I’m re-creating this post, trying to figure out how to block the spammers from commenting.
My first footzoning teacher was a rather amazing lady from Sweden (Katri Nordbloom) whose curriculum required many months of studying physiology. She often reminded us that people in Sweden know much more than Americans about how the body works and insisted that we become better stewards of the housing that God gave us.
Katri gave herself the alias of Dr. Always and said she used this name whenever she had to write down the name of her family’s doctor. She stated simply that she was always her own doctor and the one she trusted most with her family’s health. As far as I’m concerned, she certainly had credentials — and an incredible knowledge of human anatomy.
It occurs to me that since we are always our own first responders, and many of us also want to be Dr. Always, we need to be more knowledgeable about how our bodies work so that we can take more responsibility for our own health. Whenever a health issue comes up in my family, I spend time researching to find possible causes and approaches for treatment. It’s critical that we look out for ourselves.
Recently I’ve been helping my mother – age 85 – manage her health issues, going from doctor to doctor and getting test after test. For the same symptoms she’s been diagnosed with emphysema, aortic aneurism, congestive heart failure, and multiple pulmonary embolisms. Even after two CT scans, we don’t really know what’s going on.
There have also been several instances where the medical profession has definitely dropped the ball. We were given $100 a dose pre-filled hypodermic needles and told to give her shots, with absolutely no training. She was prescribed a blood thinner and left unsupervised on it for a week and a half before I could get someone to be accountable for her care. I can’t even remember all of the crazy things we’ve been through the past few months. In addition to this, she has piles of prescriptions from assorted doctors to manage. Who knows how they interact and if they are helping or hurting?
Now, I could blame the doctors and accuse them of negligence … but to me these are just examples of the confusion and poor treatment that can result from not looking out for yourself. It takes a lot of time and tenacity to get the answers and assistance you need but if you don’t do it, who will?
The same principle of Dr. Always applies to using essential oils. They are potent and powerful and not something to be treated lightly. And there is a plethora of information out there — no excuses for just reading a few lines about an oil and making an impulse purchase. If you’re serious about improving a health issue, do a little research to see what’s available and what might help.
There’s a good, comprehensive article on the basics of using essential oils at Taking Charge of Your Health.
The essential oil that you choose will depend on the purpose—do you want it to help elevate your mood or do you need something to treat a burn? There is no “laundry list” that specifies which essential oil is used to treat which health condition. Instead, you need to be proactive about doing research and talking with qualified individuals.
The internet is chock full of essential oil information, but there’s nothing like a book with a nice index and cross references to have on hand for studying and looking things up. To make things easy for you, here’s a list of reading material compiled by Taking Charge.
National Association of Holistic Aromatherapists
This organization is an educational, nonprofit agency dedicated to enhancing public awareness of the benefits of true aromatherapy and promoting academic standards in aromatherapy education and practice.
Aromatherapy Registration Council
This website gives information on the registration examination for aromatherapists and provides a register of qualified aromatherapists.
International Council for Aromatic and Medicinal Plant (ICMAP)
The Council’s objective is to promote international understanding and cooperation between national and international organizations on the role of medicinal and aromatic plants in science, medicine and industry, and to improve the exchange of information between them.
Here are some good, reliable books:
Battaglia, S., (2003). The complete guide to aromatherapy. Brisbane, Queensland, Australia: The International Centre of Aromatherapy.
Bowles, E., (2003). The A to Z of essential oils. London: Quarto Inc.
Buckle, J. (2003). Clinical aromatherapy: Essential oils in practice, 2nd Ed. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.
England, A. (2000). Aromatherapy and massage for mother and baby. Rochester, Vermont: Healing Arts Press.
Mojay, Gabriel (2000). Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Healing Arts Press.
Price, Shirley (1991). Aromatherapy for Common Ailments. Gaia Books.
Price, S. & Price, L. (1995). Aromatherapy for Health Professionals. Churchill Livingstone, London, England.
Schnaubelt, Kurt (1998). Advanced Aromatherapy. Healing Arts Press.
Tisserand, Maggie (1996). Aromatherapy for Women. Healing Arts Press.
Wildwood, Chrissie (1996). The Encyclopedia of Aromatherapy. Healing Arts Press.
Worwood, V. (1996) The fragrant mind. Novato, CA: New World Library.
Worwood, V. (1991). The complete book of essential oils & aromatherapy. Novato, CA: New World Library.
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Let me give you a couple of examples of fascinating subjects that I’ve encountered in my meanderings to whet your appetite for learning.
Effect of aromatherapy massage on abdominal fat and body image in post-menopausal women. This is a bona fide study done by the Wonkwang Health Science College, Korea, — published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine. This study verified that aromatherapy massage could be utilized as an effective intervention to reduce abdominal subcutaneous fat, waist circumference, and to improve body image in post-menopausal women. The control group used grapefruit, cypress, and three other essential oils with grapeseed carrier oil, massaging themselves twice a day for six weeks, with positive results. Too bad they don’t say what the other three oils were!
Two paragraphs stood out to me:
Several essential oils thought to sharpen the mind have shown the same action — inhibition of cholinesterase. These include Lemon and Rosemary essential oils, the top two oils tested for improving study skills and test taking ability. Spanish Sage has also been the subject of many laboratory studies, and even a clinical trial, with successful results. Spanish Sage shares primary chemical constituents with many other oils, including Rosemary (the natural chemical 1,8-cineol is predominant in both oils). Don’t get too hung up on the specific species on the studies, as again, many bright-scented essential oils appear to have these effects.
Interestingly, none of the individual constituents seemed to be as potent in preventing the breakdown of acetylcholine as the whole natural oil. Aromatherapists know well that the complete oils will virtually always have a more therapeutic effect than any single compound produced in the laboratory.
I love to learn, and the study of essential oils provides extremely fertile ground for growing a personal knowledge base. There is so much research going on that new information comes up practically every day. I already know how effective essential oils are in my life, but it’s great fun to see others making the same discoveries and more!