Ok, let’s just get one thing straight right out of the gate. I hate hype. I just do. But for some reason, there is a great deal of hype and emotion involved with the discussion of essential oils, particularly essential oils that come from network marketing companies.
It. Is. Silly.
Unfortunately, there are some people who simply have a bias against network marketing as a business model and allow that to color their perception of a company’s product.
This bias often causes somewhat under-informed people to form very strong opinions about perceived quality, price points, and marketing, but without much first hand information or research.
One such argument that is levied against people in the essential oil network marketing field is that we made up the concept of different “schools of thought” in aromatherapy to create a false construct in order to sell you more product. These people also frequently contend that the whole French and British school concept is a made up argument to sway the weak minded to dangerous methods of oil use.
BOGUS. I call FOUL.
On its base, it seems like a pretty serious charge, and if true would really make essential oil independent distributors look a bit like sleazeballs.
But what if this assertion were actually just as biased and ill informed?
Let’s take this argument and pull it apart by its different facets:
Incorrect Claim #1: The “British” and “French” schools of thought don’t exist because the British and French do not practice aromatherapy in the manner described by those “schools of thought.” (Alternate: The regulations in France prevent people from using oils in the “French Method”, therefore this is a made up concept.)
Truth: This is a convincing sounding argument, but completely misses the point. Just because the British as a people group don’t exclusively practice highly diluted massage and just because the regulatory environment in France doesn’t promote aromatherapy in the exact way the method describes does not change the existence of the schools of thought.
It takes just a quick moment to understand that the name originates in the PLACE where the methodology of each school originated, not in the method currently in common use there.
You could even change the names of the “schools” and it wouldn’t change the idea, or keep them from existing as a concept. You could call British Aromatherapy “Traditional Aromatherapy” and French Aromatherapy “Popular Aromatherapy”, and it still wouldn’t change the fact that:
- There are very different schools of thought on how to properly and effectively use essential oils, and
- There are people who practice French-style aromatherapy who do not belong to or purchase their oils from MLM companies.
Incorrect Claim #2: MLM companies and their distributors originated this “false representation” of differences in aromatherapy practice.
I actually have heard this from people who I would otherwise think are fairly well read in scientific research and seem fairly knowledgeable about essential oils in general. However, I suspect that this argument comes more from a personal dislike of network marketing than from a broad understanding of aromatherapy literature. I’ll explain why.
In their book “Aromatherapy for Health Professionals” (4th Edition) Shirley and Len Price describe distinct differences in the methods of aromatherapy that are practiced in the UK and what they call “aromatic medicine”, which found its roots in France.
This book actually devotes an entire chapter comparing and contrasting these different methodologies on pages 197-204, in an attempt to help health professionals understand the differences in opinions in the aromatherapy field. To my knowledge, the Prices are not in the network marketing/MLM business.
From the introduction: “The practice of aromatic medicine has undergone something of a revolution in recent times. It has its origins in France, where essential oils are used internally and externally in larger dosages–and prescribed by those who are trained as….practitioners. Unfortunately in the UK there is a great suspicion of those who advocate internal use of essential oils. The fear is based on current legislation, which allows aromatherapy under a single exemption, effectively treating the use of essential oils as a cosmetic.” p. 197
Additionally, Kurt Schnaubelt PhD, a prominent essential oil expert holding a doctorate in chemistry, and the scientific director of the Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy refers to this pointed difference in methodologies in many of his published works.
For example, in his book “The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils: The Science of Advanced Aromatherapy” he spends pages 93-96 specifically discussing both French-Style aromatherapy and British-Style aromatherapy, using those exact terms extensively. Dr. Schnaubelt is also not in the business of network marketing.
So what can we draw from this?
Are we even discussing the real issue? Have those making this argument truly never seen the information I have presented above? Have they simply jumped on the anti-MLM bandwagon?
Let’s just cut through the hype, and speak plainly.
Is this really an argument over how to use essential oils, or is it an argument over network marketing? Or is it both? Because I would really appreciate an honest discussion where we all examined the truth, and decided to speak only the facts. Let’s leave the talking points at the door and actually speak with one another. It is amazing what a reasoned discussion can create.
So we should seek to research and be better informed, so that we can be confident that we have chosen the right method for ourselves. There is no need to fall prey to the hype and emotion that often surrounds essential oil discussions, especially oils from MLM companies.