Aromatherapy on Social Media
All around the world social media has bridged gaps between towns, states, countries, and continent as far as sharing information. In the aromatherapy industry, the sharing of information from experts, trained professionals, home users, and enthusiasts can be seen as a positive and negative.
What could possibly be so negative?
Seriously, could there possibly be a negative to sharing information you have learned from someone you bought essential oils from? Unfortunately, there can be. With the high value that unadulterated essential oils possess, this increases the likelihood of many negatives.
- Sharing of inaccurate or incomplete information by those untrained.
All too often, I see people sharing recipes that are generally not entirely safe. For example, I saw a meme just yesterday for something with a popular pain blend being recommended in the bath. This blend has wintergreen which is perceived by some to be pain relieving. What those individuals do not know is that this specific essential oil can be very unsafe for individuals on blood thinners let alone in the bath. If you know what icy hot feels like picture sitting down into a bath of hot water with icy hot that first touches your genitalia… OUCH!
- Dissonance that occurs from disagreeing opinions over facts or unproven information
Something else that I see often, are individuals getting their feelings hurt. This can and does happen more frequently than I care to see. Individuals that join aromatherapy groups and business pages are often confronted with new information (factual or not). At some point, opinions clash for one basic reason. They disagree with the information presented to them and some do not want to learn, understand, or research the information to find out if it is valid or not.
- Copyright infringement or improper use of information
These can happen easily whether they are intended or unintended with so many individuals sharing information. I have heard from colleagues sharing stories of intended copyright infringement that has happened to them. This includes the use of memes, information, and posts that can be found on social media.
- The cult like mentality created in large groups for against a specific idea, product, or even person
Not only do opinions clash, but in large groups those with the same view of specific ideas regarding safety, products, and even individuals can cause frustration. I have personally witnessed individuals calling themselves experts and removing anyone that questions them from groups. I have also witnessed entire groups quick to judge individuals because they do not like a product someone else does like. I have even witnessed individuals making accusatory statements rather than sticking to the facts. These are all real occurrences that can occur. Especially in a consumer driven industry where everyone wants the cheapest, the most effective, the most pure, (you get the idea).
Is there any positive?
While the negatives are quite so, the positives can at times outweigh the negatives. Some of these are pretty self-explanatory.
- The opportunity to interact with experts and well-practiced/qualified practitioners/professionals. (Robert Tisserand, Sylla Shepherd, etc)
- The opportunity to learn if the individual is open to it.
- The opportunity to find out about many different types of aromatherapy products.
- The opportunity to share information with those that may benefit.
How do you navigate the aromatherapy industry knowing these things?
- One key to navigating all of this is to remember that if you are someone interested in learning, that there is never a black and white answer to anything regarding aromatherapy.
There are no two individuals that have the exact same set of make up or needs at the same time. This alone is why many individuals seeking help with aromatherapy questions often find that a recipe they found does not work for them. It is also why so many do work with a well-practiced and qualified aromatherapist for consultations/guidance in this field.
- Another is to realize that we are constantly be provided with new research studies from industry experts so you should always be prepared to continue learning something new.
If someone has presented you with information that is contradictory to what you have been told by someone selling essential oils, ask questions in a polite manner and try to understand it. If you need to, spend some time researching it for yourself by reading books and materials that are not affiliated with or printed by any essential oil company.
Most of all, remember we are all in this journey together.