When Treatment doesn’t work!

I have talked before about the principle of if something doesn’t work, then try something different rather than just trying even harder with the same approach. I often saw young adults when I worked at adolescent mental health in-patient units who were great at trying even harder with the same approach.

Sadly most of us adults are often prone to the same mistake. I frequently get clients who have all but given up on conventional medicine, not because it is incapable of helping them but because the right thing has not been tried. However I am not a doctor, I do not have the same understandings of disease from their perspective and depth of knowledge as they do and what I did learn as a nurse while still relevant, is very out of date when it comes to the newest drugs so unless it is something I have researched because of a particular client’s needs I can not advise on this even when as occasionally happens I am asked. I can only advise going back to their GP or consultant as appropriate, possibly armed with some better questions to ask them.


I am not immune from being unsuccessful with treatments and it would be arrogant of me to suggest that I was. While it is true that I rarely get a client who does not feel better after a massage in one way or another, I will not always get the best blend of essential oils to help their condition. When that happens I need, with my client, the expert on themselves to look again at why we chose particular oils together and ask,

  1. Was the basis for choosing these particular oils correct?
  2. Have we allowed enough time to know if the treatment is working?

If the answers to 1. and 2. above are both, “yes” then we need to think about whether other oils are better suited to them as a person with their particular issues/problems as well as whether aromatherapy is the correct treatment or not. If only the answer to the first question is in the affirmative, then it is still worth thinking together if another oil might help the blend either as an addition or replacement for one of those already in use.

If for some reason I have misunderstood my client’s communication and am treating the wrong condition/issue, it is important that I admit that or as is sometimes the case, the client’s priorities for treatment change and as one issue becomes lesser, another becomes more prominent in their mind. For example, when I have toothache, a chronic issue with my left leg is less noticeable. Treating the toothache does not cause my leg to get worse, merely for it to be closer to the front of my thinking.

So it is really important for me to listen to my client as well as honing my observational skills and taking note of posture, facial expressions and much more when I work with them. For instance, I have a client with a known problem with her Right knee. She has much more hard skin on her foot on that side. If she had not told me of the problem I should be asking her about any possible imbalance between Left and Right sides, injuries that might affect her gait etc.

And of course as I said earlier, I must not assume that I am correct but be open to changing my mind. So, if you want a therapist who is honest about their limitations either in central Cambridge or Trumpington, call 07939273569 or email dave@cambridgearomatherapy.com