Aromatherapy is hot, interesting and modern. Everything is aromatherapy; from the scent in your car to the dish-washing liquid. Even the scented diapers! Essential oils are being sold left right and center and everybody has oils in a cupboard at home. Drop, drop in the bath, on your linen, in your soap, in your tea and on your baby… Essential oils are safe to use, says the publicity. And they are – if you know what you are doing, otherwise you might end up with a problem. What is astounding is the lack of information and realistic knowledge around essential oils. These oils are forever hovering in a no-mans land between medicine, perfume and taste-enhancer. (See earlier posts on knowledge and quality.)
In many Spas and other places aromatherapy is advertised; what it actually means is that essential oils are used. This is not aromatherapy. True aromatherapy is the knowledge of how to use and apply essential oils specifically. To do this, in-depth knowledge of essential oils is necessary. To become a true aromatherapist education is needed in several areas: medicine, chemistry, physics, biology, botany. I have studied, researched and used essential oils for more than 20 years and every day I learn something new. I have seen what harm EO can do when used indiscriminately and I have seen the results when “old” oils have been used. I have had clients with such sensitive skin that even one (!) drop of a “safe” EO cause rashes. I have trained therapists who have developed sensitivities against EO, effectively stopping them from ever using EO again.
Aromatherapy is not only about EO’s. It is also about vegetable oils, macerations (herbal oils) and hydrolates. It is about understanding people, the mechanics of healing and knowledge of how the body and mind works in unison. Being an aromatherapist is a life-long study.
Yes, aromatherapy is wonderful and you can benefit greatly from using it in your daily life. But please DO get informed first. Buy some books, look on the internet and pay attention. Refrain from giving other people advice, just because it worked for you does not mean it will necessary work (or even be good for) somebody else. There is a world of difference between one drop or two drops! Get your oils from a reputed company, pay a bit more, ask questions and stay safe. And remember; all plants do not contain essential oils and not all oils on the market are true essential oils.