“Dealing with difficult memories or feelings doesn’t always feel great. Aromatherapy oils can help the process of feeling those things so it’s not as painful to get to the other side.” – Renee Hughes
Today’s Become an Unstoppable Woman topic is a bit different from my other episodes. We’re talking all about essential oils and the benefits of aromatherapy.
As you know, I’m always looking for ways to compliment coaching. Whether it’s through meditation, bodywork, new personality assessments, books, style, or any new way of thinking, I’m here for it.
As a coach, I believe that learning and self- improvement is never ending. And when I find new methods that excite me, I can’t wait to hit record and share them with you.
So you can imagine my excitement when I recently met Renee Hughes, a certified professional aromatherapist who focuses on the emotional effects of aromatherapy and essential oils. She is a coach and consultant in the aromatherapy world and teaches others the same knowledge and skills she has.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to start selling essential oils to my followers, and that’s not what Renee is here to do either. This episode is just a great introduction to the benefits aromatherapy provides and how to start to use essential oils in your life.
It turns out, aromatherapy is a great compliment for coaching sessions, yoga, therapy, or even your own meditations.
I know I’m going to be using some of the tips Renee provides in my life. I hope you’ll have takeaways of your own as well.
Listen to this episode at the top of the page.
RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
Episode 135: AROMATHERAPY BENEFITS
This is the Become an Unstoppable Woman podcast with Lindsay Preston Episode 135, AROMATHERAPY BENEFITS.
Welcome to the Become an Unstoppable Woman podcast, the show for goal-getting, fear-facing women who are kicking ass by creating change. I’m your host, Lindsay Preston. I’m a wife, mom of two, and a multi-certified life coach to women all over the world. I’ve lived through enough in life to know that easier doesn’t always equate to better. We can’t fear the fire, we must learn to become it. On this show, I’ll teach you how to do just that. Join me as I challenge you to become even more of the strong, resilient, and powerful woman you were meant to be. Let’s do this.
Hi there my friend, welcome to another episode of this show. Today I have on Renée Hughes. Renée is going to teach you all about aromatherapy. Now, Renée is not somebody who just randomly picked up oils one day and said, “Oh, I want to sell this.” She knows her stuff. She is certified in aromatherapy. She’s going to go through her background here on this interview, so you know even more about it. From that, she has then developed programs to teach other coaches and holistic practitioners all about aromatherapy. She has a program called “The Holistic Champions Aromatherapy School.” Then she also has a program that anyone can take called “The Mood Makeover Method.” Which is an emotional detox program that does some coaching work and then ties that with aromatherapy.
I really loved this interview with her. I learned a lot about how to incorporate in my own work with some oils and aromatherapy to allow myself to open up more, to feel less anxiety, to even feel more focused. I know personally a lot of tangible things that I’m going to start implementing in my life to help me out even more. You will see in this interview with Renée, we’re not saying, “Oh, oils and aromatherapy is a way to make yourself feel great.”
Yes, it can help you feel better for sure, but the ultimate message of this interview too, is that you’ve got to do deep work along with doing things like aromatherapy to really have deep long-lasting effects and impact. We even talk about some health things too, of using aromatherapy and oils as a way to supplement your life, but to not use it as a way to dodge any kind of medical care as well.
I think Renée has a great mindset in regards to aromatherapy, just really grounded in it. There are some people out there that just like throw all medical advice out the window and just want to do all holistic stuff, which is great. If that’s you, that’s fine. I love where Renée stands as like, here’s how we use medicine and here’s how we use aromatherapy. I hope you enjoy this interview with Renée.
Lindsay: I’m so excited to have you today Renée to talk all things aromatherapy. Let’s just start from the very beginning. The basics. Even though a lot of us are very well aware of things like essential oils, what is aromatherapy defined?
Renée Hughes: It is a science. You hear it, the word thrown about quite a bit, but it’s actually a science. It is the science of using plant-based chemicals, plant chemistry for therapy, for energetic therapy, meaning emotional support and physical therapy, therapeutic benefits. The chemistry within these oils are able to help us with a plethora of clinical issues. Real aromatherapy often hear me talk about real aromatherapy. Real aromatherapy is actually quite clinical. It’s a plant-based chemistry used in therapy.
Lindsay: How did you get into this?
Renée: Oh gosh. Okay. I wanted to have my own business and since 2009, my husband and I left corporate world in 2009, never looked back. We started our own businesses and I have a passion for business. I started on that end, but inside I always wanted something health and wellness because that, those were my two loves and I couldn’t figure out how to get them to merge and I finally had figured that out. In 2013, I was like, I’m going back to school. I was trying not to go back to school. I’m too old to go back to school. I don’t want to start over. I did in 2013, I went back to school and got my certification as a Holistic Health Consultant. Then I wanted to specialize.
I had really fallen in love with using essential oils. I wanted to know the science. I’m just one of those people that I want to know really how it works. Not just how somebody tells me and all these outlandish stories, but I want to know why it works and how it works. I went to school again and specialized in aromatherapy. Since then I have just really devoted myself to studying psycho aromatherapy, which just means the emotional effect that aromatherapy has or essential oils have on our mind or our central nervous system. That is how I got into it. That’s the short version.
Lindsay: Yes. I wanted to touch on that because I know when you and I met in our networking group, you’re like, “I don’t even sell oils.” What’s your technical title, Renée?
Renée: It is a certified professional aromatherapist.
Lindsay: A lot of people, they hear that right and you said, they think, “Oh, she’s going to sell me young living oils or whatever.”
Renée: I don’t sell them. There’s no judgment. I know a lot of people can’t stand the MLMs. I used to be there, but it was one of the reasons why I wanted to come out of that world and be educated because the challenge in that world of MLM is that the education is not there. They have little education, but there’s a lot of misinformation. I’m just so grateful that I got a full education so that I could now serve as a coach and a consultant and leave behind that type of a world with sales. There’s no judgment. They are wonderful people who really do care about the health of individuals, but it’s just not what I do. What I do is very clinical. It’s quite different from MLM.
Lindsay: Yes, because the biggest one is you don’t even sell oils. You’re teaching people how to use aromatherapy. You’ve talked about with me in our networking group. You’ve got two different programs in essence. Can you touch on that?
Renée: Yes. Two different programs that marry each other, but it’s my primary program is the Holistic Champions International School of Aromatherapy. We certify our students to become either a central oil specialist or aromatherapists themselves. What makes the program really unique is at the same time that they are becoming certified, we also teach them how to build a successful practice. What we found is that a lot of people have certifications in this wellness holistic arena, but they’re not using them because they get certified. They learn the information, they learn the science, but then they don’t know how to grow a business.
Then you have all these people growing businesses who don’t know the science. I just brought it together and I teach them both so that they can leave my school, opening a practice or scaling a practice. I really like to have my students be people who are already coaching or are already in business, but they want to integrate aromatherapy. They want to scale up. They want bigger transformations because aromatherapy does that with any practice. It really helps to make it better. That’s what we do in Holistic Champions. Then my second program is called The Mood Makeover Method. The Mood Makeover Method actually came before Holistic Champions.
Holistic Champions is my, the school is probably my primary thing. Now what I’m really known for. The Mood Makeover Method is a methodology that I came up with as I was studying psycho-aromatherapy. I put together a method that really has transformed people from the inside out. It’s more than just like a mindset thing. We combined mindset principles, capacity theories, along with adjusting body chemistry. The central nervous system, helping people to come out of that state of being stuck in sympathetic mode.
Everybody knows the fight or flight, we’re stuck in that because of our lifestyle. The method helps us to get out of that mode and to naturally fluctuate between sympathetic and parasympathetic as we were designed to do versus, “I’m stuck here.” It’s a holistically balancing program that really is designed for emotional support, but it’s just soul work that really helps people to heal chemically, naturally. There’s no spiritual aspect that’s added to that. It really is about a person connecting deep within themselves mentally and emotionally, and then reconnecting with others humans. Then they are able to thrive more spiritually and all these things because the barriers have been removed. Those are my two primary programs.
Lindsay: Yes. I hear from the other one, I can’t ever remember names, Renée. Not your school, the other one. What’s the name of it?
Renée: Mood Makeover Method.
Lindsay: Makeover Method. That’s such a great name. Makeover Method that you’re doing mindset stuff, but using aromatherapy along with that. My question now for you is say, someone’s not going through your school yet or going through the Mood Makeover Method, did I get that right?
Renée: Yes. It’s a mouthful.
Lindsay: It is and I love it. Maybe they’re just doing their own work with a coach or a therapist, or just on their own journey. How can they start to incorporate just a little bit of aromatherapy to get a taste of adding that in?
Renée: Such a great question. We have therapists and psychiatrists, and things like that go through our school for that reason. If you’re doing it on your own journey and you have a coach, that’s maybe just doing mindset or maybe just therapy or things like that, what you can do is you can use the oils before you go into session, and even during session. It really is going to help you to get more out of it. If you’re going through a coaching or a therapy and you feel like, “I’m getting better, but it’s not like, I need more.” What we’ve been told from our clients is that even those who are on medication, they feel like they get a fuller relief for depression, anxiety, and things like that because of the oils and these extra methods that are included.
What you can do is you can literally just inhale some oil. Before you get in, you can buy little inhalers. Amazon has aromatic inhalers where you just fill up the little cotton wick with oils, and you just inhale it. You can do that before you go in. If you have a bottle of oils, you can just drop some in your hand, put it over your nose and inhale that before you go into your session or even during session. You’re going to get more out of that session. You’re going to be more open to understand, to even hear what they’re saying. You’re going to be less anxious.
If you find that you go into session, you go in to talk to your coach, maybe it’s a business coach, and they’re helping you rearrange your life, and you’re just like, “Oh gosh, this is overwhelming.” Have your oils before you go, it’s going to change how you think about it. It’s going to change how you even express yourself to your therapist, or to your coach, or to whoever you’re working with. Just take some oils like lavender, some of the basic ones that usually always work well for everybody. Lavender, everybody loves lavender, sweet orange. Any of the citruses, lime, grapefruit is wonderful for this. Julie, Roman chamomile.
These are some great ones, even ones that are– If you find that you’re having difficulty opening, your therapist wants to talk about something, or your coach wants to talk about something. They’re asking you questions, and you almost just feel blank. What you want to do on that case is to use oils that are known to help the respiratory system, because there’s a connection between our breath and opening up emotionally. Think about eucalyptus. All of us know about eucalyptus, from a kid. You have a cold, you can’t breathe, your parents rub your chest, and we know that aroma, that eucalyptus. It just opens things up. Well, it does the same thing emotionally.
If you’re having that issue, you can inhale a blend that has eucalyptus in it, or Ravensara, which is a softer one, especially if you have asthma. You can use those, just inhale it. Just the slow diaphragmatic breathing through the nose, out through the mouth, and enjoy like three sets of that as you’re going into session, and again, even during session, you can do that.
Lindsay: Wow, eucalyptus. I want to remember that.
Lindsay: Yes, because when I go to yoga, they’ll pass it around, usually, a lavender, and we’ll smell that. I’ve been going to a chiropractor, and at the end, she rubs on my neck peppermints. I agree with what you say. It’s like taking what I got just from a chiropractor, and then it lingers. I just smell that peppermint for hours, and it tingles on my neck, and I’m like, “Oh,” almost like you said, opening up, but even like solidifying more of what just happened.
Renée: Yes, absolutely. That’s it.
Renée: Like making it go a little deeper.
Lindsay: Yes. I’ve never thought about going into a session and smelling it to open myself up or to even being about clarity. That’s genius. That’s really great. Yes. Go ahead, yes.
Renée: I was just going to say definitely try that the next time you go.
Lindsay: Yes, for sure. Okay, you mentioned this earlier with people who get into oils, because I know like Young Living was a big thing for a while and it still is. Of course, I got like my intro set, and then you get your little mixes you can make, and then you get in certain groups, and all of a sudden, it’s like we’re using this for this method, and this for this, and this for that. You try things out, but you’re also like, “Can I really do this instead of taking this medication, I can just use oils.” Where can we make sure we’re not crossing the line there? What’s your take on that?
Renée: Such a good question. I’m so passionate about this subject. I love Young Living, and I love Doterra. I really do because their oils are amazing for one thing, even as an aromatherapist I will tell you that if you’ve invested in that it’s not a bad investment. The challenge is that people should not be encouraged to use essential oils instead of their medication. Only your healthcare providers should be taking you off your medication, or even suggesting it. There are major complications that can happen with people trying to self-medicate and take themselves off of medication, including heart attack, stroke.
I’ll share a story. I have a client who, I always teach my clients to always use carrier and not to ingest the oils unless you’re working with a professional, so a professional aromatherapist or your health care provider has granted you the okay to ingest those oils, and even then it should only be oils that are FDA-approved. There are certain oils that are FDA-approved for dietary use, but she did not take my advice.
She used some oils that I had strictly said, don’t use this brand. She was in the ER, vomiting repeatedly. It’s just so heartbreaking. She recovered, and she’s fine, but the thing is, nobody’s telling that side of the story. They’re just saying, “Oh yes, you can take this by mouth every day.” I had a client come to me who was taking frankincense under the tongue every single day and that they’re not designed for that.
They are potent plant chemistry. Everything is chemistry. We don’t need to be afraid of it. They are mighty, and they do have profound effect. There are people whose doctors have taken them off of medication because they didn’t need them anymore. That is the area where that happens. You don’t want your friend who’s selling kits to tell you, “Oh, my person who trained me said, this is great for diabetes, so you just use this from now on.” No, that’s not how that goes. It is a great thing to integrate into your life. Even if you are on medication, but only your healthcare provider should be taking you off of medication. That’s a primary thing that I like to teach.
Lindsay: Yes, I love your take on that. Question for you. What are your favorite ways to use aromatherapy in oils?
Renée: I love inhalers. I use inhalers all the time. I have diffusers all around my house, of course, and steamers. I use them in massage, but my absolute favorite way is inhaling. Just taking that little inhaler. They look like little lipstick tubes. I should’ve grabbed one. I mean, you just inhale them, but the emotional benefit is so immediate. Not only that, one thing, I get motion sickness. We’ve got a lot of, where I live, a lot of twisty, windy roads, and so I always just have my inhaler, and in seconds and seconds, I get relief, just inhaling them.
It is my favorite way. The oils work very quickly because it goes through the olfactory system, which just means our nose and all the stuff behind there. It connects right into our amygdala, the limbic system, the cortex, all of that is affected through using it through the nose that way. It can also get into our bloodstream, of course, using it topically and through the nose because the lungs send it through the bloodstream. Because of that, inhaler is just such a quick reaction. It’s my favorite.
Lindsay: Yes, and it’s usually strong when I smell it. I’m like [sniffs]. [laughs]
Renée: [laughs] Yes, the oils are volatile, so literally when you take the top off, you’re already getting therapy.
Renée: It jumps right out of that bottle. You don’t even have to lift it to your nose to get it, and that reaction is another reason why we want to be careful because it’s potent. It’s powerful. Never, never, never, I want your audience to know, everybody, never use oils without a carrier, meaning, carrier oil, oil-like cocoa butter or something like that. Don’t apply it to your skin without that. I know that you’re being told, “Oh yes, you just put it directly on your skin.” People, this is why phototoxicity happens, sensitivity happens, because it really should be used with a carrier, unless you have certain situations like a burn or things like that. There are times when you can use it directly on the skin, but usually, it should be applied with the carrier.
Renée: To help with that potency.
Lindsay: That’s what makes it so tricky because it’s like motion sickness, burns, sometimes even like headaches, sore throats, coughs, like oils do help a lot until you think, “Yes, these things are magical. They just replace medication.” It is kind of grey Renee.
Renée: It’s a difficult thing because they are very powerful, and it’s not a small thing that they do. It’s definitely not just aroma. This plant chemistry, it’s more potent than even if you were to use a tea on herbal blend, the concentration of them are more powerful and they do amazing things. It is true. It’s just that we don’t want. What I usually do is it as my first line of defense, if I have a headache, I don’t grab for an aspirin, I grab for one of my blends, the peppermint, the lavender is really great for migraines.
For some people, it makes them nauseous. You need to be able to understand the variety of when to use something, and when not when to pull back, there are times when I’ll have people not use a blend, I’ll say pull back and only use one oil, and I only want you to use in a drop in even a four-ounce bottle. I may pull way back that. There are other times I’ll say we need to double up on this. We need to be using it several times a day. I have clients who have battled with cancer and sometimes you think, oh, well we need to give them the whole kitchen sink but sometimes you actually need to pull back depending on how that person’s system is responding.
It is true when you’re thinking, oh, I can get rid of a headache. I could fight off a cold or flu or virus. Yes, you can do those things but it’s all in context, is just that we don’t want to feel like it’s a cure-all because it’s not always, even though it does help for many, many situations.
Even people with chronic conditions get relief from the oils, but not usually at a100%, it does not cure it. If you have a chronic illness, you may get great relief from your pain and inflammation and swelling, a great relief.
I’ve had people tell me 80% better. I’ve had people tell me, I don’t go to the hospital nearly as much as I used to where people were going almost on a monthly basis, haven’t been in a couple of years. Yes, that’s powerful but we have to be careful in the conversation that we’re not giving people this expectation of, “I’ll never need to take medication again.” Maybe you won’t, but maybe you will and so we have to make sure that that conversation is clear when people are being set-up with the right expectation.
Lindsay: Yes. What I hear in that, correct me if I’m wrong Renée is, we’re not going to deny typical science, the medical science fields, but we can really help ourselves in a more “natural” way too, and it’s a blend of the two.
Renée: It’s absolutely a blend of the two. That is my approach. It’s integration. There’s a place for, we need our traditional providers, especially when it comes to urgent care. I feel like when it comes to urgent situations, what would we do without them and diagnostics? There’s all these little gadgets and machines where people say, you can use this and it’s going to tell you what oil to use and you’ll be fine. But, especially in developed countries, there are state-of-the-art diagnostics and we need those.
We need to make sure if I have someone that’s coming to me over and over again for nausea. Yes, I can give you an oil blend that’s going to get rid of that nausea, but I want to know why are you nauseous? Why? Why are you continuously coming back? What is it? Is it motion sickness or something going on with your gut? That needs to be checked and it needs to be checked with your healthcare provider to know for sure what’s happening before we just keep using the oils for relief.
Lindsay: Yes. That’s such a good point of, maybe it’s a one-time nausea, a one-time headache, or you always just get headaches at this point in your cycle or whatever it is but if it’s a constant thing, that’s a red flag. Something deeper is going on here.
Renée: Exactly, correct.
Lindsay: Okay. Can I ask you two personal questions that I think other people may have too? Okay, the first is that, like I said, I got the Young Living set and then they tell you, blend these things together and diffuse it. I found, no matter what I blended with a diffuser, it would be very, very strong. What I heard you say earlier is like maybe using less, just using one oil instead of blending it and so it’s just probably too strong for me then, right?
Renée: Absolutely. Yes. Just go with one oil. What I usually am my personal blends. I don’t usually go past five, but it’s usually one to three. If you have an oil that’s already blended, you just need a drop. In my diffuser, I usually only use five drops, but I see online where people tell you to use 10 drops of something, way too much. If it’s too much for you at five then pull back and keep pulling back until as long as you can smell it, you’re getting the benefit so you don’t need a whole lot of drops.
Lindsay: Perfect. I feel like I’d be somebody who has one drop [chuckles].
Renée: I’m like that too. I’m that way too. A little goes a long way. You just don’t need a lot.
Lindsay: Yes. Second question for you. Focus. I see this with a lot of my clients too, because my clients are driven women and it’s always focus, focus, focus. What is a good oil to use for focus?
Renée: Oh, there’s so many, but think of your grounding oil. This is what I like to tell people in case they forget what I say. Think about your wood oils because if you think about something, that’s come from a tree it’s grounded in those roots, it does the same thing for you that grounding fixture, it can go through a storm. Get a Wood oil. We’re talking Cedarwood sandalwood, spruces, white spruce, black spruce, eucalyptus that come from trees, tittering, you’re going to get a grounding effect and it helps you to just settle in. Yes, I can focus now also the resins like frankincense, myrrh, those are known to be really grounding oils.
What they do is again, it’s helping your central nervous system and just over time, these oils have been studied and we just see very specific effects on people and those oils, especially I love a combination of lavender and Cedarwood. I like giving that blend because it’s extremely inexpensive but very powerful. It really helps you to be able to focus. Frankincense is just so amazing at it as well.
It also was good if your clients tend to be very creative people and sometimes that’s why you can’t focus because your mind is constantly creating and you’re thinking about this thing and this thing and this thing, and you’re a visionary and you just go and go and go on with that mind, doesn’t want to settle down. Frankincense, it’s particularly good for creative people who can’t focus. That would be a really good one for them to inhale while they’re in creative mood to help the best of them come out, but to do it in a focused way.
Lindsay: Yes. I love that. Okay. One more question. I promise, this is more general. You touched on this, but I want to say it really directly. The other thing I see with a lot of my clients too, because they are so driven is anxiety. What I coach on a lot is getting out of frantic action and massive action because they’re up here. What’s something they can use to just calm them.
Renée: Yes. Some of those same oils, but there’s layers to that. You can get an immediate, let me calm down with floral oils. When I’m thinking of — I call them nourish oils when you’re feeling anxious. Oils like Lavender and ylang ylang, Rose, Melissa. Those are going to be ones that just settle your nerves. Frankincense is also good for that. It’s good for both focus and also just settling you but the reason I say it’s layered is because usually anxiety, some of my clients who, so far my clients have been able to stop lifelong panic attacks because they’ve learned how to filter and address this.
The things that really are causing the anxiety, it’s more than just, “Oh a mindset shift. I’m just going to inhale these oils and I’m going to be positive and I’m going to do an affirmation and I’ll be good.” That’s not how our system really works. There’s usually things in there that need to be addressed. There’re beliefs that are deep inside, that are causing anxiety. You may be at the precipice, especially driven women like what you’re working with.
They may be doing very well and they’re going to levels that scare them at a deep level and because they need to deal with that feeling and the fear of making lots of money, and the fear of being famous and the fear of being awesome and the fear of being more awesome than maybe some people around you or more awesome than people expected of you.
That can bring you anxiety every time you even go to sit in a coaching session because you’re getting better and you’re afraid of it. Addressing those things are so important because otherwise the oils or anything else that you do will be such a temporary relief because that fear is so deeply embedded that it’s still going to shoot back up again and it’s the thing that keeps you up at night.
Lindsay: Yes, I’m so glad we ended with that. Because even when I see here in the States, all this CBD stuff has popped up everywhere and everyone’s like, “Oh my gosh, CBD. It’s changing my anxiety.” I’m like, what if you just actually went and dealt with it. [laughs] Imagine how transformational that would feel.
Renée: That would be…exactly.
Lindsay: Yes, again, it’s like the oils just help us expand and be better of what’s going on inside is what I’m hearing, taking oil.
Renée: That’s it. It’s helping you to connect and really understand. Sometimes we don’t understand. We know we have this excitement. We don’t know where it’s coming from. The oils help your central nervous system to just get out of panic mode, make you feel safe so that you can connect to that thing that you need to connect to and help you to realize what’s going on, and then the CBD does the same thing. As we’re dealing with it, it sometimes doesn’t feel good because sometimes there’s memories attached to it and all these different things. Getting it out, doesn’t always feel great and so the oils can help that process too so this is not so painful to get through the pain to the other side.
Lindsay: Yes. Especially when you’ve brought it out and you have to sit with it for a little while. I need those oils to help me sit with it. I was in there last week. I was like, oh, this looks horrible. Renée, tell us where everyone can go find you.
Renée: Probably the best place to find me is on Instagram. I’m @thearomaspecialists, plural. The Aroma Apecialists, you can find me there and if that’s hard to spell, you can always go to renéehughes.com. That’ll take you to my pages as well.
Lindsay: Perfect and on renéehughes.com, I know you have info about both your programs?
Lindsay: Yes. Awesome. You dropped some gold today, Renée. I’m like, I’m going bring out my oils again. This is so much fun. Thank you. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us.
Renée: You’re welcome. Thrilled to be here. Thank you for to invite, deeply appreciate it.
Hey there, Miss Unstoppable. Thanks so much for tuning into this episode. If you enjoyed it, share it with a friend. Send them a picture of this episode via text, via email, share it on social media, I’m sure they would be so appreciative to know these strategies and tips on how to accomplish your dreams. If you are ready to guarantee you’re going to accomplish your goals and dreams, then it’s time to start coaching with me.
In my nine-month simple success coaching system, I am going to walk you every single step of the way to ensure that you get the goals and dreams that you want. The first step is to apply for a free 60-minute consult call. Just go to LindsayEpreston.com/apply to get started. As always, my friend, remember, you’re only as unstoppable as you believe you can be, so believe in yourself. You got this.