By Helena Trump Mifa

Diana was forty six years of age. She requested a massage as she was suffering from stress.

During Diana’s first visit she talked nervously, rapidly and incessantly about her problems. The most stressful and acute problem were her Herpes blisters, which manifested themselves regularly one week before menstruation, on her buttocks, and were extremely painful. She constantly took the drug Acyclovir in large doses to keep the virus under control. She also suffered with Arthritis, mainly in the wrists/hands, ankles/feet, and also had a perpetual aching back, for which she occasionally visited an Osteopath. On waking her
Feet and hands would be swollen and stiff, for this she took Ibuprofen.

During the course of the Consultation it emerged that she was also experiencing a severe marriage breakdown, exacerbated by an only child, an overactive four year old daughter. Her husband was suffering from stress, so was constantly at home on indefinite sick leave. Diana confessed to knowing very little about Aromatherapy but was willing to try anything.

Diana requested treatment primarily for her Herpes virus; this virus is a sexually transmitted one, thought to be caused by the Herpes Simplex II virus, and often called Genital Herpes. Once it enters the body it stays there for the rest of the person’ s life; attacks tend to occur when the person is anxious, stressed or depressed, usually before menstrual periods, after sexual activity or after sunbathing. Therefore, I decided to treat her first and foremost for stress. As Diana was so restless on this first occasion, I massaged only her neck/back and feet to finish.

I used Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) for its sedative, antidepressant properties and its balancing action on the body; Bergamot (Citrus Berganiia) for its sedative yet uplifting qualities, and because it is often effective when used on cold sores, chicken pox and shingles – all types of the Herpes virus. Then a base note in Sandalwood (Santalum album); a very relaxing oil, once said to be used to alleviate sexually-transmitted diseases and to stimulate the immune system. Because Diana’s skin was quite dry, I used a mixture (40:60) of Wheat germ and Almond, as carrier oils.

At the second visit, two weeks later, Diana arrived just as stressed out, and evidently in a lot of pain with her Arthritis. She reported feeling calmer after the first visit, and had experienced a good night’s sleep. This time I used Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) for its analgesic, anti-inflammatory action and also its soothing action on the emotions; Ginger (Zingiber officinale) a rubefacient, to warm the joints and improve local circulation, a very cheering yet grounding oil; and again Bergamot (Citrus bergamia). I massaged neck/back/arms/wrists and hands, and ankles/feet. During the massage I very gently manipulated the hand and ankle joints through their range of movement.

The third visit, again two weeks later. Diana was awash with tears, and in a highly charged emotional state, she wanted to talk about her Marriage, after listening and discussing the problem I suggested she considered visiting a Marriage Guidance Counsellor, this was a new idea to her but one which was met with interest.

I worked on her neck/back and feet, again with 40:60 Wheat germ and Almond as carriers, along with Jasmine (Jasminum grandifiorum) for the severe depression and lack of confidence, Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) interestingly enough, Diana’s favourite oil, and Rosewood (Aniba rosaeaodora) for its overall balancing effect.

Diana booked for three weeks later. This visit saw a different Diana, calmer, more in control of herself. She announced she had contacted a Counsellor, seen him twice and felt a lot more in control of her situation. However, she arrived in substantial pain from several herpes blisters just about to erupt. For this I made up a mixture to apply topically, at home. This consisted of Isopropyl alcohol combined with Bergamot (Citrus bergamia), Ti-tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), and Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata), all indicated to be effective on herpes blisters.

Diana requested a full body massage; this time she totally let go’, and fell fast asleep. I used Rose (Rosa centifolia), a wonderfully complex feminine oil, designed to give Diana a more positive feeling about herself, working more on the mental/emotional level. Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) again, and Sandalwood (Santalum album), for its general balancing action on the skin, its soothing effect on nervous tension and anxiety and its help in stimulating the immune system. I used Borage seed oil in a ten per cent dilution with Apricot Kernel, to help stimulate and regenerate Diana’ s prematurely ageing, dry skin. She reported her backache had vanished and her Arthritis to be much improved.

Diana asked for a bath oil to use at home, so I made one with Rose (Rosa centifolia), Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) and Lavender (Lavandula vera), to aid sleep, help with the virus and boost Diana’ s ‘feel good factor’. At this point I discussed with Diana the importance of nutrition, needed for the manufacture of white blood cells, of exercise to strengthen the immune system and hobbies etc. to take her out of the claustrophobic home environment.

Diana continues to see me monthly, recently we have been using oils such as Ti-tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), Lemon (Citrus limonum) and Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) to stimulate and invigorate the immune system and aid her body to subdue the Herpes virus; she still takes Acyclovir. She reports her Arthritis to be ‘much better’ with the regular massage, and her backache has not reappeared. She has taken control of her life, is much less stressed, and still dealing with her Marriage problems.

Out of the blue Diana phoned late one evening; to say that for the first time in three years, she had failed to have the monthly manifestation of her Herpes virus; she was jubilant, a much different Diana than the one I had started to treat seven months previously.

[boxibt style=”success”]About the Author

Helena is a fill time practising Clinical Aromatherapist, Remedial and Therapeutic Masseuse, Refiexologist, and Sports Therapist, with eight years experience. She works As a Complementary Health Practitioner, being also well established in various other Holistic Therapies.

Helena has a degree and subsequent history in Business and Marketing, being a Graduate member of the Institute of Marketing. As a Counsellor she is currently undertaking a four year degree in Psychotherapy. She has served on the IFA (International Federation of Aromatherapists) Executive Council for the past three years, during which time she has been responsible for the Membership Advice Line; this year she is Chair of the PR Committee, helping with the aim of achieving Statutory Regulation of Title for the Therapy, as well as all other aspects concerning this lead body in Aromatherapy.

For four years Helena worked from a Complementary Health Clinic in Taunton, during two years of which she also worked from a GP Surgery, and at St Margaret’s Somerset Hospice, in a palliative care setting. She also treated young people suffering from MS, in a specialised local Home, for two years. She has worked with both Wiveliscombe Rugby Club players, and The Tennis Club, treating their sports injuries. She now runs her busy Practise from her home town of Wiveliscombe.

She is in CPD – Continual Professional Development, holds a current First Aid Certificate, and belongs to a Supervision Group; she also facilitates Workshops, Groups and Courses; Lectures, writes Articles and Papers, and increasingly advises Associations, Homes, Schools and Industry etc.

Tel: 01984 6244090