My Journey with Oils

How did I get into Essential Oils for Animals?

I had just left teaching with stress related illness, had to quit renting my home and decided to finally set up my Animal Behaviour business. I had studied BSc Hons Animal Science (Behaviour and Welfare), before I embarked on a PGCE in Secondary Science. I returned to my first passion, of working with animals. I figured if I wasn’t going to ever find paid work with animals, best create a job and afford to rent again. I stumbled upon a website doing Essential Oil Therapy for Animals and was hooked. I went to Cambridge to do a zoopharmacognosy workshop with Caroline Ingraham in 2010 and then embarked on a diploma in Essential Oil Therapy with Karen Bourdon/Menzi and the rest is history.

What happened to my Animal Behaviour Business?

My first cover photo image for Juniper Animals, featuring Thor and Odin

I set up Juniper Animals in 2010 to help with behaviour issues, and very soon afterwards moved into ‘health’ – emotional and mental well-being and signposted to the vet to rule out physical or nutritional issues. My father’s two dogs Thor and Odin (above) were heavily featured on my website as Essential Oil Therapy/Zoopharmacognosy helped support them in various ways, from Odin’s weak nails that snapped when he tried to mark the ground, to Thor’s arthritic shoulder and countless scraps they got themselves into being Jack Russells. In 2013, I realised that behavioural issues were not only caused by the dogs emotional well-being, but by their owners. The humans couldn’t see or really feel their emotions trapped in the body, so their animals were showing them. I then trained in Reiki and kinesiology to help both animals and humans, and renamed my business Juniper Natural Therapies.

What happened to Juniper Natural Therapies?

I worked with humans and animals for a few years at Basepoint in Weymouth. Until the point my niece whom I had fostered became paralysed in 2015 when she was 14. It was pretty intense being in hospital and then between various health practitioners and keeping her up in her education. Being a teacher came in handy at this point. I did have to give up my lecturing job to devote more time to my niece, and then eventually I had to give up on my business. She did eventually almost fully recover. I then had to really invest some time to self care when I had stress-related shingles at the height of issues with social services, and not long after having a cancerous mole removed from my stomach. It felt to me like a lesson from the universe ‘healer, heal thyself. It was a good lesson, more lessons were to follow along this vein.

Why Juniper, do I like gin?

Its not to do with gin, sorry to disappoint. Juniper was simply the oil that broke me out of the negative water infection/antibiotic cycle. It gave me the confidence to start researching herbs and the plant kingdom for my own health and stop relying on a GP service that I felt wasn’t dealing with me holistically or individually. Symptom treating, rather than looking at root causes. So best I begin looking myself.

Juniper, more than gin making berries

Juniper isn’t the only impressive oil, I could have named the business after a few more that helped spectacularly. My father once came running in, having been stung by wasps or bees and had thrown his shirt off to get them off his back. I was going for either bicarb or vinegar depending on what he told me they were. He had no idea, he was running away, but they came out of the ground. As he was talking his tongue swelled up, presuming I was dealing with anaphylactic shock I grabbed the Great Mugwort which is a severe anti-histamine. I put several drops under his tongue to get it in his circulatory system quickly and the reaction stopped in its tracks and his tongue swelling subsided.

How did I come full circle with Essential Oils for Animals?

I’m not really sure, I guess life is about cycles or spirals isn’t it? I continued with my counselling training, even though my ‘foster placement’ ended when my niece ran away from home a third time. With a week notice I lost my fostering allowance (income) and consequently said home. I had trained in Equine Facilitated Learning/Psychotherapy (EFL/P) and went on to work with a friend’s business and horses for a year out of Dorset. The oils came with me into this work, as did my niece’s pony.

When this partnership ended sadly and unexpectedly, my pony went to stay in someone else’s herd in Gloucestershire where I did my EFL/P training until I could find my way back out of financial hardship. I worked hard trying to help this friend set up her business and again the oils came with me. This partnership also ended after a year but I was more prepared this time.

I found my pony a home at a farm around the corner from my present home in Weymouth. A full circle for me, as I once lived in Weymouth during my teacher training. I had agreed to do an Essential Oils for Equine Owners talk at this farm, and as fate would have it, my pony moved in the same day of the talk. The group watched as I offered oils to support him as he would be grieving another herd loss, he would be stiff from a road trip and he was be nervous of a new home.

My first workshop on Essential Oils in 2013.

I was a bit reluctant to do anything business wise again particularly connected to my pony. I was just grateful to have him home and to get his body condition back up to his normal. Next thing I know I seem to be doing Essential Oils Workshops for Animal Owners, but it feels like this is where I should be right now on the spiral of life.

If you are interested in learning more about Essential Oils for Animals, check out our talks/workshops and events on the ‘workshop‘ page.
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