Treatments with Integrity
When I adopted the Ahimsa (do no harm) philosophy 6 years ago, I had no idea how much it would turn my world upside down. As my business has grown, I have delved deeper into Ahimsa and the journey has been transformational for me personally, as well as for my business.
I began by evaluating my relationships, then broadened it to include my relationship with myself, the companies I do business with and my relationship with my mother – the Earth. I realised it’s nearly impossible in the 21st Century not to harm someone even before I’ve had my breakfast. For example – the company I used to buy my herbal tea from had a beautiful “face” but a black, corporate, greedy heart causing poverty and suffering to communities and deforestation in Sri Lanka. Frankly, I would like to see them change their ways or go out of business, so I did the only thing I could do – I changed supplier. Over the years, I have continued to change suppliers towards more ethical, local suppliers as I’ve found them.
In 2010 I started making my own herbal decoctions, scrubs and salves from natural plants and oils. This was after I discovered my expensive ‘natural’ beauty products were being tested on animals. I did not know this at the time I bought them and binned them in disgust. I learned that a company can test their products on animals, wait 2 years and then market their products as “not tested on animals”. What?! The more I researched, the heavier my heart grew. What I can’t make myself, I source from the companies below.
I don’t think many people are aware that many herbs and plants are nearing extinction because of the beauty and health industries. I don’t want to have any part in this, so I simply switched to small, ethical companies. In 2017 I began sourcing my massage oils from NHR Organics who use only ethically grown, food grade essential oils and herbs in their gentle massage oils. Their oils don’t contain preservatives or emulsifiers and are 100% plant based. Working with the energy of these beautiful oils has greatly enhanced my treatments.
A couple of years ago I switched my essential oil supplier to Aqua Oleum (meaning water and oil) which are the raw materials for all their products. In alchemy, the name ‘Aqua Oleum’ symbolically refers to the two seemingly opposed aspects of matter and spirit, which are nevertheless unified within human nature. Based in Gloucestershire, this 3rd generation family run business has a profound respect for nature and the Earth and they belong to the Vegan Society, as well as being a member of the Aromatherapy Trade Association and have satisfied the requirements of the Soil Association Standards for Organic Food and Farming and Regulation. That’s a big mouthful, but what I’m trying to show is that I’m no longer supporting big, greedy, impersonal corporations who bully the ethical ‘little guys’ and plunder the planet in search of the latest trend so that they can push consumerism. Petitions and protests don’t seem to accomplish much, but if we all switched to local ethical businesses, what a difference that would make virtually overnight.
For my facials I use Neals Yard Remedies because they’re organic, and I love the company and all they stand for. They have an eco factory in the beautiful countryside of North Dorset. They believe in Small Scale Production, making their products in small batches to ensure they are as fresh and effective as possible. They are passionate about sustainability. With energy efficient air management, rainwater and greywater recycling in their bathrooms, air-source heat pump systems and solar panels, their award-winning building design ensures their carbon footprint is kept to a minimum. They have their own organic gardens, growing the organic calendula, St. John’s wort, verbena and lemon balm used in many of their products.