This is such a huge topic…but I would like to narrow it a bit, and share the quote that inspired this blog post: “Aromatherapy can initiate the first steps on a journey that will ultimately lead to becoming master of one’s own health.” This was beautifully and powerfully stated by none other than Kurt Schnaubelt…one of our teachers and mentors, and owner of The Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy. I read it recently in a student paper I was reviewing, and was struck by the simplicity…yet profundity…of that quote.
Believe it or not, there is still quite a bit of skepticism and judgment out there around taking control of our health. People smile and shake their heads, thinking how foolish…actually, foolhardy…that is. I just had that experience yesterday at a lunch I was attending. I was telling a story about a recent experience at our Level II Advanced Retreat. One of our students was eating her salad and chatting with those nearby, when she realized, with a start, that she had just swallowed a bee who had landed on the lettuce…and that it had stung her in the throat. Barry and Cynthia, who were sitting near her, swiftly identified essences/hydrolats to address the bee sting, and began applying them. Specifically, they used Helichrysum italicum (essential oil) down the throat and Helichrysum italicum and Neroli hydolats, orally, as well. They also applied the Helichrysum essence to the outside of the throat. Within moments, the pain eased and she was breathing and swallowing normally.
It was interesting to see the different facial expressions around the table as I was telling the story….several people were amazed and expressed how wonderful it was that we were able to address this potential emergency so effectively with medicinal aromatherapy. Other people looked visibly uncomfortable, and the expressions were worth a thousand words…disbelief, skepticism and downright disapproval.
This is a somewhat extreme example, but less dramatic ones can occasion the same range of response.
I am here to say that, over the more than 15 years I have been using pure, single essential oils as my primary (virtually, only) medicine, I have grown to trust so deeply in the power and effectiveness of plant and tree medicines, and I have great confidence in their ability to address virtually anything “that ails us.” I also see the incredible effect they have on the demeanor of people who use them regularly. In my experience, the people are uplifted, engaged and enlivened by the essences. I know that I am.
So, thank you, Kurt, for acknowledging how the practice of aromatherapy can empower us. You, and the essences, are an inspiration to me and so many others.