Sunday, June 29, 2014

'British vs. French Aromatherapy' – a myth... or a smokescreen?

From aromatherapist,teacher and author Gabriel Mojay, Principal of the Institute of Traditional Herbal Medicine and Aromatherapy. . (Most you know I think his Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit is the best guide to the emotional uses of the oils I have ever read.)  He was kind enough to let us share this on our blog:

"I'm not sure I would call this business over 'British vs. French Aromatherapy' a 'myth' as such —
more of a ploy by MLM distributors to distract people from the fact that they are overwhelmingly unqualified to recommend or administer the intensive/internal methodologies commonly associated with the 'French' approach they lay claim to.

My concern is that they aren't even equipped with adequate knowledge to safely direct people to use essential oils via dermal methods of application, which they simplistically brand as 'British' — let alone via the oral route. Their invention and promotion of potentially skin-sensitizing applications such as 'raindrop' and 'aromaflex' makes this glaringly obvious.

In a nutshell: the so-called 'French' and 'British' labels are being used to mislead and mystify.

Their use of these labels misleads by giving the impression that they represent contrasting therapeutic systems, as for example between orthodox and natural medicine — whereas they are no more than simplistic, somewhat nationalistic, ways of distinguishing between different sets of methodologies... methodologies that, properly understood, belong to a single, integrated therapeutic discipline: Aromatherapy.

Their use of the 'French' and 'British' labels mystifies by obscuring the crucial difference between the methodologies they represent — which is the training required to safely administer them ...rather than the countries some continue to associate them with.

Doctors can prescribe pharmaceutical drugs because they have completed the necessary training to correctly and safely do so — not on the basis of merely asserting the proposed benefits of those drugs. Simply hailing the superiority of the so-called 'French' style of Aromatherapy does not give a person the moral right to administer internal/intensive methodologies without even basic training.

Look at the training and examinations physicians are required to undergo to prescribe pharmaceutical drugs. Given their pharmacological potency, why should essential oils be treated so fundamentally differently? It doesn't make sense.

Exponents of such sales tactics make bizarre statements to justify their contempt for proper, accredited education, such as at "The British are more interested in 'aroma' than they are in 'therapy'" — an affront to all those Aromatherapists who work tirelessly, and often voluntarily, in palliative and cancer care, in particular.

The same author claims that "The French school emphasizes that aromatherapy is safe and can be practiced, with common sense, by anyone whether trained in the healing arts or not." Why then is it illegal in France for anyone other than a physician or registered pharmacist to therapeutically administer essential oils? His argument doesn't add up.

About one thing, however, he is correct: “The British school [though I prefer myself to call it the international Ethical school] emphasizes that essential oils have their hazards and is best practiced by trained, certified professionals." ...Yes, sir — and you will find that the same conviction is part of the bedrock of every other branch of orthodox and natural medicine.

The very last sentence of the web page where this article appears is the most telling of all: "
Please seek the advice of a licensed health care provider for any condition that may require medical or psychological attention."
With warm wishes from your devoted colleague,
Gabriel Mojay

Thank you Gabriel!  This has been posted on Facebook, but it's hard to permanently link to Facebook posts.  I'm hoping that by his sharing it here, we can use the link whenever the "French method" is brought up as justification for unwise and untrained uses of the oils we love.

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