I met Marika Fleri earlier this year and was quite drawn to her work and understanding how aromatherapy has evolved in Malta. She is going to be writing a few pieces for the EWSHAS to share her experience with aromatherapy in Malta and her passion to share her knowledge and the power of healing with essential oils with her students and clients. In Part I, Marika shares her own story of how she came to aromatherapy. (Jade)
Nearly 18 years ago I lost my dad and it was a huge trauma for me. Apart from everything else my body reacted in all types of symptoms. My immunity went haywire and I was sick nearly every day. At the time I was studying Cemistry, Biology and Physics at college with the hope of pursuing a course to become a doctor at University as I was always fascinated by medicine and wanted to help people in any way I could. Needless to say instead of studying I spent two years licking my wounds and going from one doctor to another to try to find out what was wrong with me. I was having to deal with tonsillitis every two weeks, developed irritable bowel syndrome and even had shingles. I was prescribed endless boxes of antibiotics and all other kinds of medicine and was caught in a vicious circle.
One day I was window shopping and visited a health shop ( one of the few in Malta at the time) and I came across a book about essential oils and aromatherapy and I was hooked. I started reading and researching, buying numerous books and trying to help myself in endless ways. For the first time I felt in control, I knew I could do something about my health and to deal with my trauma. My tonsils stopped bugging me, my irritable bowel was controlled, all the fungal infections that came as a byproduct of ingesting all those antibiotics slowly faded away and I was happier than ever. I slept with a tissue with frankincense oil under my pillow for about two years and I feel that this helped immensely with my grieving process.
Just 1 thing was missing. I could not help others as I was not qualified. So the search to attend a course in Malta to become an aromatherapist started. That was no easy feat as at that time no Maltese teachers were offering the course, and I was told that I had to study beauty therapy which was supposed to serve as a stepping stone to aromatherapy. Once I finished beauty therapy I was told I could not advance further here in Malta.
Then after a year of searching I found a school that could offer me what I wanted and I was in heaven. I was told that first I had to do the Anatomy and Physiology Course and then advance to Aromatherapy. Well I decided to do both in one scholastic year as I did not want to waste anymore time. After one year of intensive studying I was a qualified massage therapist and aromatherapist. I practiced for some years then I had to stop to tend to the needs of my growing family. But I missed all my bottles, concoctions, books and couches.
Now that my kids are a teeny bit more independent I have started to dedicate more time to this passion and hopefully in the process empower people to help themselves in any way possible and create awareness on the safe use of essential oils. I never intended for this passion of mine to make me rich and this is not a business for me, this is a love affair.
To learn more about Marika Fleri and her work visit: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Aroma-Treasures/184484948277102