The natural health therapist specialising in therapeutic aromatherapy
Many therapeutic aromatherapists are registered with the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa. With a basic knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology, microbiology and so on, these practitioners will start the consultation by taking a medical history and generally getting to know you. Various techniques of therapeutic touch, massage, acupressure and reflexology are often used as part of the treatment. Basic dietary and nutritional advice may be given, and advice on therapeutic essential oil use at home may be included. An increasing number of therapeutic aromatherapists have completed workshops on the scientific use of essential oils and will be able to give advice and guidance on their internal use.
The aim of the aromatherapist is to strengthen and balance the body’s inherent healing capacity. Depending on your constitution, temperament, life situation, symptoms and possible medical diagnoses, the treatment and essential oils used will differ. The aromatherapist cannot make a medical diagnosis and does not treat life-threatening and acute conditions on her own. However, she has a lot to offer in these circumstances if she can work together with a physician.
The physician specialising in aromatic medicine
Physicians who have specialised in aromatic medicine are unfortunately few and far between. Using essential oils medically is very much a French speciality, so practitioners with these skills are mostly found in France. With their medical diagnostic skills they can make a precise diagnosis, and they are capable of treating acute and serious medical conditions. They will usually do so in a holistic way that includes dietary, nutritional and lifestyle advice.
Although essential oil use has a very long history, it has only recently emerged as a highly effective therapeutic tool. How one uses essential oils and who one consults for advice and guidance will depend on one’s needs. However, when intending to use these oils to alleviate or treat disease, especially in the case of babies, children or pregnant women or when the illness is serious, it is always advisable to consult a therapist or physician qualified in their therapeutic use.
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