My intention in my massage practice and my holistic living blog is to provide the public with honest, time tested knowledge into the world of holistic healing, with an ethical consideration for the public’s health and safety as well as an ethical consideration to the entire field of healing arts and my fellow professional colleagues who have dedicated their time, money and hearts to careers in the holistic fields of study. With this said please understand that when I say professional colleagues, I am referring to people who have attended legitimate educational institutes monitored closely by state regulating boards, not mail order certificates or training offered by multi-level marketing companies selling their products. I cannot ethically hold my tongue anymore when it comes to the recent trendy onslaught of devoted followers and businesses promoting DoTerra or Young Living Essential oils, "Aromatouch"and "Raindrop" therapy and especially the use of ingesting essential oils internally to treat medical issues.
I have personally been self-studying and using essential oils for their beauty and health benefits for the last twenty years and I am writing this blog to set the record straight and prevent harm to people’s health. First of all essential oils are not actually oils at all. Traditional oils like coconut, avocado, olive or flaxseed oil are classified as “fixed oils”, and are much heavier when talking in terms of chemistry than essential oils which are lighter and are meant to be easily vaporized. Essential oils are extracted using various distillation processes, therefore the name “essential” is derived from the “essence of”, a certain plant. Essential oils are potent extracts of the chemical molecules of plants. These molecules can contain up to 100-200 different carbon and hydrogen based compounds called hydrocarbons that give each essential oil its unique smell and therapeutic qualities.
When I was a young girl at 15 I began to get curious about the fascinating little bottles of essential oils I saw at my local health food store. But like anything in life I wanted to research them before buying or using them. I knew even then that anything you try you need to assume responsibility for educating yourself about. So I started buying and reading books about essential oils, and the first thing I read in all of them was the warning to never use essential oils undiluted and never internally ingest them.
Within my business, Casper Massage I utilize essential oils every day by blending my own custom massage oils with carrier and essential oils and in my aromatherapy diffuser during my client’s sessions. In the last two years I have had multiple people asked me if I use DoTerra, try to sell my DoTerra, or otherwise have been hearing many claims about DoTerra and their “Aroma Touch” therapy. I have also been seeing small businesses around Casper, WY cropping up offering these therapies and listing their employees as "certified aromatouch therapist" This goes for Young Living essential oils and their "Raindrop Therapy" as well. Last year I received an “Aroma Touch” therapy included into a massage and was absolutely shocked and horrified at the unethical promotion of this therapy. When I realized how many undiluted essential oils were being dumped on my spine I immediately thought to myself how toxic and dangerous it is to use that much undiluted essential oil in one application, directly on the skin and the negative effects it could potentially have to the nervous system etc. especially if you already have certain contraindicated medical conditions or are pregnant. But my horror did not end there when I realized people are actually being encouraged and directed to ingest these essential oils under no qualified medical supervision but instead from someone who has received the minimal amount of training possible by their own company in order to sell these oils.
If you want to use herbs and plants to enhance your health I am all for that but you need to either do your own massive research into all the contraindications and implications of the herbs you are taking and their various interactions or go to a trained herbalist/naturopath that can prescribe you the correct type and dosage of herbs to take, and even then you have to really look into one’s training and intentions (whether or not they are just selling something) because there is currently no licensing in the United States except on a state level for herbalists.
“Is there any licensing for herbalists in the United States? The licensing of medical and many health practices (e.g. massage therapists) occurs on a state level. There is currently no licensing or certification for herbalists in any state that precludes the rights of anyone to use, dispense, or recommend herbs. However, in a small number of states such as California, Naturopathic (ND) and acupuncturist licensing laws (LAc) include clauses that define natural remedies and sometimes specifically herbal remedies within the scope of the licensed practice. There is currently no state-level licensing for herbalists other than those linked to an acupuncture license (LAc). However, no current license precludes the right of other health professionals or lay persons to use, dispense, or recommend herbs, and additional legal protections granted to the license holder specifically related to the use of herbs are not always clear.
Besides the AHG’s professional membership, non-licensed credentials include the Diplomate in Chinese Herbology offered by the National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM)."
Excerpt taken from:
Ingesting essential oils for internal use should only be done under very careful supervision by someone who has received extensive education into the application of and science of aromatherapy. As you can read for yourself through the below link, for one of the better degrees offered in aromatherapy, the credentials are quite extensive. Someone selling DoTerra or Young Living receives minimal training in the applied use of these oils, in fact just enough training to get a sale from you, they do not have the knowledge or ethics nor the concern to know what might be extremely harmful to your health.
I don’t need to reinvent the wheel here because there are already plenty of qualified, ethical professionals who have been in the holistic fields for many years that know the truth and have written about the misconception and misuse of essential oils. The following are a list of some of the facts and dangers associated with the trendy uprising of irresponsible use and promotion of essential oils and the respective websites I have taken these excerpts from so that you may read more on your own.
"There's a plethora of problems with using undiluted essential oils on the skin, namely toxicity, skin irritation, neurotoxicity, carcinogenicity, teratogenicity, and hepatotoxicity (Tisserand 2014, Battaglia 2003, Buckle 2003). Massaging essential oils onto the body at 50-400 times the concentration used in a normal aromatherapy massage is cause for alarm! This increases the risks to both the user and the "practitioner" (usually someone that doesn't meet education guidelines to practice aromatherapy and/or massage), and has gotten a lot of internet traffic as new injury reports came out last year of miscarriages and poisonings.To give you a broader sense of why you should run far away from these two "drop therapies":
My colleague in Dallas poses the question, "If the two largest professional aromatherapy organizations in the country believe that Raindrop Therapy is an unsafe practice, shouldn't you?"
A White Paper was published in 2001.
Aromatherapy Undiluted: Safety and Ethics was published in 2005.
Dr. Andrew Weil urges patients to avoid this therapy.
the Alliance of International Aromatherapists (AIA) does not recommend or support the use of undiluted essential oil applications.
the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) does not support the use of "drop therapies" and undiluted essential oil applications.
"encouraging untrained people to apply concentrated essential oils to themselves or others is unwise and unsafe." per Tisserand Young 2014.
The Aromatherapy Registration Council strictly bans the use either of these undiluted applications and considers this a public health risk."
Excerpt taken from:
"FDA ACTION UPDATE: Many commenters from Young Living and dōTERRA made claims that were against the law and linked to sites that clearly were actively breaking the law. On 9/24/2014 the FDA sent Young Living a Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations Warning Letter and dōTERRA a Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations Warning Letter. Ingestion, undiluted usage, claims of medical cures and medical treatment given by a layperson is not only dangerous, but can warrant legal action. To quote the FDA in the Young Living letter, “. . . , in light of their toxicity or other potentiality for harmful effect, the method of their use, or the collateral measures necessary to their use, they are not safe for use except under the supervision of a practitioner licensed by law to administer it.”
Excerpt taken from:
As if the dangerous and unethical nature of these companies isn’t enough, the price of these oils is outrageous and a scam! DoTerra and Young Living are MLM’s which means multi level marketing companies, formally known as pyramid schemes to anyone born before 1980. Hello wake up people, the emperor has no clothes! You can buy perfectly pure essential oils at any health food store or online from many responsible and wonderful companies that cost half as much as what you are being charged by DoTerra and Young Living to fund the many down lines of recruited reps.
“Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) is a marketing strategy in which the sales force is compensated not only for sales they generate, but also for the sales of the other salespeople that they recruit. This recruited sales force is referred to as the participant's "downline", and can provide multiple levels of compensation. Other terms used for MLM include pyramid selling, network marketing, and referral marketing. According to the US FTC, some MLM companies constitute illegal pyramid schemes which exploit members of the organization.
MLM is one type of direct selling. Most commonly, the salespeople are expected to sell products directly to consumers by means of relationship referrals and word of mouth marketing. MLM salespeople not only sell the company's products but also encourage others to join the company as a distributor.
Companies that use MLM models for compensation have been a frequent subject of criticism and lawsuits. Criticism has focused on their similarity to illegal pyramid schemes, price fixing of products, high initial entry costs (for marketing kit and first products), emphasis on recruitment of others over actual sales, encouraging if not requiring members to purchase and use the company's products, exploitation of personal relationships as both sales and recruiting targets, complex and exaggerated compensation schemes, the company and/or leading distributors making major money off training events and materials, and cult-like techniques which some groups use to enhance their members' enthusiasm and devotion.
There is no such thing as a certified pure therapeutic grade essential oil, this is a trademarked term by the DoTerra company to try and purposely mislead consumers that somehow their oils are superior which they are not.
In conclusion, I am very glad to see an increased interest in holistic and complimentary therapies, especially in places like Wyoming where it is one of the last place to be reached, but this is also why it is easy to fool people here. One of the refreshing differentiating aspects of holistic medicine compared to western medicine is that you are encouraged and empowered to take your health into your own hands. But in doing this you must be safe and smart about whatever you try and research who and what you are dealing with. I am not trying to step on anyone’s toes or be a hater but all these new “businesses” I see cropping up of people selling DoTerra or Young Living or offering aromatouch therapy to the public are either unethical people just trying to make money, in which case they have no more concern or morals for people’s well-being than the massive pharmaceutical companies, or they are genuinely trying to help people but don’t have enough training to see the harm and irresponsibility of their business choices.