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Experiential Aromatherapy: A Vital Approach


  • Wellspring Mountain Ramey Orchard Road Lowgap, NC, 27024 United States (map)
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Join Jade Shutes, BA, Dipl. AT., Cert. Herbalist, and Erika Galentin, MNIMH, RH (AHG) Clinical Herbalist and Aromatherapist for a four-day workshop and retreat exploring the practice of clinical and holistic aromatherapy from a physiology-centered, plant-based perspective.

The Experiential Aromatherapy course is being offered as a four (4) day retreat to be held in the mountains of North Carolina! The course is also available via live-streaming so students can attend from anywhere in the world!

What is Experiential Aromatherapy: A Vital Approach?

During this workshop we will be exploring the creation of a therapeutic framework based on recognizing patterns in the living human body held in juxtaposition to the patterns presented by essential oils' chemistry, pharmacology, and actions, using language and metaphor derived from traditional Western herbalism energetics.

We will discuss the constructive integration of scientific research and essential oil chemistry and pharmacology as tools for supporting these energetic insights. In addition, Experiential Aromatherapy also recognizes the power of the psyche, the mind, and the nervous system in negotiating the physical health and well-being of the individual and strives to integrate the psychological and nootropic prowess of essential oils into its therapeutic rationale.

At the center of Experiential Aromatherapy also lies the fundamental necessity of cultivating respectful and reverence-based relationships with the essential oils themselves and the plants from which they are derived. Using a methodology derived from the work of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, we will be participating in living plant study and observation exercises designed to teach participants about developing such relationships.

These plant study exercises will culminate in an aromatic distillation of a chosen species to further emphasize the profound impact of plant-human relationships in experiencing the efficacy of Experiential Aromatherapy. These exercises and relationship-building experiences will also be supported through the integration of tea tastings of aromatic herbs including discussions of the traditional, historical, and modern use of aromatics within Western clinical herbalism. Participants will also take part in essential oil olfaction exercises designed to assist in cultivating confidence in integrating sensory experiences and subjective olfactory impressions as sources of valid information and reference in the development of aromatherapeutic rationale.

Elements of the Course:

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Experiential elements:

  • Tea tastings
  • Blind Essential Oil/Olfaction Exercises
  • Plant Study, Observation, and Communication Exercises
  • Collaborative discussion and exploration
  • Aromatic phytochemistry through the lens of organolepsis
  • Experience of and participation in the art of distillation

Knowledge-based elements:

  • An understanding of a physiology-based approach to the practice of aromatherapy
  • The evolution of the French structure/function model (also known as the ternary concept)
  • How essential oils work in the body
  • Skills to deepen one's relationship and knowledge of essential oils
  • Olfaction (Our Sense of Smell): In-depth exploration - From neurotransmitters to the mysterious
  • And much more!

What to Bring:

  • Favorite tea cup
  • Paper and coloring/drawing supplies.
  • Open mind and heart

What to leave at home:

  • Closed mind and industry dogma
  • Brand identification