Consider the Alternative
Exploring the avenues of non-traditional therapies
(page 5 of 7)
Like a cartoon character floating toward the freshly baked pie cooling on the windowsill, certain aromas move us all. Hailey’s Michele Davis has had a passion for aromas from an early age; her French mother would often return from the old country with wondrous scents, like lavender from Provence.
“I’ve always resonated with the attractions of scents and what they can do on emotional, physical and spiritual levels,” said Davis.While working for the Natural Niche health store in Ketchum, Davis took a course with Kurt Schnaubelt, an aromatherapy authority.
Davis often carries a small travel kit of essential oils with her. Recently, while getting her hair done, Davis’ stylist was so congested, she could barely breathe. Davis pulled out her magic kit of oils. “I dropped some eucalyptus on a tissue. The stylist breathed in the aroma and said, ‘Oh, my gosh!’ She could breathe again.”
Essential oils, Davis said, can also be combined with a carrier oil, like almond, and massaged into the skin. Another common aromatherapy technique is to inhale a mist released from a diffuser. Some people just place a drop on the tip of the finger and breathe it in. “It’s important for people to get organic, pure or wild crafted types of oils,” she insists. “Some people are sensitive, so just try a little at first. People are not used to smelling a real pure scent anymore—scents have been so manipulated by industry.”
Lavender is still one of her favorite essential oils. She calls it the “type O” of aromatherapy because of its many therapeutic benefits. “It’s been known to work wonderfully on burns and insect bites. It’s a great insect repellent as well—they use it in France to repel scorpions! To soothe headaches, there are remedies with peppermint and lavender combined. It’s wonderful for insomnia and on an emotional level it’s very calming.” (Davis suggests spraying a lavender-water elixir on bed pillows.)
And for pure pleasure, she loves jasmine. “I love the sensation I get on many levels from using essential oils and knowing that not only are they working on a healing level, but they’re giving me a lot of pleasure in the process. If people need scientific proof, that’s there, too.” (She suggests Kurt Schnaubelt’s book, Advanced Aromatherapy, from Healing Arts Press.)
“To me, it’s about taking back your own health. It’s one more way of not giving up to institutionalized and industrialized health care—one of the ways I can take care of myself that is very pleasurable as well as healing. It just makes me feel good.”