It’s Not Quackery, It’s Chemistry

It’s Not Quackery, It’s Chemistry

It’s not the first time, and it probably won’t be the last. Occasionally, there are people who undercut the research I’ve done along with the chemists and scientists I’ve worked with. They say, “You believe in alternative medicine? You must be a quack.” Unfortunately, it’s part of the package when you’re dealing with a relatively new and unregulated health industry. Thankfully, it doesn’t ruffle my feathers so much anymore.

However, this particular critic accused me of something much worse: promoting essential oils as a cure-all for cancer.

It’s true that I wrote a blog post on how essential oils helped me through one of the most trying times in my life—when I was diagnosed with Stage 1, non-aggressive breast cancer. But I never said that essential oils are a cure for cancer. In fact, I continually promote the idea of using essential oils as complementary treatment alongside conventional treatment. I myself underwent a lumpectomy and radiation treatment. I used essential oils to mitigate scarring, improve my mood, and help ease the tenderness of my irradiated skin—all of which were the focus of that post.

Unfortunately, it seems my critic didn’t read the full blog post before taking her stance against me. I respect her eagerness to protect cancer patients from unhelpful and dangerous “cure-all” treatments. I’ve been in a similar battle of my own, trying to make sure essential oils are used safely and responsibly. This is a good reminder that we must always search for the truth, and not simply make assumptions based on our opinions and beliefs.

It’s not quackery. It’s real science.

As for the wider accusation of promoting “quackery” in general, I think this is a good time to explain that it’s not quackery. It’s real science, which I’ve had the pleasure of studying for 40 years and counting. For those of you interested in where I’ve studied and who I’ve studied with, see my Vintage Aromatherapist blog. You can also find a list of my aromatherapy accomplishments here. I’m always striving to accomplish more, but I think my achievements aren’t too shabby thus far!

During those 40 years, I worked with well-known and respected minds, including Martin Watt, Dr. Trevor Stokes, Dr. Robert Pappas, and Tony Burfield—to name a few. I wrote many papers and presentations, along with the personal blog mentioned above. I also wrote all of the courses, books, and classes we offer today. You can find my bio here.

I’m very passionate about illuminating the exciting and surprising truths of aromatherapy and essential oils, and about offering my hard-earned knowledge to my students.

So to those critics, I have one thing to say: it’s not quackery, it’s chemistry!

Restart to Finish: The Future of Atlantic Institute

Restart to Finish: The Future of Atlantic Institute

I’m excited to share that the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy (AIA) is growing and has a new vision for the future.

Over the past few years, I thought I was slowing down, but recently I realized that I have a lot more work to do before I can rest. I have created and participated in the growth of aromatherapy since it emerged here in the USA in the 1970s. I’ve also traveled the world in pursuit of sharing this practice. Now, I see that I need to “restart.” I need to get the materials I’ve amassed in order, so I can finish what I started in 1989—the AIA. That means no rest for me just yet! (Did I mention that I’m learning how to blog and tweet?)

Welcoming my daughter, Nyssa Hanger, to the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy

Anyone with a child would love to hear them say, “I want to be a part of what you’ve created.” I’m blessed with feeling this joy. Two years ago, my daughter Nyssa expressed interest in the AIA. She became our Assistant Director, and we brought her in as an instructor as well as an approved AIA provider for continuing education via the Board of Massage. We updated our live classes as we co-taught this past summer. By fall, the AIA site was updated and my new personal website Vintage Aromatherapist went live. We’re now working on online education and more advanced studies as we expand learning opportunities and move into the future. (Did I mention that I am beaming, that dreams are coming true, and that I’m doing a happy dance?)

Vintage Aromatherapist

Last fall, I spoke at the Alliance International Aromatherapy Conference in St. Petersburg. I wrote a 30-page paper on my history as a pioneer in aromatherapy in the USA, which got whittled down to 10 pages for the conference along with a 15 min. presentation. The point was to show that aromatherapy has a rich history, even though it only came to the US 40 years ago.

I created my blog, Vintage Aromatherapist, to house this history and my own personal contributions. Besides being a place for that paper, it’s also a place to share collective wisdom about the early days. There will be contributions from others who were pioneers (Colleen, Pat and Gerri, Emilee, Mindy, and others), along with anyone who feels they are a Vintage Aromatherapist! (Please write a guest blog in return for your own award!) Until others do, I will continue to embellish my confessions and record historical tidbits. I will share my journey along with all the beauty, nurturing, and healing that essential oils bring to our lives. I hope readers enjoy it. (Check it out here.)

I am extremely grateful this year for the growth of the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy and the restart my daughter provided. She has always been a great teacher, especially to me. I am honored to have her continue my legacy in her own healing center. Life truly is an Upward Spiral.