History of Aromatherapy
He grew up working with his father in the family perfume business. During a laboratory explosion, he sustained burns to his hands and scalp, which he treated with Lavender oil. He was able to directly experience the healing effects of the oil, which launched him into a lifelong passion for uncovering the therapeutic benefits of essential oils. He coined the term "aromatherapie" in an effort to clearly distinguish the medicinal application of essential oils from their perfumery applications. This implies a practice that encompasses human pathology and the treatment of different emotional and physical conditions with essential oils.
Dr. Jean Valnet
He was trained as a traditional medical doctor at the University of Lyon. He utilized essential oils as antiseptics in the treatment of war wounds in WW2. He created a number of effective remedies using essential oils in order to treat things like skin conditions, respiratory conditions, muscular aches and pains, etc. He made the connection between traditional Western medicine and aromatherapy.
She was trained as a nurse and surgical assistant, who then devoted her life to the study and application of aromatherapy. She pioneered the dermal application of essential oils, and also gave credence to the psychological and physiological benefits gained through this pathway into the body. She is best known for her contributions as follows:
Integrated Massage and Aromatherapy: she saw the benefits of massage as a pathway to open up neuro/muscular pathways for the essential oils to go into the body and increase benefits
Recognized the importance of a holistic approach: acknowledged the importance of maintaining health through nutrition, exercise, a healthy emotional and spiritual life, and massage or hydrotherapy (in conjunction with the oils). This is exhibited in traditional Chinese, Tibetan and Ayurvedic medicines, which she drew on to understand different approaches to holistic healing.
Emphasized the importance of the individual: understanding the intrinsic uniqueness of each person, and that the remedy must also be specific to the person. "One man's food is another man's poison." She used the oils in alignment with the body.
Recognized the dual effect of oils: both physical application (through the skin) resulting in a physical effect, but also the psychological effect.