Log in


<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   Next >  Last >> 
  • Wednesday, May 22, 2024 12:15 PM | Shannon Bachorick (Administrator)

    By Kelly Ablard, PhD, RA

    Aromatherapy, as defined by the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, is “the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit. It seeks to unify physiological, psychological and spiritual processes to enhance an individual’s innate healing process.”

    Research conducted in Peru (Ablard, 2016) revealed compelling evidence that aromatherapy, as defined above, is a form of traditional medicine (TM) used often as a first-line treatment throughout Peru. Aromatic plant medicine (APM) was considered crucial to healing by 100% of the informants questioned; according to a Peruvian Elder, “the aromatic essence of the plant is very powerful.” These powerful essences were utilized by both males and females who ranged in age from 4 to 74 years and by healer and non-healers. A Shipibo teacher said APM is “all healing, mind-balancing, and a source of strength.” Aromatic plant medicine was used daily and was a critical part of their spiritual and healing practices.

    The healing process for 50% of the Latin American population in both rural and urban settings begins and ends with TM as it is the only accessible and affordable medicine available. And it is often the preferred treatment; even those who can obtain allopathic medicine generally opt to protect and conserve their indigenous medical systems with their traditional knowledge of, and healing practices using TM (Alban, 1984; Bussmann et al., 2011; Jauregui et al., 2011; Bussmann, 2013).

    Traditional medicine not only costs less than allopathic medicine, but it often works better and has fewer side effects. As a result, TM practice has gained the respect of government agencies and health providers in Peru, as well as those in developed countries (Bussmann, 2013; Caceres Guido et al., 2015).

    Aromatic Plant Medicine Preparation

    Each Peruvian informant knew something about naturally producing aromatic extracts from fresh plant material, and which methods produced less toxins. Extractions were done on the whole plant: leaves, resin, stems, roots, bark, wood, and flowers. Extraction methods included alcohol extraction (tincture), water extraction (infusion or decoction), heat extraction, lipid extraction (infusion), maceration (i.e. crushing) and steam distillation (Ablard, 2016).

    Water extractions and maceration were the two extraction methods most frequently observed, solvent and heat extraction methods were the most frequently spoken about, and steam distillation was the least used method. Two reasons for this is that authentic stills are too expensive for communities to purchase, and they are not readily available in the jungles of central Peru. They are so rare that when introducing an Amazonian healer to an essential oil for the first time in his life, he spent hours examining it, questioning its therapeutic properties and applications, and connecting with the plant’s spirit (Ablard, 2016).

    While carrying out this research, donated essential oils from Stillpoint Aromatics (Sedona, AZ, USA), were given to numerous remote Peruvian Shipibo communities. The elders and plant medicine healers were trained on how to safely use them. This form of TM was greatly desired, as it was shown to enhance the overall well-being of Shipibo individuals and community members.

    Stainless Steel Still

    A fundraising initiative was launched to collect the funds for the acquisition and shipping of a 30-litre stainless steel still, expertly designed by Dr. Benoit Roger at Alchemia Solutions (Figure 1). The still’s compact design was specifically intended for the convenience of our dear Shipibo colleagues, allowing for effortless transportation during their expeditions into the Amazon rainforest. Here, they will procure essential oils from a selection of distinctive, responsibly sourced, and ecologically safe Peruvian medicinal and aromatic plants. This endeavor is poised to significantly benefit the community by fostering economic, environmental, cultural, and public health sustainability.

    The money was successfully raised for the still, which was received by the Shipibo in April 2024, and the first distillation was carried out on a Peruvian lemongrass with great success (Figures 2 and 3). We look forward to seeing what other aromatic treasures our Shipibo colleagues will create!

    A significant donation toward this initiative was made by the Canadian Alliance of Aromatherapy. My dear Shipibo colleagues are most grateful to the CAOA for supporting them, helping preserve their plant medicine, and exploring how modern meets traditional practices. Supporting Indigenous communities should be integral to ethical sourcing, a commitment the CAOA has made as a valued and esteemed member of Airmid Institute.

    About the author: Dr. Kelly Ablard is a skilled research and organizational leadership professional and the Founder and Executive Director of Airmid Institute, a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to the global education, research, and sustainable management of medicinal and aromatic plants. 


    Ablard, K. (2016). Exploring Aromatherapy as a Form of Traditional Aromatic Plant Medicine in Peru. International Journal of Professional Holistic Aromatherapy5(5), 51-61.

    Albán J. (1984). Plantas medicinales usadas en Lima para los trastornos digestivos.Thesis. Facultad de Ciencias Biologicas, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, p190.

    Bussmann R W, Malca G, Glenn A, Sharon D, Nilsen B, Parris B, Dubose D, Ruiz D, Saleda J, Martinez M, Carillo L, Walker K, Kuhlman A, Towne- smith A. (2011). Toxicity of medicinal plants used in traditional medicine in Northern Peru. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 137, p121–140.

    Bussmann R W. (2013). The Globalization of Traditional Medicine in Northern Peru: From Shamanism to Molecules. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Available: doi:10.1155/2013/291903. Last accessed 15 May 2024.

    Caceres Guido P, Ribas A, Gaioli M, Quattrone F, Macchi A. (2015). The state of the integrative medicine in Latin America: The long road to include complementary, natural, and traditional practices in formal health systems. European Journal of Integrative Medicine. 7, p5–12.

    Jauregui X, Clavo Z M, Jovel E M, Pardo-de Santayana M. (2011). Plantas con madre: Plants that teach and guide in the shamanic initiation process in the East-Central Peruvian Amazon. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 134, p739–752.

    National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA). (2016). Available: Last accessed 20 January 2016.

  • Wednesday, May 22, 2024 11:55 AM | Shannon Bachorick (Administrator)

    By Kathleen Jagassar, MA, RA, CCC, RCC

    Is Anxiety Normal? The Facts Behind This Common Feeling

    At some point over the lifespan, most people will experience anxiety. Anxiety is an emotional-based fear response to a stress stimulus and is critical for human survival. Anxiety is an effective motivator. For example, someone might report feeling anxious over an exam; this is considered appropriate, especially when the exam is determinate of a goal (such as high school graduation, or an aromatherapy certification). Anxiety may motivate the individual to study before the exam, increasing the chances of successfully passing. However, some people experience anxiety that is not congruent with the circumstances. For example, someone might feel anxious most of the time, but they do not know why. When this happens, people in the medical profession refer to it as general anxiety disorder (GAD). In 2022, GAD was prevalent in 5.2% of the Canadian population, which is double the number of people who reported GAD in 2012.[1]

    How an Aromatherapist Can Help Manage Anxiety

    Not all people who experience anxiety require interventions from counselling professionals or medical practitioners. Some people benefit from small changes to their lifestyle that can greatly impact their anxiety symptoms. Given the number of people who experience uncomfortable levels of anxiety and the potential for aromatherapy to reduce their symptoms,[2] an aromatherapist is in a position to offer assistance.

    Practical Strategies to Reduce Anxiety and Improve Wellbeing

    I often use aromatherapy in my counselling practice to deepen interventions to relieve client anxiety. These interventions do not often happen when the client is in the counselling office but instead are assigned as activities for the client to incorporate into their lifestyle. Although each client will have unique needs that will inform their particular blend and application method, I first determine if the blend will be used as a critical intervention (during intense moments of anxiety), or as a proactive intervention (encouraging a calm state). Note that the options I will introduce below do not require formal counselling training, but remember to operate within your scope of practice and only with the interventions that you are comfortable employing.

    Critical Anxiety Intervention: Breathe

    As a critical intervention, most clients prefer an aromatherapy inhaler that they can utilize immediately to couple with breathing exercises. Box breathing,[3] which promotes relaxation, or the “Long Exhale,” which is effective for activating the parasympathetic nervous system,[4] are both helpful techniques. Doing either of these techniques with the client engages them in co-regulation, an extremely useful technique for helping anyone return to a calm state. 

    Box Breathing

    Box breathing requires equal times between inhales and exhales. For example, a client might inhale for a count of four, hold their breath for a count of four, exhale for a count of four, and hold their breath for a count of four. This technique is done three to five times before returning to an automatic breathing pattern. I let the client choose their count, but I often recommend a count of four to start.

    The “Long Exhale”

    The “Long Exhale”, which is my favorite technique (both personally, and professionally), requires a longer exhale than inhale, without holding the breath. The amount of time the client counts for is up to them, but I typically recommend starting with a four/six count. In this example, the client would inhale while they count to four, and then exhale while they count to six. This technique is done three times before returning to an automatic breathing pattern but can be repeated.

    Essential Oils for Acute Situations

    In her comprehensive handbook for aromatic therapy, Essential Oils, Jennifer Peace Rhind suggests the following essential oils for acute and stressful situations: clary sage, cypress, geranium, neroli, osmanthus, patchouli, and ylang ylang.[5]

    Proactive Anxiety Interventions: Working with the Body and Mind

    As a proactive intervention, clients will benefit from activities that promote relaxation[6] and mindfulness.[7]Relaxation assists by regulating the central nervous system, and mindfulness helps calm the mind and bring it back into the present (people with anxiety fear what could happen). In this way, we target both the body and the mind to return it to a calm state. 

    Relaxation Strategies

    Progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, and guided imagery are good options to reduce anxiety symptoms.[8] Numerous cell phone apps and scripts are available online. I suggest trying them before recommending them to clients; if you like them, then you can offer them from an experiential perspective. I have found that clients appreciate personal recommendations and are more likely to try something that I have found helpful. 

    Options for Mindfulness

    Mindfulness can take on many forms. Many clients find that meditation is too difficult, so having several methods to offer can be helpful. Mindfulness is most famously described as “the awareness that emerges through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment,” by Jon Kabat-Zinn.[9] My favorite mindfulness recommendations come from the mindfulness skills group in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).[10] Activities to practise mindfulness skills are easily found through a Google search, or you can purchase resources from several sources online. Activities that are popular among my clients are those that offer suggestions for accessing mindfulness through the five senses. Examples include walking slowly outside and observing what you see without any thought, stopping for a moment to just listen; when eating, noticing the smell of the food; noticing the action of eating and the sensation of taste; and scanning your entire body and noticing the sensations inside each part. The sky is the limit in how you could couple aromatherapy with these activities. Often my clients will pick an aromatherapy roller to utilize during their mindfulness activity. 

    Essential Oils for General Anxiety

    Jennifer Peace Rhind suggests the following essential oils for chronic anxiety: basil CT linalool, bergamot, black pepper, cannabis, cedarwood (Atlas), chamomile Roman, clary sage, coriander seed, cypress, eucalyptus olida, E. stageriana, geranium, grapefruit, hemlock spruce, hinoki, jasmine, juniperberry, lavender true, lemon balm, lemongrass, mandarin, marjoram (sweet), may chang, myrtle, Nepal pepper, neroli, orange (bitter, sweet), palmarosa, patchouli, pine (black, Scots, stone), rose, rosewood, sandalwood, spruce (white), Szechuan pepper, turmeric, vanilla, andss ylang ylang.[11]

    Final Thoughts

    Aromatherapy offers a natural approach to managing anxiety symptoms that may be helpful for some people. Coupling aromatherapy with activities that have shown to be effective in reducing anxiety symptoms further empowers clients to gain control of their mind and body through evidence-based techniques. 

    About the author: Kathleen Jaggassar is a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors and a Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC) with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. She holds a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University, and received her aromatherapy certification in 2012 from the West Coast Institute of Aromatherapy. Kathleen's passion lies in helping individuals explore their inner landscapes and find pathways to deeper healing. She is particularly interested in the transformative potential of integrating evidence-based therapy techniques with holistic practices like aromatherapy and yoga. Kathleen has a small private practice in Prince George, BC.

    [1] Statistics Canada. (2023, September 22). Study: Mental disorders and access to mental health care [Press release]. Retrieved from

    [2] Gong, M., Dong, H., Tang, Y., Huang, W., & Lu, F. (2020). Effects of aromatherapy on anxiety: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Journal of affective disorders274, 1028-1040. Retrieved from

    [3] Balban, M. Y., Neri, E., Kogon, M. M., Weed, L., Nouriani, B., Jo, B., ... & Huberman, A. D. (2023). Brief structured respiration practices enhance mood and reduce physiological arousal. Cell Reports Medicine4(1).

    [4] Magnon, V., Dutheil, F., & Vallet, G. T. (2021). Benefits from one session of deep and slow breathing on vagal tone and anxiety in young and older adults. Scientific reports11(1), 19267. Retrieved from

    [5] Rhind, J. P. (2019). Essential oils (Fully revised and updated 3rd ed.). Jessica Kingsley Publishers. ISBN: 9780857013439

    [6] Kim, H. S., & Kim, E. J. (2018). Effects of relaxation therapy on anxiety disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Archives of psychiatric nursing32(2), 278-284.Retrieved from

    [7] Fumero, A., Peñate, W., Oyanadel, C., & Porter, B. (2020). The effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions on anxiety disorders. a systematic meta-review. European Journal of Investigation in Health, Psychology and Education10(3), 704-719. Retrieved from

    [8] Toussaint, L., Nguyen, Q. A., Roettger, C., Dixon, K., Offenbächer, M., Kohls, N., ... & Sirois, F. (2021). Effectiveness of progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, and guided imagery in promoting psychological and physiological states of relaxation. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine2021. Retrieved from

    [9] Kabat-Zinn, J. (2003). Mindfulness-based interventions in context: past, present, and future. Retrieved from

    [10]Linehan, M. M. (2014). DBT skills training manual (2nd ed.). Guilford Publications

    [11] Rhind, J. P. (2019). Essential oils (Fully revised and updated 3rd ed.). Jessica Kingsley Publishers. ISBN: 9780857013439

  • Friday, April 26, 2024 10:39 AM | Shannon Bachorick (Administrator)

    By Lucas Anderson, RA®, EOT®

    We just finished our 2024 spring CE event, packed with amazing information and speakers. We started the weekend with Jean-Claude Villeneuve from BoreA Canada, who shared the cyclical processes involved in the company’s distillation operation. He explained how it integrates with the local power plant to provide biomass for burning, producing steam used by BoreA to distill essential oils and generate electricity for the grid. They only harvest plants and trees from within a 50 km radius, contributing to a reduced carbon footprint and reducing it overall by up to 65% compared to traditional steam distillation setups.

    On Saturday afternoon, Eric Scott Bessalsmith shared his process for distilling high-desert conifers, removing many machines to respectfully extract the oils. While presenting, he had a run of ponderosa pine distilling in the background.

    Sunday started with Benoît Roger speaking primarily about oxidation in essential oils. He delved deep into the subject, explaining how oxidation products are tested, some of which can't be revealed through GC testing, and how some occur naturally in other essential oils. We saw a small test he conducted on five essential oils in the lab: orange, lavandin, balsam fir, lemongrass and patchouli. The results showed significant oxidation in all oils after 2.5 months of opening vial lids and being stored in clear glass vials in front of a bright window. He also briefly explained the GC test procedure.

    We concluded the weekend with Mark Webb’s presentation on CO2-extracted lipids. While he explained the process and the use of CO2, he delved deeper into regular volatiles but spent most of the time covering lipid extracts, similar to carrier oils but with significant differences in price point and benefits. Due to the extraction nature, he pointed out their longer shelf life and reduced susceptibility to oxidation when stored properly.

    The weekend event was fantastic, enlightening, and well-received. We’re grateful to the speakers for their presentations and appreciate everyone who attended. Once the videos are ready, we’ll make the recordings available for purchase to those who couldn’t join us for the live event.

    About the author: About the author: Lucas Anderson, RA®, EOT®, with seven years' experience as an aromatherapist, has been focussing on men's health and helping men achieve freedom. He has a passion for health as close to nature as possible and currently works with more than 130 essential oils. Located in Edmonton, Lucas is past president of the CFA and is currently serving on the CAOA board of directors. You can learn more about Lucas at 

  • Wednesday, March 20, 2024 5:31 PM | Shannon Bachorick (Administrator)

    By Shannon Bachorick, RA, EOT, CAHP, with responses from CAOA members

    On July 12, 2012, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared that March 20 would be known as the International Day of Happiness to recognize the relevance of happiness and wellbeing around the world. In celebration of this day, we asked our members to share which essential oil made them happy.

    As you can guess, citrus oils were found to be the happiest oils. “Sweet orange oil (Citrus sinensis) is still the most cheerful aroma around to my nose. However, it is followed veeerry closely by grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)and lemon (Citrus limon).” “Mandarin (Citrus reticulate) is so uplifting, and joyful feeling, warm and light.” Blood orange (Citrus sinensis) made the list as well as, of course, bergamot (Citrus bergamia).

    This is a perfect answer for snowy winter days: “An oil that makes me happy is geranium (Pelargonium graveolens). Its heavy floral scent reminds me of being in a garden with scented flowers all around me. But minus the allergies.”

    Jasmine made the list a few times. “I absolutely love Jasmine! I use 10% in Jojoba oil and wear it as a perfume. I find it so calming, soothing and joyful for my soul.”

    Deanna Russell commented that “The first oil that came to mind was rosalina (Melaleuca ericifolia). It’s so soft and gentle, and instantly makes me feel better.” Birgit Salling said, “Currently, peppermint (Mentha piperita) makes me happy! The one I have is from India, organic and steam distilled. When I take an inhalation from my bottle of peppermint, I instantly feel energized and uplifted which makes me happy. I enjoy peppermint tea and the essential oil smells so delicious.”

    One particularly thoughtful answer discussed how patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) makes a member feel. “As a Christian, I'm all about cultivating gratitude and finding joy in the blessings I've got. Patchouli oil helps me stay present and appreciate what I have, which totally aligns with my faith. Plus, it's got this grounding and balancing effect that helps me find balance in my body, mind, and soul. When I use patchouli oil in my self-care routine, it's like creating a chill and focused space for me to connect with God on a deeper level. It's a reminder of His presence and a way to calm my thoughts and open my heart to spiritual insights. So yeah, patchouli is my go-to for happiness and good vibes!”

    I loved the story of how May Chang (Litsea cubeba) reminds Mayumi Wolters of her favourite soap growing up. “Bath time is pretty special for Japanese family as we take a bath together often when kids are young. It was a bonding time for my mom and I. It brings up good memories and puts me smile on my face all the time.”

    This answer probably sums up the indecisiveness that most of us feel when having to pick just one oil: “Tough question - hard to pick only one - if you mean happy opposite of sad, then I look to the florals - rose (R centifolia, or especially R Damascena), jasmine (J. officinale), that sort of thing, also the vanillin in  benzoin (Styrax benzoin) is euphoric, if you mean uplifting then more citrus - bergamot (C. bergamia), if you mean peppy happy, then peppermint is always handy (Mentha pepperita), and as a general uplifting  tonic I like helichrysum (H. italicum) or melissa (M. officinalis) when needed.”

    Other oils that were mentioned are marjoram (Origamum majorana), geranium (Pelargonium graveolens),lavender (Lavendula angustifolia), Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga mensiesii), neroli (Citrus aurantium) and petitgrain (Citrus aurantium var amara). The most uncommon oil named was mimosa (Acacia decurrens), which is one I have yet to experience.

    As for the oil that makes me happy, I would have to say clary sage (Salvia sclarea), but when blended with another oil. Somehow that makes the clary sage smell sweet and juicy.

    Thank you to everyone who shared which oils make them happy!

    About the author: Shannon Bachorick completed her aromatherapy certification studies in 2016 and went on to become a Registered Aromatherapist®Essential Oil Therapist®, and Certified Aromatherapy Health Professional®. She practises in Regina, Saskatchewan, and is the founder of Santéssence Aromatherapy.

  • Saturday, February 24, 2024 1:51 PM | Kathleen Jaggassar (Administrator)

    On Moday, January 1, 2024, Lucas Anderson, Vice President of the CAOA, wrote an email to the Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate ConsultationHealth Canada, Government of Canada, regarding the concerns of new health product legislation.

    On February 7, 2024, Lucas received a reply. 

    We have provided the correspondence below for our members to review and to give direction to those who want to take action.

    Good day,

    My name is Lucas Anderson, I am the current Vice President of the Canadian Alliance of Aromatherapy (CAOA), an organization that strives to set high standards for those practicing aromatherapy professionally in Canada.  It has been brought to our attention that Health Canada is making changes to the Natural Health Products legislation that may negatively impact the practices of our members. 

    As Aromatherapy is not a Regulated Health Profession yet, it often seems that there aren’t many opportunities for us to get involved in the setting of regulations, or find it too late to get involved, which affects our members’ small businesses.  I am mostly reaching out to find out if there is any way in which the CAOA can get more involved and be included in conversations about future policy changes that might affect our members.  With the new changes being made to the Natural Health Product legislation, we welcome HC to invite us to the table to discuss the planned changes.  Thus creating a better discussion with those involved in their use and how the legislation could be made better to protect Canadians, but also protect the practitioners who help Canadians through the use of aromatic plants and compounds, Natural Health Products.  

    Please let me know if there is any way to become registered as a stakeholder, or as an organization whose members share a significant role in the use of natural health products so that we can have a voice in any future, or current changes to the NHP regulations.  We would greatly appreciate that.  Thank you, cheers.

    Dear Mr. Anderson, 

    Thank you for your correspondence regarding the regulation of natural health products (NHPs).  

    Health Canada recognizes that NHPs are important to Canadians to help support and maintain their health and is committed to supporting access to NHPs that are safe and of high quality.  

    While NHPs are generally lower risk products, they are not without risk.  

    In 2021, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development completed an audit of Health Canada’s NHP program and found both strengths and areas for improvement. Health Canada committed to undertaking a number of activities to improve the safety of these products.  

    This is not about limiting the production of NHPs or consumers’ access to them. This is about making sure the products Canadians use are safe and of high quality.  

    In July 2022, Health Canada introduced new requirements to make NHP labels easier for Canadians to read and understand, to address concerns about small font sizes and missing or unclear information.  

    In June 2023, the Government passed legislation allowing Health Canada to take more action if a serious risk to health is identified with an NHP. For example, this legislation allows Health Canada to order a recall of a product or add warnings to labels to support safe use, if necessary, which it couldn’t do before. These new authorities would only be used if a serious risk to health is identified and if a company refuses to cooperate with voluntary measures.  

    Now, Health Canada is proposing fees for industry to create an even safer marketplace for consumers and begin to recoup a portion of the costs of services it provides to industry. Presently, NHPs are the only line of health products where the regulatory activities are fully funded by Canadian taxpayers.

    Health Canada understands that many NHP companies are small businesses that provide jobs for people in Canada. That is why the Department is considering measures to mitigate the impact of the new fees. This includes fee reductions for small businesses ranging between 25% to 50%, and a full waiver of pre-market evaluation fees for small businesses marketing their first product. 

    The Department is actively reviewing thousands of comments received on its fee proposal, including the fee reduction for small businesses, as part of an open and transparent consultation process. Health Canada is considering how best to adjust its proposed approach to address the concerns raised in order to protect Canadians and support businesses. 

    We recommend that you register with Health Canada’s Consultation and Stakeholder Information Management System (CSIMS) to be informed and consulted on health topics. For more information about the registry, please consult our FAQs.

    Everyone is eligible to register and you may unsubscribe at any time. You can register as a member of an organization, as an individual or as both. Your information will be collected and kept safe in accordance with the federal Privacy Act. Once your registration has been verified, you will receive a user name and password in your email within 5 business days.

    If you have any questions or concerns please contact

    Thank you for your interest in the regulation of NHPs and we hope this information is helpful. For more information on our recent initiatives, please visit:

    Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate ConsultationHealth Canada, Government of Canada 

    Direction des Produits de santé naturels et sans ordonnance consultation

    Santé Canada, Gouvernement du Canada

    Lucas has registered the CAOA as a member of Canada’s Consultation and Stakeholder Information Management System (CSIMS).

    We encourage all CAOA Members to do the same. 

    Please follow this link to register.

  • Thursday, February 15, 2024 9:12 PM | Shannon Bachorick (Administrator)

    February is the month of love, and what better way to show your love for someone (or yourself!) than with the gift of massage. An age-old practice, massage can reduce stress; increase relaxation; reduce pain, muscle soreness and tension; improve circulation, energy and alertness; lower heart rate and blood pressure; and improve immune function.(1) The therapeutic properties of essential oils are a perfect complement to the benefits of massage. Aroma massage combines both inhalation and topical absorption of essential oils, making this a powerful healing modality.

    In Clinical Aromatherapy: Essential Oils in Practice (2), Jane Buckle cites several studies on the dermal absorption of essential oils, with some essential oil constituents ending up in the bloodstream in as little as 10 minutes and being stored in the skin for up to 72 hours. The practice of selecting and blending essential oils for an individual goes back to the 1950s, when Marguerite Maury pioneered aromatherapy massage and the concept of the “individual prescription.” This custom blend of essential oils can be left to penetrate the skin long after the massage has ended, thereby continuing the therapeutic benefits of the massage.

    When applying essential oils to the skin, a carrier oil must always be used to avoid irritation and to ensure even distribution. A 1.5% dilution is perfect for a full-body aroma massage, otherwise the scent can become overwhelming. In The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (3), Julia Lawless recommends going up to a 3% dilution for certain ailments that require stronger dilution. In this instance, the massage should be localized to the area of complaint or a hand or foot massage rather than a full-body massage. Pour your carrier oil into a small dish or cup then add the essential oils that you have selected, being mindful of each oil’s dermal maximum.

    The sky is the limit when blending for massage, as long as you are within safe dilution ratios for topical application and are working with an adult who is not pregnant or breastfeeding, or does not have a blood-clotting disorder. To maximize the benefits of the massage, select essential oils that will do double duty by addressing more than one complaint. For instance, lavender has both sedative and anti-inflammatory constituents and would therefore benefit someone having difficulty sleeping due to achy joints. Take note of each essential oil’s scent profile and, if possible, choose a base, middle and top note for a well-rounded blend.

    While the essential oil blend is the star of the massage oil, we cannot overlook the supporting role of the carrier oils. Carrier oils also have their own unique benefits. Many registered massage therapists choose coconut oil for their massage oil as it washes easily from linens and has little to no fragrance. However, there are many other skin-loving carrier oils that provide the right amount of slip for a massage including almond, jojoba, olive and sunflower.

    While it is best to select and blend the massage oil for an individual session, here are a few examples of massage oils for common complaints and requests:

    Achy body blend:
    20 mL of any carrier oil(s)
    2 drops black pepper (Piper nigrum)
    2 drops marjoram (Origanum majorana)
    1 drop frankincense (Boswellia serrata)

    Belly blues blend:
    20 mL of any carrier oil(s)
    2 drops sweet orange (Citrus sinensis)
    2 drops cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)
    1 drops ginger (Zingiber officinale)

    Relaxation blend:
    20 mL of any carrier oil(s)
    2 drops mandarin (Citrus reticulata)
    2 drops lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
    1 drop vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides)

    Setting the mood blend:
    20 mL of any carrier oil(s)
    2 drops rose (Rosa damascena)
    1 drops patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)
    1 drop ylang ylang 
    (Cananga odorata)
    1 drops jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum or sambac)

    Have fun experimenting with different carriers and blends of essential oils, and spreading the love!

    About the author: Shannon Bachorick completed her aromatherapy certification studies in 2016 and went on to become a Registered Aromatherapist®, Essential Oil Therapist® and Certified Aromatherapy Health Professional®. She practises in Regina, Saskatchewan, and is the founder of Santéssence Aromatherapy


    (2) Buckle, Jane. Clinical Aromatherapy: Essential Oils in Practice, Third Edition. 2015. Page 18.

    (3)Lawless, Julia. Encyclopedia of Essential Oils. 2013. Page 52.

  • Sunday, January 21, 2024 11:04 AM | Shannon Bachorick (Administrator)

    By Shannon Bachorick, RA®, EOT®, CAHP®

    It’s January. It is cold, dark, and there are 31 long days of it. All of the holiday joy has been put away until next year, and skeletons of Christmas trees are littering front lawns waiting to be recycled. If that scene isn’t dismal enough, much of the country is freezing under a polar vortex. All this makes for a very SAD situation. 

    Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, affects people throughout the world but is more prevalent the further you live from the Equator. It occurs primarily during winter, when there is increased cloud cover and fewer hours of sunlight during the day. People experiencing SAD typically feel unhappy or even depressed, and they sleep and eat more. They lose interest in work and other activities they once enjoyed. It is much like clinical depression, but it experienced only during a certain time during the year. 

    Even though we know SAD is cyclical and short-lived, it is still not pleasant to endure. Some people find relief with special light therapy lamps that mimic sunlight. Aromatherapy is another effective way to chase away the blues. Inhaling essential oils, especially with a nasal inhaler, is the quickest and safest way to get essential oils into your body and interacting with your limbic system.

    When using aromatherapy for SAD, it is best to reach for oils that will support you emotionally by soothing and uplifting your mood and energizing your spirit. Citrus oils are like sunshine in a bottle and will perk you up instantly. Lemon, lime and sweet orange are bright and invigorating. Bergamot, mandarin and yuzu are slightly more floral not as sparkly but have the added benefit of alleviating sad and anxious feelings. Grapefruit is wonderfully energizing, and is also often used as an appetite suppressant. Choose any or all of these oils to create a master blend and have at the ready for when you start to feel SAD.

    When diffusing essential oils, add five drops of undiluted oil to an ultrasonic diffuser and diffuse for 30 minutes on and 30 minutes off to avoid becoming overwhelmed or having the oils produce the opposite effect of what they are meant to do. When taking a nasal inhaler on the go, add a maximum of 15 drops of essential oil and inhale as needed. While diffuser jewellery is another great way to use aromatherapy throughout your day, it is best to choose non-phototoxic essential oils and dilute the oils before applying to your diffuser jewellery. From the list provided above, caution must be taken with lemon, lime, grapefruit and especially bergamot. Use furocoumarin-free bergamot and the steam-distilled version of the other citrus oils to be safe from irritation.

    Alleviating the symptoms of SAD will help you enjoy life again, get you off the couch and away from the fridge, and outside to enjoy the longer days and brighter skies. Spring is on the horizon, sometimes we need a little help opening our senses to see how close it is!

    About the author: Shannon Bachorick received her aromatherapy certification in 2017 and is currently working toward certification in reflexology. She practises in Regina, Saskatchewan, and is the founder of Santéssence Aromatherapy.

  • Sunday, December 17, 2023 5:51 AM | Shannon Bachorick (Administrator)

    By Jeannine Millan, RA®, EOT®, RMT®, and Usui Reiki master/teacher

    Benefits of Essential Oils in Energy or Frequency Work

    Over the years, I have come to find that essential oils are an integral part of my overall combined therapy that I give each client.  

    Let’s begin with the known frequencies of the oils. These have been spoken of by many aromatherapists and companies that market essential oils.  

    Getting a frequency to be absolute is tough as each batch of oil can have a completely different frequency due to growing issues, hydration that season, and location of growing area.  The best we can do is go with the standard frequency count that a MLM did back in the 1990s.  

    Frequencies of Essential Oils and Their Benefits for the Spiritual Aspect

    The human body vibrates at 62–78 MHz and the human brain vibrates at 72 MHz.

    The neck up vibrates at 72–78 and the body vibrates at 60–68 MHz.

    The thyroid and parathyroid vibrate at 62–68 MHz.

    The thymus gland vibrates at 65–68 MHz.

    The heart vibrates at 67–70 MHz.

    The lungs vibrate at 58–65 MHz.

    The liver vibrates at 55–60 and the pancreas at 60–80 MHz.

    Cells begin to change when your frequency drops below 60 MHz.

    You can develop cold or flu symptoms at 58 MHz.

    Candida can set in at 55 MHz.

    A serious condition like cancer can begin to thrive at 42 MHz.

    The death process begins at 20 MHz.

    Essential oils can help keep your frequency up to ward off some of these conditions. 

    Let’s say you were measured by a biofeedback machine and your frequency was at 68 MHz. If you pick up a cup of coffee, your frequency will drop by three points. 

    If you remove the coffee and smell an essential oil, your frequency can go up by three or more points, depending on the oil and its frequency.  

    The key is to maintain a frequency at 70 MHz or more by removing foods, drinks and environmental conditions that will drop your frequency. If you are often in compromising situations where the environment or area you live in is out of your control, then you need to rely on your choices in other areas to make up the difference.

    Consider living by the 80/20% rule, meaning 80% of the time you are adhering to your idea of good lifestyle habits and 20% of the time you could be enjoying some items or events (concerts, games, flights) where your environment may be compromised. Utilizing essential oils in these cases can be highly beneficial.   

    Essential oil (undiluted)

     Frequency in MHz
     Rose oil  320
     Helichrysum  180
     Frankincense  147
     Ravensara  134
     Lavender  118
     Myrrh  105
     German chamomile (blue)  105
     Bergamot  105
     Melissa  102
     Juniper berry  98
     Sandalwood  96

    Higher frequencies are of optimal benefit; however, not everyone will feel great around the higher frequencies as they can be stimulating.  

    People with ADHD or autism may benefit from lower-frequency oils as they can be less stimulating. It is worth noting that lavender is a higher frequency oil but overall is a balancer so if you’re agitated it will help reduce the anxiety.

    There are thousands of oils and all of them have a frequency but many have not been recorded. The above mentioned frequencies are the ones I have found. Your frequency can be determined through a biofeedback session. Seek out one near you. 

    There are many other foods, drinks, supplements and activities that can raise your frequency. Here are a few examples: 

    Fresh foods: 20–27 MHz

    Fresh herbs: 20–27 MHz

    Dried foods: 15–22 MHz

    Canned food: 0 MHz

    Practise mediation, yoga, qigong, tai chi, any mindful or spiritually connected activity, reiki energy healing, or other type of modality for energy. 

    Prayer, positive intent programs, listening to 528 MHz frequency or higher music.

    Pure spring water, using crystals in your water, tinctures from an organic source.

    Purchase or grow your own organic foods, vegetables, and microgreens without pesticides and avoid conventional agriculture if possible. A tower garden is great for those who do not have a back yard or access to a garden. As a bonus, you can get the vegetables and herbs year-round with a tower garden.  

    It is also great to be mindful of what you are thinking about throughout the day. In today’s world we are inundated with bad news, whether it’s on the regular news stations, TV or movies or even on the alternative news networks. You must decide just how much you can absorb daily and stick to that as your boundary.  

    Listing or saying out loud what you are grateful for each day is great practice. The more positive thoughts your mind gets to process, the less likely you are to fall into the abyss or feel overwhelmed.

    My Experiences Using Essential oils for Energywork

    Frankincense is a must as it has a high frequency to knock out or remove stagnant energies around the body within our etheric fields. I prefer the frereana chemotype as it is subtle but seems to have a higher frequency. 

    Chakras within the etheric system are portals that connect to certain endocrine glands within our body and give energy workers and yoga practitioners a sense of the person's energy system. The seven major chakras are: 

    Crown energy from universe, heaven, God, Buddha, Allah all come through your crown portal. This portal should be left open to absorb the positive energies from whomever you feel is up there for you. Rosewood, frankincense, and sandalwood are best here. I drop one or all the oils onto the crown, which is on the top of your head. Frankincense helps quieten the mind, and get rid of the chatter, so to speak, so you can focus on a meditation or yoga breathing practice. I make sprays for the entire chakra system. You can make a spray or just anoint yourself on the areas listed.

    Third eye is situated just outside of but between your two physical eyes and is the woman’s power centre. Our intuition lies here and our ability to see others on a spiritual scale. When this is blocked, headaches and facial twitching can occur, to name a few. The best oils for this are juniper berry and rosemary.

    Throat is all about communication, speaking, writing, or non-verbal communication. Often this chakra is cluttered and needs support and clearing. Best oils for this are the chamomiles, both German and Roman. A spray made with the chamomiles and rose, if you have it, are ideal. All you need of rose oil is just a drop. It magnifies the spray, blend or cream with as little as that and raises the frequency of whatever you put it in. These chamomile oils are also beneficial for people about to pass over. They help them to see the journey ahead and not feel scared to go. 

    Heart is all about love: love for self, others, and the world we live in. This is usually quite depleted with most people and the blend of rose, neroli, ylang ylang and bergamot can set this on a better path. Much may be needed in regards to forgiveness and patience.  

    Solar plexus is the man’s power centre. Most martial arts teach that as well. This chakra reflects control issues, either within us or put upon us. This chakra energetically feeds the others so it is crucial that it not become depleted. Juniper berry and vetiver are good ones to use on this area.  

    Sacral islocated in the belly or belly button and reflects the images in our mind and bodies. The sweetness of sandalwood and ylang ylang makes for a great body spray.  

    Root is connected to your root of life. Your work, family, and connection to community are all reflected in this chakra. It’s the grounding chakra connection to earth. The oils are myrrh and patchouli.

    To make a spray, ideally the mixture is 3%. I use an emulsifier but aloe vera gel can do well. Cover the bottom of the sprayer with the emulsifier or gel then add your essential oils to that then mix and top off with distilled water. Distilled water is crucial as all other waters will have elements in them like calcium which can eventually block the sprayer. For a 30 mL bottle, add 0.9 mL of oils or 20 drops; 60 mL bottle, add 1.8 mL or 40–45 drops of essential oil, 120 mL bottle, add 3.60mL or 90 drops of essential oil.

    About the author: Jeannine Millan, RA®, EOT®, RMT®, and Usui Reiki master/teacher has worked with essential oils since about 2000 in her massage therapy practice and when teaching Reiki.  Visit for more information about Jeannine’s offerings.


  • Saturday, October 28, 2023 3:36 PM | Shannon Bachorick (Administrator)

    By Anita Kalnay, RA® EOT®

    Self-care has become our personal ritual, and baths or showers and the water element may offer the renewal that we seek.

    Here are a few statistics: 

    According to Perfumer and Flavorist, “On a 1-10 scale of the importance of scent, ‘scent in my bathtub products’ received 9.3. Women’s post-bathing go-to products are body lotions (95%), body creams (68%), and body butters (50%). Interestingly, women switch scents often and for a variety of reasons. 65% of women change out scents on a regular basis, while 31% switch out shower scents each month and 22% change scents weekly. 72% switch scents on impulse after discovering a new scent in-store, 50% switch scents based on mood, 46% switch scents to match the season, 41% switch because they’re bored with the usual, and 68% try to match bath/shower scents to post-bathing skin care scents.”

    10 Keys to Uncovering the Value of our Creative Services as Aromatherapists

    1. Scent can be customized to offer relaxation and/or increased energy for your mind and body! As aromatherapists, we already know this as we have been customizing scents for our clients since the industry was born. That’s our super power! I love the fact that each of us is different and although it certainly is possible to create generic fragrances, the art in it might be the element of customizing using a client-centred design. 

    2. The bridge that links the mind and the body is emotions. With the range of sensation involved in emotions, this bridge is like a rainbow! We know from colour theory that each colour has a different vibrational frequency and that it can be related to the energetics of the chakra system. So, using colour as part of our creations can also be a stimulus as well as a creative opportunity to explore our aromatic design abilities. 

    3. The skin is the largest organ in the body, inside and out! So a focus on products that can be applied to the skin before, during or after a bath/shower experience can be key tools for well-being.

    Massaging the skin stimulates the nerves that lie close to the surface, offering a soothing and nourishing experience. In India, everyone from babies to grandparents gets a daily massage! This not only connects the generations, but also offers the therapy of touch. 

    4. It is not limited to gender as men love beard oils, body scrubs, creams, deodorants and gels just as much as women. And all of these can be created from naturally sourced ingredients. 

    5. Nature is key and our self-care rituals can reconnect us to nature even if we live in an apartment in the city. Scent revives our senses and anchors an element of earthly delight to the start or end of our day. Each element offers a different energetic component so it can also anchor a fiery, airy or watery delight.

    6. Trust is the primary essential element in relating to our clients and potential clients. They want to trust us as product designers and aromatherapy specialists. But most of all, it’s not just the products themselves, but also the relationship of trust and the feedback that they can offer us that allows us to make better products and understand how our clients use them.

    7. The joy of creating. Whether you offer your services and products as a full-time career or even just as a hobby, the joy of engaging in the creative process offers originality and meaning. The focus that it takes to count all those drops can be soothing in an otherwise hectic world. As aromatherapists, we love what we do! 

    8. The design and presentation of our products is like creating beauty and gifting it to others to enjoy. I love it when I can create a gift box of products and mail it to a client or drop it off. There is a delight and a reward in the surprise and joy that they receive from exploring a new scent. And even more so if it is customized specifically for them. 

    9. Exploring sustainability. Yes, lately prices have gone up and our industry has shifted due to availability, but many colourful and aromatic plants grow in our backyard and park areas! Exploring ways to use more local options can be very sustainable. 

    Something to explore:
    This past summer, in order to keep our prices reasonable and not just escalate because everyone else was, we decided to dry flowers for colour to use in bath salts and also learned as a group to distill hydrosols. This will be an ongoing process to explore as many people are not familiar with the scope of what can be done with a hydrosol.

    10. The nose knows! Hope is on the horizon. Nature always finds a way to restore balance and harmony. She can be our teacher. And our nose always guides us to what we love, what we need and what we don’t like. The nose knows. The accuracy of our attraction to a scent that can offer benefit is likely 100%. As an example, after doing a bit of research on the scents that I or my clients like best, it's easy to see the correlation to health issues, as well as emotional attraction to just what we need. 

    Anita Kalnay, RA®, EOT®, has more than 30 years of full-time practice as an aromatherapist and intuitive healer. She holds a diploma in Spiritual PhytoEssencing and has completed more than 3,200 certified hours in other natural health modalities. She is also a natural perfume designer and works with more than 500 essential oils. She can be found at

    Photo by Karolina Grabowska

  • Monday, June 26, 2023 6:11 AM | Kathleen Jaggassar (Administrator)

    The board of directors is considering joining the Airmid Institute. We will gather your feedback on this decision in the upcoming membership poll. One of the main objectives of this membership level is to establish guidelines for sustainability curricula which CAOA recognized schools would ultimately adhere to, and members receive many additional benefits as noted below.

    Overall, benefits include:

    1. A 1.5-hour consultation with Dr. Kelly Ablard (Kelly) and the CAOA Board of Directors and CAOA Education Committee to discuss critical parameters around sustainability principles, concepts, and practical components to include as required curricula guidelines

    2. Following the consultation, a thorough review by Kelly of the working curricula guidelines with in-depth tracked feedback, followed by one more thorough review of the revised curricula

    3. A 1.5-hour virtual or pre-recorded webinar presented by Kelly OR CAOA's choice of an upcoming or password-protected Airmid webinar recording for CAOA members. 

    4.A 20% discount off an annual Basic or Pay-it-Forward membership is extended to CAOA Directors, CAOA staff, and active CAOA members.

    5. Access to additional and evolving internal resources, which will help further advance CAOA's dedication to sustainability.

    6. The Airmid Institute Association Membership logo (.png and .jpg) is to be used on CAOA's website and social media, demonstrating CAOA's dedication to implementing quality and current sustainability guidelines

    7. The CAOA logo highlighted on Airmid's website as a valued Association Member

    8. Airmid's triennial newsletter Green Telegram is available for CAOA Directors and CAOA members.

    9. The Airmid Institute Biannual List of Threatened, Near Threatened, and CITES-Protected Plants, Mammals, Fungi, and Seaweed Species Used in Aromatherapy, Perfumery, and Aromatic Herbalism available for Association Directors and CAOA members. 

    This list is translated into Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, Ukrainian, German, Croatian, French, and Russian. The biannual list is scheduled to be released on July 1, 2023, and will also be translated into Greek and Italian. 

    10. Updates on special events and invitations for CAOA members to attend public webinars hosted by Airmid Institute.

    Can't wait for the membership poll to share your thoughts? Email us or add a comment to let us know what you think.

    Find out more about the Airmid Institute here.

<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   Next >  Last >> 
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software