Aromatherapy is an ancient practice (with the name being the only modernising addition), and one that still excites and intrigues me.
In many ways it’s a system that resonates with me due to its Bach similarities; in terms of its global accessibility without qualification, its ability to enhance mood, support (and some say limit) many chronic conditions, and that it’s a derivative of nature. However, this is where I believe that most people don’t appreciate that the comparisons end. For unlike essential oils, Bach remedies do not contain the plant extract itself and therefore come with far less complications, restrictions (such as age), barriers to health (such as orthodox medication side effects) or things to consider before administering. Essential oils, like most systems, tend to treat the outcome/result rather than the source of the problem, and therefore should be treated and respected as two standalone systems. Both therapies require (in my opinion) a strong foundation of knowledge, an accredited qualification and a real thirst for using nature to heal in order to get the best out of the systems.
It’s a complex subject and whilst I use essential oils in smaller forms both personally and professionally, it is an area that I am happy to leave to the experts…such as this months guest, Louise Morgan.
Some of you may remember that Louise kindly joined me in Guest Corner in November 2017 when this monthly spot was in its infancy. It’s wonderful to end 2018 with her wise words and revisited specialist subject, as she is a businesswoman and practitioner whom I respect tremendously. Louise owns Kinsale Therapy Centre, which since July 2017 has been my base for offering Honeysuckle treatments, and we have exchanged many treatments and had a fabulous journey together.
This month I have asked Louise to join us to try and condense the vast and popular subject that is Aromatherapy. As always my guest is the expert in the monthly topic and I have really enjoyed learning more about this subject in conversation. Due to the length of this interview I will keep my opening paragraph short, as I have been inspired to write a future blog to clear up some of the misunderstandings between the Bach remedies and other plant-based systems of healing.
I want to say a heartfelt thank you to Louise for finding the time in her always busy schedule to connect this month and to end Honeysuckle’s Guest Corner’s as we know and love them.
Yours in love and light,
December Guest Corner
Q&A With Louise Morgan Holistic Therapist
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is a branch of complementary therapy which uses bottles of different oils in small amounts to create an affect to help a person. The bottles of oils are called essential oils and are extracted from plants, trees and fruits through different methods.
What are the benefits of Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy has several benefits depending on how it is used. Inhalation is a really quick way for essential oils to enter the body, whilst putting essential oils on the body in an oil or cream can mean a longer and more subtle effect, depending on several factors. On an emotional level, essential oils can be used to help mood, and the oils can be blended depending on how someone wants to feel – they can be used to stimulate, refresh or relax an individual. At the other end of the spectrum, with clinical aromatherapy, you can use essential oils to support an individual with their health conditions.
What got you into Aromatherapy?
I worked in an office and knew I didn’t want to be there for the rest of my life. Months before approaching a ‘0’ birthday, I’d seen the course advertised, asked for information and then stuffed it in a drawer when I saw the cost! One day when clearing the drawer, I found the paperwork and decided the cost wasn’t that much for a complete career change. By the time that birthday came, I was 6 months into the course!
How do you use Aromatherapy in your business?
Aromatherapy is a core part of my business. For some clients, it’s the bespoke blend they get for a massage, for others it’s a high diluted blend for a problem they would like help with. I make an essential oil blend in a cream, which I use for the final massage in my Reflexology sessions and I also use essential oils around the clinic if I want to change the aroma.
What are some of the easy ways my readers can use essential oils in their everyday lives?
One easy way is to put a few drops on a tissue and inhale it through your nose and out through your mouth. This option doesn’t need expensive equipment and can give you a quick burst of energy or calm, depending on the oil you’re using. Another way is to pop a few drops on a cotton wall ball and pop it behind a radiator (if children and pets can’t reach it) or on top of a shelf/wardrobe where little fingers and paws cannot reach! The oil then diffuses gently into the air without being too overpowering.
What are your top 3 essential oils and why?
I love sweet orange. There’s research into how it can be an useful option for anxiety; people of all ages tend to love it and it’s safe for all age groups. It’s a ‘cheering’ oil, but as it’s a citrus oil you do need to be careful. Every time the bottle is open and it is exposed to the air, sweet orange reacts with the oxygen. After about 6 months, it should be discarded. Or if you have about a 1/4 of the bottle left you may wish to discard it as there will be a lot of air in the bottle. If you use a bottle which is oxidised (i.e reacted to the air) you may find you experience a reaction and your skin could become sensitised to the oil.
Lavender – a few years ago this wouldn’t have made it onto my list as I felt it was overused, but since I have had my clinic I have fallen back in love with it as clients have requested it to be part of their blends. It’s a great ‘all round’ oil, which is anti-inflammatory and also cicatrisant, which means it helps skin healing. Over the years I’ve used this in blends for bee stings, chickenpox, sleep blends and eczema.
Please note Louise has kindly provided lots of uses and points of concern when using Lavender, particularly when using alongside ADHD conditions. To aid the readability and length of this blog, please contact Louise directly for a consultation and to learn more about general usage and health and safety points.
Benzoin – this has a wonderful deep Vanilla aroma. It is a thick oil, which gives a chocolate orange aroma when combined with sweet orange. It’s a great choice for calming and de-stressing and is also good for the skin. This is an oil I wouldn’t use in high dilutions, but is great for creating a lovely aroma. If you are using a diffuser you will need to clean it out afterwards to avoid it leaving a residue.
Is Aromatherapy suitable for use with children and pets?
I use Aromatherapy with my children, and I talk about how to safely use essential oils with babies on my baby massage courses. The problem is, some oils are safe, but it’s all about which oil you are using and the amount of oil you are using. There’s lost of information on the internet, but with babies and children it’s worth making sure the information is from a reputable source. I’m not qualified to give advice on essential oils with pets, and I know during my initial training I was advised you could only do so under the guidance of a Vet. Personally, I wouldn’t use essential oils with pets as I know how potent they are. Also, I know that cats’ livers can’t actually metabolise essential oils, so they can be toxic to them.
What are your top tips for working with essential oils?
Think about how you store your oils – keep them in a cool, dark place, out of reach of children and pets, and keep the lids on as much as possible.
Remember a little goes a long way! You don’t need to be using a lot of essential oil to create an effect, and you should always try to use the least amount to avoid overexposure.
Buy a good quality essential oil. If you check the membership list of Aromatherapy Trade Council, they hold a list of suppliers who provide good quality essential oils. Unfortunately the market isn’t regulated so oils can be adulterated with synthetic or natural chemicals.
If you’re thinking of using essential oils for a specific health condition, it really is worth spending the money on an Aromatherapist. If you look online you may find some information, but it is general and may not be suitable for you. When you pay for an Aromatherapist appointment you are paying for the expertise and experience in understanding the oils, and their understanding of how they may interact with medications or pose certain problems for some individuals.
And, as it’s the season of Yule, what oils would you recommend to get that traditional Christmassy aroma?
Personally, I love a bit of cinnamon and orange! I use cinnamon leaf (Cinnamomum Zeylanicum) as it’s safer than the bark, and sweet orange (citrus sinensis). This is a traditional aroma, but the sweet orange is cheery and uplifting, while the cinnamon is good at keeping the Winter bugs at bay. Cinnamon leaf essential oil is potent, so in high dilutions it can be mucous irritant (you may not want to diffuse it all day) and it should not be used by pregnant ladies.
Louise is a holistic therapist who owns Kinsale Therapy Centre, Bristol; a clinic offering a range of holistic and beauty therapies. Louise offers reflexology, aromatherapy, aromatology, holistic massage, Indian head massage, reiki, baby massage and story massage. For further information visit Louise’s website or contact her clinic on 01275 217160
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Legal disclaimer: as always, my guests are invited to share their work with you in order to support your healing journey as a whole, by giving you empowering tips and food for thought. I only invite guests whom I know to be insured and practising to the best of my knowledge at the time of their guest spot. I will only welcome guests that I have personally used the services of, and have found to benefit my own individual healing journey as a result. However, if you choose to book any treatments or use any guests services as a result of my monthly interviews, then please be aware that you act personally on this decision. Honeysuckle Healing take no responsibility for the outcome of this decision and these guest blogs do not act as a referral or recommendation service. Please ensure that these guests and services meet your individual requirements prior to booking. Thank you
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