resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
Cell Health (Part 2)
Dr. Barsten, your book is about restoring "cell vitality." Can you briefly define the term? Cell vitality is more than the mere absence of symptoms or pathology, but optimum structural, physiological and energetic health.
Leaving Footprints on Capitol Hill: Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Luedtke (1930-2014)
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr. Ken Luedtke.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
The CDC came out with a report in March 2013 that suggests 1 in 50 children will be diagnosed somewhere on the autism spectrum – significantly higher than the 1 in 86 figure that came out in 2007. What does this mean moving forward, particularly for children?
Connecting the Dots
In 2002, I published a book on patient examination procedures that included information on the procedural coding of the recommended examinations. The book should have been published in 2000, but I had trouble finding a publisher. Why?
Unlevel Pelvis in the High-School Athlete: Exploring Causes and Effects
The unlevel pelvis is all too common in the high-school athlete and if not detected, will likely cause a lifetime of musculoskeletal issues. Any provider who doesn't look for this common finding is missing critical information.
News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
Let's Speak With One Voice in 2015
For the longest time, the chiropractic profession has attempted to achieve some form of unity. On a political level, this was characterized by an ultimately unsuccessful two-year merger effort between ACA and ICA leadership from 1986-1988.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
Mind-Body in Motion
A central goal of low back pain treatment involves the correction of dysfunctional movement patterns believed to be responsible for spinal overload.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
Help Your Parents Stay Engaged
As much as parents may wish it were so, children do not come with an instruction manual. There's no "how to" that can be followed and no two children are alike, so what works with one generally won't work with the next.
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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