Jen O’Sullivan, aromatherapy expert and bestselling author, is in the Philippines for Art Bar’s first-ever Essential Oils Fair which will be held at The Eye, Green Sun Makati on May 5. Jen will be holding a three-hour Make & Take Class on essential oils, giving attendees the basics of aromatherapy, rookie mistakes to avoid, top ten oils and their many uses. Her talk begins at 2 p.m.
Jen has written six Kindle and Amazon bestsellers on the subject including “The Essential Oil Truth,” “French Aromatherapy,” “Essential Oil Make & Takes,” “Essentially Driven” and “Live Well.”
Her love affair with aromatherapy began in 2007. “My husband and I were very unhealthy. We’re high school sweethearts, we got married and we just ate, we were eating fast food all the time. When we started thinking about having kids, I thought, I’m so unhealthy, we need to figure out how to become healthier. I started researching and learning about all the toxic chemicals in our home. It was eye-opening to me to realize there are so many chemicals in the stuff I put on.”
Jen’s research led her to discover the many uses of essential oils. “When you clean with oils, it’s actually good for you, it’s actually helping you. When you’re emotionally distressed and you use something like lemon, smell this, it’s just phenomenal right? This just makes me feel good.”
“Essential oils are the life force of the plant they come from. Much like human blood works in the body, essential oils help to regulate the various functions and promote the overall health of the plant,” she wrote in her book French Aromatherapy. She told Super, “When we use them, they act similarly in our bodies. They don’t heal or cure, they help regulate.”
Today, Jen uses essential oils in a variety of ways. “Using them on a daily basis helps me feel good and be clean and feel emotionally stable. ”
The first thing you need to know is not all essential oils are actually essential oils. “Know your company. A big misunderstanding is you can go to a department store or mall and they have oils there and you can just buy them and try them. People don’t realize that labels mean nothing. There’s no label regulation anywhere worldwide when it comes to essential oils… Essential oils could be labelled pure essential oils and it can be a hundred percent synthetic,” Jen said.
Jen, who has tried 18 different brands over the years, has decided to stick with one: Young Living. “People usually say, why don’t you change brands? I’ve been using Young Living for 11 years. They’ve been around for 26 years. It’s the largest essential oil company in the world. Everything they do is so ethical.” She has become a professional in the essential oils industry, joining Young Living as a health educator and distributor.
We asked Jen to list her favorite oils. “There are two types of oils: single species and blends. Lemon, that’s amazing, Lavender, Peppermint, Frankincense, Copaiba, amazing, love this oil and Northern Lights Black Spruce. Rub this on the back of your neck. It’s a grounding oil. It’s good for men and women, you can put it on the top of your head or the back of your neck. That one’s really fun. I have so many. I love Sacred Sandalwood, Blue Tansy. Tangerine is so good. For blends, Purification, Stress Away, that’s to help you unwind. It helps us emotionally calm down and focus. Smells so delightful. Thieves, my all time favorite, I call it my protection. If I’m going on an airplane, I rub it on my hands or the back of my neck. PanAway, if you work out and you’re feeling a little tender, put a drop of Pan Away right on the location and layer it, layering is awesome. Digize. It’s an oil that’s good for just feeling good when you eat out. It’s good to calm your system. I have so many.”
But her all-time favorite is Frankincense. “I can use it on anything for any reason. It’s helpful for your emotions, it’s helpful for your well-being, it’s helpful for skin stuff, it does everything.”
The world of essential oils may seem daunting to a newbie. Jen said, “You need to decide what you’re trying to use them for. Are you wanting them just to smell good? Are you wanting them for emotional support or for actual therapy? Most people say, how do I get better sleep? How do I have more energy? How do I get better focus during the day? How do I lose some weight? Those are common questions.”
Another thing you need to know is they don’t work as a band-aid. No, Jen said, you’re not supposed to just reach for your peppermint essential oil when you have a headache. “That’s not how oils work. You want to use oils all the time to keep yourself healthy. It’s not a single-use fix, once you incorporate oils into your life more, these start blowing you away. You feel better, you feel cleaner.”
Jen is passionate about sharing her knowledge. “I love helping people,” she said.
She created two apps dedicated to teaching people about essential oils. “One is the EO bar app. It’s all recipes, all usage. It’s like six books in one. You’ll get everything you need to know about essential oils. It’s a pricier app because it’s like you’re getting six books. The Live Well app is super cheap and it’s basics, if you’re just starting out and you’re not entirely sure where to go and what to do, that’s the best place to start.”
Of course there are people who don’t believe in the power of essential oils. “They think it’s just placebo effect, that this stuff doesn’t work. But these will work on anybody,” Jen said.
Check out Jen’s free class for the Philippines at Sparkdroppers.com/ph. Meet Jen at Art Bar’s Essential Oils Fair. Tickets are P3000 and will include a signed copy of Jen’s “French Aromatherapy” book, a workshop kit with all the materials you need for her class, and light snacks and refreshments. Tickets are available at www.artbar.ph, at Art Bar and Powerbooks branches and at the event venue.