Our monthly blog post takes a different format this January. A loyal customer popped into our office recently, to pick up some of his favourite essential oils. It was here that we started talking about his essential oil journey, and how using aromatherapy techniques has made an enormous impact on his quality of life. After sharing his story, we all agreed this was something we would love to share with our essential oils community.
With thanks to John Martin Faulkner, here’s the full interview.
Talk me through your story, and what led you to start using our oils?
I was diagnosed with depression 30 years ago at the age of 26 when I had my first nervous breakdown. My workload, a rocky marriage, and a car accident combined to tip the balance and my health crashed. Life events starting soon after I was born, and continuing through my childhood and adolescence all contributed to this, but it was the experiences in my mid-twenties that triggered the condition to the point of being ill and needing medical help.
Years of therapy, psychiatrists, hospitalisation, and medication followed, which at its height comprised a cocktail of seven different medications a day which wreaked havoc upon my nervous system and physiology. There wasn't one part of my body that wasn't adversely affected by the side effects of the medications, on top of the already distressing symptoms of depression.
When 10 years of this approach did little to improve my symptoms, I started looking at alternative treatments. I discovered that I am a 'Highly Sensitive Person' and that this mental, emotional, and physical sensitivity was triggered and heightened by my first – and then subsequent – breakdowns. This meant that treatment such as nutritional therapy, hypnotherapy, aromatherapy, and anything else that works gently and holistically – are the most effective for me.
So having been interested already in aromatherapy, using oils on and off, I found Abbey Essentials when searching online. Their range, prices and quality looked good, I purchased what I needed, and have never been disappointed – I rarely buy my oils anywhere else now.
Can you break down your methods of dealing with depression for our readers?
I've always been an avid reader, so naturally, I read everything I can about it. Once I realised that prescription medication was a pretty blunt instrument for my own mind and body, I started learning about nutrition, aromatherapy, physical exercise, meditation, CBT, NLP, hypnosis, and alternative therapies. I understood that not only in my own case but also due to the nature of the condition, the entire body can be affected by, and also plays a crucial role in, the mental balance of a person.
This holistic way of understanding and treating depression is only now being taken seriously, but I have been doing it for over twenty years! It means that for several years now, I have been managing it entirely without prescription medication. This does not mean I am free of depression, but it means I am more in control of how I feel, think, and behave, minus the side effects of the drugs. It also means – most crucially – that on the whole, even when I am in a depressive episode, I am still able to function in daily life far better than I would if I were on medication.
This is an ongoing process – there is always more to learn and to try. It requires discipline, often the co-operation of those in one's life, continually being open to new ideas, and learning about and testing new research. But in my opinion, and my experience, it is preferable and produces better results that are more sustainable, more easily varied as the need dictates, and cumulative.
What have your results been so far, and which oils do you find work best for you?
Lavender, cedar, sandalwood, bergamot, rose, pine, and juniper are some that work best for me. However, it is important to stress that this is NOT a prescription programme of oils for treating depression: while certain oils are well-known to have a calming, relaxing effect, our bodily and psychological responses to oils are completely individual.
What would you say to those who are thinking about using aromatherapy techniques in their daily life?
I would say they are at best, wonderfully therapeutic and effective, and at worst, pleasant. Being natural, they are safe to experiment with yourself and should not conflict with any prescription medications. Either way, they are a valuable addition to the varied toolbox you need to manage depression.
Why have you chosen Abbey Essentials oils over other brands?
Abbey Essentials oils are of excellent quality and value; they are not necessarily the cheapest, but you get what you pay for. Cheap oils are often harsh or not pure, so will not have the desired effect. They’re a realistic price and very good quality, and the superb service can be trusted as much as the products.
John Martin Faulkner provides Life Coaching, NLP, and Hypnotherapy services. Call 01366 380039 or find him on Facebook for more information.
We’d like to finish up by adding that Abbey Essentials does not endorse essential oils as a medical treatment or cure for health conditions. It was truly wonderful to hear this testimonial, and we felt it was something we wanted to share with our customers. If you have your own essential oil journey, we would love to hear from you, for the chance to be featured!