The challenge of the aromatherapist is to take that natural capacity for reaction and direct it in specific ways for predetermined results. In light of the many differences between individuals, it is natural to question how we may standardize any such system dependent on anticipated response. We do this by cutting through experience and background to instinctive response. If we appeal to that part of us that yet remembers the scent of a food source that means survival or the scent of a predator that indicates danger, we can circumvent the conditioned responses and cut directly to the animal within. We awaken the beast that lives by instinct instead of wit, by necessity instead of preference, by survival instead of social doctrine.
On this base level, we respond in very like ways. Fear, confidence, pride, and love are not foreign to anyone. Desire, elation, satisfaction, and sorrow are common to all of us. The same instinct that was the facility of survival for our prehistoric ancestors remains with us in our capacity for emotion. And while allopathic medicine attempts to avoid arousing the inner self with tasteless, odorless pills, the aromatherapist seeks out these buried instincts to aid in the process of recovery.
This is the secret to where the scent therapist finds common ground in such a diverse menagerie of personality types. It is a difference in approach from much of the healing community, as it is the shared condition that is highlighted. And to touch the inner instinct is to raise a force that is more potent than the experiences of a single lifetime—it is to touch the facility that is interwoven with the spark of life itself. While experience is a product of how we choose to live our lives, and the inter-reaction with others with whom we share our daily existence, instinct is irretrievably bound up with the essence our lives. It is not how we live, but why we live.
There are so-called faith healers who ask simply that you believe. There are those who heal through hypnosis. These two apparently different approaches to healing are, in fact, equally supportive of the proposition that the mind can heal itself. And through the practice of aromatherapy, we must truly win over the mind before we can effectively create our desired changes in the body.
In this area, there are many principles to be acknowledged that cross over into some of the most ancient spiritual practices. The New Age concept of balancing the physical, mental, and spiritual selves is a cornerstone doctrine of many of the world’s spiritual disciplines, though the way the concept is expressed may differ from one religious system to the next.