Exploring new routes – aromatherapy
We are taking a little walk on the wild side this month.
Now you know my focus on evidence based practice – that’s making sure there is a LOT of science to back up my more unconventional claims. And I have Emmie the cynical queen of Google to back me up and find it all.
But this month I’m taking a teeny detour into my alternative side.
Many of you will know Geoffrey, our craniosacral osteopath. If you haven’t experienced this treatment I can highly recommend it, particularly for those who are in persistent pain after an accident or trauma. But I digress!
Today Geoffrey led me on a little experience into the powerful world of smell.
Now aromatherapy is often regarded as one of those things that a posh spa uses to upsell you on a massage right? “aromatherapy is only 10€ extra” and you know that means you get the nice oils right?
But, today we explored smell as a memory trigger, a way to kick start some of the emotional processes which can become part of how we feel about our body, how we feel about our pain.
Involving the mind
Over the last few years, with the guidance of Lorimer Moseley and his Explain Pain education, I’ve been able to start to recognise and, where possible integrate, the mind back into my musculoskeletal practice. And I’ve found some unexpected routes in that time, some unexpected entry points into people’s mind.
And the most exciting bit is how powerful this has been.
I’ve had one particularly memorable lady who, when we worked backwards through her history and found the original cause of her pain in her first appointment, took that information and “cured” her long term back pain (and made some amazing, radical changes in her life). 1 appointment! That’s not how physiotherapy is meant to work!!!
So I’m remaining open minded to how, as practitioners, our job is to outline YOUR routes forward. Your routes out of pain. And YOU, the patient, get to choose the route that works best for you.
So, when a practitioner I’ve worked with for over a decade asks me to try a new route – you bet I’m going to listen. Because I respect the extraordinary skills that Geoffrey has.
And this morning, that’s what we did.
And took the time to understand how those scents made us feel.
Scent and science
In marketing we all know how important scents are. Supermarkets pump fresh baked bread scent round the store to make you feel hungry. Real Estate agents bake cookies or a cake before a viewing to make it smell like “home”.
And masses of research shows that smell is the quickest way to trigger a memory. And powerful.
How often have you walked down the street and someone is wearing a perfume and suddenly you’re overwhelmed with memories of a person (good or bad!). Or walked past a restaurant cooking and suddenly you’re starving (garlic and onions does it for me every time!).
Now the scents that Geoffrey introduced me to today weren’t familiar but . . . the impact was fascinating.
Geoffrey knows my history (the great thing about a team – we look after each other!) so he was able to personalise and suggest certain scents and guide me through this interesting journey.
And it was a fascinating insight. Which left me with lots to think about.
I have never made any claim to knowledge about anything except the physical, musculoskeletal, but this . . . . this could be an interesting tool for those who are looking for an alternative route forward.
More powerfully, these oils can of course travel with you. Meaning that you can keep a little bit of that “wellness” in your pocket for those times in between an appointment.
I talk about giving you tools to empower you, I talk about taking back control, perhaps creating this strong, positive scent memory that you can activate when you need it . . . perhaps that is a powerful tool.
Want to see what Geoffrey can do to help you? Book an appointment.