Case Studies #1 Introduction to Case Studies
Introduction to Consultations
Designing a unique blend for each client is the very heart aromatherapy.The consultation is an integral part of blending oils to fit each individual need. In the words of Maury, “Each of us is a unique message. It is only the unique remedy which will suffice. We must, therefore, seek odoriferous substances which present affinities with the human being we intend to treat, those which will compensate for his deficiencies and those which will make his faculties blossom. It is by searching for this remedy that we encountered the individual prescription which on all points represents the identity of the individual.”
The consultation is designed to collect information or data regarding the client’s current state of health; general lifestyle, including diet and exercise, emotional well being, and past medical history. A consultation supports the therapist’s understanding of the nature of the condition, how it is affecting the individual client, and what intervention would be most beneficial.
A consultation is not designed to diagnose an illness or disorder as these are beyond the scope of practice for aromatherapists. Only physicians are able to diagnose.
The consultation is designed to:
- Gather information from the client including the client’s current state of health, general lifestyle (including diet and exercise), current /past medical history.
- Evaluate the nature of the condition to be addressed whether be physical, emotional/mental, energetic, or a combination of all three.
- Provide the foundation for designing and performing a safe, knowledgeable, and effective treatment based upon the individual’s need.
Upon completion of the consultation, the following questions could serve as starting points to creating an effective therapy plan.
- What appears to be the overall perception of the core problem/issue?
- Should I be treating the physical ailment, or the mental/emotional element.
- If a physical disorder is present, is it chronic or acute? If there is acute pain, is it related to another problem or should I attempt to treat it symptomatically with one form of treatment?
- What is the client’s goal in having this treatment and what is my intention. Does the client have a willingness to help in the healing process?
- What information do I feel I intuitively received?
- How can I use essential oils to facilitate the healing process?
- Do I need to refer this client for diagnosis or other treatments to a practitioner?
Understanding the Questions on the Applied Aromatic Institute Form:
1. Personal Information:
- Age is important in terms of determining dilution rates.
Occupation helps you get an overall sense of how the client spends their time. Certain occupations may expose one to certain risks.
2. Reason for visit:
Primary concern- Encourage the person to offer just one concern. Even if they have many concerns, ask which one they want to focus on for the current session. Other concerns may be addressed in subsequent consultations. Remember you are still in a learning process, so take your time and work with only one or two issues. This will help focus your client and it will help you determine what is working.
- This helps determine if the issue is acute or chronic. If the issue has been with them for many years, you can adjust your expectations of how quickly the oils will work. The longer the issue has been around the longer it will take to clear up.
- Dilutions for chronic issues are lower (1-2%) than acute (3-10%) depending on the issue and other considerations such as age and general health, etc.
- What makes it feel better? This answer may give you clues about how to support what is already working. For example, if the concern is back pain and they stated that a warm bath helps them feel better, perhaps you would make an aromatherapy bath salt for them. Also, since a warm bath is helping, warming oils may be a better choice than cooling oils.
- What makes it feel worse? Just like the previous question this will help you discern what types of oil would be most helpful.
- Are you pregnant? If so follow the pregnancy guidelines in the Foundational Aromatherapy book on page 340.
- Are you trying to become pregnant? If so, assume the person is pregnant and follow the guidelines in the Foundational Aromatherapy book on page 340.
4, Existing Conditions
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE- The industry standard is to avoid essential oils that are stimulating to the circulatory system. Research states that people with high blood pressure should not use Hyssop essential oil.
- LOW BLOOD PRESSURE-Ylang Ylang is usually contraindicated for people with low blood pressure, however there is no research to support this. Small amounts of Ylang Ylang in the skin seem to be fine.
- EPILEPSY- Do not use nervous system stimulating oils.
- ANY SEIZURE DISORDER- Same as for epilepsy.
ALLERGIES- If people have allergies to certain perfumes or plants, you will want to avoid similar scents or essential oils from these plants, even though the essential oils are 100% pure.
5. Under the care of a physician?
- It is important to know if your client is being treated for a certain condition or ailment. It is valuable to know any medications a person is taking as well as past surgeries. There are a few concerns with essential oils and medications. This information is in your manual
6. Social History:
- Gives us a sense of client’s immune health.
7. Aroma Questions:
- These answers help you customize your blend to the individual preferences.
8. Other concerns:
- Always check to see what may be written here. Forms can be very limiting, so giving a person some space for their own thoughts can be helpful.
Disclaimer:This information is provided for educational purposes only, not to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition, or prescribe in any way. the data presented here may not be complete or fully accurate. As with all essential oils, do not take internally unless working with a qualified and expert practitioner.
Safety Warning: If applying an essential oil to the skin, always perform a small patch test by properly diluting the oil in an 4appropriate carrier oil to an insensitive part of the body, such as inside of elbow. Use vegetable oil or milk to remove any essential oils causing irritation. Always keep essential oils and blends away from children. To slow oxidation and protect shelf life, store in a cool dark place with lids closed tightly secured. Never put oils in the ear canal or eyes.