They either did not know or did not care to know. In any event,
this knowledge set me on the road to a full and complete recovery.
Through a treatment plan consisting of acupuncture, essential
oils, aromatherapy massage and grief counselling my respiratory
system is robust and draws no attention to itself. Taking
in air has returned to being an automatic and unnoticed activity.
This unorthodox treatment was so successful that my curiosity
and respect were ignited. I began to dapple in aromatherapy
and adopted it as a hobby that grew into a passion. I began
to buy books and study aromatherapy. I sought after workshops
and training sessions. I researched historical usage and collected
anything I could find on Natural Remedies, to use them myself.
I purchased essential oils like a collector, experimenting with
them, cooking and cleaning with them, applying them to every
aspect of my life. They added flavour and joy to the mundane
and made the ordinary extra-ordinary. For eleven years I cultivated
a love affair with essential oils that, in return, gave back
to me countless moments of contentment, satisfaction, rejuvenation
and delight, empowerment and health. Aromatherapy works.
Six months after my first son (of a total of three)
was born in May 2001, I returned to formal education in the
pursuit of an Aromatherapy Diploma. I desired to work professionally
in this field as a qualified aromatherapist under the voluntary
regulation of the International
Federation of Professional Aromatherapists --- IFPA based
in England. Foundations had to be laid in Anatomy and Physiology,
although it was all refresher and review for me as I had had
a penchant---a very strong liking and inclination----for anatomy,
physiology & bio-chemistry in my previous years of formal
education (a long long time ago) at Gabriel
Richard High School in Riverview, Michigan and at Kalamazoo
College in Kalamazoo, Michigan USA.
4 years of hard graft and much research, experimentation and
practice and many case studies and revisions, I received my
hard-earned Aromatherapy Diploma in August 2006 and became
a Full Practicing Member of the International
Federation of Professional Aromatherapists - IFPA.
In October 2006, I received an Advanced Certificate in Aromatherapy
& Massage in Pregnancy for successfully completing post-graduate
training at Regent's
College in London with Juliette Preston and Rhiannon Harris
(France), under the direction and guidance of Gabriel
Mojay, author of Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit.
Gabriel Mojay founded the RQA - Register of Qualified Aromatherapists
- in England in 1990, and was the first Chairperson of the British
Aromatherapy Organisations Council (AOC). He has been instrumental
in the formation of the world's largest professional aromatherapy
association....The International Federation of Professional
Aromatherapists [ IFPA ]. He was also the Founding Co-Editor
of its professional journal: In
Essence. Currently he serves as IFPA Vice-Chairman and
IFPA Conference Organizer.
My teacher, Juliette
Preston, completed Aromatherapy training with Madame
Micheline Arcier in 1990, and began to specialise in pregnancy
one year later. After completing an Aromatherapy in Pregnancy
course, she extended her knowledge by undertaking an advanced
certificate course in the Science of Essential Oils with Pierre
Franchomme of L'Institut des Sciences Biomedicales. Juliette's
experience in the world of Aromatherapy and obstetrics includes
running a busy practice at the London-based ACTIVE
BIRTH CENTRE between 1991 through 1999. There she gave countless
workshops to pregnant women and their birth partners over nine
years. She founded Earth Mother Aromatherapy, continuing to
teach workshops entitled Massage For Partners Through Pregnancy;
and, she has assisted in implementing the use of essential oils
at the Birth
Unit of the Hospital of St. John's and St. Elizabeth in London.
At St. John's and St. Elizabeth's Hospital most of the midwives
have become trained Aromatherapists. At this facility, they
use essential oils from the beginning of pregnancy to the aftercare.
My teacher, Rhiannon
Harris, has been in the field of aromatherapy since 1989,
before which she qualified and worked as a nurse, specializing
in the Intensive Care environment. Her studies in England, America
and France include both holistic and medical aromatherapy approaches
as well as other complementary health modalities. Currently
living in Provence, France with husband Bob, she organises basic
and advanced level study programs concerning essential oils
and aromatherapy and is known for her evidence-based approach
to practice and teaching. She travels widely in her work, combining
essential oil chemistry and research with effective treatment
strategies. She is on the editorial board of the International
Journal of Clinical Aromatherapy (IJCA).
In April 2006, with a 4-month-old baby-in-tow
(Irah Benjamin Erez Toal), I began studies into Shiatsu-based
Pregnancy Massage with Suzanne Yates through WellMother.org,
based in Bristol, England.
My instructor, Suzanne Yates, began studying
massage in 1982 and shiatsu in 1984, completing the 3 year diploma
course in Healing-Shiatsu in 1988. She is a registered teacher
with the British
Shiatsu Society. She studied the APNT
- Association of Physical and Natural Therapists massage
course (Maitri Foundation) and now, years later, she teaches
their Massage in Pregnancy Diploma course, which I am
currently taking. She is fascinated by the links between shiatsu
and massage, applied especially to maternity care.
In 2003, Suzanne
Yates authored the book Shiastu
For Midwives, ISBN-13:
978-0750655231. This practical, well-illustrated guide teaches
midwives how to incorporate the use of Shiatsu into safe practice
and relates the practice of Shiatsu to professional midwifery
issues. Clear line drawings and photographs illustrate techniques
that are backed up by discussions of actual case studies. "Suzanne's
guide is the most thorough and helpful book on Shiatsu for pregnancy,
labour and the early post-natal period. The ideas are both original
and tried and tested. The photos are of high standard and the
text is clear and well designed." ---Tamsin Grainger,
Shiatsu Society News, March 2004.
I plan to complete all the case studies with pregnant women
and the project work that is required by Suzanne's Massage
in Pregnancy Diploma course by Sept. 2007.
In addition to the above activities, I am an active full member
of the IMTA - Irish Massage Therapists Association and
its Regional Officer for Northwest Ireland: Counties Leitrim,
Donegal and Sligo.
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