Western physicians are so overrun by managing problems like hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes—all largely preventable illnesses—that they run out of time to see the forest instead of the trees. Even those physicians with the very best intentions can get beaten by the system, ultimately conforming to the requirements and persuasions of insurance and drug companies. In fact, sometimes that is the only way to get the patients the care they need within our current system. It’s totally complicated and really, really scary.
It wasn’t challenging for me to break free of that mindset personally, because I have always been a believer in self-healing. However, working within the system while upholding that philosophy was definitely a challenge.As a physician who believes in alternative modalities, I got a lot of grief from other docs and nurses. There was definitely some eye-rolling by other providers who overheard me recommending a nightly bath with lavender oil for insomnia, instead of just prescribing Ambien.And, patients have been conditioned to expect prescriptions, which is also a big challenge. I’m sorry, folks, but antibiotics just don’t help a common cold. Never have, never will.
It’s just like looking at a plant. If it is flourishing and vibrant, that is an indication that the soil and root system are healthy.If it has pests, or is wilting, or leaves are falling off, there is a problem at a deeper level, and no amount of pesticide or pruning will help until the deeper problem is addressed.Really, every person needs to sit down and ask him/herself this question: am I doing all I can to promote my own health? If the answer is no, things need to change.
Of course! There is room for all of it. The most important aspect of either approach is starting from the bottom and working up.If you are not eating well, or are smoking cigarettes, or are not exercising, those things just have to change first. And they change when you take responsibility for yourself, and stop expecting someone else to fix you.Then, once you have started to change those things, you and your physician can decide together which treatment modalities, from acupuncture to medication, will help support you and keep you healthy while you continue forward in that commitment to yourself.
In the plant analogy above, your skin is one of your leaves. It is an indicator of health. As the body’s largest organ, the skin will often manifest symptoms if something is not healthy at a deeper level.From acne, to perioral dermatitis, to eczema, to more concerning conditions like acanthosis nigricans, your skin may be telling you something about your internal environment. A great example of this is how dietary changes in certain people can have such a huge effect on their skin condition – by tending the roots, you change the leaves.
Yes, in practically innumerable ways. A rapidly increasing body of evidence is forming to show that chemicals used for years in the personal care industry may be causing a long list of problems, both health-related and in our environment.It’s a controversial issue, and, while the evidence is not entirely conclusive, I think we are starting to see proof of how things like phthalates, parabens, ethoxylated compounds, and petrochemicals are way more harmful to us and our ecosystem than beneficial.
Look for a company with a strong philosophy based in progressive thinking.Look at their ingredients (do they use parabens and phthalates?), their packaging (have they considered the environmental impact?), the information available on their site (full ingredient lists?), and, importantly, what information is NOT available (are they hiding something?).Then, read product descriptions to determine which products seem right for you.If you still have questions, contact the company to request guidance and possibly samples. If you are using natural products, results can take a little more time, especially if you are treating a particular skin concern.A steroid cream may work quickly, but is a very temporary solution. Using natural skin care is part of a long-term solution. After 4-6 weeks of use, you should be able to tell whether a product is working well for your skin. And, remember, there are other elements of the experience besides what you see in the mirror. Does it feel good when you use it? Does the smell soothe you? Those are important, too!
Absolutely. There is almost always a bump or two (literally) in the transition from one skin care product or routine to another. It is due to the skin adjusting its own sebum production in response to what is being applied, and can take a week or two.If you have a rash or hives, however, you may be allergic to an ingredient (even an all-natural one) and you should stop using the product until you have figured out which ingredient is disagreeing with you.
We have had some great reports for acne sufferers with our Black Clay Facial Soap and Spot Treatment. The Dead Sea mud in the soap has an excellent balancing effect, and the potent essential oils in our Spot Treatment quiet inflammation while helping blemishes heal, rather than mercilessly drying them out.Our Restoration Serum has been praised for irritated skin after starting Retin-A or having a peel; with a high concentration of lavender essential oil and other healing botanicals, it’s really soothing for damaged skin.Our greatest success stories, though, have come from our perioral dermatitis (PD) customers. This is a condition that affects a large number of people (mostly women) and can be very frustrating to manage. I developed symptoms of PD about 4 years ago, and it was part of the reason I started Osmia. I created some products to help improve my own skin, and learned a lot about what helped and what didn’t.I have an article and a video on my site in which I share some of my experience, and make some recommendations for minimizing perioral dermatitis symptoms. While we don’t make any claims about treating or curing PD, we have heard some pretty wonderful stories from customers who are able to go out on dates again or leave the house without makeup after months of misery – it’s such a privilege to be able to help someone that way.
- I’d love to see each person on this beautiful planet understand how blessed we are to be here for a short time, and make the absolute most of the gift of health.
- I hope that more physicians will dig deeper into people’s habits and lifestyles, and get back to basics, while lovingly encouraging their patients to participate in their own wellbeing.
- I’d like to invite every person I know and every person I don’t know to help care for the earth and its species in every way possible.
- I would like us to stop hurting this habitat we all share, and join forces to make change.
- And, while we are doing all of these big and wonderful and lofty things, I’d like to get as many people hooked on Osmia products and Osmia moments as possible—taking those few seconds to nurture yourself using these luxurious products from nature can only leave you more inspired to protect the source!
- Body Oil Benefits Explained in New Article Entitled “Why Body Oil?” by Green Skin Care Expert, Dr. Sarah Villafranco (prweb.com)
- Osmia Organics Blog (I highly recommend reading Sarah’s fascinating musings. )
- Osmia Organics
- Veggies: Courtesy of So…Let’s Hang Out blog
- An apple a day: Courtesy of cause-and-effect.com
- Plant: Courtesy of theweek.com
- Doctor with tray: Courtesy of 123RF
- Globe in hand: Courtesy of Ecofriend.com