The La Ishá Story
How a teenager's burn accident became the inspiration for an amazing skin care line
by Sharon Gnatt Epel, CEO/Founder La Ishá Inc.
The La Ishá Story began in June of 2005, when my teenage son left home to attend an exciting summer Rainforest Program in beautiful Costa Rica.
After a couple of days in group orientation, Aaron and his peers left their base camp deep in the rainforest to go on a white water rafting expedition on the border of Panama. A heavy rainfall the night before had saturated the soil, causing runoff from the neighboring fruit plantations and small farms in the area. Agricultural chemicals seeped through the soil into the streaming water and made their way into the river where they sat undetected on the surface, like an invisible oil slick. These particular chemicals were so toxic that they had been banned by most of the countries in North, South and Central America. They were still being used, albeit illegally, by a plantation in the area.
My unsuspecting son waded into the river where his hands and knees came into direct contact with these chemicals.
A mere six hours later, these tiny blisters had grown so large that they hung over the sides of his hands like heavy water balloons. Please be forewarned: These are graphic pictures and may be hard for you to look at. My son's left hand six hours later. His right hand six hours later.
The camp officials called to tell me that Aaron was suffering from "a minor allergic reaction to sunscreen", but they in fact knew better. To their credit, they made the long journey with Aaron from the rainforest base camp to a hospital in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. There, the attending physician diagnosed my son with 2nd degree burns. She cut open the huge blisters, administered oral antibiotics and applied a petroleum-based burn ointment to the gray, oozing, bloodless skin underneath. I insisted that he be sent home for follow-up care immediately.
While I waited for my son to arrive at Denver International Airport, I contacted several of my physician friends for guidance. One of them was a specialist in integrative medicine, and had been a doctor with the U.S. Army for over 30 years. Based on the description of the injury, he suspected that Aaron had sustained chemical burns, something that he become familiar with during the course of his career with the Army. The leader of the rafting expedition eventually confessed that chemicals were indeed the culprit, but because he was afraid of losing his job, swore that he would deny having told me if forced to give testimony in court. I promised not to sue, in return for information that could help us figure out an appropriate treatment for my son.
After looking at Aaron’s hands, my friend the integrative physician suggested we treat the burns with medical-grade essential oils: natural substances I had never heard of before. Aaron and I agreed to this after consulting with several other physicians who - like us - had never heard of clinical essential oil therapy either, but felt that traditional burn therapies would most likely leave my son's hands scarred for life, and his movements restricted by thick, inflexible scar tissue. Deciding to use the essential oils was a huge leap of faith for us, but one that paid off better than we could have imagined.
I took dated pictures to document Aaron's treatment. Immediately upon his return home to Colorado, Aaron's skin was gray in color and the surface completely void of blood. After 3 weeks of applying essential oils to his hands twice a day, blood flow was finally restored to the injured areas, and although they certainly didn't look pretty we were assured that the healing was underway; His left hand: and his right hand.
...And finally here are Aaron's hands as they look today: I've posted two separate views of his left hand, the first one here, and the second one here.Here is a picture of his right hand. Please note that both hands are now fully healed. They have no residual scarring whatsoever. Both hands enjoy free movement unrestricted by scar tissue. His fair skin is supple, and its' natural color fully restored. Remember that nothing other than essential oils was ever used on his skin. The warm and caring doctor who supervised the treatment submitted these pictures to the AMA to document these amazing results.
This experience drove me to learn as much as I could about essential oils and how they are being used internationally to treat a variety of conditions holistically. I thought about how these high quality plant oils had healed Aaron’s hands after such severe chemical burns, and couldn't help but wonder what they could potentially do for someone with relatively minor problems like wrinkles, age spots and sun damage...
This painful and scary episode in our lives became the inspiration for what is now La Ishá Natural Skin Care: the only all natural anti-aging skin care line dedicated to the beauty needs of women 35+.
I am a devoted customer of my own line, and use these formulations daily to rejuvenate my skin after years of serious "sun abuse" and help prevent future free radical damage. I invite you to try it for yourself, and experience the benefits of clinical essential oil therapy in an easy-to-use daily skin care routine that produces long lasting, beautiful, anti-aging results and skin that positively glows with good health!
Wishing you the blessings of good health and timeless beauty,
Sharon Gnatt Epel
Founder/CEO La Ishá Natural Anti-Aging Skin Care
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