resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
November, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 11
Essential Oil Quality and Education
By Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT
It is important to understand that since there is no regulation on essential oil production and sale in the U.S. and in many other countries, the buyer must find ways to assure to the best of their ability that the essences purchased are of good quality.And because this is important, there are also many claims made by certain companies that suggest exclusivity on quality which include misleading information about regulation. We'll examine some of those claims and discuss the best way to resource quality essential oils.
Claims and Misleading Information
The first "red flag" claim currently in use is the phrase "Therapeutic Grade". This idea is going to appeal very strongly to those in healing professions like massage. And, of course, it is best to work with essences that are of a high quality to get the effects desired. However, there is no grade system in the aromatherapy industry. An essential oil is either a pure product extracted from a plant in a traditional way ... or not. As leading aromatherapy experts point out, why would anyone want to purchase something that wasn't of high quality? Would there be a market for essential oils labeled grade B, C or D if that product actually existed?
It is true that essences grown in certain countries are considered more desirable. For example, lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) can be grown in many places but the oils from France, Bulgaria and England are preferred and lavender grown in high altitudes gives its enhanced chemistry created by growing conditions and lower temperatures used in distillation a "preferred" nod. Also, unlike most essential oils, ylang-ylang (Cananga odorata) can be purchased in four different qualities due to the distillation process itself, which pulls the oil at different stages. The first pull is called "extra" and has the most potent and pleasurable fragrance. Next is ylang-ylang I, which is slightly less expensive than the first pull but is still desirable for fragrance and properties. The two other distillation pulls, II and III, have had more heat exposure, are much less expensive, have a less impressive aroma and are used mainly to fragrance laundry powder and other cosmetic and cleaning products.
However, these two examples do not suggest there is a Therapeutic Grade in the aromatherapy industry. All of the lavenders and ylang-ylangs are either pure essential oil or they are not. The term "Therapeutic Grade" is a marketing term and nothing more. One company has advertising that includes the phrase "Certified Therapeutic Grade" but investigation reveals that is a trademarked logo. The Federal Trademark agency is not interested in the truth of the statement. One possibility that exists if the price of an essential oil is a lot higher than the average for the same product and there are exclusive and "Therapeutic Grade" claims for the essences, is that the claims are an attempt to justify the higher cost.
Another group of claims to watch out for is that the oils meet standards set by ISO (International Organization for Standardization) or AFNOR (Association francaise de normalisation) or the idea that the essence contains the sanction of being designated GRAS ("Generally Recognized As Safe") by the FDA. The details to clarify this would require more space than the Aromatic Message column can contain, but I will be happy to send that information to anyone who wishes to contact me.
The use of the gas chromatography mass spectrographic analysis (GC/MS) and the component profile it provides is employed by many companies to test for purity. It is reassuring to know that a supplier is taking the time and spending the money to have this testing done. However, it is helpful when the provider has the test done by an outside company and is willing to provide the result sheets for each essential oil. Still, because this is a test that depends on the skill, experience and knowledge of the individual who does the analysis, we should not rely on this to exclusion of the personal olfactory experience and knowledge of the intent and reputation of the company.
Guidelines for Good Quality
So then, how can one pick a company to resource essential oils? The following are some suggested guidelines to find a company providing good quality:
Despite the issues around finding good quality essential oils, I am happy to say that the industry contains many good companies sourcing their product from reputable growers and distillers. Some are even concerned with sustainability, some with sourcing organic oils. It may take some time, certainly helped along by having a quality education with a registered aromatherapist who is not motivated by selling their own oils, to find the company that will work best for personal and practice needs. It is time well spent.
Along with taking a course with a qualified and objective professional aromatherapist, becoming a member of an organization such as NAHA (www.naha.org) gives access to e-journals, e-newsletters, tele-seminars with a large number of reputable authorities in the field. Advertisers, authors and speakers are in alignment with quality standards. This access broadens both perspectives and resources and helps create the confidence needed to use this wonderful art and science in a safe and effective way.
Editor's note: Shellie is currently creating a Professional Aromatherapy online training that will qualify the student for Professional Membership in NAHA and to meet the requirements of the Aromatherapy Registration Council and their exam leading to the title, Registered Aromatherapist. Please contact Shellie for details.
Click here for more information about Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT.
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