Aromatherapy is not black and white, or an always or never modality. What do I mean by that? A quick visit to social media groups can leave you dizzy with information, some of it is erroneous; hearing statements like never use on babies, never take internally, and always dilute are commonplace.
There are times when scientific fact is misunderstood, taken out of context, and times where being overly conservative comes as a result of learning information that may instill fear or uncertainty, especially on the Internet and social media. And while it is true that we should all (myself included) work from a space of education, knowledge, experience, and comfort level, knowing the facts is equally important.
Aromatherapy would not be where it is today if it were not for what some call vintage aromatherapists, those that have been in the field for decades. Were vintage aromatherapists practicing aromatherapy differently than it is today? That is a big question, not a simple yes or no answer. One thing we do know, there are absolutely differences in the realm of safety, as we simply did not know then what we know now. Just as in the allopathic model of medicine, new technologies and advances are constantly being made. Doctors consistently need to keep current on their education in order to not be left behind by the up and coming who are learning the latest and the greatest. It is equally important to keep learning and evolving in our education and our practice, learning never stops.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I have deep heartfelt gratitude for every vintage aromatherapist out there. A few have been personal mentors of mine. These professionals have been incredibly gracious with me in my quest to learn all that I can. I relish in the various views and outlooks within aromatherapy. The breadth and depth is truly awe-inspiring. I would love to spend time with each and every one of them to absorb all that they have to offer me.
I have seen people treated unfavorably in the past as well as recently for their efforts. Just as we should not discredit a vintage aromatherapist who may have done some things differently 20 years ago, we should not discredit someone making a valiant effort to learn aromatherapy as it is today.
But hang in here with me to this very important point:
“You should not make up your own rules because you are not in the know about something” OR “Not be willing to be open with how things are constantly changing.”
Facebook is not the place to go for an aromatherapy education or consult. I do not want to rock the boat here, but there are some who are uneducated/undereducated giving incorrect advice. There are also some who have varying levels of education giving the same said advice, and others still who are making up their own rules. If you really want to know about aromatherapy: use, safety, esoterics, energetics..all of it….you must apply yourself to gain that knowledge. A home user should work within their realm of experience, as should a new student, an experienced clinical aromatherapist, and so on and so forth; but the “recommendations” or “facts” do not change.
There are plenty of myths being perpetuated, widely varied levels of education, and many opinions out there. If there is one thing that we do know, it is that aromatherapy is a holistic modality, case by case basis, risk vs benefit, beautiful in all of its many facets, therefore will never be a one size fits all. It simply will never be “never take internally”, “never use oils on babies”, “always dilute” and my favorite “there’s an oil for that”. But we can say “not recommended for the essential oil enthusiast or home user”, “not recommended unless you work with a professional”, “not recommended without further education” or something of the like.
Even the big guns will tell you, and they often do, that the guidelines are just that, guidelines. Recommendations. A starting point. You MUST do your own research and obtain your own education beyond this.
I want to assure you, for those that are not familiar with my work, my niche, I am big on safety. I have also stepped up my education and will continue to do so in order to know as much as I can. My bookshelves are heavy. I am humble in knowing there will always be more to know. I try to always take the stance of “Yes you can use do X, but you really need to know how, when, and where it is appropriate”. I will not use the words always and never. I will also not give these types of details on Facebook. I will continue to do my best to keep essential oil enthusiasts safe, that is very important to me, but what you see me say and do on Facebook is not necessarily what I would be saying/covering one on one. Why is that? In regards to Facebook…I do not know your medical history, if you are taking medications, your constitution, or even your likes and dislikes. Not the place for a consult. What I don’t do is change the “recommendation” at the basic level.
What does this all come to?
The need for higher education standards.
The need for “self” regulation.
The need for the industry to be on the same page.
To BE professionals others can look to CONFIDENTLY for help.
I have begun an effort to do these very things.
Let’s begin taking the necessary steps to get there.
For further reading:
Like so many practices in life I encourage you to become educated on the proper use of essential oils. When using them, please do so cautiously, understanding that there is often misinformation on the internet. You can be assured that I support only educated and proven resources. While essential oils should not be feared they should be respected and used properly to ensure the safety of the individuals using them.
Please note that I am not a medical practitioner. The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider. By using this website, you assume full responsibility and liability for your own actions.