Essential Oils as Therapy
Ever wondered why we love the smell of Aromatherapy and Essential Oils or why taking a walk in nature makes us feel good ? Plant life constantly gives off certain feel good chemicals, combined with fresh clean air, means a walk outdoors can be so therapeutic. Around trees, in our gardens, on our regular dog walks, plants are releasing subtle amounts of volatile aromatic compounds, by breathing these in, they reach our brain and have an instant impact.
Areas of our brain that govern our reaction to stress, and more importantly the return to normal after the stressful event, are also triggered by the inhalation of essential oils. Certain regulatory functions in the body have been proven to respond to essential oil molecules, stimulating the release of neurotransmitters in the brain, directing chemical changes in cells, to impact how we feel and function
‘’ took my girl Meesha to see Alison mainly to help her to stop stressing. Well what can I say…on her initial consultation Meesha just looked at Alison as if to say eventually someone understands and on our return visit Alison could not get into the bag of essential oils for Meesha diving her nose in first. Now to let you understand this is maybe something your dogs do every day but not my girl. She is an absolute worry wart, who is constantly glued to my side, who does not go to others and has NEVER been so happy and care free. Meesha sat by Alison throughout the visit (which is unheard of for her) and when It was time to leave she walked out with Alison, constantly looking at Alison as if to say are you coming with me…I love you. ‘’
Muriel Johnstone and Meesha
Essential Oil Therapy Session
Utilizing the principles of zoopharmacognosy to restore homeostasis ( the delicate balance of cellular and body systems working to sustain health) You will be fascinated as you watch your pet choose the essential oils that they want to inhale or absorb in other ways*
In person Session £65.00 includes self selction box and homecare guide.
Via Zoom £75.00 inc p&p*
*The Zoom session requires a separate consultation, bespoke self selection box posted out prior to the session and guided Zoom session with your pet.
Using Essential Oils Holistically
To further enhance an Essential Oil Therapy Session we take a look at your pet’s energetic constitution and use this as a guiding principle in looking at which oils might be of best use to their wellbieng at this moment in time. This is ncluded in standard consultation.
Aromatherapy is a recognised complementary therapy. It has several different approaches; Clinical, Holistic, Energetic and for animals, Zoopharmacognosy is the term given to animal self medication, giving us a safe way to make ‘aromatherapy’ available to our animal friends too.
Learn About Essential Oils
Want to learn more about Essential Oils and Aromatherapy ?
Take an in depth dive into how exactly essential oils work and how to use them SAFELY and effectively for both people and animals, on one of our workshops or courses.
Join our mailing list for tips, news and offers.
Our cellular biochemistry, and that of animals, has evolved to make use of and resonate with the plant life around us, plants give us so much including energy, providing food or food for our food, but another valuable benefit that we can utilise is in the essential oils of plants to fight infection, balance hormones, stabilise emotions and regenerate cells. Plants have a secondary metabolism, a defense mechanism, they can’t move away from danger and disease or or find help with pollination so they have to resort to other (chemical) means. The secondary metabolites produced as a result, include the chemicals that comprise essential oils, and they work for us too in similar ways as they do in the plant, we can borrow those healing and system balancing properties for ourselves. Areas of our brain that govern our reaction to stress, and more importantly the return to normal after the stressful event, are also triggered by the inhalation of essential oils. Certain regulatory functions in the body have been proven to respond to molecules of essential oil, stimulating the realease of neurotransmitters in the brain directing chemical changes in cells to impact how we feel and function. This direct route to our brain also means that scents instantly trigger memory and influence the physical body, both good and bad.
Essential Oils and ‘Aroma’ therapy has been around, in one form or another, since the begnning of time. Before we humans put a name to it, the use of aromatic compounds for the maintenance of health, was literally second nature. Humans are able to detect these compounds but animals are even better and many natural medicines were discovered by observing animals self medicate when suffering from an illness.
We can use the therapeutic properties of carefully sourced essential oils, ideally from organic or wild grown sustainable sources, in an Aromatherapy treatment or Essential Oil Therapy session. Aromatherapy is a recognised complementary therapy, a valuable modality that addresses imbalance in mind, body and spirit. It can be applied in several different forms; Clinical, Holistic, Energetic and by studying Zoopharmacognosy, the term given to animal self medication, we can make essential oils available to our animal friends too.
*Zoopharmacognosy– allowing self selection and direction the animal can control it’s own healing interaction with the oils and the therapist, interactions vary from simply staying near or in the same room to physical rolling or rubbing on the material, this may be over an acupressure meridian, blood vessels near the surface of the skin or area of discomfort. To balance the whole system the body utilizes the chemical compounds to restore homeostasis ( the delicate balance of cellular and body systems working to sustain health).
Oral – Absorbtion animal will mouth or lick a dilute oil, rather than being digested the molecules of essential oil are absorbed via the mucous membranes in the mouth. –
Inhalation – via the olfactory system to the limbic area of the brain directly affecting the autonomic nervous system – flight fight or freeze, memory and emotion.
Topically – the properties of Essential Oils can be utilised for their antibacterial, anti parasitic and cell regenerating properties. There may also be transdermal absorbtion of certain components of the oil.
Essential Oils are extracted from their plant source and are HIGHLY concentrated, they are not found in this concentration in nature, in the whole plant the essential oil would make up a tiny fraction of the plant’s overall composition. So care is needed when using these little bottles of magic.
Pure therapuetic Essential Oils are made up of a complex mixture of naturally occuring medicinal substances, often hundreds of different component chemicals, some in only trace quantities in one essential oil. The chemical profile can also vary even within the same plant species this can change due to various factors including age of the plant, country of origin, location, elevation, weather conditions, soil quality, harvesting methods and time – all affect quality and means the chemical composition can vary from batch to batch. If variations in the composition are significant and affect the properties of the oil from season to season, consistently, the plant is then referred to as a chemotype (ct), see the example of Thyme below.
The Thyme Plant
Thymus vulgaris ct thymol
Thymus vulgaris ct carvacrol
Thymus vulgaris ct linalool
Thymus vulgaris ct thujanol-4
Thymus vulgaris ct a-terpineol
Thymus vulgaris ct geraniol
Thyme is an amazing therapeutic herb for animals and people, but there are over 300 different varities, in the six varieties named above two are rich in phenols ( there are 3 of note in essential oils carvacol, thymol and eugenol) and four of the varieties are alcohol rich. So Thyme would be an example of an essential oil where it is really important to know which chemotype is required and how to use it. Phenols are extremely potent, so using a phenol rich chemotype means the oil has the potential to cause skin irritation or neuro toxicity while the alcohol rich varieties have a much more gentle action.
As previously mentioned, Essential Oils are a complex mix of naturally occurring chemical components, hydrogen, carbon and oxygen. The hydrocarbons – form terpenes ( monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes and diterpenes) and the oxygenated compounds including the alcohols and phenols mentioned above), aldehydes, ketones, acids, esters, oxides and ethers found in varing percentages in essential oils, each can have a therapeutic effect on the body mind system, therefore just ONE oils can have many healing properties and a broad spectrum of therapeutic applications, see the example of Lavender below.
In clinical aromatherapy the therapist selects a range of Essential Oils according to the symptoms physical and emotional in the client, these are blended or used individually in several different ways ( not all are appropriate for animals) : inhalation, massage, topically via base oil or ointment or bath.
The Holistic approach takes into consideration the energetic actions of the oils and well as the key properties, such as do they bring heat or cool the system, dry or moisten, move energy up or down, in or out, tonify, balance, or reduce the body’s chi ( life force energy). A holistic approach also simultaneously affects physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of the individual person or animal while looking at the relationship and patterns that link both animal and their caregiver or family.
Below is an example of an oil that everyone has come across at some time – Lavender. In this case Lavandula angustifolia, there are many other varieties with different properties, and the chemical profile is usually the same but percentages of the component chemicals can vary from batch to batch, this is why the therapist must know exactly which variety and it’s properties that they are using.
Chemical Constituents: esters, moneterpenic alcohols, monoterpenes and oxides
Properties: antidepressive, anti inflammatory, anti fungal, anti bacterial, anti rheumatic, analgesic, antispasmodic, calmative, mild cardiotonic, cholagogic.
Energetic Actions: cooling and drying. Clears Heat; benefits skin, promotes tissue repair, restrains infection.
Regulates Liver and Heart Qi
To further enhance an Essential Oil Therapy Session we take a look at your pet’s energetic constitution and use this as a guiding principle in looking at which oils might be of best use to them.
I think of essential oils as capturing the living essence of the plant so careful about my suppliers and make sure they have the same ethos. I energy test my sources and carry a small stock of fantastic quality therapeutic oils to purchase from the shop.
Choice of supplier is crucial for therapeutic work. Essential Oils come in many different qualities, industrially produced quantities rectified to smell ‘correct’ are very different to artisan oils produced by individual farms and growers. Storage, packaging, transport and shelf life are also considerations when choosing a supplier.
If you would like to learn more about Aromatherapy and take an in depth dive into how exactly essential oils work and how to use them safely and effectively join our mailing list for tips, news and offers plus details of our upcoming courses.