How I’m Working Through Trauma

How I’m Working Through Trauma

Most of us will experience trauma in one form or another at some point in our lives, and plant medicine can be a wonderful healing ally during these times. 

Currently, I’m getting to know this very well.

For those of you who haven’t heard, my husband was the victim of a stray bullet that was shot into the air on the 4th of July. He’s okay, but he will carry a bullet in his neck for the rest of his life—one that just nearly missed causing sudden death or major injury. 

(Here’s some good news: If you saw our crowdfunding page, please note the recent update. Insurance is paying for his medical bills, but we’d like to use the rest of the money to help prevent these kinds of incidents from occurring.)

That’s not the point of this blog post, though. 

I’ve had the privilege (yes, I’ll call it that because I am going through all of this with him still alive and well) of learning more about how trauma affects the body and how we can work through this healing process. 


If you’re also working through trauma, here are a few things to try:


  • Talk about it. Ever since this happened, we’ve been sharing this story with our community. This is not just because we wanted to let them know what’s going on, but also because we’ve needed to keep telling it. Over the past 10 days, I’ve seen how helpful it is to do this—even though I go through all the emotions again. But each time, they begin to transform, reshape, and thus so does the story. Talking about trauma can have this weird effect where it both orients oneself in the “new reality,” while it also provides a way to let it go.


  • Use herbs. I’ve never relied so heavily on my oils and herbs. Once we realized that my husband would be released from the hospital after his injury, I knew the first thing I was going to do when we got home: make herbal tea. I make a daily tonic blend every day anyway, but I knew I needed it bad that day. It contains herbs that are not only full of vitamins and minerals, but ones that help the body deal with stress as well. You can find the recipe in my Body-Listening Cheat Sheet here. I can feel the cells in my body sing each time I sip this delicious mix, so that’s got to be good.


  • Use essential oils. Luckily, at this time, I was also working on next month’s Aromatic Meditation in the Atlantic Aromatic Library, which features Vetiver. Honestly, I couldn’t have chosen a better oil. I’ve always thought that Vetiver was particularly good for helping to clear out deep trauma. Its grounding energy helped bring me back to myself in the here and now, which is crucial when healing from PTSD. We need to affirm for ourselves that in this moment, we are safe. My husband, who is staying in Ohio to finish his training (he is even more devoted to the work of teaching adolescents to be good citizens), asked if I could send him some inhalers to use during the “hard moments” that are arising. I made him three inhalers and sent them off last weekend. Next week, I’ll share what oils I used for those. Stay tuned! : )


  • Keep moving. When times get tough, even just from the debris of daily life (and the self-judgements that can come with that), we may start to feel stuck. But remember, you’re only stuck if you stay there. I’m so grateful that I attended the Aromagnosis Teacher Training last May because I’ve been leaning hard on identifying, working with, and moving through the alchemical stages. For those of you who are new to this idea, Aromagnosis incorporates Carl Jung’s work in drawing on the seven stages of alchemy as a framework for transformation. They bring herbs and oils into this healing experience as well, and let me tell you, a lot can be done! As I’ve been moving through the aftermath of this trauma, these stages have been really helpful for me because I am better able to understand what I’m moving through and how to keep that movement going. It also gives me permission to honor the wisdom that each of these stages has for me while providing tools for how to not get stuck in them. I had already planned a Weekend Immersion where you can learn about these stages, understand how to use herbs and oils in the process, and find the healing insights within yourself to help you move forward—but now this workshop has taken on even greater significance.

If you’re ready to learn about this kind of deep healing work, I’d love for you to join this workshop. Sign up by August 1st to receive early-bird pricing. 

I know that the global healing we all need can only start in one place: within you. By that I mean, it also starts within me. I’m committed to “doing the work” to be a greater healer, therapist, educator, and just all-around person. 

Know that I support you in that journey as well. 

Thank you to everyone who’s reached out with love, support, and help with the crowdfunding. We feel doubly blessed that Sam is still with us and that we can use this experience to help show others about the effects of their actions—and that we’re all in this together. 

Let’s start healing. 

Healing from PTSD with the Help of Aromatherapy

Healing from PTSD with the Help of Aromatherapy

Are you wondering if aromatherapy can help you with past trauma so you can move forward with your life?

Is there a specific oil that triggers you, but that you feel might be helpful for you to work with?

This story will give you ideas on how you can turn to aromatherapy for the deep healing that you are looking for, even when you least expect it.

Though there are plenty of people who study aromatherapy as a hobby, others begin with a curiosity—one that ends up transforming their lives. It’s more common than we might think at first. I’ve met many students who begin the study of aromatherapy hoping to learn how to use essential oils safely. Then, unexpectedly, they discover deeper healing as they start to understand the emotional effects of the oils.

Chris Mack is one of those students. Not only is he an unlikely aromatherapist, working as a bailiff in the courtroom during the week, but he is also a man with a heart of gold. When he tells stories, it’s like he is a sage poised to deliver some potent truth.

I first met Chris when he came to our weekend workshop, after his wife and mother-in-law (also former students) decided to pursue their passions and open Aromatic Harmony in Plant City, Florida. Since Chris would be helping out in the store, he figured he should learn a few things.

In our two days together, he discovered an essential oil that, with one whiff, brought him back to a past traumatic experience. With our guidance and his own inner wisdom, Chris used this oil to work through the trauma.

In this interview, Chris shares in his own words what it was like encountering this “trigger oil” for the first time. He also outlines how he worked with this oil and “reprogrammed” his mind.

Hear it from Chris himself:


Ylang Ylang is one of the oils that is featured in the Atlantic Aromatic Library Library. We thought, who better to contribute a guest recipe for Ylang than Chris Mack. Since Ylang Ylang tends to be a great floral oil for men, Chris’s Blend would make a great cologne for a man (though I’m sure women will like it as well). He suggests that you use this blend as a “base” and build on it to make it your own.

Remember, there’s no right way to make a blend, as long as you like it and the application is safe. If you need guidelines on the safe use of essential oils, sign up to receive our Safety-First Aromatherapy PDF.

You can find Chris’s Blend (and so much more) in the Atlantic Aromatic Library. Learn from the comfort of your own home and let the wisdom of the oils speak to you. Doing the deep healing work that these oils evoke is hard, but learning how to use them doesn’t have to be.


Now, we want to know:

Have you ever used essential oils to help you heal from trauma? What did you use and how did you use it? Is there an oil that tends to be a trigger oil for you? What are some things you can do to work with it?

Let us know by leaving a comment below. We love hearing about how you’re turning to aromatherapy for your healing.