"Aromatic Chat" Podcast with Melissa Holman

Uncategorized Feb 18, 2021

In December, I was asked to be a guest on Melissa Holman's podcast, Aromatic Chat, and we had a wonderful conversation. Melissa is a Registered Aromatherapist, Life Coach, Author, and an amazing podcast host through her company, Aromatic Remedies.

I've re-capped the conversation below to read, but you can listen to the full episode on Spotify, Apple Music, or if you prefer a video, on Youtube.


Melissa asked me how I got my start in the field, and how my initial interests in the field established the blossoming business that I run now!

I was introduced to essential oils. like many others, thru a multi-level marketing company selling essential oils in 1999.
Their focus was on recruiting others, sales were targeted at the public "playing doctor" by suggesting essential oils for certain health conditions at expos and classes, with a sales-focused educational level. After a few months, I realized their approach with essential oils was not for me.

I wanted to understand the science, chemistry, and how plant compounds interact with our body systems. What I found most fascinating about essentials oils as a healing tool is that they affect the physical body, our mental and emotional state, and our energetic field - simultaneously!

In 2001, I found a great school and became certified in Aromatherapy thru the American College of Healthcare Sciences. Integrating aromatherapy into my intuitive/energetic healing work naturally came together. But the oils really "blossomed" for me after I became a certified shiatsu massage therapist and Aroma Acupoint therapist. My clients loved the combination.

"What was your background like as an aromatherapy educator within the state college system in Minnesota?"

My start as an educator of aromatherapy began when I noticed my local community college was offering a class in essential oils that included learning how to do "raindrop therapy". I reached out to the Dean of the college, out of concern. She did not know about the public safety issues around this controversial technique in aromatherapy and realized they needed an instructor who could provide a safe learning experience for their students from a qualified aromatherapist. They asked me to become an instructor, and I continued teaching in the Minnesota State Colleges at numerous locations for about 16 years.

"What was the shift that lead you to help bring aromatherapy into healthcare?"

I started noticing about 6 - 7 years ago a shift in my classes - more healthcare workers wanted to learn how to start programs in their healthcare communities.
I was shifting too, and ready for something new, and I began developing training programs on how to deliver safe & effective aromatherapy protocols into healthcare settings. I saw a huge need to fill to help them bring aromatherapy to their patients, without needing to become certified in aromatherapy themselves.

Now,  I provide programs and consulting for hospitals, mental health clinics, nursing homes, veterans homes, surgery centers, across the USA. Our Core Aromatherapy and the Inhalation Patch Training Program are turn-key ready products & online education. They are a practical hands on program designed by an Aromatherapist for those who do not have training in our skilled therapy.

"Could you talk more about your work with helping nursing homes create aromatherapy programs?"

 In 2012, I was recommended as the Aromatherapy Consultant for a nursing home that had a grant for fall prevention solutions. Aromatherapy was one of 4 integrative therapies they were evaluating. Their goal of preventing falls was achieved with aromatherapy and music therapy which they still offer and practice today. 

After that great experience, my work expanded quickly as other healthcare communities became interested in the use of aromatherapy to provide natural, non-pharma options, and in improving the patient experience. 

I saw a need for a simple, sustainable, and easy to implement comprehensive training program for long term care - which is called my  Aromatherapy Core Program
I work with the leadership teams to help get the program started with live consulting and planning, while the aromatherapy staff education piece is offered online. I also customize programs to meet individual sites' needs and desired outcomes. 

"So how would a nursing home know that they need what you offer, and how could they get in contact with you?"

Well, that's the marketing question of the ages! (pause for laughs)
Healthcare communities in both hospitals and long-term skilled nursing are mandated by both the Center for Medicare and Medicaid and The Joint Commission to offer non-pharmaceutical options to pain and anxiety medications.

This directive to provide natural symptom relief is usually how the idea to use aromatherapy comes up within a site. Along with that directive, these caring individuals are trying to improve the quality of life, so aromatherapy fits right in!
I've often been a speaker for long-term care professional lectures, conventions & expos, I introduce them to this skilled therapy, how to get started, and how aromatherapy can help them.

My main talking points are:

  • How essential oils help with wellbeing & relaxation and improve quality of life
  • Why a program rooted within the best practices of clinical aromatherapy is important with medically fragile or vulnerable populations
  • Aromatherapy programs positively impact patients and staff members!

Staff Wellness is needed too!

Bringing an Aromatherapy Program into healthcare during the pandemic, helps brighten  and uplift the healthcare staff as well. Stress reduction, and improving mental health for all, is critical right now.

Stress & strain are prevalent with all types of healthcare workers, and especially so during the pandemic. There is heightened awareness to improve staff wellbeing as they are caring for others so selflessly. In long-term care healthcare workers often are filling the roles of the volunteers, activities, and families that are no longer able to help improve the quality of life. It's extremely stressful and even more critical they have access to tools, resources, and services to ease stress.

Patient Experiences

Many people are having their very first experience with essential oils in the hospital to ease pain, stress or nausea.  I am so touched when someone contacts me because my patches or the therapy they received helped them get thru a difficult time.  (QUOTE) The patients want to know more about how to use oils on their own. I do offer Aromatherapy Consultations  for:

  • Personal use
  • Use with an elderly parent
  • Care for a young child

"I would like to know something you're excited about - either personally or professionally!"

I am so fascinated by our bodies as electrical systems, and how frequencies help clear our energy field of emotional baggage. As the work of Dr. Emoto showed us, we can see how energy, sound, words, and thoughts impact water molecules geometry. We are energy, plants hold energy and have a frequency. I've always taught my students and clients that essential oils are "programmable interactive healing allies".
I want to continue to refine my techniques to "imprint" more healing energy into the oils that now reach patients around the country. I also hold a vision of seeing the tiny essential oil molecules entering healthcare environments and bringing light and peace to all who interact with them.
If we can help someone take 5 deep breaths with a favorite essential oil, they will feel more relaxed. If that's the least you can do for someone in pain, sad or alone, that is still amazing!

"Fun question - what is your current favorite essential oil combination?"

Pink Grapefruit, Jasmine, Sandalwood - It's sparkly! These three just really work together, and are actually in my blend called Sunshine! This is my go to during these frigid winter months!

In Closing...

I sincerely hope that we mature in our understanding, education, and respect for what a gift plant medicine is to our health well being.  The commercialization and popularity of the oils, over the last 20 years have led to extreme over-use and safety concerns. Without education, there is little understanding of how concentrated and powerful they are. 

This huge demand for essential oils has also led to sustainability issues with precious resources like Sandalwood, Rosewood, and Spikenard for example to the point of species endangerment. This is why it is so very important to purchase your essential oils from suppliers who source sustainably & responsibly and learn how to work with the oils conservatively.

Here is a quote from the Iroquois philosophy to end with . . .

Stay connected with us for updates, success stories, and Aromatherapy musings!

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