Oh Facebook, I am sure we all have a love-hate relationship with it. Facebook has been life changing for Healing Hollow as far as growth and reaching consumers far and wide. Of course, the yin and yang, good and bad, positive and negative, there is always two sides to everything in life because, well, we need balance right! We can see these negatives as negative or as an opportunity to grow and evolve.
I am sensitive, I take things personally, always have, but retail and business has made me grow thicker skin because otherwise I would be in a heap in the corner some days. I started blending essential oils at home, for my kids and family and I did this for many years. My Pilates clients used them, my friends and family with nothing but positive results. Healing Hollow grew slow and steady with blends coming out periodically that I had used on my family or with friends. Back in those days, I wanted it to take off, I wanted more retailers but looking back it grew exactly how it was meant to. Good things come to those who wait, patience is a virtue.
Back in 2006 essential oils were around but they weren’t like they are now, for the most part, more people didn’t know about them than did. The education on them was hard to find and each book or google search brought different answers. I was gifted an aromatherapy text book edition 1 which is now published as edition 8. Back in the 70’s and 80’s people played around with oils and it was a fairly free world to do so but in the last several years, the popularity has put essential oils on literally every store and shelf because they work but they also make people money, they’re an easy sell.
In every industry there are different ways of doing things which doesn’t make either wrong, it’s just different. In my Pilates days, there were rules to follow on form and technique but when I taught injured clients, this often caused more issues, so I would tweak things or add devices to assist their bodies. I remember always worrying that if there was a Pilates God watching me, they would curse me, but years later those things I did were being taught in new workshops because others had realized the same as I had. I didn’t believe in myself to know that I was working intuitively and forward thinking. Did you know the first surgeon who realized that hand washing, and sterilising would cut down on bacteria and viruses was fired and shunned by his peers?
The same happened with essential oils, I mixed oils together that weren’t in books yet and played around a lot. I compare it to cooking, where you add things that are completely different like adding fruit to meat recipes. It didn’t matter then because it was just family and friends but then they started selling and working. I started researching ‘old school’ essential oil recipes from Germany and France, learning how liberal they were there with positive results. They use oils on nearly every ailment and every age, tweaking and documenting till a solution is found. This, to me, is innovative and amazing. The schools there to here are vastly different and there are courses being taught all over that are based on old, unfounded information. Oils are plants, they can’t be patented and owned. One school will teach that eucalyptus isn’t recommended till age 10 while another will say age 2. Keep in mind, this ALSO means in PURE form, not blended with other oils. When oils are blended together with many oils and a carrier oil like grapeseed it is then diluted even more, and you are getting less of each oil. A good example would be cooking again. Make a batch of sauce and add only Tabasco, whew, that would be potent but add cream, spices, tomato paste, pesto and other things and now you just have a hint of tabasco, perfect, no burning. We have had people post that our Immune 5 Blend isn’t safe because it has eucalyptus in it however it also has 8-10 other oils in it and a carrier oil so it is perfectly safe for most. We can’t say it is safe for all as we don’t know, just like we don’t know if Advil, vaccines or cortisol is safe for all.
Things have changed since those days in the oil world. With its increasing popularity comes more people using them and more companies starting up which then causes MORE! I compare it to car sales; you sell 10 Ford trucks, you don’t see any returns, but you sell 300 Ford trucks, you see 1 or 2 with an issue and so on. Does this mean all Ford trucks have issues? No, it means not everything is perfect. Compare it to medications, 15 people are prescribed cream for a skin issue and all do well, 50 people are prescribed cream for a rash and now 2 of those people get a worse reaction. 15 people are given pain meds with positive results, now 100 people are given and 3 come back with chest pains. Everyone and every living thing will react differently to various things.
The last year has been challenging in the oil world. There are people who have taken a real dislike to them, sharing only the negative stories, or unfounded stories like the cat who apparently died from diffusing oils. No blood tests were posted, no liver tests were findable, basically it was an assumption and that went viral. Could a cat react to essential oils? Yes, it could. Could a cat react to its food? Yes, it could. Could a cat react to your scented candle or floor cleaner? Yes, it could, however it doesn’t mean that all cats are going to react. Back in the 50’s, smoking was “safe”, everyone did it. You could smoke while your wife was giving birth but years later we learned of side effects and changed things. In our world, we are constantly evolving and learning, we need to stay open yet responsible.
Because essential oils and natural products have grown so much, Health Canada has had to set up some guidelines to ensure safety and ensure that makers and manufacturers realize that consumers need to be protected from misleading or dangerous fads. This is both a blessing and a curse in some ways, but it is the world we live in. There are politics to all this but there are positives as well. Currently essential oils are a bit vague and you may have noticed that our website now states “we have taken off some product ‘details’ to comply with Health Canada”. What this means is makers cannot make a ‘claim’ to cure, ‘solve’ or ‘diagnose’ anything as it is misleading. If you are to make a claim or use a diagnosis you must apply and have third party testing done. If I am to say that a product will ‘treat’ a ‘migraine’ then I am diagnosing and treating which isn’t in my realm of expertise, it is a doctor’s place to do. Can essential oils relieve a migraine? Yes, they can, for some people however to make a claim or promise isn’t abiding by Health Canada Regulations. Healing Hollow has 2 choices; to make claims on our products that are stating they will cure you which means we then get all products sent in and tested at a cost exceeding $4000 per product or we remove claims and diagnosis and keep it simple. At this moment, we will remove all claims, stick to basic descriptions and focus on sending in worthy products as time goes on. Does this change anything for you? It doesn’t change anything because you have and have always had a choice whether you want to try and buy or resort to something medical or otherwise. Complying for large corporations will be easier than small, hand crafted businesses because, obviously, they have bigger bank accounts. Does it mean their product is superior? Depends how your brain works as there are many products like medications that have been tested and approved but aren’t something I would buy. MSG is approved by the FDA and Health Canada however it does cause many health problems for some, and it totally fine for others. It is all up to the consumer. Health Canada and the FDA does not offer courses or “certify” you, they simply approve your product based on the information you provide, then issue you a number. These numbers are different for vitamins, essential oils, soaps and creams. If the product falls under something that is claiming to cure, then it is tested. Creams that don’t make a promise to eliminate wrinkles aren’t tested, while creams that promise to ‘remove fine lines’ are tested.
You don’t have to like every company, every dairy farmer, every skin care manufacturer, but you also don’t have to publicly bash and shame them when you also aren’t basing your information on facts. Think of it like religion and politics, we all have choices and opinions.
This blog ended up way longer than expected but go with the flow they say. My wish for Facebook, media outlets and otherwise is that people take a good look who is writing, posting, blogging and then do your own research, use what is comfortable for you. Connect to your intuition and remove the fear-based misconceptions and find the answers in your heart. With all these changes, Healing Hollow will be bringing you resources to best educate you on essential oils and their safety as well as courses and workshops. Does this mean that what we teach is the right way? No, it means that we are as up to date as we know and that we will always put safety before dollars. I started this to heal and that is still why I am here. This is written to the best if my research and inquiring thus could have errors.
Love and light