What Excites Us!

Episode 24 - Essential Oils to Ease Peri- and Menopause with Kim Benoy

Episode 24 - Essential Oils to Ease Peri- and Menopause with Kim Benoy

Did you know that perimenopause can start as early as your 30s? In this episode, I talk with Kim Benoy from Midlife with Courage about what exactly peri- and menopause is, what it does to the bodies of people with uteruses, and what some of the symptoms are. It’s way more than just hot flashes, and some essential oils you can use to help alleviate those symptoms, including some that can be immediately effective.

Kim Benoy’s website is www.midlifewithcourage.com and you can listen to her podcast there or find it in your favorite podcast player.

See the Patreon for a free list of what she talks about in this episode at Patreon.com/whatexcitesus and please consider joining or buying me a coffee if you are able.


[00:00:00] Gwyn: I don't know if you ever waited tables, but when it's really slow,

[00:00:04] Kim Benoy: mm-hmm 

[00:00:04] Gwyn: as a wait staff, you forget all the things when it's busy, you're like, okay, catch up table six, whatever. But because I came in here an hour early. I'm like, oh, I forgot to set up my note desk oh, I forgot to get a drink. I'm usually much more put together than this, Kim. I swear. 

[00:00:23] Kim Benoy: That's okay. If you had some lavender near, you might say take a whiff of it.

[00:00:27] Gwyn Isaacs: Hello, and welcome to what excites us, the podcast that discusses sex and sexuality throughout time and place, including the here and now. I believe that having a good relationship with your body, your sexuality and your sexual activities can dramatically enhance your life. I'm Gwyn Isaacs, a certified sex coach and educator who wants you to feel good. Because when we feel good, we can inspire other folks to feel good and person by person, we will make the world a little bit better. 

[00:01:03] This episode is a conversation with Kim Benoy about using essential oils to help alleviate the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. Kim is a recently retired RN, a wife and a mom who has found a pleasure for inspiring other women by using essential oils. She is following her journey to be a light and lead others who are feeling stuck and even bored doing what is expected. She helps women over 40 find their courage, confidence, and calm so they can live every moment. She has a blog and a podcast, both called Midlife With Courage.

[00:01:47] Before we jump into that, though, I wanna invite you to please come and have discussions with me too. There are several ways to do that on whatexcitesus.com. You can leave a free anonymous or not message. You can send me an email or you can support me in this work by making a one time or regular contribution. And if you would like to support the show and get more than digital perks for it, I am now an affiliate for Uber Lube, which is my favorite silicone lube and Good Clean Love, which makes a whole array of vaginal care products, including lubes. If you make your purchase through the links on my podcast's website, whatexcitesus.com I will get a tiny commission and you will get amazing products and many, many thanks from me.

[00:02:38] One last thing before we get started is that while both Kim and I use the term woman during the discussion, we are very aware that this topic affects non-binary and trans folk too. So please excuse the language and understand that this is a couple of gen Xers who are still practicing using more inclusive language until it becomes second nature. Which clearly hasn't happened yet. So my apologies in advance.

[00:03:07] Welcome Kim Benoy to What Excites Us! Thanks so much for coming on. 

[00:03:13] Kim Benoy: Thank you for having me. 

[00:03:15] Gwyn: So why don't you start by telling us who you are, what you do. 

[00:03:19] Kim Benoy: So I am a midlife woman. I am a retired, registered nurse. Now I quit last year to work on my own business and my podcast. And I am a wife and a mom and not a grandma yet, hopefully soon. I live in Wisconsin. And you guess you could probably tell by my, you know, wonderful Midwest nasally accent. Right now I'm having fun with my podcast and I work with an essential oil company, but I've kind of branched out and I'm creating my own blends of roller bottles and sprays and balms and whatever else I can have fun with. And I'm selling those at local markets and I'm just having fun right now. 

[00:04:03] Gwyn: that's really wonderful. You started off by saying you're a midlife woman. So is that what your podcast is about? 

[00:04:11] Kim Benoy: Yes, it is called Midlife With Courage. And I talk to women who, once they get a certain point in life, maybe they kind of look around and go, gosh, what's next? Or, you know, is this it? And maybe they rekindled a passion for something that they let go when they were younger, because life happened or maybe they went through something traumatic or challenging. And they decided life's too short to be miserable. And now is the time to do what they wanna do, and they just do it. And I hope to inspire other women to do those types of things as well. 

[00:04:48] Gwyn: Yeah, that's, it's really rough for this stage of our lives. We don't have much of a roadmap at all. So do you talk, let's just put it out there. peri menopause and menopause?

[00:05:04] Kim Benoy: Yeah. 

[00:05:06] Gwyn: That's a big deal that I don't feel like I got a lick of information about 

[00:05:11] Kim Benoy: Oh, no. And you would think with me being a nurse that I should know some things , which I know now, but things happen to me. And I was thinking like, what the heck is going on here? You know, things like brain fog. I had no idea that that was part of peri menopause. And I mean, I seriously thought that I was going into dementia or Alzheimer's or something. And then I learned like, no, you all think that because no one tells you that that is a symptom. You know, so I think there is a real need for education. And I don't know if our mothers just didn't talk about it or, I don't know what, but I that's, one of my missions is to educate women about it and let you know that you're okay.

[00:05:57] Gwyn: Yeah. Well, thank you for that because yeah, brain fog, it's huge and horrible and 

[00:06:04] Kim Benoy: yeah. 

[00:06:04] Gwyn: I mean, debilitating. 

[00:06:06] Kim Benoy: Yeah. 

[00:06:06] Gwyn: Where you can't get through a day because you can't put two words together. 

[00:06:11] Kim Benoy: Right. Right. And it's scary and yeah. Just, or looking at someone and like, I know your name, I know your name and you just can't bring it up and then you feel stupid. You kind of cover it up and hope that you kind, it comes to you or whatever, but yeah it's a crazy time of life but I think it's really important that, like I said, I educate other women and another big aspect of it is we've kind of been conditioned to look at it as a bad thing as a, you know, it, it's something we need to fix and it's really not. It's a natural thing that we all go through and it doesn't have to be a horrible thing. I mean, the symptoms are not fun, but there are ways that I'll talk about here today that you can help alleviate them with some simple things and it doesn't always have to be hormone replacement therapy.

[00:07:01] Gwyn: Can you tell us a little bit more about all the things that happen? As far as I can tell anything could be a symptom of menopause. 

[00:07:11] Kim Benoy: Yeah. Perimenopause is the time before actual menopause and menopause means that you have not had a period in 12 months. So if you are still getting a period, if it was 10 months ago, you're not quite in menopause yet. And perimenopause can actually start in your thirties, which I didn't realize. Yeah. Like 35 ish can be, can be the start. It all kind of depends on your body and your cycles and everything. But the major symptoms of perimenopause would be hot flashes, which we probably have all heard about. The night sweats, sleeping issues, trouble getting to sleep or trouble staying asleep or both. Depression, anxiety type feelings, mood swings, low energy brain fog, which we just talked about. Those are kind of the main things that happen. And I'm sure there's other things that people are like. Hmm. I wonder if that's from perimenopause and probably are.

[00:08:01] Gwyn Isaacs: This episode of what excites us is brought to you by me, I'm Gwyn Isaacs and besides being your podcast host, I'm a certified sex coach and educator. And right now I have some openings for text based clients. I love coaching over email and text. It allows you to be open and vulnerable in ways that may feel too difficult in person, which lets us tackle the concerns you have at your own pace.

[00:08:35] Very few of us were taught how to have sex. Most of us are feeling our way through the dark, hoping we get it right. I can help you build skills in the bedroom and navigate your intimate relationships. I have two ways you can sign up to start texting with me right away. When you go to earthlydesire.com/coaching, you will find a weekly subscription for daily correspondence and a way to schedule a live one hour text chat.

[00:09:04] Visit earthlydesire.com to start on your path of more pleasure today, you deserve it.

[00:09:12] Gwyn: So our bodies are going through all of these massive shifts. Menopause is when you stop bleeding, but what else is happening?

[00:09:21] Kim Benoy: What's happening in your body is that it's all about those hormones, those dang hormones. It's the estrogen, the progesterone, and then cortisol has a role in this too. And then there's a little bit about insulin, and thyroid and all these hormones are basically they're dropping. The estrogen drops to about 40 to 60% of what it was. And then your progesterone drops to almost nothing. And because of that happening, things change in your body. That's basically, I mean, in a nutshell, that's what the problem is, and it's not necessarily, oh, I don't have estrogen now, so I need to get more estrogen. It it's the balance between the progesterone going down to nothing and that estrogen. It's the balance between the two it's like the ratio is off. So that's what causes the problems, the symptoms, if that makes sense. 

[00:10:10] Gwyn: Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. And that's probably the best explanation I've ever heard.

[00:10:15] Kim Benoy: Oh, awesome. 

[00:10:17] Gwyn: I don't have much information, even though I'm in that phase, the doctors never bring it up.

[00:10:22] Kim Benoy: No. And the doctors will, I know I'm not gonna say every doctor and I don't wanna bash any doctors, but a lot of times the message you get is, well, it's just a part of life and you're gonna have to deal with it. There's nothing we can do. And there are things that we can do, or they will say, well, here's your hormone replacement therapy. And I don't wanna like bash anyone who takes that because that is, a treatment. And it works for some people and some people have to have it, which is great. But just kinda be thinking about it because when you're taking that synthetic hormone, you're adding in that to your body and then it takes a while for it to help. It'll kind of alleviate some of your symptoms, but it's collecting in your body. You've also got other forms of estrogen that are coming at you, cuz you've got estrogen in the products you put on your skin. You've got them in the environment. You've got soy estrogen, which is something that we will talk about because that's actually a good thing. So you've got all this estrogen and then estrogen collects in the fatty tissue in your body, which we get as we get older anyway. So you've got all this extra estrogen and then your body's trying to get rid of the extra stuff that you're adding into it. And so you get headaches and bloating and all sorts of not fun things that are happening. So a lot of people just quit the hormone replacement therapy because after months of it they don't feel good. It doesn't help. So they just get off of it anyway. So , there are other things that you can do instead, or to supplement that so that you aren't having to take that or take as much. 

[00:11:49] Gwyn: Do you know if the testosterone levels are also shifting because libido is such a frequently cited issue in women in this stage of their lives?

[00:12:00] Kim Benoy: Yes.

[00:12:00] Gwyn: I've had many women tell me they were worried. It wasn't coming back. 

[00:12:03] Kim Benoy: Yes, that is another one that does drop and yes, that is one of the issues with that as well. So yeah, but there's things that we can help with for that naturally . 

[00:12:13] Gwyn: Excellent. Why don't we go there? Let's talk about some things that can help ease this transition period. 

[00:12:19] Kim Benoy: Yeah. So the good news is the things that you should try and do you already know you should be doing it. Okay. So it's stress reduction, which is huge because when we are stressed out, cortisol is released in our bodies. That tells our bodies to release even less of the progesterone, which is already at low levels. And then we get those symptoms and then we get stressed out and then we have more cortisol. So the answer to that is to cut out the stress. So whatever that looks like for you, do you meditate? Do you do you go for a walk? Do you listen to music? Do you punch a punching bag? Or whatever else you need to punch, except for people, I guess. So you have to kind of find your ways to de-stress and make the time for that. And 'cause we all know, oh yes. I love to listen to music when I get all stressed out. Did you do it? Did you walk away from, whatever was stressing you out and go listen to your music, do it! Take that time and take care of yourself.

[00:13:17] So that's the stress reduction and essential oils can be a big help in that. And then the other one is diet. We all know we need to eat healthy. We need to stay away from a lot of carbs. We need to eat more fruits and vegetables. If you can eat foods like soy based foods, soy is a phyto estrogen. Which is actually in a supplement that I take instead of anything else. But if you eat it in your foods that have the soy based foods. You can also take some black cohosh and red Clover has a lot of the soy based and the, the phyto estrogen. So that's great as part of your diet too, to kind of eat the foods with the, the soy in it. So yes, food. Keeping your insulin levels at a kind of a balance instead of, you know when I stress eat, I eat the carbs or the sugar or the chocolate zooms up the blood sugar, and then you have the crash. That's not good for your body. It is so bad for your body. So if you eat smaller amounts more frequently during the day, that's much better for your body. So if you're eating a protein and maybe a little carbs, not a lot ,just throughout the day, so you can eat more actually. So that's a good thing. Right? So eating those small meals, kinda keeping that blood sugar kind of balanced. 

[00:14:27] Exercise, we all know we need to exercise and it doesn't always have to be, running five miles. I can't run five miles. I used to be able to, but I can't anymore. and that's okay. But I can go for a walk. I can go for a couple miles for a walk. Or even I've been working from home now with this business and I sit at my desk a lot and just getting up and walking, to my driveway to get my mail seemed to be like a big thing for me, but I like, oh, I need to do that. But just getting up and walking around, I walk around my yard. Taking my dogs for a walk, whatever it happens to be just move more if nothing else just move more. All right?

[00:15:06] And, in this stage of life, when you're going through the menopause or perimenopause, you need to strengthen your bones. So people always think, well, I gotta do cardio. I gotta run and do this. And that actually do some strengthening exercises. If you don't like to lift weights, that's okay. Move your furniture around. I just started a really fun job at a little habitat for humanity store. So we'd have a lot of furniture that comes in. So I have been lifting furniture and moving it and at first I was thinking, oh my gosh, I'm gonna be so sore, but my body is craving it. It likes it, that I'm doing that. So start doing it and you will want to continue doing it.

[00:15:42] And then healing your gut. If you take a probiotic, that's always a good thing. Do a detox whenever you can, however you do that. And then drink lots of water. And that has been a big issue for me too, because I am not a person who likes to drink water. But again, when I start drinking more, my body was like, oh, I like this. Keep doing it. So you just kinda get over those little humps, you can really make good things happen. 

[00:16:05] Gwyn: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I find that a little treat or reward in some way will help me get over the, but I don't wanna feeling which I get a lot.

[00:16:19] Kim Benoy: Yeah. 

[00:16:20] Gwyn: The trick for me has been trying to find a little treat or reward that isn't equally bad. right.? 

[00:16:27] Kim Benoy: Yeah. Right. Right. 

[00:16:27] Gwyn: When I was, was younger, it would be chocolate and yeah, I mean little pieces of chocolate here and there. Sure. But not. A whole cake or what have you.

[00:16:36] Kim Benoy: Yeah, yeah, totally there and sugar is the biggest thing to cut out. It's so addicting. It's like a drug itself. So I have the same issue. But I have found that dark chocolate is not that bad for you. And it still helps that sugar craving or that chocolate craving. So, I try and eat that instead.

[00:16:54] Gwyn: I realized that I forgot to ask, when menopause is over do we find a state of balance again? 

[00:17:05] Kim Benoy: We can, it just, sometimes it takes a while to kind of find it and to get there. So we do. Yeah. But the body kind of gradually goes, okay, I guess we're done now. And just kinda everything kind of balances out to a better balance. I can't think of a different word for that, but yeah. Yeah. 

[00:17:22] Gwyn: Yeah. That makes sense. And from where I sit as a sex coach, I have found that there are also ways to increase the libido during this time that you don't have to wait for this all. Because it takes years before this ends. So there are lots of things on this side too, that people can do. Sure. So what other tips and tricks do you have for us to get through this? 

[00:17:46] Kim Benoy: So I could talk about essential oils and different ones that we use for the different symptoms. So if we wanna talk about the hot flashes, that seems to be a huge one for many women. And the best thing that I have found for hot flashes is peppermint. Peppermint oil put 10, 20 drops in a spray bottle, fill it with water. You can put a little witch hazel in it, that kind of disperses the oil into the water better and just spray up by your neck. Your chest down your back, everywhere. Wherever you need it, it has a cooling effect. But there's other oils too, that you can use. If you wanna put in a little bit of roses or geranium, jasmine is a good oil. 

[00:18:23] Another way to do it also, if you don't wanna do a spray, you can do a little massage. And you know, you being a sex coach, that's probably something that would be helpful for your clients. But I have a clinical aromatherapy book that was written by a nurse. And there's lots of studies in there because I love to have studies and research and evidence for what I'm talking to people about. And she had a study in there where women who were going through menopause they took a lotion and they put these essential oils. They got to choose from rose, geranium, peppermint, whatever, they did it three to four times a week. And their hot flashes were either decreased or much less intense. And it was simply from that massage a few times a week. Just, with that lotion, just massaging their shoulders back or whatever. So if you consistently do that, that should be helpful for those symptoms. 

[00:19:14] And then the night sweats, of course, night sweats are kind of the other side of the hot flashes. Your body's trying to cool itself off. And then it cools itself off and then you're left in a sweat and then you get cold. I dunno how many times I've woken up at night cold because I'm wet. So Cypress is an oil that you can help with that. And again, you can spray, or you can do a little bit of a lotion. Maybe even take a little carrier oil and put it on your upper body. And then you can also add the oils to body lotion or a bath, take a bath before you go to bed with your oils in the bath. A lot of people like to use bath salts, so you take your epsom salt and you put a few drops of the oils in that, and just sprinkle that in your bath water. That's a great way to relax and just kinda get the effects of those oils as well. So that would be your hot flashes night sweats.

[00:19:57] And so if we talk about sleeping. Sleeping is a huge issue for everybody, but it really gets very troublesome in this time of life too. I mean, the usual things do your sleep routine, you shouldn't be looking at your computer right before you go to bed, you know, at least an hour or two hours before. Take a warm bath before you go to bed, dim the lights about an hour before you go to bed, those kinds of things, but then you can also use your essential oils, your calming oils your lavender. Clary sage is one that I didn't mention yet. That is a huge oil for supporting hormones. I tell women to use that when they're having menstrual cramps, putting it right over their ovaries, it helps almost immediately. You also can put it on the insides of your ankles. That's a reflexology point. And it's same for menopause. It helps with the mood swings You know, any of that kind of thing. So it's also very calming. I have made myself a roller bottle that I'm trying out. So clary sage and then another oil is ylang ylang, which I love to say is such a cool word. But those oils you can put in a diffuser, you can put just simply, like I said, applying them topically put them on your pulse points. A really great place is along the back of your neck, right along the spine, that's a great place. And then the bottoms of your feet actually. Which most people don't know that's a great place to put oils 'cause they're kind of absorbed the best there. So yeah, putting those on before you go to bed diffusing during the night those are two of the best ways to do those, to help with your sleep.

[00:21:23] And some of the other oils you can use for sleeping, which might sound kind of strange, but fennel and I don't know if you know what fennel is, but it smells like black licorice. That's actually a good one to use at this time of life. Geranium, rose, and then something called chaste berry, which I have not heard before. I don't know anything more about it except the name, but it's kind of a new one that they're kind of finding is helping with menopausal symptoms. So I'll have to look into that more. And then if we wanna talk more about oils for stress to help kind of relieve stress. We talk about bergamot which I love. That's a wonderful oil. That's great for confidence and just building yourself up. But it's also good for calming, which is kind of a weird thing. Cedarwood is one of my go-tos for sleep .And for stress. Clary sage, again, frankincense is a wonderful oil. I just love it for so many different things and then lavender of course, for sleep or for stress as well.

[00:22:15] So if anyone really wants to get more in depth about the oils, there's actually this wonderful book that was written by a functional medicine doctor. Her name is Dr. Mariza Snyder and it's called "The Essential Oils Menopause Solution." That's where I get a lot of my information from because she's very well versed in all of this and all the hormones and the balances and stuff. So I mean, there's so many different ways to attack it and to kind of help with it. So I can't possibly cover everything here with you today, but just to give people a little bit of direction and maybe they already have oils and they wanna try them.

[00:22:48] Gwyn: One of the things that I was thinking, as you were talking about putting the oils on your feet and in other places, was that it would be a lovely way to incorporate your partner, if you have a partner. And bring that sensuality into it because a lot of people really struggle with libido during this time of life and sensuality is such a great precursor into that. And it has the relaxation aspects. The connectivity, the intimacy, all of that. Being able to be also tangibly, helping symptoms along seems like a win, win, win for everybody.

[00:23:23] Kim Benoy: Yes. Yes. And interesting enough. There is some evidence and real life examples of sex is actually a great way to help decrease the hot flashes, the intensity of them. Because it's releases the oxytocin, which decreases stress. And so however you do that, I think that would be a great way to try it out. Tell your partner, we have to try this for science experiment or something. No, no, that probably would kind of defeat the purpose of that. So there is evidence that shows that sex having orgasm does help with decreasing those symptoms. Which to me, that makes sense. You know? You're releasing the oxytocin and that means that cortisol's going away and yeah. Try it out.

[00:24:11] Gwyn: Sex is great for bringing on labor too. So why wouldn't it be good for this phase of our lives as well?

[00:24:18] Kim Benoy: Exactly.

[00:24:19] Gwyn: Depending on your view of the eternal or the divine it could be said that it's God's gift. 

[00:24:25] Kim Benoy: Yes, yes. For sure. Yeah. And it is wonderful to take your essential oils and then you put them in a carrier oil, like a fractionated coconut oil or jojoba oil or almond oil, whatever you happen to use and do a massage. I mean, it's beautiful. And these oils, they don't just smell good. They actually have effects in the body. Like we've just been talking about, but they also help with your emotional health and your emotions and that kind of thing. So yeah. What a wonderful way to share that with another person. That's awesome. 

[00:24:54] Gwyn: What are some oils that would be good for helping us settle our moods? Cause it's such a volatile. period comparatively speaking. 

[00:25:03] Kim Benoy: Yeah. Yeah. Personally I have a blend I use that my company makes it's called Adaptive. But what it has in it is little bit of spearmint there's this wonderful oil called copaiba and I don't know if you've heard of that. It works along the lines of CBD oil. But it comes from the SAP of a tree in south America. It works in the body with the same receptors that the CBD oil is working on. But it works on more of them and it works a little bit better. Some people use them both together to really get the good effects of it, but it's a wonderful calming, I can't see enough good things about it. It just calms. It helps calm your mood. If you mix it with other oils, especially frankincense, wild orange, the lavender, it kind of helps those oils even be better. So that's one that I love and I have a roller bottle of it, I just put it all over me whenever I need it. So that's a great oil. Vetiver is another one, which if you've ever used oils and you've seen vetiver it's a very, very thick oil. But it's what I call a heavy duty calming oil, because it helps you just quiet to your mind. It just helps kind of calm things down. They actually recommend it for kids with attention issues. I actually make a roller bottle for people with that in it, cedarwood, roman camomile is another one that's very calming. Just lots of great oils to use, but those are my favorite ones.

[00:26:25] Gwyn: So you do a podcast. What is your podcast about? 

[00:26:29] Kim Benoy: It is about midlife women who have started a new chapter in their life. And maybe they rekindled something from their past that they left behind for a while and they discovered it again and they wanted to do it. One of my latest episodes was an 80 year old who taught herself to paint when she was 76. Watched YouTube videos taught herself to paint. And now she started her own little business with these little painting parties and just wonderful stories like that. Just to show women that life isn't over, just because you are 50, 60, 70, 80, you know, there's a lot left and there's a lot that you can do. 

[00:27:05] Gwyn: Oh, that sounds absolutely lovely. I love hearing women speak about their lives at every phase of their lives, but yeah, as I am 51 and looking forward to what's happening next, it's definitely inspirational to hear. What other folks are doing.

[00:27:25] Kim Benoy: Good. Yeah. Yeah. And, that's what I found out myself. And so I wanted to share that. I grew up the oldest of four kids, so I was babysitter and expected to do certain things. And then I became a nurse. And of course, as a nurse, you follow what the doctor says, usually. You know, you don't question things. And I reached, that magical, wonderful age of five oh. And I'm like, now wait a minute. I don't necessarily have to do everything that everyone's telling me to do. So I'm not gonna, I'm gonna go do this. So, it's been really fun. 

[00:28:02] Gwyn: How did you find what you're doing now? How did it come to you? 

[00:28:06] Kim Benoy: As I went through my nursing career, I realized that the healthcare system, as it is, I did not enjoy it. I didn't think it was right. We're focusing on symptoms and basically, fix this fast so I can go back to work or do this or whatever, but we weren't taking care of the root problem. And so I thought it was more important for us to focus on being healthy than to try and treat people who are sick. And so that's just a simplistic way of saying it, but that just kind of came to me gradually. And then about five years I ago I was introduced to essential oils, which totally fit in with that idea. So I started working with this company off and on. And when you work with a direct sales company, it's a wonderful thing because I got a lot of business training, but I have come to realize that my role is not gonna be the top salesperson in this company. That's just not even though it's oils and I believe in it but that's probably not gonna be where I end up.

[00:29:00] And so I just kind of thought, well, what can I do? And I decided I love to talk in front of people. And so that's where the podcast came from. And then, so I'm like, gung-ho on my podcast and I'm, I had it out within three months I was up and running. And then I'm like, oh, okay that's awesome. But now what do I do with these oils? And so I created some blends that I call courage, confidence and calm to kind of tie in with that. And that led me to oh, well, I can make my own blends with these oils, cuz these are high quality oils. So I'm making my own things now. Then I was like, I really wanna be done nursing. I don't think I wanna be a nurse anymore. How can I tell my husband that that's what I wanna do? I said, oh, so if I create my own oils and my blends and I can sell them, that's my income and which he totally didn't care. He knew how miserable I was at my last nursing job. He's like, you need just do whatever you wanna do. So I did. And so the sky's the limit now. I I'm creating these blends now. I'm kind of finding this niche with menopause and different things that I can make for women. And I feel good and I feel like this is what I'm supposed to be doing right now. And so I'm happy. 

[00:30:11] Gwyn: Well, that's most important assuming that you have your basic life needs met, do you not be as crucial? Yes. Yeah. And how wonderful to have a supportive husband to back you up on. 

[00:30:22] Kim Benoy: Yeah, he's pretty awesome. Yeah. I mean, you know, there's been times where he probably kind of thought, well, I don't know, but just go with it. 

[00:30:30] Gwyn: Sure. I mean, you know, 

[00:30:31] Kim Benoy: it all works out

[00:30:34] Gwyn: You can't actually be the same person. You have to have some sort of balance going on. 

[00:30:39] Kim Benoy: Yeah, yeah. And it's, this time of life for both of us, you kind of forget men go through things too. And he's thinking about retiring from his long term job. And so here, we're in this little thing together, this little journey together and it's kind of fun.

[00:30:52] Gwyn: Well, is there anything else that you wanna be sure that we get out before we head towards the end? 

[00:30:59] Kim Benoy: I just want to say if you're going to use essential oils, make sure that they are quality oils. If you know the oil in your hand has testing and you can see the results of that test, that's a good oil. But if you cannot find, the test on that oil that you have, then maybe think about how you're using it. It might not be the greatest, so high quality oils.

[00:31:21] Gwyn: Tell me a little bit more about that, about the testing. What are they testing for? What does it mean? What are you looking for? Are the results on the bottle? 

[00:31:29] Kim Benoy: Yeah. So the essential oil industry is not regulated by anyone, so they need to do it themselves. And many companies don't. So that's why you can walk into your neighborhood Walmart or whatever, and buy a little bottle of something off the shelf, like lavender or whatever, but it's probably gonna say something like don't use internally. Don't put on your skin. Don't don't don't don't don't the company that I work with, and I know there's other companies they test their oils. They should have like 50, I think there's 54 tests that they do. They're testing for any contaminants the purity of the oils and making sure nothing's been added to it. So there's like all these different tests that they can do. And the company that I work with, they have a little code on the bottom of the bottle. And if you go to a website, you can plug in that code and it will show you the test results from that batch of oil. Like that actual one. So they have a, an independent third party check the oils as well. It's not just them testing and saying here it's okay. So that's kind of what I mean about the testing. You wanna make sure that what you're putting on your body is pure. It actually is pure because anybody can use the word pure and it might not be 

[00:32:35] Gwyn: Right. That's one of those words that really means nothing like natural.

[00:32:39] Kim Benoy: Natural. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So tell me what that means. Uh, Well, yeah. My motto in life is do your own research. Don't just take the label for what it says on the label as the gospel. Like why, what does this mean? What does pure mean? Is it a hundred percent pure? Is it 10% pure? You know, what is it? So you always have to be questioning and asking, doing your own research.

[00:33:04] Gwyn: Remind us the name of your podcast.

[00:33:07] Kim Benoy: It is called Midlife With Courage and it's on apple and Spotify and all the things. 

[00:33:14] Gwyn: all the places I'll re you can find your fine podcast listening needs. 

[00:33:19] Kim Benoy: Yes.

[00:33:20] Gwyn: So Kim Benoy I have one question that I ask everyone to finish up, which is what excites you?

[00:33:27] Kim Benoy: Ooh, what excites me? What excites me? Passion excites me. I love to see people passionate about things and yeah, I'll leave it at that. I love to see people passionate about something. 

[00:33:43] Gwyn: I think that may be one of the best answers I've heard yet. That's wonderful. 

[00:33:48] Kim Benoy: Awesome. 

[00:33:49] Gwyn: Ting!

[00:33:51] Yay. I win

[00:33:57] that's right. Gold star for Kim. 

[00:33:59] Kim Benoy: Yay.

[00:34:00] Gwyn: Oh, thank you so much for coming on and doing this. I appreciate it.

[00:34:04] Kim Benoy: Thank you for having me. This was really fun. 

[00:34:06] Gwyn: Yeah, I agree. 

[00:34:17] I would love to hear what in this episode really spoke to you. If you weren't in a place to be taking notes. cause I mean, most of us aren't when we're listening to podcasts, don't worry. I got you. There will be a list of all the herbs that Kim discussed and how she uses them on both the Patreon and in the discord group, you can learn more about Kim and connect with her on her website, midlifewithcourage.com or find her podcast of the same name Midlife With Courage, wherever you listen to podcasts.

[00:34:52] If you enjoyed this episode, please be sure that you are subscribed and tell a friend. So that we can normalize talking about sex. If you would like to learn more about working with me other episodes or how you can make this a two-way conversation, please visit whatexcitesus.com. What Excites Us is produced, edited and hosted by me, Gwyn Isaacs. All music is used under the creative commons attribution license. My theme song is The Vendetta by Steven Kartenberg, Harmony by PolyPlus is the music in the promo. And this is Dance Of The Witches by Julius H. The podcast is hosted by tickle.life where you can find lots of great podcasts and other sex and sexuality content too.

[00:35:42] Thanks so much for listening. I really, really, really appreciate you.