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Ruth Toal in May 2006 with son number 3 : IrahBen ... born on the 2nd Day of the 2005 Irish Retriever Championship ... At one time the use and understanding of essential oils, plants and their medicinal properties were common knowledge in the home; and, they were the medicines found in every veterinary surgeon's and doctor's briefcase. Reference to their use can be found in Black's Veterinary Dictionary, published in 1928.

My position is this... Ruth Toal with husband Paul and sons 1 and 2 : Roarke and Isaac .... We are beginning to face a mounting toll of complications caused by overuse of aggressively synthesised chemical medicines. We need to make a conscious effort to retain or regain what has always been our universal right----to take some responsibility for the health of ourselves, our children, and our animals. We need to reconsider the importance of natural medicine...combining wisdom from the past with scientific knowledge from the present.

I received my first course of Aromatherapy Massage treatments in Southern California, in Encinitas, in 1990. Over a six-month period I engaged in this therapy on a weekly basis to address post-traumatic stress and unresolved grief issues.M. Ruth Toal under her maiden name of Mary Frances Nolan during her employment with Science Applications International Corp as a Medical Software Trainer and Implementation Specialist ... at the US Pentagon

It all started when I could not get enough breath during involuntary respiration to sustain my interactions with other people. I would have to turn to the side in the middle of conversation in order to breathe deeply and take in enough air to remain standing, yet alone listening and responding. After paying a fortune for medical tests and examinations at some of the most advanced medical clinics in California, Western modern medicine could find nothing wrong with my lungs or respiratory system. Their final diagnosis was : "It's all in your head."

M. Ruth Toal under her maiden name of Mary Frances Nolan during her employment with SAIC as a Medical Software Trainer and Implementation SpecialistThe fact that I could not breathe naturally and normally was outside the scope of their medical models and tests. At this time I worked as a government contractor, as an employee of SAIC, in medical computer software as a software trainer and implementation specialist on the Composite Health Care System (CHCS) project. A work colleague suggested I try acupuncture. I did. Within ten minutes of my initial consultation with this acupuncturist (trained in Hawaii), I learned that the lungs are the centre for processing grief in Chinese Medicine. The accumulated grief and loss in my life was impairing the function of my respiratory system.

Western clinical medicine could not tell me this.

They either did not know or did not care to know. In any event, this knowledge set me on the road to a full and complete recovery. Through a treatment plan consisting of acupuncture, essential oils, aromatherapy massage and grief counselling my respiratory system is robust and draws no attention to itself. M. Ruth Toal with dear friend Karen Berger in Ruth's Jerusalem apartment in Dec. 1997 .... celebrating her Birthday!Taking in air has returned to being an automatic and unnoticed activity.

This unorthodox treatment was so successful that my curiosity and respect were ignited. I began to dapple in aromatherapy and adopted it as a hobby that grew into a passion. I began to buy books and study aromatherapy. I sought after workshops and training sessions. I researched historical usage and collected anything I could find on Natural Remedies, to use them myself. I purchased essential oils like a collector, experimenting with them, cooking and cleaning with them, applying them to every aspect of my life. They added flavour and joy to the mundane and made the ordinary extra-ordinary. For eleven years I cultivated a love affair with essential oils that, in return, gave back to me countless moments of contentment, satisfaction, rejuvenation and delight, empowerment and health. Aromatherapy works.

Six months after my first son (of a total of three) was born in May 2001, I returned to formal education in the pursuit of an Aromatherapy Diploma. I desired to work professionally in this field as a qualified aromatherapist under the voluntary regulation of the International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists --- IFPA based in England. Foundations had to be laid in Anatomy and Physiology, although it was all refresher and review for me as I had had a penchant---a very strong liking and inclination----for anatomy, physiology & bio-chemistry in my previous years of formal education (a long long time ago) at Gabriel Richard High School in Riverview, Michigan and at Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan USA.

M. Ruth Toal sharing Isaac's 4th Birthday Wishes to Gran in American ... Feb. 2007After 4 years of hard graft and much research, experimentation and practice and many case studies and revisions, I received my hard-earned Aromatherapy Diploma in August 2006 and became a Full Practicing Member of the International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists - IFPA.

In October 2006, I received an Advanced Certificate in Aromatherapy & Massage in Pregnancy for successfully completing post-graduate training at Regent's College in London with Juliette Preston and Rhiannon Harris (France), under the direction and guidance of Gabriel Mojay, author of Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit.

Gabriel Mojay founded the RQA - Register of Qualified Aromatherapists - in England in 1990, and was the first Chairperson of the British Aromatherapy Organisations Council (AOC). He has been instrumental in the formation of the world's largest professional aromatherapy association....The International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists [ IFPA ]. He was also the Founding Co-Editor of its professional journal:  In Essence. Currently he serves as IFPA Vice-Chairman and IFPA Conference Organizer.

My teacher, Juliette Preston, completed Aromatherapy training with Madame Micheline Arcier in 1990, and began to specialise in pregnancy one year later. After completing an Aromatherapy in Pregnancy course, she extended her knowledge by undertaking an advanced certificate course in the Science of Essential Oils with Pierre Franchomme of L'Institut des Sciences Biomedicales. Juliette's experience in the world of Aromatherapy and obstetrics includes running a busy practice at the London-based ACTIVE BIRTH CENTRE between 1991 through 1999. There she gave countless workshops to pregnant women and their birth partners over nine years. She founded Earth Mother Aromatherapy, continuing to teach workshops entitled Massage For Partners Through Pregnancy; and, she has assisted in implementing the use of essential oils at the Birth Unit of the Hospital of St. John's and St. Elizabeth in London. At St. John's and St. Elizabeth's Hospital most of the midwives have become trained Aromatherapists. At this facility, they use essential oils from the beginning of pregnancy to the aftercare.

My teacher, Rhiannon Harris, has been in the field of aromatherapy since 1989, before which she qualified and worked as a nurse, specializing in the Intensive Care environment. Her studies in England, America and France include both holistic and medical aromatherapy approaches as well as other complementary health modalities. Currently living in Provence, France with husband Bob, she organises basic and advanced level study programs concerning essential oils and aromatherapy and is known for her evidence-based approach to practice and teaching. She travels widely in her work, combining essential oil chemistry and research with effective treatment strategies. She is on the editorial board of the International Journal of Clinical Aromatherapy (IJCA).Blending oils is an art and a science....

In April 2006, with a 4-month-old baby-in-tow (Irah Benjamin Erez Toal), I began studies into Shiatsu-based Pregnancy Massage with Suzanne Yates through WellMother.org, based in Bristol, England.

My instructor, Suzanne Yates, began studying massage in 1982 and shiatsu in 1984, completing the 3 year diploma course in Healing-Shiatsu in 1988. She is a registered teacher with the British Shiatsu Society. She studied the APNT - Association of Physical and Natural Therapists massage course (Maitri Foundation) and now, years later, she teaches their Massage in Pregnancy Diploma course, which I am currently taking. She is fascinated by the links between shiatsu and massage, applied especially to maternity care.

In 2003, Suzanne Yates authored the book Shiastu For Midwives, ISBN-13:Shiatsu For Midwives by Suzanne Yates 978-0750655231. This practical, well-illustrated guide teaches midwives how to incorporate the use of Shiatsu into safe practice and relates the practice of Shiatsu to professional midwifery issues. Clear line drawings and photographs illustrate techniques that are backed up by discussions of actual case studies. "Suzanne's guide is the most thorough and helpful book on Shiatsu for pregnancy, labour and the early post-natal period. The ideas are both original and tried and tested. The photos are of high standard and the text is clear and well designed."  ---Tamsin Grainger, Shiatsu Society News, March 2004.

I plan to complete all the case studies with pregnant women and the project work that is required by Suzanne's Massage in Pregnancy Diploma course by Sept. 2007.

In addition to the above activities, I am an active full member of the IMTA - Irish Massage Therapists Association and its Regional Officer for Northwest Ireland: Counties Leitrim, Donegal and Sligo.

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Website by M. Ruth Toal  MIFPA, IMTA Regional Officer.
My Qualifications.   www.RuthToal.com : My Online CV / Resume.