This week we talked with Robin B. Kessler, a professional aromatherapist from New Jersey (United States), who has over 15 years of study and practice in the area. With this interview you can know a bit more about the uses of oils and lotions to improve your well-being, but also to trust only trained professionals and the problems in the commercialization of certain products. Check out the interview below!
Do you believe Aromatherapy is for everyone or in some cases can work better and be more effective?
Yes I do, it is more effective because as long as it is used safely and effectively it has less side effects than conventional medicine . You must get a proper education on learning the chemistry that is in these oils. They are made up of about 100 different chemicals and you need to understand each one before you can purchase them for yourself or family members.
You have over 900 hours of Aromatherapy education mostand a 15 year-career. Are you still surprised about the results and how aromas affect us?
Most definitely, I am always learning new techniques and new ways to use essential oils. I still take courses from many fellow colleagues who have more knowledge than I have.
What cases stuck in your mind in your career as an aromatherapist?
Helping those in Hospice. Aromatherapy can help those with stress, anxiety and even pain. I have seen those that have high amounts of stress being so sick, when proper aromatherapy is used helps them cope better and eases their fear of dying. It can also help with pain and inflammation especially in hands and feet since they spend so much time in bed.
Mental health issues are a big problem today, affecting people from all ages, locations and contexts. What oils and lotions can help to mitigate those conditions?
There are many oils and lotions that can help but you have to understand that many essential oils can cause many side effects to people who are on prescription and over the counter drugs. One has to be a certified aromatherapist to know which oils can help a particular person and how to use them.
A few examples are Frankincense Boswellia neglecta, Sweet Orange (latin name-Citrus sinensis), Petitgrain (Citrus x aurantium), these are used for stress and anxiety. There are lots more but then I would have to give you a class on them.
Can you please share with us the idea behind your book Frankincense Resins?
I wanted an additional alternative medicine method. Essential Oils are great but they do have a lot of restrictions. They cannot be used for long periods of time due to the fact they are so highly concentrated, resins are the raw material not concentrated. Resins can be used in herbal infusions for a longer period of time without the problem of sensitization that essential oils can have.
Essential oils cannot be used during chemotherapy. Frankincense resins herbal infusions can. Essential oils cannot be used on cats because they do not have the enzyme to break up the oil, frankincense resins do not have this problem. Some are actually edible for humans and animals. Many essential oils cannot be used on children. Resin infusions can but I still tell mothers to ask your pediatrician first and to use common sense. Also essential oils are configured through dilution percentages, resins are not because they are not concentrated.
These reasons gave me the ability to use the resins in cases where I cannot use the essential oil and in some cases actually made my clients feel much better. I suggest that people purchase my book so they can understand which resin does what and how to use them. It took me 3 yrs to write this book and I wrote it so the layman or professional can understand it. Plus I give you recipes on how to use the resins.
You mention in your blog the problem with the commercial sale of essential oils and also the obsession with lavender. Can you share more with us?
Essential oils come from natural plant products. There has been a wide push in commercial tv sales on everything having the essential oil in them. Essential oils should be used for a medical purpose only. They have many therapeutic properties to it and are not meant to be used in detergents or air fresheners. Because they are so highly concentrated, how does one know if you are allergic to a particular essential oil? You can develop a rash and not even realize it is coming from the essential oil.
As for lavender- not only is it a calming agent but it can be stimulating and can make one agitated. So the child that is smelling the blanket that has lavender fabric softener in it could actually be agitating him and he cannot fall asleep, but you do not see this because it is a “commercial”
Another problem is if you over abuse the usage of essential oils, some of these plants will eventually become endangered, then what.