Treating the whole person!

There is a thread on one of the linkedin forums about which essential oils to use for healing after surgery for breast cancer. While there are many oils that can help with this, the thread reminds me of conventional medicine at it’s worst, treating individual symptoms rather than the whole person.

Conventional medicine  does not have to take this reductionist view and over the years I have seen some examples of it at it’s best where it does treat the whole person rather than just symptoms. I find it sad however to see discussions (this is not the only one I have seen.) about oils for individual symptoms in discussion threads for aromatherapy.

Yes, lavender oil can be useful, especially if there are skin problems following radiotherapy. So can a number of other oils. However, if I treat the whole person, choosing oils following a consultation that will help with their physical, psychological and spiritual needs then the person I am treating is going to be in a better position to heal themselves.

The difference between the therapist going in to fix something and them looking to enable their client to heal themselves is vital. If I, “fix” my client, yes they may think I have done a good job. They may even come back to me next time they need, “fixing.” However, in, “fixing” them I am not doing anything to build their resources and resilience.

When I am working at my best, the client does their own healing in whichever domains are needed and builds reserves to keep themselves healthy in those areas.

This principle applies just as much to the massage as it does to the oils I choose. Intensive massage on an area may well get rid of pain but the pain may be caused by the client’s posture which is avoiding a different pain elsewhere in the body or it may be tension caused by emotional issues. This is why I will do more work on a particular area if requested by a client, my default is to do a full body massage as the whole body needs to be in good condition for healing to take place.

While a client saying, “the pain went completely after just one treatment with Dave.” might be nice, I would much rather have a client say, “I have felt much more alive since I started seeing Dave!”

So, while bergamot may be the “best essential oil for depression,” I will if on balance treating the whole person feel a combination of oils without it treats the whole person better, that is what I will do.

The interplay between the physical and psychological and spiritual   always means that whichever is the index complaint that brings the client to me, it is only by treating all of them that I am going to do the best for my client.