Essential oils and Pets

I am training my dog Molly to be able to travel with me amongst large groups of people, and part of her training is getting her used to the noise, stress and confusion  large events essentially create.

Molly dog

Molly dog







To this end I took her to the San Diego Pet Expo, held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in Del Mar, CA.  I forgot to take either a stroller or her front-backpack with me (I’m learning as we go too!) and ended up carrying her quite a bit as the room was crowded, and with Molly being black and small, she is not easy to see, and ended up getting stepped on.  Not a pleasant experience for either of us.

Molly suffers from acute separation anxiety, to the point where she will froth at the mouth until she is soaking wet.  I had her up over my shoulders to give her a good dog’s-eye view of the happenings, but she was not a happy camper and I felt like a terrible mother.

Then lo-and-behold, I stumbled across an essential oils booth.  I use essential oils myself to calm myself down and help me breathe but I had never thought  about using oils on dogs.

The woman at the booth said yes, you can use essential oils for dogs, and she specifically recommended lavender.  Molly was a hysterical mess at this point, ready to jump and run into the crowd, so I had nothing but $20 to vita flex points








I rubbed the oil on the tips of her ears, and more between the pads of Molly’s feet.  I’m not kidding, it was almost instantaneous the change that came over her.  She calmed right down, and stopped straining at the leash.  Ah-mazing!

I think it’s interesting that the oils absorb faster into the bloodstream in dogs from their feet, just like with humans.

Now, a caveat. Not all essential oils are made the same.  “Pure” is a relative term, as is ‘Organic’.  “Pure’ means that if at least 10% of the bottle has pure oil in it, it can be called ‘pure’.  Hmmmm…. In Califormia, when the weatherman says there’s a 10% chance of rain, we go out in flipflops and no umbrellas.  Not even at 30% do we worry about rain.  So “Pure = 10%” doesn’t cut it for me.

Also, never, ever, ever use Melaleuca tree oil on cats or terrier-type dogs. Ever. Always check with your vet or dog health-care provider before using essential oils.

Now it’s Your Turn! What essential oil is your favorite, how do you use is, and why? [contact_form]


Castleman Disease

Healing isn’t always about healing from abuse.  Sometimes the transformation is healing from a life-threatening disease and not surviving but squeezing every drop out of life that you can!  I would like to share the story of Chris Kimura and his video of Hope, Miracles, and Gratefulness!

Castleman Disease has not stopped Chris Kimura from living a full life!

Castleman Disease has not stopped Chris Kimura from living a full life!

My name is Chris Kimura and I just celebrated my 50th Birthday; what a blessing!  In 1994 I was diagnosed with a very rare disease called Multicentric Castleman’s Disease.  The prognosis after diagnosis is a grim 3-5 years.  With a positive attitude, a great medical team, the invention of new drugs, plus the love & support from my family and friends, I have been able to prove the statistics wrong.  I’m a real life miracle!  My goal is to have my video inspire and encourage cancer patients along with the masses of people with life threatening diseases to have hope and live life to the fullest.  In this fast-paced world we all live in, we never know what one is dealing with backstage… make someone else have a great day too!

You can reach Chris at:

Chris Kimura can be reached at 858 353 7990
Chris Kimura can be reached at 858 353 7990

Chris Kimura – Broker/Owner of CK Properties
Cardiff & Encinitas Resident since 1978
CAL BRE License #01057790 – Licensed since 1989
Direct: 858.353.7990
Now it’s Your Turn! Tell us your story of overcoming a life-threatening disease. [contact_form]

Labyrinth Walk WInter Solstice

Why do a labyrinth walk?

Labrinth Walk

I love the colors of the labyrinth at Blue Sky Ranch

I am continuing to explore nontraditional ways of healing and meditative practices to help myself move forward in this life journey. One spiritual guide who has arrived to walk with me on this part of my path is Reverend Maria Teresa Larson. She was a chiropractor in her past life and has now embraced a Native American shamanic philosophy and training.

So I found myself coming to a winter solstice labyrinth walk ceremony hosted by both Maria Teresa and Blue Sky Ranch,  which is a metaphysical organization that focuses on healing. There is an outdoor labyrinth and they had set up a group labyrinth walk for the solstice morning.

I have read about labyrinth walks, have actually walked the labyrinth outside the  Grace Cathedral church in San Francisco. I didn’t “get” any mystical feeling on that walk so I wasn’t sure what to expect from a group walk. If anything a group walk sounded busy and anything but meditative. However I have learned that what I don’t understand I need to do, so I got myself to El Cajon by 9 am on Saturday December 21st.

Maria Teresa Larsen

Maria Theresa playing the crystal bowls outside the labrinth

When I arrived Maria Teresa was inside the labyrinth conducting her pre-ceremony ritual. I am not sure what she was doing but from previous experience I think she was clearing the space and asking for blessings from her spiritual guides. When she was done she spoke about the importance of the solstice and what it means to the changing seasons and the upcoming year. She then asked us to quietly decide on an affirmation or prayer before entering the labyrinth and began to play her quartz crystal bowls.

I sat quietly and decided on what intentions I wanted to set for 2014. My goals are to find the acceptance within me to fully forgive my parents and let them go once and for all,  and to fully accept and claim myself as an artist with no qualifiers (i.e., I’m an insurance agent first and an amateur artist). I took a deep breath, put my lapis lazuli heart (for my throat chakra, to help me speak my truth) in my hand and entered the labyrinth.

labrinth walk at Blue Sky Ranch in San Diego

There were over 50 of us, and instead of noise or chaos there was a peace-filled silence. I listened to the crunch of gravel underfoot, sensed the breathing patterns around me, and walked slowly into the maze. There was no rush and Mari Teresa had said that if we needed to stop during the labyrinth walk that those behind us would either wait or walk around us. I found myself stopping a few times at turns in the labyrinth. I thought about my intentions with every step I took. About half way into the labyrinth I started to cry. Not deep or painful sobs; rather a peaceful, cathartic cleansing release. I felt myself fully open up to my intentions.

When I got to the inner circle of the labyrinth I closed my eyes and thanked the universe for hearing my request. I stayed inside the inner circle until I felt emotionally rooted to the ground. I then turned to repeat the process, but realized that I didn’t want to walk around the others coming into the circle and stepped into another part of the labyrinth that was mostly empty. I knew in my heart that the labyrinth had done what I needed and I did not need to complete the remaining circle. This is also important as it shows I wasn’t concerned about what I “should” do. —reference blog post


We sat for an instruction and blessing before starting the labyrinth walk

I sat down to gather myself and heard Maria Teresa playing the crystal bowls. She had been playing them the entire time I was in the labyrinth, but I had heard nothing. Now I could hear them but they belonged to the ceremony. They were not affecting me the way they do when I go to Hillcrest community acupuncture where she plays indoors. (Recent blog post) But I knew that even if I didn’t hear the bowls it didn’t mean they didn’t work. In this labyrinth solstice ceremony they were in the background performing their magic.

I left the labyrinth solstice walk energized but calm at the same time. The best way to describe it was the peace was from an inner knowing and acceptance of my intentions, and the energy was from the expectation of the manifestation of my intentions.

Unless otherwise noted, all photos are original and the property of Susanne Romo. If you would like to use them, please do so, but give yourself the gift of good karma and make a small donation to pretty horses rescue. This charity rehabilitates starving, abandoned horses. Every dollar helps us rescue and rehabilitate starving horses.

Crystal Chakra Bowls San Diego

Going to Maria Teresa Larsen’s quartz crystal bowls ceremony at Hillcrest Community Acupuncture in San Diego on a monthly basis has become a way for me to find peace, a sense of centeredness and healing. I think because I am so connected to sound, music, noise levels and how they make me feel, that it makes sense to me that the sound from the quartz crystal chakra bowls would have such a powerful result for me. I often use music when I am stuck in my writing, I use it to help me daydream, and I fully believe in the power of sound healing.  

Maria Teresa's background is Chiropractic but she is now a Shamanic Healer

Maria Teresa’s background is Chiropractic but she is now a Shamanic Healer


The human body is composed of over 90% water and it makes sense to me that sound vibration can help us in our lives. When I am listening to the sounds that the crystal chakra bowls emanate, I don’t just hear the music, I can feel the vibration in the sounds. This isn’t like listening to a meditation CD or soothing relaxation music. These are vibrational sounds. Your body’s cells are filling with vibration. One way I describe it is to think about a still pond.  Nothing is going on, the water seems still, perhaps even stagnant. You have a flat rock and skip it across the surface.  Now the water is disturbed, and small ripples appear where the rock touched it.  The ripples don’t stay small; they expand as they move across the water. With the quartz crystal bowls that Maria Teresa Larsen plays, the ripples are the sound waves rolling across and through you.

At the end of the hour plus session I always feel like my body has been stuffed full of sound.  The closest example I can use is the way your fingers swell up when you’ve walked a long way,. They aren’t painful but they are plump. I feel like my body’s cells have been plumped full of sound.

When Maria Teresa plays the chakra bowls at Hillcrest Community Acupuncture, where I can relax in comfortable recliner, I am able to relax and drift into a state of mindlessness.  I don’t immediately drop into a zen state. At first I listen to the sounds and try to clear my mind. What happens is I feel that the sounds are surrounding me in a circular lasso of white light. I can feel them circling my body, wrapping me in vibration. I’ve tried to do regular meditation and can never get my chaotic thoughts to calm down and allow me to get to the quiet center I read about. But with the quartz crystal chakra bowls my thoughts quiet. It’s almost like the sounds are tying them up and setting them aside so I can fully relax. I feel the sounds swirling around me and I surrender to their strength.  7 Chakra Bowls

Maria Teresa Larsen plays all seven chakra bowls in a little over an hour. Some of the bowls have a soft melody and others are a little more clangy to my ears. I asked Maria Teresa about why that is and she said it’s a combination of what my specific chakras need at that moment and the way she plays each bowl. One bowl for me always has a harder sound. I asked her about this large crystal bowl and she said that is for the solar plexus chakra.  She uses a mallet instead of a want  for the solar plexus chakra bowl  and there are times when the bowls ask more of her than other times, which makes different sounds than other times. 

This is the solar plexus bowl I write about

This is the solar plexus bowl I write about


I have watched her play the bowls and the speed of the sound is much faster than the speed at which she plays them. It’s almost like she’s releasing their energy and the sounds circle my body in an increasing pace.

I have tried massage, meditation, guided imagery and have never been able to attain the sense of peace and grounding that I get from the bowls. Coming out of each session i feel a peace inside myself. I feel like I have been transported to a serene place and I have to pull myself back. I listen to others getting up right after she is done playing and has said her final blessing on the ceremony.  I can’t do that. I am in such a state of bliss and it takes me a little while to come back to this earth plane.

Listening to the quartz crystal chakra bowls played by Maria Teresa has become an integral part of my healing journey. I hope you take an hour of your time and explore them too.  Maria Teresa can be reached at and Hillcrest Acupuncture is