The English Aromatherapist


All or Nothing?

Aromatherapy is not all or nothing

I recently talked about Why Essential Oils are Not a Magic Wand. In the video, I explained that essential oils alone cannot be used as a quick-fix to solve all your problems in life.


Holistic therapy involves taking a wider perspective. More than just focusing on specific symptoms, it’s about treating the person as a whole – mind, body and spirit. Quite frankly, using a few drops of a “weight-loss blend” is unlikely to have much impact if you’re not also addressing your own diet and exercise habits.


So, it’s important to see the big picture – BUT… aromatherapy does not necessarily require an “all or nothing” approach.


Dipping your toe into the world of holistic therapy does not mean closing the door on conventional medicine. You do not have to choose one or the other! The term “alternative therapy” can be rather misleading – suggesting the treatment is instead of conventional medicine. Sometimes this is the case – for example, you might use essential oils to relieve a headache, rather than taking a painkiller. But, in most cases, holistic treatments are actually “complementary therapies” that can be used alongside conventional medicine.


(If you’re taking medication, or undergoing any medical treatment, always check with an aromatherapist before using any essential oil, as some have been known to cause negative interactions)


Aromatherapy can be enjoyed by everyone


Holistic = Hippy?


While it’s important to consider your overall lifestyle, don’t feel that aromatherapy won’t work unless you become a #cleanliving devotee overnight.


People are sometimes surprised to hear that I write about aromatherapy for a living. Maybe I don’t look sufficiently “holistic”, although I’m not exactly sure how one is supposed to look – bare-faced, barefoot and sporting a tie-dyed poncho, perhaps?


There’s an intrinsic, yet misguided, assumption that holistic = hippy. This really isn’t the case – I can assure you that I don’t float through life in a zen-like state. I haven’t replaced everything in my medicine cabinet with essential oils. I’m not vegan and I never go to the gym. I wear make-up, gel nail polish and non-organic cotton (shock horror!). And, as much as I love essential oils, I don’t use them all the time (as I explained in What is My Essential Oil Routine?).


I believe life is about moderation – and I certainly don’t feel guilty about enjoying a coffee, a glass of wine or the odd Chinese takeaway. That said, I drink loads of water, I walk everywhere, and I don’t smoke or take any regular medications. Everything in life is a balance!


It’s about finding out what works for you and your family. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about your individual life choices. We’ve all seen how nasty those Facebook conversations can get! You know how it is: one person asks an innocent question about essential oils, and suddenly ten people jump on their back to attack them for daring to mention bottle-feeding their baby or owning a microwave. Don’t let others dictate to you what it means to be “holistic” (and to find out more about how to deal with conflicting opinions, read What to Do When We See Bad Advice).


Holistic therapy does not have to be hippy


You can still enjoy the benefits of essential oils – even if you’re not ready to embrace a fully holistic lifestyle. Don’t feel pressured to change your whole life overnight.


If you’re thinking “I’d love to get into essential oils, but I don’t want to give up XYZ” – don’t worry! You don’t need to undergo a complete life detox. Small daily changes can often be the most effective. You don’t need to become acquainted with your chakras or give up your morning Starbucks.


In an ideal world, we’d ONLY eat fresh, natural produce, sleep for 8 hours every night and live in a blissfully pure environment free of toxins and stress. But let’s face it – for 99% of us, that’s not a realistic option!


There’s nothing wrong with picking and choosing what works for you. If this seems contradictory, let me explain. It’s better to start gradually and take it at your own pace. You don’t need to buy ALL the oils, you don’t need to replace EVERY household cleaning product with a natural alternative. It’s perfectly fine to start off with just 2 or 3 oils and get used to them, before expanding your collection. Jump in feet first and you’re bound to feel overwhelmed.


Aromatherapy can be enjoyed by anyone. If you’re just starting out and in need of some pointers, check out Help! How to Get Started with Essential Oils.


What’s your opinion? I’d love to hear what you think. Let me know in the comments below!


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