When you think of Aromatherapy and its use of essential oils, often times, the focus is on the therapeutic benefits of the PHYSICAL body. But, what many don't realize is that the use of Aromatherapy (essential oils) offer great, therapeutic benefits to one's PSYCHE, MOOD and EMOTIONS.
For the past 20 years I have worked extensively in the field of social work, earning my MSW in 1998. I have had the greatest opportunity to teach psychology courses at the University level, own and operate a Non-profit organization, work with various populations that have included mental health, youth at risk, foster youth, adoptions, the developmentally disabled, hospice and the elderly. These skills have also come in handy when working with various clients in the Real Estate industry (Maxim Realty) as purchasing and/or selling a home is among one of the top life stressful events. I currently continue to work with and help individuals minimize and/or decrease emotional feelings of anger, depression, grief, anxiety and stress via the use of counseling, case management, active listening and emotional support.
In 2009, when I began working in hospice, I was fortunate enough to work with an agency that incorporated Aromacare (Kerkhof, 2015) into their patient care plans (essential oils) that helped patients and their caregivers reduce symptoms of anxiety, stress, anticipatory grief and depression. And, it was in 2009 that I too began to personally use essential oils.
But, it wasn't until 2017 that I had an "Aha" moment in that my expertise in Social Work fits very nicely with Aromatherapy in achieving client's goals of EMOTIONAL BALANCE. But, of course, I couldn't explain "why" the two worlds fit so nicely together. So, I decided to seek some type of "workshop" (something quick and simple) to obtain an overview of Aromatherapy; to gain a deeper understanding of "why" essential oils help to create EMOTIONAL BALANCE in individuals. I was fortunate enough to locate an actual school that offered a Certification in Aromatherapy. I quickly learned, that on the contrary, there is nothing "quick and simple" about Aromatherapy. Aromatherapy involves chemistry, biology , anatomy, physiology and science. I enrolled in a 240 hour Aromatherapy Certification Program (Institute of Holistic Phyto-Aromatherapy). It was here where I was exposed to and provided with a deeper understanding and the knowledge of "how" essential oils synergetically and therapeutically benefit the psyche, mood and emotions. This Certification course also provided an overview on the chemical constituents that essential oils contain; constituents that trigger EMOTIONAL balance. This Certification talked in GREAT detail about how to SAFELY use essential oils and the contraindications that some essential oils have on one's body and with medications and existing illnesses. During this program, I concurrently enrolled in an Anatomy and Physiology course that enhanced my knowledge and understanding of how the olfactory system works with the limbic system; the part of the brain that is sometimes referred to as the emotional brain.
So, in 2018, I launched my career as a Certified Professional Aromatherapist with a very clear understanding that the use of Aromatherapy via essential oils compliment and help balance an array of emotional experiences that we all feel from time to time.
Today, and as a commitment to the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), I continue advancing my education and knowledge in Aromatherapy and am currently enrolled in a Certification course entitled, "Aromas and the Mind". Upon completion of this course, I will have gained an Advanced understanding of Aromas and how they interact with the Nervous System, the Central Nervous System, the Peripheral Nervous System, the Endocrine System and the Immune System ~ Systems that all have an affect on our Emotional balance. In addition, I will have gained a foundational understanding of "Psychoneuroimmunology," which focuses on stress and how it effects our immune system. Finally, sooner than later, I will seek to become a Registered Aromatherapist and ultimately achieve my goal of practicing in Integrative Aromatic Medicine.
So, as you can see, there is a lot to this "thing" called Life and how Life affects our Emotional well-being and balance. A saying that I often state is, "Life gets in the way of Life". When that happens, we must slow down, breathe and find a way to create Emotional balance and achieve Emotional homeostasis that includes "Peace, Calmness and Serenity" ~ the ingredients for....
Tranquility of Life Essentials
Kim Lineberger, MSW, Certified Professional Aromatherapist