Essential oils in reflexology balms and philosophy of formulation

As the maker of Flying Wild reflexology balms I am often asked questions about the balms and the ingredients. I love being asked questions because they always make me think about what, why, and how, I do what I do. One question that is often asked is about the essential oils I use, and how they work with the balms. Here are some thoughts and ideas about this topic. 

Flying Wild reflexology balms are made with a unique blend of carrier oils, waxes, butters, and essential oils. The choice of ingredients that make up the balms, and the concentrations at which they are used, is based on my ideas about synergy in formulation and the role of each ingredient. Ideas that are very much inspired by, and derived from, my experience as a beekeeper.

Every organic ingredient, wether it be butter, oil, or wax, carries within it the beneficial properties of the plant (or beehive) from which they are derived - a single carrier oil is made up of dozens of natural components (lipids, minerals, vitamins etc). In this, I like to use the analogy of making a vegetable stock - make a stock with one or two ingredients and the result will be quite bland, tasteless, and not hugely nutritional. Add all the ingredients together and the synergy between them will create a stock that is rich, flavourful, satisfying, and nourishing. In the same way, when formulating my organic balms, it is the synergy between the ingredients (and the hundreds of components of which they are comprised) that creates a balm that gives you the perfect balance between grip, control, and slip - as well as caring for your, and your clients, skin. A balm that leaves no residue, is non-greasy, and that is rich in the essential elements of each ingredient. Essential oils play a role in this but they are, in my philosophy, (coming back to the vegetable stock analogy) the bouquet garni - a top note that enriches the deeper texture and properties that come from the butters, oil, and waxes used. Properties that have often been recognised in traditional healing for centuries. Essential oils enrich the balm, and create pathways that help the balms work harder in particular circumstances. 

Like organic carrier oils, essential oils carry the essence of the plants from which they are derived. Unlike organic carrier oils, this essence is highly concentrated in essential oils which means these precious ingredients should be used with great care. For this reason, all Flying Wild reflexology balms are made with essential oil concentrations that are at one percent or less of the product - so they should be at safe levels. Flying Wild balms are all formulated using the concentration principles and limits used in aromatherapy blends.

Flying Wild balms are mostly made with certified organic essential oils. In some cases, this is not possible, as the oil is not available as organic or because of cost. To give an example of this the wholesale price of non-organic Bulgarian Rose Otto Damascena is about 8500 Euro for 1 kilo – I have never dared ask what the organic version of this oil costs. For most essential oils such as tea tree, mandarin, French lavender, peppermint piperita, and may chang, I use certified organic oils.

The low concentration of essential oils fits well with reflexology and your work as a holistic therapist. A single reflexology treatment will usually not give healing - healing is achieved through the cumulative effect of treatments. Flying Wild balms have many healing properties and benefits, and like reflexology treatments, it is the cumulative effect of repeated use that allows the balms to share these with your clients. In addition to this Flying Wild balms are, of course, safe for you to use in the treatments you give on daily basis.  

For trained aromatherapists who work with custom blends, or higher concentrations of essential oils, the unscented balm gives you the perfect base to which you can add your essential oils. 

When in doubt regarding your clients always use the unscented reflexogy balm.
For maternity clients only use the pregnancy blend balm with mandarin essential oil. For babies and small children only use the unscented balm.

I hope the above goes some way to explain the use of essential oils in my reflexology balms, and that you have enjoyed reading this.

From bee to you,
Arno