"Happiness is like a flower and draws all good things to you " -Maharishiimahesh Yogi
What is Holistic Aromatherapy?
• Aromatherapy is more popular than ever, yet there is much confusion and misinformation about essential oil use today, with some companies advocating unsafe practices and synthetic and adulterated essential oils flooding the market.
The British Columbia Alliance Of Aromatherapy (www.bcaoa.org) defines aromatherapy/essential oil therapy as “the controlled use of essential oil(s) to maintain and promote physical, psychological and spiritual well-being.” Essential oils are explained as “plant molecules that are highly volatile, complex chemical structures created in nature… extracted by man through steam distillation, expression, solvent and CO2 extraction.”
Holistic aromatherapy incorporates safe and effective practices to promote health and wellbeing on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels. The individual is seen as a whole and once a lifestyle and health history is gathered from the client, a custom blend – using natural and authentic essential oils – is formulated and a treatment plan created by the essential oil therapist. The treatment plan may include inhalation, compress and topical application. Internal use is never recommended.
As an example, a client comes in who has recently quit smoking, is experiencing digestive upsets and wants to move forward in their life. A blend could be created using essential oils of black pepper, frankincense, ginger, cypress and orange. Clinical research (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8033760) has shown that black pepper curbs nicotine withdrawal, ginger and orange ease abdominal discomfort, cypress is used in times of transition and frankincense helps to cut ties with the past. The client would be encouraged to use this blend in a carrier oil to massage into the abdominal and lower back area or alternately disperse it in hot water and use it as a compress on the abdominal area. In conjunction with the topical application, they would be advised to use the blend in a diffuser or personal inhaler to ease nicotine cravings.
The BCAOA holds the designated and trademarked titles Registered Aromatherapist-RA ™ and Essential Oil Therapist-EOT™ and sets the standard for education within the province of BC. The British Columbia Association of Practicing Aromatherapists (www.bcapa.org) offers educational training twice a year so that members can keep current within the ever-evolving study of aromatherapy. Professional holistic aromatherapists belong to one or both of these associations. Membership assures in-depth educational training through an examination process.
It is advised to contact a Registered Aromatherapist™/Essential Oil Therapist™ to ensure confidence in quality of care, product knowledge and safety when using essential oils for holistic health and well-being.
Lynne Edel (RA™, EOT™) is an aromatherapy instructor at Langara College (www.langara.bc.ca) and Past President of the British Columbia Alliance of Aromatherapy (BCAOA), www.bcaoa.org