In my professional association’s Facebook page today a member asked for books covering the subject of Mental Health and Aromatherapy, particularly relating to grief, bereavement and recovering from abuse.
I was struck by how few titles there were given that this area is a big part of my work in aromatherapy and I know there are many other therapists in the same position.
Essential oils I use a lot in this context are Rose and Rose Geranium, Frankincense, Cypress, Citrus oils in general, Vetiver, and a few others, with women I use a few of the oils that are used for helping with menstrual problems as, especially with abuse work, mood swings often seem to be associated with a woman’s cycle.
Rose especially is valuable when there has been a betrayal of trust but other oils such as German Chamomile and Frankincense are often useful to deal with the anxiety that is often present. Vetiver too is useful for this. Rosemary and Cypress, both herbs that have been used as funeral herbs along with Myrrh are useful in dealing with grief and the citrus oils are always uplifting and useful in depression.
Perhaps more important than any of the individual choices of oils with the client however is that the treatment is nurturing, it is important that the client feels valued for themselves and does not feel rushed but is able to say what they want and what is right for them. As always I need to think about my client’s goals rather than just what I think would be good for them. During the massage I will use more strokes using my whole arms rather than just my hands in order to help them feel held and nurtured. Only then can my client make the changes in their own thinking and emotions that they need.