Yesterday, I met with seven of those I trained as a general nurse with  for the first time in over thirty years! This made me think about the importance of our histories. Not just mine of training first in general nursing, then in mental health nursing, psychotherapy and aromatherapy but also that of my clients.

If my client has come because of stress, then what is causing the stress. Is it work or is it something that goes back  to patterns that were set in childhood? Finding out these things is not just about being nosy (though I am sure there is something about anyone working in the therapy business that does get something out of hearing lots of secrets about their clients’ lives) but it is about being able to do the best for my clients. I might choose different oils for a childhood issue than for an acute stress issue that has been caused by an unforeseen change in the work environment for example.

The same is true when choosing oils for physical ailments. The client who is breathless due to asthma exacerbated by a pollen allergy will need different oils from the one who is breathless due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Of course, what I have written is an oversimplification. Most clients who are breathless are affected psychologically by this which can make matters worse. This is demonstrated in asthma clinics where it has been found that less than 10% of patients use their inhalers correctly!

Likewise, the client who is stressed, anxious or depressed will also be affected physically. So I have to with my client choose oils and a massage to address both the physical and psychological aspects of their needs.

Fortunately all oils have effects in more than one domain. Rosemary for example can aid with memory and recall, it is also good for muscular aches, respiratory complaints and digestive issues. Citrus oils are good for digestive issues including constipation which is common in depression which they are also very good at treating.

For the vast majority of issues there are essential oils that can help. However, essential oils will not stop the growth of a tumour. There are also infections that essential oils will not treat and which do need antibiotics. Aromatherapy is a complementary therapy to allopathic medicine, not an alternative to it!