resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
April, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 04
Endangered Plants: A Matter of Ethics and the Buyer Beware
By Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT
In The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, by Salvatore Battaglia, membership in a professional organization is listed as an essential part of being an aromatherapist. I highly suggest this type of membership to my professional-level students.In Level II, they are required to prepare a written report about an article that appears in an aromatherapy publication. My reason goes further than having a credential to list on a business card or getting some interesting information from a one-time glance at a magazine. The truth is, no matter how wonderful a book might be, it contains only the information between its covers. The best way to stay in touch with what is happening in the field and find out about current research or important issues is to belong to an organization that provides this kind of up-to-the-minute information through journals, newsletters and teleconferences.
If I weren't a member of the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, it could have taken me a very long time to find out about the endangered plant situation and how that is affecting essential oils. Even if I did hear about it, I might have been relying on someone who sells essential oils for their take on it and they would be relying on their suppliers in countries they might never have visited to give them the true picture. As with most things, the most objective viewpoint will come from those with no vested interest.
The issue of how to find good sources for quality, unadulterated essential oils in general, when there is no government legislation, has been discussed in earlier columns. However, I have the unhappy duty to tell you that, at this time, two of the favorite essential oils for both the aromatherapy and the perfume industry are endangered. They are frankincense (Boswellia carterii) and sandalwood (Santalum album).
For an aromatherapist, this amounts to a tragedy. It is their very popularity, their incomparable and irreplaceable properties on all levels and their historic application to the spiritual area that has caused overharvesting and exploitation to the point of extinction. Other endangered plants include rosewood (Aniba roseodora) and agarwood/aloewood (Aqullaria malaccensis). These latter essences are less widely known than frankincense or sandalwood, although rosewood is used in perfume, cosmetic and fragrance products and aromatherapy, while agarwood is one of the main essences in the Ayurvedic energetic healing tradition. Sandalwood, rosewood and agarwood trees must be felled to extract essential oil from the heartwood. Frankincense is a resin expressed by the tree, but overharvesting weakens the tree and causes disease and death.
What this means to the massage therapist is that the likelihood of finding unadulterated essential oils for any of these wonderful aromatic compounds is slim to none. The price will be high. The ethics of supporting unsustainable harvesting methods and even, in the case of agarwood, an illegal trade that resembles drug or gun running (complete with cutthroat gangs and prostitutes) is something we must each address as individuals. Suppliers may tell the well-intended wholesale commercial buyer that the oils are being sustainably grown, but without a visit to the actual place of harvest and distillation, these claims are hard to prove. Some propose that the essential oil of a similar plant, such as Australian sandalwood, or even the same plant grown in a different locale, can be substituted, but those with training know that different botanical varieties and different growing conditions produce oils that differ significantly from the original species.
Yes, you will still find frankincense and sandalwood for sale and even by suppliers who mean well but might not have the full information themselves. If the supplier claims sustainable harvest, the buyer must be the judge on whether this is true. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy does not promote or endorse the sale, purchase or use of endangered essential oils. This is a tough stance to take, but in the interests of education, integrity and a love for the plants themselves, it is the only one acceptable. So be aware when searching for essential oils and stay informed by joining a professional aromatherapy association. Another resource for information about what is happening in the world of plants is www.cropwatch.org, which has a free e-mail newsletter.
Click here for more information about Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.