Aromatherapy; it’s a tough scientific art form to explain.
Aromatherapy works on a bio-chemical footing with the constitutes being delivered into the body on a cellular basis. But the art and craft of blending the plant based chemistry is down to the Practitioner’s skill, knowledge and understanding of both the essences and the imbalances that their clients are presenting with. The intention of the delivery, in what ever form it may take, be it massage, diffusion, or inhalation, will also define the essences roll in the energetic acceptance of the modality for the client it is being prepared for.
I was reading through my notes today on the new(ish) book “Aromatica, A Clinical Guide To Essential Oil Therapeutics Volume 1: Principles and Profiles” by Peter Homes LAc, MH. My brain was slightly foggy due to the fact that my cosy study was filled with Christmas jazz playlists, slow burning bees wax candles, a sleeping cat and a large quantity of mince pies and tea, but I was surprised by how the book had grabbed my attention in a way that often I find my study of theology excites me.
(As a friend and I enjoyed a glass of wine by the word burner yesterday, he called me “a hippy Christ follower” during a rather relaxed, yet heated, conversation about the authenticity of the book of Revelations. I think I was more proud of that title than any other, simply as it summed up my love for Jesus, but also for my work in the studio at Cornerstone Therapies.)
The work I offer comes from my passion for finding the truest source and outpouring of vitalism; the idea that life is dependent on something other than purely chemical or physical forces. This is a rarely talked about outlook in today’s society and is often left to those studying ancient mythology, but it is something that Peter Holmes makes very clear in the introduction in his book on aromatherapy that we should take another look at.
The reason I think Aromatherapy draws me in so much is that it reflects my love of anything that is non-dualistic. As we come to Christmas and see the Christian faith in the Trinity, which is inherently a beautiful relational communication rather than dual force, it is worth looking at how the artisan practice of blending essences is anything but right or wrong, good or bad, light or dark. At the very root of the practice in my studio I look at a non-dualistic way of treating the mind, body and soul. It is often called “Somatic” or “Holistic”, but either way we are talking about “life as a whole”
I would propose that there is always a hermeneutic loop that we can view a theory through so that we can gain clearer knowledge, and aromatherapy and massage based body-work are no different. The simple thought process of taking our base understanding, questioning it, finding deeper meaning, engaging with outside influences, flowing into feedback and reflection to gain greater understanding from when we started, can certainly be applied to the science and art of aromatherapy, (as well as theology).
The lenses that we are encouraged to look through as clinical based aromatherapy practitioners are whether we are able to understand our clients through psychological, physical and energetic levels. We are then encouraged to look at the reflective feedback during their treatments and learn to gain greater understanding about how we can improve our therapeutic intention to bring them to a greater sense of ease on all three levels of mind, body and soul.
Nothing about this approuch is static, formulated or transferable from one client to the next. Lavender, for example, can be the most excellent oil for sedation, the lowering of the blood pressure and it can bring a sense of peace. But for some it can over stimulate the tri-geminal nerve and bring on a migraine. We cannot reduce aromatherapy into simplified, generalised set of assumptions.
I enjoy engaging my mind, (primarily), in furthering my understanding of the spiritual and physical journey that we all take. The journeys that lead clients to my treatment room are never black or white, they are always colourful. But one thing that is clear is that there is a lot of energetic disharmony that I see on a daily basis. If aromatherapy can come to the aid of the mind and the body, I am very hopeful that it can also help to unify the soul as well and break down our western view point of simplified dualism when it comes to healing.
(This is part of my journal reflections and in truth I had no clear idea where to post this small musing; on my blog, Jesus and the Yoga Mat, or here at Cornerstone Therapies. It is an outpouring of two of my three passions, so before you comment, just know that these are my personal view points.)