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The Competent Aromatherapy Consultation

By: Jimm Harrison
Posted: March 28, 2011, from the April 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Each category should have a long list of questions and pertinent information. In many instances, the questions asked, such as those that would be asked under habits, feelings and relationships, are extremely personal and may not be appropriate. Answers to these questions often can be garnered from casual conversations with the client, during which you will obtain a fair amount of your most helpful insight. As you become more experienced in your consultation skills, you will begin to recognize the information worthy of recording that may factor into treatment with essential oils.

Client analysis

Combining these examples—a stressed client who eats farmed fish and is experiencing serious skin eruptions—you may formulate your remedy using the already-mentioned cedarwood and frankincense with tea tree to address the antimicrobial infection, as well as potential imbalances caused by the antibiotics eaten in the farmed fish. Mercury toxicity is a more complicated and involved condition and, from an herbal standpoint, chelating herbals and other plant supplements are generally recommended and essential oils, such as helichrysum, rosemary and lavender, may potentially assist the body in detoxification. If there is evidence of mercury toxicity being an issue, or if any condition appears to have medical implications, you should recommend that clients consult their physicians immediately.

A stressed condition with headache and skin sensitivity may be the result of several factors. An anxious person would benefit from neroli, with anxiety-soothing ester compounds. If the sensitivity and headache are a result of a digestive imbalance, the selection of oils may include ginger (sesquiterpene alcohols), rosemary and peppermint (monoterpene alcohols) or, in the case of imbalance of the autonomic nervous system, someone driven by the fight or flight response, the appropriate oils could be cedarwood (cedrol), anise seed or tarragon (balancing ethers). Your competent aromatherapy consultation is designed to decipher an accurate cause of symptoms and indicate a selection of oils that best matches the person, their habits and their environment.

Intuitive choices

Pay attention. As you stay open and alert and become more intuitive, you will discover every person, every consultation, has nuances, differences and similarities. So just in being alert, your intuition will trigger those issues or words that have value and may direct your essential oil choices.

Jimm Harrison is a master aromatherapist with more than 25 years of experience in the beauty industry. He is an author and educator, teaching holistic beauty and aromatherapy certificate courses at esthetic and massage institutions, and at Bastyr University school of natural medicine in Kenmore, WA. Harrison has developed organic spa products and consults on the use of natural ingredients and essential oils for healthy aging and skin care.