The question of case histories came up recently and as I reflected on this subject I realized that my most significant case histories all involved the use of Aromatherapy. This has given me pause for thought, for while Aromatherapy was my first post graduate certification in 1978 – yes more than forty years ago I realize that I haven’t invested as much time in sharing this skill as I have in MLD and Connective Tissue.
I am asking myself why? It was Aromatherapy that introduced my further understanding of the lacuna, the intercellular fluid and the extra cellular fluid, it was aromatherapy that made me pursue the study of Manual Lymphatic Drainage, and then to Connective Tissue Manipulation and Reflexology. In fact Aromatherapy provided the very first piece in the jigsaw of my piecing pulling together the ASTECC curriculum. Aromatherapy made me want to understand every component of movement and vital energy that the body required and search for how we could harness the energy of certain tools, techniques and touch to make a difference. I needed to understand all these factors so I could truly understand Aromatherapy which is really about understanding life.
Here is one of the case histories that came to mind.
I met Joy when I was contracted to teach hydrotherapy in the spa she was opening – This was in the nineties and the spa had become the latest and greatest business venture. Joy pursued business success ardently….
She owned a diner, a motel, a gym and now the spa.
It was a couple of years after finishing the training there that I heard from Joy. I received her call in our West Palm Beach Day Spa. Joy told me she was throwing up every day, sometimes two or three times a day. She had undergone every GI tract test in the book over the last few weeks and they had found nothing. But she continued to throw up and the only solution the medical system offered was to repeat the tests again to see if there was something they had missed.
Exhausted , Joy simply could not face another battery of tests and that is when she called me, convinced I could help. I listened and I said I was not sure how I could help but if she wanted to come just to de-stress I would be more than happy to help her. We decided on a 10 day time period, she flew from Ohio and stayed in a nearby hotel, visiting our spa for several hours a day.
Her case history was interesting, in some ways simple and in other way complex. Simple was the stomach distress – she had struggled with weight issues all her life and was constantly dieting. At one point she had the bariatric stomach banding. This had been over 10 years prior to my seeing her and it had moderate success, she was over one hundred pounds lighter than before the surgery but still weighted 100 lbs more than she would like.
The Atkins diet had provided some respite and when she first began it she had lost over 20 lbs but it stalled and while she was not losing weight she was terrified to come off the diet as she thought she would instantly gain back what had been lost.
Her very first treatment with me was Aromatherapy. Clinical observation clearly presented a great deal of fluid retention indicative of severe fluid imbalance. I am not a Physician so it is not my place to make any diagnosis, but what my path of learning the bio chemical elements (also prompted from my Aromatherapy curiosity) had taught me exactly which elements would help to soothe and heal a ravaged digestive tract and also assist in balancing the electrolytes.
Joy entered a three day juice fasting program accompanied by spa therapies that would utilize the same bio chemical elements to assist homeostasis. During the 10 day period she received 3 Clinical Aromatherapy treatments, Hydrotherapy/Thalasso therapy and MLD.
Significantly she ceased vomiting from the first day.
Over the course of the 10 days I learned great deal about Joy, her home circumstances and environment and doctrines, physical and emotional.
On the tenth day we ate dinner together at a local restaurant discussing the merits of food and its importance in maintaining health. Incidentally Joy had lost 11 pounds of fluid weight and had great energy and was enjoying wholesome food.
The success story really becomes relevant upon her return home, I would continue conversation with Joy, some via phone others via email. I remember when she told me that she was wearing red for the first time in a long time, clothes that demonstrated her femininity and her strength.
Joy underwent changes in her emotional and physical circumstances. She left home, in as much as she removed herself from the close family entanglements, a divorce, a move from the tightly knit religious community to San Francisco the liberal bastion of the US, while undertaking a whole new business enterprise. One of importing heritage seeds from Germany and sourcing growers. Spelt was the primary grain as it provided an alternative to the over fertilized, pesticide sprayed wheat that was the base of so many non nutritive foods. It was the beginning of a new enterprise providing alternative breads – a success story as I noted its appearance on the shelves of many health food stores.
Joy wanted to heal, she determined that when she made the call. Aromatherapy facilitated the exploration of the root cause of her condition, her discomfort and subsequent illness. Aromatherapy pierced the protective barriers of intellectual thought and brought recognition of her individual needs.
Today, now over 20 years later Joy is able to embrace her past, her present and her future. The day she picked up the phone Joy knew she could heal herself she just didn’t know how.
Marguarite Maury wrote of Rejuvenation in her book ‘The Secret of Life and Youth”. She wrote that as we age we lose our fierce convictions, that we accept too easily the things that do not feel cohesive with our souls beliefs.
But today this is not age related, this is a disease of our time, dis-ease within our selves leads to disease of body and mind.
Aromatherapy unites the soul, the spirit, the mind and the body. Aromatherapy carved for me a lifelong path of passion for my work.
So why I have I not invested this much time in teaching it, because the subtle body-mind, that of the emotions and the unconscious are not so easily explained as physiology and anatomy. How do I explain the sudden awarenesses that I feel through my hands, that my my client’s experience without discussion.
Without doubt Aromatherapy embodies all of the components that I teach and practice.