When Aromatherapy Doesn't Work, Part 1

Aug 28, 05:50 PM

"Yeah, I tried aromatherapy once but it really didn't work."

As a clinical aromatherapist with many successful outcomes, is very frustrating for me to hear this statement. While aromatherapy is not always appropriate for everyone and every issue, it can be useful and profoundly healing in many instances... many more than you might imagine.

When I start asking questions of people who've had a bad experience with aromatherapy, there is usually a very good reason why essential oils weren't effective. They may have used a poor quality product, worked with an unqualified practitioner, or had unrealistic expectations of healing a chronic problem overnight. One of the biggest issues I encounter is lack of client compliance.

Those who are used to the allopathic gratification of popping a pill and feeling better a few hours later often don't realize that natural remedies do not provide an instant cure. Botanical remedies such as herbal tinctures, teas, essential oils and flower essences require regular doses over a period of weeks, sometimes months, in order to work their magic. Many neophyte users will apply an aromatherapy blend once or twice, not see results, then claim the product "doesn't work." Generally speaking, a blend must be used religiously on a daily basis for at least 2 weeks before healing effects become evident. Botanical remedies require patience.

Overuse is another compliance issue. If your aromatherapist instructs you to use a product twice daily, using it 7 or 8 times a day will not necessarily make it work faster. Overuse of some essential oils can actually cause them to have a reverse effect on the body. For instance, a sedative oil can become stimulating if used in excess. Obviously, this is not desirable if your custom aromatherapy blend is for insomnia or hyperactivity.

With long-term use, sometimes the body can adapt to a particular synergy and it begins to lose its effectiveness. If this is the case, simply stop using your aromatherapy blend for a week or so. After this brief break, commence regular use. The body will have time to "reset" and your blend will work effectively again. Some practitioners recommend rotating all blends 3 weeks on and 1 week off to prevent this situation from occurring.

If you are advised to use an aromatherapy blend for an issue requiring long-term healing, plan on using your synergy for at least several months in order to obtain the desired result. For example, a blend to heal surgical incisions and minimize scarring won't be particularly effective if used for just a couple weeks. It takes a long time for deep layers of tissue to regenerate... if you're told to use the blend until the entire bottle is gone, do so. With any chronic issue, maintain periodic appointments with your aromatherapist. As healing progresses, she may need to adjust the ingredients in your custom blend or may recommend an entirely new regimen for optimum effectiveness.

In short, as with allopathic medications, follow the directions given. Very simply, if you don't use an aromatherapy product, it won't work.

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