My story with essential oils dates back 20 years ago. There I was, a freshman at a large university in my hometown, trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted to do. As many of you can relate, your freshman year doesn't always contain classes you WANT to take, but ones you HAVE to take. At least, that was case for me. I had my first algebra exam coming up. I HATED algebra. (Still do.) I procrastinated as much as I could to study. A few days before the exam, I realized that I HAD to sit down and really zone in and try to figure it out. But I didn't feel motivated nor focused.
A friend told me to try inhaling Peppermint essential oil. I was willing to try anything at that point. So I ran out and got some. Not really sure how to use it, I just sniffed it with every problem. It caused me to have a headache. I didn't feel like it was working and just felt irritated by it. I threw aromatherapy to the wayside.
Even though that was my first experience with essential oils, my love for natural health has always been present. It has gone in waves throughout my almost 40 years on Earth. I distinctly remember a phase in college when I was very into nutrition (which was a far cry from my Big Mac eating high school days). Then I went through a phase where I was obsessed with kick boxing and exercise physiology. I debated about becoming a nutritionist or personal trainer. Then sometimes, I acted like the average college student who drank too much beer and ate Rotel with melted Velvetta cheese as a midnight snack.
I grew up in a traditional, allopathically-minded home. To my parent's dismay, if there was a natural way to help myself, I'd chose that option over medication. I didn't want to take Ibuprofen for a headache. If my stomach was upset, I used other methods instead of Pepto Bismal. I chose grilled chicken over breaded. I would (and still do) tell my mom if a meal isn't healthy for her. My first choice was always the natural choice, even if my parents thought I was nuts and told me to "just take the Ibuprofen."
Fast forward to meeting my husband. He's a personal trainer with a degree of exercise physiology. Finally someone who GOT me and agreed with my "crazy" ways. Before kids, we'd spend hours at the grocery store comparing foods to see which ones were the healthiest. Our treats were usually smoothies from Smoothie King with a shot of Wheatgrass. We would read books about health and wellness like it was recreational reading. We were in sync and being with him just made living a healthy lifestyle so much easier.
It wasn't until many years later that essential oils reentered my life. I had a close family member gain an unpleasant diagnosis and I turned my focus on holistic health to help him. So, I researched like my life depended on it. My research kept leading me to essential oils. I keep shushing the notion because of my previous experience. But the words "essential oils" kept showing up like a bad penny. It was like someone was telling me to try it. So I finally caved and bought some essential oils.
And they worked!
Here I was, a huge skeptic who was now a believer. I understood how nutrition worked. I knew why exercise was good for me. But going out on a limb to try essential oils didn't make sense to me at first. But once I saw the healing that occurred, I was inspired to learn as much as I could.
After self studying essential oils for some time, I decided to take my education to a formal basis and enroll in a program to become a naturopath. It felt like the right path to take at the time because I could combine my love for all things holistic. The first program was foundational concepts in natural health. My husband would watch the video segments with me, shaking his head in agreement. It just made sense. After completing the program. I started building a holistic business where I would focus on coaching others. But I HAD to learn more first. I was just about to enroll in the next program when I felt pulled in another direction.
I noticed throughout the natural health course when they talked about herbs, I kept thinking of essential oils. Most of the books I had purchased the past couple years were about essential oils. It was my favorite subject and the modality I used the most in my home. It wasn't until someone said to me, "Oh, I thought you were going to school to become an aromatherapist" that it hit me. Why aren't I going to school for aromatherapy? My original intention was to gain credibility in my business since I had planned on using a lot of essential oils. But it turned out to be so much more.
Aromatherapy school #1 wasn't what I was looking for so I turned to aromatherapy school #2.
Aromatherapy school #2 turned into certification and then more classes.
Then I attended aromatherapy school #3 to learn about aromatic medicine.
Then I went back, yet again, to aromatherapy school #2, to get clinical certification.
Then I signed up for two herbal classes from two different schools.
Then I completed another course in flower essences.
Then I signed up for a course in Feng Shui for Health and Spiritual Practitioners.
Then I decided to become a Reiki Master.
And I still have some more holistic subjects I want to delve further into.
That being said, I still feel like my deepest connection is with aromatherapy. You can call it my "true love" if you will. Other modalities can come along and give me more insight on holistic health. But aromatherapy is where my heart is, where my strongest passion lies, and where I feel at home. Yet I feel like going beyond aromatherapy can enrich my work because aromatherapy can't do it all.
Here's my biggest struggle with holistic health.
THERE IS SO MUCH TO LEARN AND I WANT TO LEARN IT ALL!
I'm pretty sure other holistic practitioners feel me here. Since holistic health embodies a person's mind, body and soul, we feel the NEED to study more to better serve our clients. I have tried to take a break from taking classes. I really have. But my passion just get more ignited after each course. I feel driven to look deeper and to gain more experiences so my clients can benefit. So my family can benefit. So I can benefit.
Being in holistic health not only helps others, but in turn, helps yourself. I have found parts of my soul that I didn't know ever existed. I have focused more on self-care. Things that I thought were "strange" or "different" now make perfect sense to me. I am forming relationships with people who support me and my crazy journey, just like my husband did 12 years ago when we met. It's as if I have come full circle since college and I have figured out my path, my calling.
Holistic health brings me peace. It brings me wisdom. It brings me a sense of self. I wish that for all of you reading this right now. Because each of you are unique. You deserve to be treated as a whole person, not as a diagnosis or a list of symptoms. Holistic health is a journey. One I hope you will embark on if you haven't already. One word of caution though. Be prepared to learn a lot.