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Integrated Natural Therapies Where we are to-day

by Teddy Fearnhamm(more info)

listed in aromatherapy, originally published in issue 15 - October 1996

"Our most fervent desire as aromatherapists is to get aromatherapy recognised and used as a serious alternative to traditional medicine." Reading these words in a recently written article from overseas I was reminded how very far we have progressed in the United Kingdom in the discipline of clinical and scientific aromatherapy. The threat implied by the words "serious alternative to" must of necessity cause friction between the establishment and natural medicine practitioners and it has taken a long time for people to realise that aspects of all therapies, orthodox and complementary, when used together can create a state of balance that will aid recovery. More and more these days one reads the phrase "integrated natural therapies" – allopathic medicine, treatment by orthodox means, and non-conventional medicine working alongside each other for the benefit of the patient's health.

To-day it is an accepted fact that the medical world over a good many areas recognises and uses therapies that a few years ago were definitely "fringe" and as such not even considered to be a possibility in health care.

Obviously, when practitioners are taking responsibility for patients under the supervision of the family/hospital doctor then – as primary health carers in this instance – they must have in-depth training and education. The final responsibility for the patient's life and wellbeing inevitably rests with the doctor. A tremendous bond of trust has to be forged between everyone concerned. I am continually being asked by consultants the length of time an aromatherapist should have been in practice to be considered 'experienced' in whatever field they are seeking to work. This is a question that has to be addressed in order to provide a firm basis for therapists and the medical profession to work from. Another problem arises from the nurses themselves – many of them are very interested in the use of aromatic essences to aid the recuperation of their patients. It takes years to train an aromatherapist and similarly a nurse. Neither profession can simply be awarded to the other. The completion of a brief course for nurses on the properties and uses of the essential oils does not qualify a nurse as an aromatherapist anymore than a first-aid course would qualify an aromatherapist as a nurse. The distinction has to be recognised. The answer again lies in education.

Nowhere can the successful partnership of orthodox and alternative medicine be shown to better advantage than in the area of epidemiology, where the use of aromatograms (the testing of essential oils by bacteriological laboratories against specific infections) has resulted in the formulating of prescriptions that treat certain diseases very effectively.

Aiding the wellbeing and natural balance of the system is a prime target of therapy practitioners – under the supervision of their consultants patients undergoing radio therapy treatment have been greatly helped by the use of aromatic creams and gels that prevent the burning and breakdown of the skin. The body and mind are damaged enough by cancer – to prevent one of the side effects must be a plus.

Each year around Christmas there will be the usual epidemic in respiratory syncytial virus cases in children under two years of age – the ten day old, baby pictured here was admitted to intensive care with the virus, for which an adequate vaccine is still being sought. The intervention of aromatic clinical essences used as a major part of treatment definitely helped in the final successful result. No one can describe how that feels.

Medical thinking in the past has often been limited to strictly materialistic reasoning – by keeping an open mind science can today follow a more comprehensive course in which phyto- aromatherapy, the art and science of plant-based aromatic medicine, has a very important part to play.


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About Teddy Fearnhamm



    Aromatherapy creams & candles. Heal naturally No side effects. Holistic treatments, powerful courses

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