The other day, whilst en route to meet some old school friends for lunch, I was listening to a radio programme telling me the terrifying news that incidences of MRSA were again on the increase and that antibiotics were no longer the lauded antidote for it and the whole gamut of conditions for which antibiotics have been used since their introduction into modern medicine. Superbugs are on the increase and its only a matter of time before our arsenal of antibiotics will no longer be the weapon to fight the superbugs!!! A listener phoned in. He had contracted MRSA whilst in hospital and no amount of antibiotics had been able to zap the little blighters! His visionary wife – at her wits’ end by this time – turned to Alternative Therapies – Aromatherapy, to be precise. Although having no prior knowledge of the wonders of essential oils, she researched extensively and finally, after much experimenting, came up with a blend of essential oils which cleared up the MRSA completely, without her husband having to endure any of the dreadful side-effects he had experienced whilst taking antibiotics.
This is just one example of many success stories I have encountered using essential oils as opposed to pharmaceutical products. For me, the biggest plus is that essential oils have little or no side effects. Yes, its always of paramount importance to be aware of contra-indications and of course its wise to check for particular conditions where a certain essential oil could be contra-indicated, such as for pregnancy. However, you’d probably do that in any case, even if you were purchasing a pharmaceutical preparation.
Over the years, as a practitioner, I have had many clients come to me for a wide range of conditions. Stress-related problems are by far the most common and such conditions are often best treated by Aromatherapy. What, for example, could be more stress-busting than an aromatherapy massage using rose and neroli oil, or a warm bath into which a couple of drops(you don’t need much) of lavender, geranium and bergamot oils, blended with nourishing almond or olive oil have been added?
Of course, its not always that simple, but a competent practitioner is trained, not just in the art of Aromatherapy, but also to take an extensive case history on a prospective client. We know how to listen to our clients and how to offer gentle solutions using the alternative therapy tools we have at our disposal. Sometimes the act of just listening is a therapy in itself and an initial consultation can take upto an hour if necessary before the actual therapy is carried out.
As a college lecturer in the subject, I have come across many examples of where empowering students to have the confidence to be pro-active in regard to personal health and well-being, can sometimes lead to positive life-changing consequences. One example of this was a student who came to class suffering debilitating panic attacks. Nothing seemed to work for her. She joined our 30 week Complementary Therapies course and learned that, if she felt an attack coming on, by slowly breathing in either a drop of lavender or bergamot oil dotted onto a handkerchief would diminish the panic attack. She alternated the oils, so for one week she’d use lavender oil and then for the next week, she’d use bergamot. By the end of the 30 week course, she had not only learned how to manage her condition, but had eradicated it completely. About a year or so later, I bumped into her brother who told me that she had been so impressed by the positive effect lavender and bergamot had had on her condition, she was applying to university to study the subject and become a therapist herself.
Use of essential oils is an age-old concept, going right back to ancient times and is well documented across many civilisations and cultures worldwide. The Egyptians used frankincense for re-juvenating the skin and in their embalming rituals. Nowadays, it is still used in many skin preparations, in particular, for mature skin. The therapeutic benefits of ginger have been known and used by the Chinese for many centuries. It was, and still is, useful in the alleviation of arthritic conditions, as well as combating coughs and colds, catarrh, nausea and travel sickness. Rose oil was brought to Europe by the Crusaders, having, amongst other properties, aphrodisiac qualities. It is used extensively in skin preparations, being an excellent oil for mature skin.
Written By: Marilyn Tidmarsh