Recently I have noticed that two bloggers, Madame Butterfly, of A New Start, and Ellen, of Stuff From Ellen's Head, both of whose blogs I enjoy reading, have started to post Alphabet posts without being members of a meme group. The meme groups all have many members already, so I thought I’d copy Madame Butterfly and Ellen and do a set of my own. A further reason is, of course, that I can simply stop doing them if I lose interest.
A is for Aromatherapy
What could be sweeter than to be welcomed by your gentle practitioner with an indulgent smile and a warm hug and be sent to a fragrant little room pervaded by the scent of essential oils, some wiffly-waffly music barely perceptible in the background. Ranged around the walls are some bookshelves holding books on complementary therapies, a small desk, a pair of comfortable chairs and a pile of thick, clean towels on a stool in the corner. In the centre stands the couch, a contraption already covered in towels, two small cushions and a headrest at one end, which can be removed.
The whole set-up speaks of luxurious relaxation without being in the least luxuriously appointed, or horrendously expensive.
My friend Jilly has been a complementary health practitioner for two decades and she is very good at it; she is less good at making a good living at it.
When I rang her for an appointment after we first came here, I wanted a facial, a beauty treatment. “I don’t do beauty treatments”, she said, “I work with the whole body, not just the outer layer”.
I didn’t know people like her existed then. Deeply involved in what were then called ‘Alternative Treatments’, and the whole philosophy surrounding them, I found her remarkably sensible in spite of her other-worldly kindness and spiritual warmth. I had had some very unfortunate experiences in London and paid a lot of money for treatments which had had no effect at all.
I have been addicted to Jilly and her healing hands ever since my first treatment. She has helped me through some very rough patches. Jilly practices several therapies but my favourite is Aromatherapy Deep Tissue Massage. BUPA provides a clear and unflowery, detailed, article on Aromatherapy for those who are interested to learn more.
This is what Jilly herself has to say:
The ancient Egyptians were probably the first to discover the healing power of natural plant oil. The aromas emanating from flowers, herbs and trees are due to potent, volatile essences found within tiny glands in the plant. Once extracted and distilled hey are called essential oils.
The aromatherapist skillfully selects the right combination of oils for each individual. These essential oils are then massaged into the body, producing a feeling of blissful relaxation.
Essential oils penetrate through the skin, taking their healing properties deep down into the system, thus ensuring good blood and lymph circulation through the body.
Aromatherapy treats a whole range of disorders including back pain, stress, tension, sciatica, sinusitis, allergies, eczema, asthma, migraine, insomnia, arthritis, and many more.
With Jilly I know I am in very good hands. This time, after a prolonged spell without any treatment and a stressful few weeks, the massage is very painful. The knots in my back, my shoulders, my neck, arms and legs need a lot of manipulation before they yield and loosen; but Jilly gets to them. I squeal and she says “sorry”, but she doesn’t give up.
When I leave her, I ache all over, but I also walk tall again, with my neck rising from my shoulders, not sunk into them.
Not a miracle, just a good aromatherapy massage and a good practitioner.