During the Aromatherapy Certification Program at Aromahead Institute, students write an 8-10 page research paper.
I recently received an excellent paper from an online certification student from Mexico, Rebeca Ledersnaider, and wanted to share a few of her insights. Below is an excerpt from Rebeca's research paper.
Aromatherapy as a Holistic Therapy
"The cure of the part should not be attempted without treatment of the whole, and also no attempt should be made to cure the body without the soul, and therefore if the head and body are to be well you must begin by curing the mind; that is the first thing… For this is the great error of our day in the treatment of the human body; that physicians separate the soul from the body." Plato Chronicles 156 e.
Aromatherapy, the use of essential oils and its different applications, in a correct and secure way, has been regarded as a holistic approach, since it embraces the individual as a whole in all of its levels: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
Holistic comes from Greek word “Holos,” which means: Whole. Therefore, we will consider the applications at all different levels possible and related to the condition we are treating. To speak of holism, we must consider the power of nature in us, “vis medicatrix naturae” (Bynum, W.F., Nature's helping hand. Nature 414, 21 November 2001). It is the energy that sustains life and gives us strength to heal, and to find the lost balance, which has made possible for illness to develop.
From this line emerges the Hippocratic theory, which speaks about the doctor’s true goal, who must never forget to always try and look for that lost balance and recover it, having also in mind the “humor” of the person, which is also related to the four elements.
In the 2nd century, Galen reinforced this theory, talking about the four temperaments, which must be in balance in order to be healthy. These temperaments--sanguine, choleric, phlegmatic and melancholic--have prevailing qualities of cold, heat, dryness and humidity, which were used to refer to bodily dispositions that would trigger a person's susceptibility to disease, as well as certain tendencies of behavior and emotion.
Already in this century, the “vis medicatrix naturae,” was interpreted as vitalism, “vis vital,” as an energy that must flow freely and evenly, energizing every cell and tissue of the body. If this flow is blocked or congested, then predisposition to disease occurs.
Holistic treatment recognizes all aspects of human being: body, mind, spirit; it is a balance, which the body tends to look for, and not just the elimination of existing symptoms. It also recognizes the value of traditional medicine, and emphasizes that the patient's experience in the disease, is directly related to the state of his mind. The aim of holistic aromatherapy is to restore balance to the whole person using essential oils as catalysts for the process.
Check out Rebeca's Aromatherapy blog! (if needed, you can easily use Google to translate it from Spanish to English): Shaktilier