Incorporating Aromatherapy Into Any Business

by Katie Haley

INTERVIEW QUESTIONS FOR JEANNE ROSE
June 2004

Jeanne, first I want to say thank you for the wealth of information I have learned from you, both from your wonderful books and in person at your seminars. My primary reason for using essential oils, aside from personal use, is for my Massage Therapy and Skincare Practice.

The inspiration for my book, "Incorporating Aromatherapy Into Any Business", came out of giving advice to other Massage Therapists on how to incorporate Aromatherapy into their business. Because Therapists are trained in "Healing Techniques" and given very little training in how to succeed, I thought a book like this would serve as a road map to help them along their path. This book is also for the individual who would like to turn their passion for Aromatherapy into a career. Jeanne Rose, I have taken your Certification Seminar and learned quite a bit about how to succeed in business from you.

Then the idea of featuring the top educators and business people in the Aromatherapy world came to me. I have never seen a book like this and I thought it would be interesting and educational to learn about the people who have dedicated their lives to the study of healing with aromatic plants.
A. Katie, there was a book written a few years ago that featured extensive interviews with a number of herbal experts and educators. I was featured in it. I know that the Lloyd Library in Cincinnati, Ohio has a copy and you can find it there.

For the feature on you, I will write about your background and credentials, and about the Aromatic Plant Project. I have plenty of facts from your terrific books and website [www.jeannerose.net] to use and I want to include anything else plus the following information.

Questions to Jeanne Rose

1. In your career, you have invested a great deal of your time in the role of "Educator" can you define the qualities that make up a successful "Student of Aromatherapy"
A. Interest, desire and the love of the subject matter that is what counts.

2. In your opinion, do you feel that the Art and Science of Aromatherapy should require a license, such a Massage Therapy?
A. The science of aromatherapy should require some sort of license or certification. However, the art of aromatherapy cannot be taught or licensed. It comes from having a basic foundation and then building on that.

3. How many hours of training should a student have before they use the title "Aromatherapist"?
A. 250 hours is what I give my students - that means about 500 study hours or a 12-15-unit college course.

4. What are the most important factors to be competent in this field?
A. Knowledge, love of learning, wanting to continue to learn, being grounded in the foundation of knowledge and truth. There is more to Aromatherapy and Herbalism than intuition. I tell my students that first you build a foundation, then the walls, and then the roof. The last thing one does is to decorate the house. To study aromatherapy, you must first build a firm foundation in the basics; intuition is like the decoration and comes last - sometimes after many years of study.

5. Do the majority of your students enroll for personal enrichment, or because they want to use the information professionally?
A. Everyone enrolls for personal reasons and then 80% of my students go on to do something with their knowledge professionally. I have the best students of aromatherapy - they are dedicated, knowledgeable and able.

6. Do you see more nurses and western medical practitioners taking in interest in practicing Aromatherapy?
A. Yes, I certainly do. My courses are recognized by the Board of Registered Nurses of California for 150 CE. The University of Natural Medicine offers both my home-study courses in Herbalism and in Aromatherapy.

7. In your opinion, why does the medical establishment in the USA have a difficult time in recognizing the healing powers of essential oils?
A. Ummm! Too many practitioners with an aery-faery attitude and no desire to learn the science and the botany.

8. What could the USA learn from France and other European Countries regarding the practice of Medical Aromatherapy?
A. I believe that we could learn how to use the essential oils by ingestion from France and some fascinating science from Germany.

9. What can trained Aromatherapy professionals do, to be taken more seriously by the medical establishment, or should we even try?
A. Good question! Why should we care? If we care, they will try to take it away.

10. How can we better educate the public, that Aromatherapy is a real modality of healing and not a scented candle or bubble bath?
A. Encourage the stores to support education. Encourage the people to take education seriously. I see less and less interest in education and more and more people thinking that they can learn aromatherapy from just one book - and usually that book is from England where aromatherapy is simply a massage art.

11. Would you offer some words of wisdom for Aromatherapists just starting out, possibly some common mistakes and pitfalls to avoid?
A. Take some classes from a knowledgeable source; take several classes. Take a home-study course (hopefully you will recommend mine), and take an in-person course. Realize that there is more to aromatherapy than slapping on some massage oil. [Healing Arts Resources has classes in aromatherapy twice a year, April and October led by Jeanne Rose]

12. How important is it to join a professional association, like NAHA?
A. I would suggest that you look at the website, www.NAHAExposed.org at this point. This is an organization that I was President. I took it from 20 non-paying members to 400 paying members in 2 years, and we had a fabulous Conference in an extremely beautiful San Francisco hotel in 1996. Now? I don't know.

13. How does a therapist know if they are purchasing a pure, high quality essential oil or hydrosol?
A. Knowledge of the oils, the color, the scent, the organoleptic quality of the essential oil; and then research into the company without listening to any gossipy aromatherapy groupies.

14. As a professional, what do you consider your greatest strength to be in this business?
A. I have no ties to any organization, company or person; I have a strong personal ethic and a very great respect for more and more knowledge. I have a friend who branded me an "academic enthusiast". If I had a tattoo, that is what I would write on my body plus "Loves the OED (Oxford English Dictionary"). Now, wouldn't that be good!

15. You are a true pioneer in this industry, especially in America, who or what did you draw inspiration from in your early career.
A. Maybe no one will understand this, but the five people who I consider my personal inspiration are:
1) Maurice Sweatt who was my Antioch High School Biology teacher:
2) Rachel Carson, environmentalist that I read in college
3) Edward Ricketts, I was a student of Intertidal Ecology in college and he was a fascinating read
4) Linus Pauling, I had the opportunity to work for him while I was in Big Sur. Mind you I was just a maid, but he was illuminating and truly helped me to go forward in my writing and in my life.
5) MFK Fisher, now she was a writer and I had the opportunity to meet her. She wrote a back note for one of my books. That was awesome!

16. You have had a fascinating career, and still do, if you could do it all over again, are there one thing that stands out in your mind that you would do differently.
A. Save money starting early. As a writer, I do not have money on a regular basis, only twice a year as royalties, I did not have a retirement plan and so now that I am nearing 70, it is rather scary. In addition, I would get an agent and together we would develop a long-term relationship. The books that I still have in my head would be published. I think a pop-up aromatherapy book with 'scratch and sniff' pages would be excellent and great fun as well. Wouldn't that be unique?

17. What do you predict for the future in regards to the practice of Aromatherapy?
A. I think that there will be more products being called aromatherapy that are not. But I would like to think that there will be more people trusting to the uses of the essential oil therapy, wanting to educate themselves and demanding quality information and quality goods.

Jeanne, thank you so much for your time, your knowledge and your contribution to this book.

Sincerely, Katie Haley


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