The earliest documentation of reflexology dates to approximately around 3,000 B.C., based on the belief that the body is represented on the head, hands, and feet, particularly on the soles. As widely documented historically in Asia and Northern Africa, these zones, or reflexology meridians, can stimulate the body through pressure-point therapy. Pioneers of modern reflexology further developed simulative healing by mapping the feet and demonstrating their mirroring effect on the body. The practice gained momentum during the 1980's era of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, bringing with its popularity the rise of professionals in the field.
Today, Lisa Heeney, founder of Aromabuff, a professional reflexologist and aromatherapist, practices the discipline in Drogheda, Ireland. Lisa was introduced to the healing and restorative benefits of essential oils and aromatherapy in the year 2000 after her brother's sudden and untimely death. The professional's mother suggested visiting a reflexologist, who was also an aromatherapist, to heal from the grief, who inspired Lisa to enroll in a diploma course. In the consequent year, she enrolled in an aromatherapy course at the Tisserand Institute of Aromatherapy in London.
Unlike reflexology, aromatherapy refers to the inhalation and topical application of authentic essential oils from aromatic plants ranging from deep therapeutic techniques to the extreme subtlety of fragrance on the psyche.
Upon receiving her diplomas and licenses, Lisa began her natural therapeutics practice as a reflexologist for pregnant women. Loving the nurturing and healing aspects of her work, the entrepreneur encountered popular mainstream aroma-therapeutic cosmetics with toxic non-organic ingredients, motivating her to create her natural products. Shortly after, Lisa welcomed her first child, heightening her desire to develop her products into a pregnancy line as aromatherapy and reflexology were both alleviative and remedial during her own nine months.
For those that are new to her work, Lisa, a pioneer in her field, is also the published author of Aromabump: The Belly Bible for Aromatherapy in Pregnancy. In the book, Lisa covers 24 essential oils and a how-to guide on safely using these outstanding elements for common discomforts during the nine months within the boundaries of their limitations. Besides her passion for essential oils, Lisa's driving force for both her line and book was to increase awareness of the safe use of the products and also to subdue unsubstantiated claims of aromatherapy as a cure-all.
The success of aromatic support during pregnancy further motivated Lisa to modify her brand from AromaBump to AromaBuff, as she sought after creating a holistic therapy that is not confined to a single niche client but open to all those exploring the art of aromatherapy. Aromabuff, as suggested by the name, implies that it is returning something back to its absolute basis. As described by Lisa, buff can refer to attractiveness, health, polished nature, or heightened knowledge in a certain field, all fundamentals represented by the brand.
Each of the collections, Women's, Men's, and AromaBump, include a beautifully crafted selection of body balms and butters, oils, lip balms, and beard balms for men. The range of oils used in products includes lavender, frankincense, peppermint, patchouli, mandarin, sweet orange, cypress, bergamot, cedarwood, neroli, and chamomile. Each is sustainably sourced, with a minimal carbon footprint from a distillery in France, which uses local and imported ingredients such as lavender from the local French fields, grapefruit from Florida, and mandarins from Mexico, all organically certified. It was also key for Lisa to obtain documentation of each of the oils' breakdown and chromatography to assess its quality and therapeutic value. Lisa explains that some ingredients, such as the beeswax, she receives from a local Co.
Louth beekeeper, in chunks, and cleans them herself. Shea Butter alike is sustainably sourced from Northern Africa. The 100% natural aspect of her products is not limited to the ingredients and products themselves but incorporated into her striking packaging.
AromaBuff's packaging is created out of recyclable glass sourced from Italy for the luxurious balms and oils, which are sealed with lovely beach wooden lids in dark and light wood colors. To make the lip balms and bars biodegradable, Lisa incorporates bamboo and tin packaging. She emphasizes that to make the product truly environmentally conscious; she is researching and developing the best way to deliver refills of the products to her clients. Whether it is bars wrapped in beeswax that can be replaced in the tin or glass balm jars that can be sent back to the store and replenished.
Lisa describes her long-term goal with AromaBuff to fully develop a company that will create jobs for those in Ireland and significantly contribute to environmental campaigns. Currently AromaBuff has partnered with www.EastCoastTreeProject.org which plants a native Irish species tree for every AromaBuff order placed
AromaBuff’s positive impact extends beyond that of its therapeutic benefits, but its conscious environmental contribution.
Recently, Lisa has been working in conjunction with local hospitals and teaching midwives the benefits and how to's on essential oils for pregnant women or those in labour. Maternity clinics at hospitals are incorporating AromaBuff products into their practice, giving Lisa a vision of what can be done nationwide.
Independently, the aromatherapist has been working on a bespoke basis with labour oils and aromatherapy. She is also exploring new products all beneficial for mental health, well-being, and relief for both men and women. Lisa's goal is to create products such as handbag-sized rollerballs for pregnant women to alleviate sensitivities on the go, and muscle rubs and bath salts for men and women that raise awareness for both exercise healing and mental health.
For Lisa Heeney, AromaBuff is about the captivating and delicate fragrances to support therapy and day to day relief.