Why I Can’t Give You Medical Advice
It’s always great to hear from my followers, and I receive lovely emails, comments and messages from you every day.
Lots of you are looking for advice, and I’m honoured and humbled that you trust The English Aromatherapist as a source of information.
Some questions I can answer, some I cannot. No-one knows everything and – just like you – I’m learning all the time.
But there’s something I can’t give you – and that’s medical advice. An aromatherapist is not qualified to give medical advice. Nor is an essential oil distributor, a wellness advocate or someone who runs a Facebook group.
It might surprise some doTerra reps to know they are not covered by company insurance if they make any medicinal claims – including prescribing any specific product for an ailment, or claiming the products will cure, treat or prevent any disease.
Professional aromatherapists understand their scope of practice. We do not diagnose, and we never claim to “cure” conditions. Holistic therapy treats the person, not the disease. A client will always be referred to a doctor when medical advice or treatment is required.
Unfortunately, more and more self-proclaimed “experts” are popping up online, offering medical advice to all and sundry. From the well-meaning to the wacky, I’ve seen it all – whether it’s encouraging someone to ditch their medication, or suggesting home remedies for serious illnesses.
Of course, it’s great to share our experiences about using essential oils, and we’re all guilty of occasionally looking up symptoms on Dr Google. If you live somewhere without free healthcare, it’s understandable why you’d prefer to ask online rather than pay for a doctor’s appointment.
What’s the problem?
So, what’s wrong with asking for medical advice on Facebook, Twitter or internet forums?
Firstly, you don’t know if the advice you receive is trustworthy. Do you really want to gamble your health on the advice of a random person on Facebook? (You know, I’m always baffled by all those “Do you think I’m pregnant?” posts on internet forums. It’s not a committee decision – just buy a test!)
Secondly, aromatherapy is not a substitute for medical advice. Essential oils are not going to solve everything, and there are times when you really need to just see a doctor.
Aromatherapy is not a quick fix for health. Nothing is a quick fix for health. The human body is a complex and finely-tuned machine, and we are all unique individuals! What works for one person will not necessarily work for another. There is no single oil or blend that will work for everyone.
A professional holistic therapist always begins with a thorough client consultation. They’ll ask about your lifestyle, your background and your medical history. They’ll take into account your medications and pre-existing conditions. When they formulate a blend, they’ll calculate a dose that’s appropriate to your age and skin type. They will draw up a treatment plan that’s bespoke to your individual needs. It’s never just a “one size fits all” approach.
What about blends?
It can seem like a grey area – what’s actually classed as “medical advice?” Indeed, my own ebook The Little Book of Essential Oils contains oil suggestions for 50 common conditions. But this information is offered as aromatherapy advice, not as a replacement for medical advice.
Yes, we all love to share general blends online, and that’s fine. Of course I’m not saying we can’t talk about our own experiences. But we need to be careful not to overstep the line of actually asking for (or giving) specific medical advice – for example, “My child has an infection, what oils can I use?” If you have a specific medical problem, you need to seek medical advice from a qualified professional. There’s no point asking me, or asking in a Facebook group.
I’ve explained this previously in Sorry, there is no magic formula. There really is no default blend recipe to suit every ailment. Holistic therapy requires an assessment of the whole person, taking into account all aspects of their lifestyle. It’s not about trying to fix a specific symptom in isolation. So, it wouldn’t be helpful for an aromatherapist to just quickly copy and paste an “acne blend” without looking into stress, diet and numerous other environmental factors that might play a part in the condition. What’s more, a professional aromatherapist would always encourage you to seek medical advice first.
Please don’t seek medical advice on Facebook. People may be willing to help, but this shouldn’t replace advice from a qualified professional.
Aromatherapists can give aromatherapy advice, but they cannot give medical advice. If you are looking for professional aromatherapy advice, seek out a qualified aromatherapist who offers private consultations – many are offering online consultancy these days.
Don’t expect qualified professionals to dish out bespoke advice for free online – this would be unethical, as well as unreasonable. They can’t really help you without doing a proper consultation. If you needed specific legal advice, you’d go and see a lawyer. If you needed specific financial advice, you’d speak to an accountant or a financial advisor. So, if you need aromatherapy advice, ask an aromatherapist! If you need medical advice, ask a doctor!
(Please don’t take this article as a rant – it is written purely for your own best interest 😀 )
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