Raindrop Messenger Archive

Official Newsletter of C.A.R.E.
The Center for Aromatherapy Research and Education

Volume 2, Number 2

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1. The British vs the French: Two Schools at Odds

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information in this newsletter is not meant
to diagnose, prescribe, or substitute for professional medical
assistance. It is provided as information only for your better
understanding of holistic health. In case of medical need, please
consult an appropriate licensed professional.


1. British vs the French: Two Schools at Odds
by David Stewart, Ph.D., R.A.

If you are not deeply involved with American aromatherapy or
have been involved only a short time, you may not be aware
that there are two competing schools. There is the British School
and the French School.

The British School

The British School of Aromatherapy emphasizes massage
with essential oils diluted in carrier oils in 2-5% concentrations
and discourages the use of essential oils neat (undiluted) on
the skin or taken orally. The British school was developed by
aromatherapists from the fragrance industry whose interest
was in relaxation, massage, and emotional aspects. The
British are more interested in “aroma” than they are in
“therapy.” The British rely on scientific research on animals
using oils that are often perfume or food grade and usually
applying only certain compounds isolated from essential oils
rather than the whole oil. This has led to a host of invalid
applications of scientific data to human use of oils. The British
School states many cautions and contraindications for oils
taken neat or orally and forbids the use of many essential oils
entirely. These warnings are probably valid when non-
therapeutic grade oils are applied. The British school
emphasizes that essential oils have their hazards and is
best practiced by trained, certified professionals. Most
formally trained aromatherapists in the U.S. are of the British
school, relying on British sources or sources influenced by
that philosophy. The National Association of Holistic
Aromatherapists (NAHA) and the Aromatherapy Registration
Council (ARC) are two American organizations that lean
toward the British school and promote only educational
programs that are of British philosophy.

The French School

The French School of Aromatherapy emphasizes oral and neat
applications of essential oils but administe oils also by
inhalation, massage in fatty oil bases, as well as rectal and
vaginal suppositories. The French are more interested in
“therapy” than they are in “aroma.” The French School was
developed by medical doctors whose interest was in healing
disease and maintaining health, including relaxation, massage,
and the emotional aspects. The French rely on scientific
research on people using whole oils of therapeutic grade
quality and to a great extent, the empiracal and anecdotal
experience of their practices. The French school emphasizes
that aromatherapy is safe and can be practiced, with common
sense, by anyone whether trained in the healing arts or not.
This has led to to hundreds of thousands of ordinary untrained
people using oils on themselves, friends, and relatives
throughout the United States and Canada. It has also led to
a popular protocol of applying essential oils called “raindrop
technique,” where a variety of oils are applied undiluted to the
back and feet, with techniques of massage, in order to address
the therapeutic needs of one’s whole body, inside and out. This
highly successful method can be learned by anyone and has
been performed on hundreds of thousands of people with
benefit and without any of the harms that the British seem
to fear. The largest promoter of the French School in America
is a network marketing company, Young Living Essential Oils, Inc.,
who produces and/or distributes some 100 species of essential
oils. They have more than 100,000 active distributors and
continuously offer training programs throughout the U.S. and
Canada, as well as Australia and Japan.

School Rivalvry

There is intense political rivalry between these two schools in
America with particularly hostile attacks coming from the
practicing aromatherapists of the British school who aim
their misseles at the French school practicing aromatherapists.
Meanwhile the French school aromatherapists just want to be
left alone to enjoy the benefits of their ways of applying oils.

For example, raindrop technique, which would be a wonderful
adjunct to any spa, beauty salon, chiropractic practice,
health clinic, massage practice, hospice program, or any other
health-related service, is opposed by NAHA and others of the
British School. Their scientific argument against it consists of
animal and single oil component studies that have no bearing
on raindrop technique or any other human application of
essential oils. Meanwhile, they ignore the existence of
scientific data on direct outcomes of raindrop technique for
thousands of receivers that prove its safety and effectiveness.
(viz. A Statistical Validation of Raindrop Technique, available
from Essential Science Publishing or from CARE.) It is a case
where the British use scientifically irrelevant science and
ignore relevant science, empirical, and experiential evidence
to the contrary.

The Hidden Political Agenda

There is a hidden political agenda. Those of the British school
favor credentials and certifications and licensing. To them,
aromatherapy, which is in their view a potentially hazardous
practice, should be the domain of selected professionals only.
Those of the French school favor education and training, but
no need for government certifications or licensing. To them
aromatherapy, which is harmless when governed by simple
common sense, should be the domain of everyone,
professionals and the public alike.

This strong difference of opinion between the two schools
would not be a problem if both were of a laissez faire attitude
of live and let live, each allowing the other to function freely
as they see fit. Unfortunately, many of those of the British
school are politically active in attempting to force their way
as the only way and approaching legislators and such to that
end. It is from this political agenda that the NAHA position
against raindrop technique and their emphasis on
“professional aromatherapy” has evolved.

The Center for Aromatherapy Research and Education, (CARE)
is of the French school of thought (The same philosophy as
Young Living Essential Oils, Inc.). We teach raindrop therapy
to thousands and encourage beauty salons, spas, and health-
related professionals of all kinds to incorporate raindrop into
their programs. Many have done this, by our training and
influence, and are achieving wonderful results and great
customer satisfaction.

Brave New Raindrop Facilitators in England

A British spa owner and one of her massage therapist
employees from London took the CARE training last year
with great courage, but in great fear and anxiety after
hearing so many negative things from both English and
American aromatherapists about the dangers of raindrop.
They were pleasantly surprised to learn, see, and experience
the truth first hand. Raindrop is now a regular part of their
spa programming with which they have had great success
and no problems. The British public whom they serve love

If you are new to aromatherapy, you may not have encountered
the opposition that exists to the the healing and beneficial ways
of anointing with essential oils taught by CARE, Young Living,
The Pacific School of Aromatherapy (Kurt Schnaubelt), and
others of the French school. This article is provided to give
you insight, as well as answers for rebuttal, should a hostile
member of the anti-French group come into your life and
ttempt to attack the credibility, safety, and effacacy of what
you are doing. They have just been misinformed somewhere in
their educational background and don't know it. Perhaps you
can help them to a better understanding and lead them to
greater opportunities for healing than are possible with the
restrictions of the British point of view.


Official Newsletter of C.A.R.E.
The Center for Aromatherapy Research and Education
Rt. 4, Box 646, Marble Hill, Missouri USA 63764
(573) 238-4846