"So what do you do?"
(This question was a lot easier when I was a teacher.)
"I'm a clinical aromatherapist."
And now I wait to see what response I get. Will it be...
"Are you with doTerra or Young Living?"
"Oh! So you make candles?"
"I love Bath and Body Works. Can you make my favorite lotion cheaper than what they sell it for?"
"I'm sorry, a what?"
Truth be told, most people do not know what I do. Can't blame them. It's not exactly what you'll see on the "10 fastest up and coming career choices". In fact, it wasn't until I was in aromatherapy school that I realized how much aromatherapy actually entailed. So many people think it just teaches you which oil to use for what. But it is SO.MUCH.MORE.
Aromatherapy is multifaceted. It may look a little different depending on the aromatherapist. Some aromatherapists go into natural perfumery. Some are formulators of natural products. Some work in hospitals, holistic centers, integrative health centers, etc. Some are hired by companies to consult for them. The great thing about this career is YOU CHOOSE YOUR PATH. You can follow where you heart leads you. You can live your dream while helping others.
If I were to explain to my career to someone, here's what I would want them to know.
1. I'M NOT A SALES REP. I am not here to try to get you to "join my team" or to "buy this oil." My intention is never sales. NEVER. I went to school for this career, I did not do company training. I took anatomy and physiology. I studied botany. I studied chemistry. Lots of chemistry. I learned blending techniques and factors to consider when blending. I learned how to intertwine different holistic teachings to provide the best outcome. I did case studies. I did research papers. I continue to learn from industry leaders. I continue to research and soak up all the knowledge I can.
You cannot discount the fact that professional aromatherapists invest a lot of time and money into their education. If something is important to you, you invest in it. Wouldn't you want someone who invested in their education to help you? Think of it this way. Would you want to fly in an airplane with a pilot who has a license or a pilot who was taught by their friend who really likes flying? I think I know your answer here. Why is it any different when it comes to essential oils and your most prized possession, YOUR HEALTH?
2. AROMATHERAPY IS NOT JUST ESSENTIAL OILS. Aromatherapy entails much more than just essential oils. We work with herbs, herbally infused oils, a multitude of carrier oils, hydrosols, etc. I cannot express to you enough that ESSENTIAL OILS ARE NOT THE ANSWER TO EVERYTHING. If you have an issue that you want to address, whether it's a pimple problem or emotional distress, wouldn't it make sense to go to the person who was trained in ALL of these to help you make the best decision?
3. I AM A HOLISTIC PRACTITIONER. Aromatherapy is a holistic modality. Holistic is characterized by the "treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the physical symptoms." I work in depth with clients to support their health and wellness. I look at the WHOLE person, not just what they are trying to fix. What works for one person does not necessarily work for another.
Let's take Sarah as an example. Sarah is having a rough time with the pollen count. Her neighbor tells her to try this combination that she heard worked for her friend. Sarah does it and it aggravates her asthma and she has an attack. Every oil is not tolerable to every person. There are special precautions for children, the elderly, those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, those on medication, or those who have a medical condition. But technically anyone can have an adverse reaction, especially if using an oil improperly. If you'd like to check the credibility of this statement, feel free to check out the Aromatherapy United injury report.
4. I AM AN EDUCATOR. I know essential oils are popular. I also know there are a lot of misconceptions out there, especially in regards to safety. It is my ethical duty as a professional to help others use essential oils properly. In fact, I offer a free email safety course for anyone who wants to learn the safety basics.
When giving advice, I come from a place of love and caring for your safety. Some people may choose to ignore my advice and some are eternally grateful for my gentle guidance. But either way, I go to sleep every night knowing I am doing the best I can in my mission to educate and inform.
5. I AM A PROFESSIONAL. As stated above, I have invested a lot of time and money into my education and experience. If you need help using aromatherapy, I am more than happy to help you. But this is my business and a source of income for my family. I do offer a lot of free advice but if I feel you need a consultation, please respect that. I am not "after your money". I have your best interest in mind. Sure you could get free advice from Google or Pinterest. But you get what you pay for. If you REALLY love essential oils, take a class from a professional. You will get more out of it than you know.