Q & A with an Aromatherapist

What are essential oils? Can they help me? What is an aromatherapist? These were all some of the questions I had a few years ago. I knew I couldn’t be the only one needing clarity on this topic so I recently sat down with friend and aromatherapist, Ann Miller, to get the scoop.

In 2017 I was an essential oil novice. I owned a couple random oils which I had picked up here and there but used them sporadically. It wasn’t until I met Ann at the Vegfest in Hilton Head Island that I got more information on their benefits, bought some better quality oils, and really started incorporating them in my life. I saw benefits physically and mentally and now use them as part of my daily wellness routine. But not all essential oils are created equal. Read below to learn all about these potent oils, how to use them, and how to choose the best ones for you!

What is an aromatherapist?

An Aromatherapist is a highly trained professional that has studied essential oil science in depth.  We have learned the science behind why essential oils work and the therapeutic benefits of them.  Because of this, Aromatherapists can “prescribe” essential oils for medicinal purposes.  My main objective as an Aromatherapist is to educate my patients on how to properly use essential oils so they can be advocates for their and their family’s health. The chemistry of essential oils is also learned.  It is a fascinating topic to learn about.  A highly trained Aromatherapist should be able to help you with most ailment using essential oils.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are made by plants to attract and deter insects and animals.  They are actually not truly an oil because there is no fatty substance in them.  Essential oils are distilled from plants and consist of many small molecules.  They are absorbed into the bloodstream when used and permeate every cell within just minutes of use.  Essential oils are used to support the body systems and have an intuitive quality to them.  What do I mean by that?…I mean that they work synergistically with the body to aid in the perfect balance of the body systems.  That is why it is so vital to use your oils often.  The more you use them, the more balanced the body can become.

Essential oils are distilled from plants and consist of many small molecules.
Essential oils are distilled from plants and consist of many small molecules.

What are the health benefits?

This is a tough question.  Each individual oil and oil blend is used for different purposes.  Most essential oils are antimicrobial.  This means they can kill bacteria, viruses, fungus, etc.  There are wonderful research studies done on this aspect of aromatherapy.  As I explained in the previous question, essential oils work with the body.  They support it instead of breaking it down and making it work harder as pharmaceuticals do.  They WANT your body to be in a state of homeostasis, so they work WITH the body to make that happen.  Certain essential oils can support the immune system, calm the nerves, help with sleep, remove a wart, aid the body to go into labor, increase milk supply in nursing moms, ease a baby’s colic tummy ache, help the body get over a cold or illness quicker…the list is endless.  I love to educate through WEllness Workshops on these topics.  It is empowering to have the information and tools to help your family.

Each individual oil and oil blend is used for different purposes.
Each individual oil and oil blend is used for different purposes.

How do I use essential oils?

Essential oils are used in three ways, topical, diffused, and ingested.  Don’t send me hate mail on ingesting, please!  I have highly researched and am a Certified Clinical Aromatherapist, I can speak on ingesting in an educated manner.  I’ll come back to that later.  Topical application of essential oils is probably the most used.  Oils are diluted (or not) and applied to the skin for use.  The dilution depends on the patient and the issue being addressed.  Topical application is effective if applied often throughout the day.  Diffusers are all the rage right now.  It is so important to not just randomly purchase a diffuser and essential oils (more on that later).  The diffusers I recommend are made from medical grade plastics and use a high-frequency ultrasonic vibration to distribute the particles from the oils properly.  Why is this important?  Because if oils are heated AT ALL they will not be therapeutic.  The heat kills the constituents in the essential oils and then you just wasted a bunch of money!  Medicinal grade plastic is vital also because the essential oils are so powerful they will eat through other plastics and the plastic chemicals will then be diffused into the air.  No one wants to be breathing in the plastic residue.  It is super toxic.  The diffusers I use also have a one-year full warranty, so that’s incredible.  Ok, on to ingesting oils.  Here’s the thing, you need to use common sense.  It’s literally that simple.  Just as you wouldn’t continue to give a sick person over the counter or prescription medication outside the dose, you don’t give more essential oils to ingest.  There is great controversy on this topic and if you look at the true research you will see that the toxicity of essential oils when ingested is very low.  There are certain oils you don’t want to drink bottles of (I don’t know who would do that anyway), but the reports of this happening are less than five reported cases.  Also keep in mind the number of essential oils you ingest daily…toothpaste, candy, flavored waters, coffee flavorings…So if you want to ingest oils on your own, do it!  Just educate yourself and PLEASE don’t ingest any brand of oils!!  Young Living is the only company that is FDA approved for ingesting.  If you have questions or aren’t sure if an oil is safe to ingest, reach out to a Certified Aromatherapist and ask.

Does quality matter?

IT IS SO IMPORTANT!!! I really can’t stress enough how important quality is. The FDA says that an essential oil bottle needs to only have 5% essential oil in it! Guys, that is unacceptable. Imagine what else in lurking in that bottle. So.Not.Worth.It. At Young Living, they have a Seed to Seal promise. The farms are either owned or partnered with. The regulations on growing, harvesting, weed and pest control are all strictly monitored and enforced. The soil is tested to ensure proper nutrients so the plant oils will have the medicinal constituents they are supposed to. Weed control is typically done by grazing goats or sheep. Pest control is using essential oils to deter insects. The oils are distilled on site at a low temperature so the oils are not degraded. No other company owns their distilleries. It is very expensive and time-consuming to do it properly. Citrus oils are cold-pressed from the peels. This ensures the constituents are not heated and it is the only way to get therapeutic quality citrus oils. Young Living oils are tested in-house and by Third Party testing labs. They own some of the most accurate and expensive testing machines on the market. Each bottle of oil has been tested from seed to bottle 45 times!! This ensures the quality and beneficial constituents are exactly what they are supposed to be. It is a process that only can be found at Young Living.

Essential Oils

What are some of your favorite oils?

If I had to choose my favorites I’d say for sure all of the Premium Starter Kit oils.  I use them all daily in my house.  Then I’d add in Peace and Calming, Valor, Joy, Motivation, Cedarwood, Orange…so maybe all of them, LOL!  The starter kit oils are some of my favorites because they offer such a wide variety of options.  Lavender for cuts, burns, sleep, and calming.  Lemon I use in the allergy blend with lavender and peppermint (no allergy meds for our family of 7 since using these YL oils).  Digize for all the intestinal support you need.  Thieves is wonderful for when you are sick and preventing illness.  Peppermint for headaches, a pick me up, and indigestion.  Stress Away…for, well, stress!  Copaiba is great for anxiety and inflammation or bruises.  I love frankincense for just about anything.  It’s balancing and very healing.  Raven is a respiratory blend that works like magic on coughs and upper respiratory stuff.  Citrus Fresh is a great smelling oil and is tough on dirt and grease.  PanAway is used for muscle and joint pain.  It is so wonderful on stressed muscles after a workout or chronic pain.

How do I get started?

Getting started is super easy! Just click here and follow the instructions. Be sure to check the box to use your Premium Starter Kit as your Essential Rewards order. Young Living will send you a FREE oil for doing that. If you have questions I can be found at annmiller.wellness@gmail.com.

What’s in the Premium Starter Kit?

You choose from one of 4 diffusers. You also get 11 oils (mentioned earlier), samples of Thieves Household Cleaner and Ningxia Red, items to share, the support of an Aromatherapist, an incredible Facebook group, and I send you a pretty amazing Welcome Package! I also do a one on one with each person on my team so they know how to use their oils.

About Ann:

Ann Miller has been a Licensed Massage Therapist since 2000. She studied at The European Institute of Complimentary Therapies on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Her studies at the institute included in-depth training in several massage modalities as well as aromatherapy, reflexology, holistic skin therapies, and various spa therapies.

She is currently finishing her degree in Complimentary and Alternative Medicine with a triple major in aromatherapy, herbalism, and nutrition with the American College of Healthcare Sciences. Ann is a level 3 member of the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy. Making her a Certified Clinical Aromatherapist. She has also completed the Herbalist program at ACHS.

Ann‘s vision is to educate the public in disease treatment through alternative medicine. Her passion and enthusiasm for holistic healing stems from her family’s fight with chronic disease. Ann and her children have experienced remarkable healing from both Chronic Lyme’s Disease and her son’s Eosinophilic Esophagitis (aka: EOE), through dietary and herbal treatments. It is for this reason that Ann takes special interest in infectious and inflammatory disease processes. Her desire is to empower clients through knowledge and informed consent, so that they may know there are safe and effective treatments for conditions outside of prescription drugs and surgery.