By Anne Allen DSM, DCA, SMTO

Introduction

The client, Fiona, was single, 46 years old and shared a home with her sister. She had a quiet assertive manner. Fiona was fit with outdoor activities such as hill walking, swimming and has recently taken up cycling. Fiona was a vegan and well aware of the need for balance in her diet.

In the past Fiona had suffered from mild depression, but not for some years now. Since I had given her massages in the past, she contacted me and asked that I resume, as her work situation had become stressful.

Consultation

Fiona had a slight frame, slim but with good muscle tone, particularly in her legs. She had small patches of psoriasis on her elbows, knees and at the base of her spine. She had been unable to pursue her hobby of hill walking because of an ankle injury and since she found this a great way of concentrating her mind and switching off from work; this had contributed in raising her stress levels.

She told me about her history of mild depression but was not forthcoming about the details of it. She used St. John’s Wort on a regular basis. Recently her sleep pattern had begun to be broken as she found herself waking early with work related thoughts.
Apart from mild P.M.T, which usually involved mood swings, her lifestyle ensured that she was healthy with a good well balanced diet and plenty of exercise.

Fiona held a senior position in the office and had plenty of experience, which had led to more and more work being placed on her shoulders. Although she had no difficulty in dealing with the tasks given, she found it stressful that her remit constantly changed and had discussed this with her manager who didn’t “see a problem” and did not think any stress was involved. She felt therefore that she had to find her own ways of dealing with the stress she was feeling.

Treatment Plan

We agreed that the main aims of the treatment should be to bring about balance in the nervous system to aid stress relief and restoration of sleep patterns. We would also help her to relax and treat any symptoms of P.M.T. as they arose. She felt her ankle was now recovered and did not need treatment. Treatments were at two weekly intervals

[contentslider width=”640px” height=”auto” numitem=”10″]
[slideritem title=””]
Treatment  1
[break]
I performed a back; neck and shoulder massage using 8mls of Sweet almond with 2mls of jojoba because the client had a history of psoriasis. The essential oils I used were 1 drop of bergamot (citrus bergamia), 3 drops of lavender (lavandula augustifolia) and 2 drops of frankincense (boswelia carteri) as these are uplifting and balancing while lavender would aid sleep (this was an evening appointment). The client enjoyed the massage and was delighted with the aroma of the oils.
[break]
I advised her that lavender oil diluted in a teaspoon of coconut oil in her bath would aid sleep or alternatively a drop on her pillow would work as well. Since her ankle was no longer giving her a problem I recommended that she resumed hill walking. (Sometimes clients prefer to dilute bath oils in milk so the bath is not slippery).
[/slideritem]
[slideritem title=””]
Treatment  2
[break]
Fiona arrived looking tired but feeling positive. She was less stressed because she had slept better and felt she had a way of dealing with the situation though the situation itself had not changed.
[break]
I performed a back, neck and shoulder massage using 5 drops of geranium (pelargonium graveolens) and 1 drop of rose (rosa damascena) as these oils give balance are strengthening and are a tonic to the nervous system.
[break]
As the client has a few days off, she is going hill walking and asked for a suitable foot lotion. I used 30mls base lotion with 6 drops of peppermint (mentha piperata) and 6 drops of lavender as these oils would be analgesic, antiseptic, tonic and deodorising to soothe and refresh her feet. She felt great after the massage.
[/slideritem]
[slideritem title=””]
Treatment  3
[break]
Fiona had benefited from her holiday and was feeling rested. She had been on a fairly long cycle ride and as this was a new hobby, she was not yet confident and tended to hold her shoulders rigidly Fiona requested a massage to ease her aches and pains. I used 8mls Sweet almond and 2mls jojoba with a 3% dilution of 3 drops of sweet marjoram (marjorama origanium) and 3 drops of black pepper (piper nigrum). I used these oils primarily for their anti spasmodic and analgesic properties to ease muscular aches and pains, but also the sweet marjoram is balancing to the nervous system so would also address the priority of our treatment plan. The massage covered her back, neck and shoulders. After her treatment, she felt great and we discussed how trying to keep this feeling when stressed would help her cope. As usual I suggested an increase in drinking water and also gave some postural advice.
[/slideritem]
[slideritem title=””]
Treatment  4
[break]
Fiona’s work situation had not improved and although massage was helping her to cope with it, she feet she might have to take steps to resolve the situation.
[break]
I performed a lengthy back, neck and shoulder massage using the same carrier as before with a 3% dilution of 2 drops of clary sage (salvia sclarea), 3 drops of lavender and 1 drop of jasmine (jasminum officinale). The first 2 oils would calm and relax and jasmine would restore confidence, to help with decision making. I recommended through inhalation from a tissue of a cephalic oil such as basil or rosemary in the work place itself, to aid positive thinking. After the massage and relaxation, she felt much better. We discussed gentle exercises that she could do to maintain the situation.
[/slideritem]
[slideritem title=””]
Treatment  5
[break]
Fiona was looking more rested. She had made a decision to take time off from work and had been to see her doctor. The doctor was sympathetic and offered her anti-depressants. Fiona turned these down telling him that she preferred to use St. John’s Wort and continue with aromatherapy massage. He agreed this was a far better way to deal with stress. Her outlook was very positive as she saw this as a decisive step in dealing with her problems and in no way allowing them to overcome her. She intended to use this time to distance herself from her work to restore her health and fitness completely and to re-assess her options and to force her superior also to re-assess the situation.
[break]
Since her period was due I used 8mls of sweet almond with 2mls of evening primrose and a 3% blend of 3 drops of geranium (hormonally balancing), 2 drops of lavender (to relax and aid sleep) and 1 drop of rose (increase confidence and tonic to the nervous system) and performed a back, neck and shoulders massage. Again she benefited from the aromas, saying she felt clearer and uplifted. This time I suggested some breathing techniques and we made the next appointment.
[/slideritem]
[slideritem title=””]
Treatment  6
[break]
Fiona was making good use of the time away from the work place to pursue her hobbies and studies. She felt her treatment was helping her to be positive. Fiona was using oils at home, such as basil to clear her thinking and lavender because it was her favourite oil and gave her very positive associations. She had a head cold and we decided that an immuno-stimulant massage would be appropriate. I used 8mls of sweet almond and 2mls of jojoba in a blend with bergamot (2 drops), black pepper (2 drops) and rosemary (2 drops) because the bergamot would be uplifting and the other two would boost the immune system.
[break]
Fiona requested the foot lotion again as she found it very useful when she was hill walking. She felt invigorated after the massage.
[/slideritem]
[slideritem title=””]
Treatment  7
[break]
The doctor has seen Fiona again and was pleased with her progress and attitude but had recommended that she did not return to work in the meantime and she was happy to comply with this.
[break]
Fiona was suffering from mild P.M.T so I opted for sweet almond and evening primrose in a blend with 2 drops each of bergamot, geranium and lavender to be uplifting, relaxing and hormonally balancing for a back, neck and shoulders massage. We discussed other relaxation techniques. She felt wonderful after the massage and took some of the blend home to use on herself.
[/slideritem]
[slideritem title=””]
Treatment  8
[break]
Fiona felt much more restored and balanced. She requested the same oils as in the previous treatment so I kept the blend the same but substituted the evening primrose with jojoba. Fiona intends using lavender and bergamot for relaxation and sweet marjoram for any aches and pains. I reminded her not to use the same oils all the time. Fiona enjoyed the massage and we agreed to leave the next appointment until a month’s time.
[/slideritem]
[slideritem title=””]
Treatment  9
[break]
Fiona looked very well as she has spent a lot of time outdoors walking, cycling and gardening. She was not feeling stressed at all and would like a leg massage as she had been doing so much exercise. I performed a leg massage using a blend of sweet almond and wheat germ (also good for psoriasis) with 2 drops of juniper (juniperus communis), 3 drops of lavender and 1 drop of jasmine to relieve muscular aches and pains and relax muscles. She was delighted how she felt after the massage.
[/slideritem]
[slideritem title=””]
Treatment  10
[break]
Fiona obviously had a good month as she arrived looking relaxed and pleased with the outcome of her latest visit to the doctor. They were working towards her returning to work next month. We had decided to continue with massages, which will be uplifting and promote feelings of confidence and objectivity in preparation for her return to work. I performed a back, neck and shoulder massage, using a blend of 2 drops of bergamot, 2 drops of lavender and 2 drops of patchouli (pogostemon cablin). Again Fiona enjoyed her massage.
[/slideritem]
[/contentslider]
Conclusion

Fiona made an appointment with her Human Resources Manager to discuss her work situation. She was hoping that it could be resolved before she returned to work. Her psoriasis had also improved in response to stress reduction. She felt confident and it was encouraging to see how she had empowered herself to deal with a stressful time and how aromatherapy had played a significant part in this. Fiona also felt that if the situation at work starts to become overwhelming she would book in for another treatment.

[boxibt style=”success”]About the Author

Anne Allen DSM, DCA, SMTO
Anne Allen qualified in Swedish Massage in 1998 from the Western School of Massage and Clinical Aromatherapy with the Lothian School of Aromatherapy in December 2000. Ann currently works as a full time teacher and is a practising therapist from home on a part-time basis. Anne really enjoys developing lotions and potions for clients.

Anne can be contacted by phone on 0141 882 2140 or by
Email anne.allen1@btinternet.com[/boxibt]

>
Integrately - Integration platform