Therapeutic Essential Oil Pioneers
Today we have many talented essential oil pioneers and aromatherapists around the world who study the essential oils for a variety of reasons – to treat the physical body medicinally and promote well-being, cosmetically to create healthier skin, for natural perfumery, and to balance the emotions.
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Therapeutic Essential Oil “Pioneers”
D. Gary Young: Maverick, Shokunin, Pioneer (1950-present)
Young Living Founder D. Gary Young has dedicated his life and countless personal sacrifices to creating essential oils that surpass every quality standard. His motivation? The belief that pure essential oils have the power to touch and change lives. Gary Young is the true craftsman of the art of the cultivation, distillation, and quality testing of essential oils. Gary designed and built advanced equipment for essential oil distillation that has garnered reviews from authorities, such as Marcel Espieu (former president of the Lavender Growers Association) and Jean–Noel Landel.
A traditional Japanese title, “shokunin” (or “craftsman”) could well encapsulate all the best of Gary. Shokunin are individuals who care deeply about their craft; however, even this literal description doesn’t fully express the full meaning of the word. Shokunin care passionately, even spiritually, about their work—to the point of utmost personal sacrifice. They don’t care for money; they care only to improve the world through the perfection of their craft. In this way, the world is better because of them. They see what they do as an art form that must be perfected every day, faithfully. They never rest and are rarely tired because they are doing what they were meant to do: living their purpose through their work.
Gary is comparable to none. He excels at his craft not only because he’s done if for decades but also because it is as natural to him as flying is to an eagle or swimming is to a fish. It is what he is meant to do. We are grateful for the pioneering vision and tireless dedication of our founder.
Kurt Schnaubelt, a chemist and pioneer of the science of aromatherapy, provides a scientific basis for the efficacy of essential oils, explained clearly and logically in his book: Advanced Aromatherapy: Science of Essential Oil. This book draws on broad-based research to demonstrate how essential oils interact with the different systems of the body, and how they affect emotional states as well as physical ones. Students of aromatherapy wishing to take their practice to the next level will find that much of the guesswork used in developing a formulae is no longer necessary. Professional aromatherapists will find that this book turns the art of healing with essential oils into good medicine for the next century.
René-Maurice Gattefossé (1881-1950)
René-Maurice Gattefossé (1881-1950) headed the company for over thirty years. A chemical engineer by training, he was very early on attracted to the therapeutic properties of essences and the growing of lavender. In 1928 he was the first to use the word “aromatherapy” in a scientific publication. With the publication of his book L’Aromatherapie in 1937 the word came into regular use and helped distinguish the therapeutic use of essential oils from their other, mainly perfumery, applications.
But René-Maurice Gattefossé didn’t limit his research efforts to the discovery of large numbers of essential oils and their qualities. Indeed, aware of the harsh living conditions of small lavender farmers in Haute Provence [s. of France] he spent many years providing help to develop sound cultivation and distillation methods. He was also instrumental in the creation of the first lavender growers’ cooperative, and the birth of a producers’ association. To further back lavender growers he created Europe’s first perfumery magazine in 1908 called La Parfumerie Modern. It dealt with research and various productions of essential oils around the world, and continued to be published until the sixties.
He purchased a farmhouse in St. Remy de Provence—a region dear to his heart since he first started campaigning for lavender farmers in the 1910s. This eight-hectare (20-acre) property was to be the home of aromatic plant production and distillation, so as to provide the company with a steady supply of raw materials.
Dr. Jean Valnet (1920-1995)
A physician and Army surgeon; was another notable aromatherapist who helped lay the foundation for modern practice using aromatherapy to treat soldiers during WWII. Dr Valnet is also known for his book (originally published in French), The Practice of Aromatherapy. It was in this book, Valnet quotes the archives of the Parliament of Toulouse. He claims the original (Thieves Oil) recipe was revealed by corpse robbers who were caught red-handed in the area around Toulouse in 1628-1631. But D. Gary Young, founder of Young Living, is probably most responsible for the story reaching the legendary status it enjoys today.
Madame Marguerite Maury (1895-1968) an Austrian biochemist brought aromatherapy into the world of cosmetics and developed their use in massage. In the 1930s Marguerite Maury was developing her unique form of massage techniques. She was the first to discover and document the connection between the physical AND emotional effects of essential oils when applied to treating the individual (not just the disease or sickness).
Robert B. Tisserand, (1948-present) an English Aromatherapist recognized for bringing aromatherapy to English speaking populations. He is one of the world’s leading experts in aromatherapy. He wrote the first comprehensive book on aromatherapy in English in 1977, and The Art of Aromatherapy, still published in 12 languages. He founded The Tisserand Institute, setting new standards for vocational aromatherapy education. Also in 1988, he launched The International Journal of Aromatherapy, which he published and edited for 12 years. In the 1990s, Robert orchestrated three international AROMA conferences at British Universities, each attracting some 300 attendees. Robert collaborates with doctors, herbalists and pharmacologists, integrating scientific data with traditional medicine and holistic principles
Hippocrates – 460-377 B.C.E.
“A perfumed bath and a scented massage everyday is the way to good health.” Hippocrates – 460-377 B.C.E.
Hippocrates was an ancient Greek physician of the Age of Pericles and was considered as one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine. He is frequently called “the father of medicine”, due to the contributions he left to the medical field.
Ancient Egyptians used aromatic botanicals for massage, embalming, medicine, and cosmetics. Hippocrates himself might have been aromatherapy’s first spokesman 2,000 years ago, as he touted the benefits of aromatic massage for physical and emotional well-being.
Today we have many talented essential oil pioneers and aromatherapists around the world who study the essential oils for a variety of reasons – to treat the physical body medicinally and promote well-being, cosmetically to create healthier skin, for natural perfumery, and to balance the emotions. Whatever brings you into this wonderfully fragrant world, we hope you enjoy it.