Back to my old ‘Den’ (Study) again. No longer sat at the dining room table! Mind you. The ‘Den’ at the moment does need decorating badly and has boxes and stuff that have no right to be in there. But it is comfortable enough and brings back experiences of what was ’learning to achieve’. The nurse degrees training all happened in the Den. So, psychologically it is satisfying.
This is a long blog. Sorry! They will be much shorter in future.
First module of the Aromatherapy course? Building your own essential oil profile? The ‘profile’ of an essential oil opens up the total story found by finding out answers to small title considerations. Therefore giving us a holistic picture of that particular oil. Many bits of this information and many considerations allow a vital overall analysis. As an aromatherapist, there is no simple ‘generic’ list of what to consider. As said before, each aromatherapist brings their own unique style to the art. Core guidance is always included however.
To consider? Some of the suggestions from looking how other aromatherapist practitioners present their considerations of what to include:
Common name; botanical name; botanical family; synonyms; description of the plant/tree and where it geographically originates, type of habitat or where it has been introduced and is now grown; what part/parts is/are used from the plant/tree; method of extraction; colour; perfumery odour; top, middle, base notes; interesting historical or folklore uses; chemical composition; therapeutic uses; cosmetic uses; how they affect the mind and spirits’ emotional balance………. The list is all seeking. And there is more. This builds a unique characterisation of each oil. Gives it’s personality.
As a Staff Nurse it was/is vital to consider how the therapy interventions affect the ‘body’s’ biological, psychological and social considerations. Body? That isn’t to undermine the uniqueness of a human being as a person. The person’s ‘body/mind/place in society/cultural identity//id/ego/super ego/etc… is presentation of all of us as a ‘living and breathing form’. Any intervention therapy affects people in unique ways. Nurse philosophy is that if we are to give full considerations to a person we also give full considerations to the uniqueness of the involved therapy. It becomes a marriage.
So, it is important to bring together a holistic story of the character of each essential oil as an entity and force in it’s own right. Or, in fact, considerations to a synergy of ‘collective oils’ to be balance blended. What oil blends well with another or more oils. Herbaceous, floral, woody, spicy, green, resinous, etc. mixes with each other. Therapeutically blend too. How long does each last. In other words, how long do they each ‘stick around doing their thing’. How does one essential oil assist another by being present as an ‘adjunct’.
Adjunct? For example. Chronic Pain. The cycle of pain where pain itself causes heightened stress/anger/fear causing tension in muscles causing inflammation/circulation compromise causing inactivity causing weight gain causing depression causing heightened pain perception. There are numerous diagrams of the pain cycle out there. Don’t use generics. Tailor what has/is happening regarding the chronic pain experience in the life of a person as an individual.
And so consider reducing both the pain and the stress by introducing two or three medications. Or another example. A chest infection involving the need to alleviate the bacterial/viral/fungal infection, calm the traumatic effect on the bronchial tubes, open up the passageways in order to assist comfort in breathing and get rid of the nasties by expectorating (hoiking up and coughing out) the phlegm. Four essential oil considerations that do not contra-indicate with each other. Each with different therapeutic properties and actions to consider. I know which possibly to consider and choose. Not from my own seeking the values of each oil at present. A naïve novice presently. But by recently reading a book written by a professional nurse who is also a renowned aromatherapist.
When I went with the medication trolley around the ward the prescription list on the chart or charts for each patient had to be closely monitored. Assessed depending upon the patient’s daily presentation. Low unusual blood pressure today? Avoid and discuss certain tablets. Side effect presentations? Which new drug has been introduced? Or old drug now overwhelming the system. Or interactive and therefore contra-indicated with another of the drugs/medication taken. Or, maybe an ‘over the counter brown bag’ medication that does not suit alongside medication on the prescription chart. Polypharmacy (numerous drugs) is a terrible affair sometimes. I have given up to 20 different drugs in one day. Not 20 tablets/liquids. But DIFFERENT drugs/medications. The interactions are infinite.
So. A profile of each essential oil is paramount for understanding what you are handling. They are powerful entities with inherent chemical properties that are truly effective on the body’s systems.Learning to understand about each one is vital. Akin to any form of medication I gave as a nurse. So the first module on the Advanced Aromatherapy Course is to consider how to build my own Profile considerations.
Fun times getting back to the den/study with some coffee, biscuits/cookies and a fountain pen, fresh journal and an open informative book to read.