Featured Aromahead Graduate: Gina Flores
When Gina Flores was in graduate school in 1994, a colleague's aromatherapy use sparked her interest in the field.
"I was intrigued," Gina says. "I decided to get some books and see exactly what this 'aromatherapy thing' was."
After doing her research, Gina couldn't get enough.
A self-proclaimed "nerd" when it comes to aromatherapy, Gina is an Aromahead graduate, and is now owner of Essential Body Wisdom in New York City.
She does aromatherapy consultations and on-the-spot blending for injuries. She also just developed her own line of essential oil blends, which she has high hopes for. Read on to learn more about Gina's business, what inspires her, and what she wants you to know about essential oils.
Describe your aromatherapy business.
My aromatherapy business has many aspects to it. I am a NY State Licensed and Nationally Certified Massage Therapist specializing in dance and performing arts injury rehab, so I use my essential oils frequently for on-the-spot blending for muscular pain, tendon injuries, inflammation, and other similar injuries.
I also keep stock blends for muscle pain and relaxation. As a Certified CranioSacral Therapist, I find myself using aromatherapy (when it seems appropriate) during Somato-Emotional Release. I also design custom blends for clients based on their needs during aromatherapy consultations. This past year, I developed a signature custom line designed for the Aum Curriculum of NYC Yoga and Wellness Center - Studio Anya. The AUM*AROMA line is composed of 19 unique essential oil blends that correspond to the 19 "atmatypes" of the curriculum. Atmatypes are a combination of Jungian Archetypes and the Hindu word for "soul." A more in-depth explanation may be found here.
When did you become interested in aromatherapy? What stimulated your interest?
My interest in aromatherapy began in 1994 when I was in graduate school. One of my colleagues was always mixing and blending things in the dance studio while we were on break from rehearsals. I was intrigued and decided to get some books and see exactly what this "aromatherapy thing" was. I read a ton and could not get enough information fast enough. I particularly loved learning about the plants themselves... suffice to say I'm a bit of a nerd!
But there was a lot of conflicting information out there, so I decided to put "learning the truth" on my bucket list.
I was fortunate to find Aromahead Institute and Andrea Butje, and believe me—that's where the "truth" was found! My desire to learn more and research more is never-ending!
What do you love about the aromatherapy profession?
What I love most about the aromatherapy profession is my ability to connect with the earth through these amazing gifts the plants bestow upon us—these wondrous essential oils! I am also humbled each and every day knowing that every time I open one of my amazing bottles of essential oil, I am also directly connected to each and every person who labored so hard to bring me this bottle of joy, from the people harvesting the plant material in the fields to the person bottling the oils! Talk about "the circle of life!" I am so blessed.
What are you most proud of with your business?
Wow, this could go on for hours! First, I am proud of the extraordinary opportunity I have each and every day to touch people's lives with these beautiful, natural, health-giving, life-enhancing essential oils and to combine them with my ability to bring relief from pain, injury, stress, depression, and unhappiness through all my varied modalities. I am most proud though that I built this business, brick by brick, all through my desire for knowledge.
What was your favorite part about studying at Aromahead Institute?
Okay, really, how many pages do I have to answer this question?! That each and every student was made to feel that they would (and could) understand the material, no matter how difficult the concept or chemistry might be! That each person's individual way of learning was honored and respected. That we had fun, laughed, danced, sang... and still learned a ton! The information was always cutting-edge, current, and to the point, and safety, chemistry, and research were always stressed. Oh, and the coffee and snacks were amazing!
What recommendations do you have for anyone interested in becoming an aromatherapist?
Go to Aromahead Institute—hurry! Learn from people like Andrea Butje, who have been the pioneers of this discipline, and look at their track records. Learn your chemistry, read tons of research, and then go have a blast!
Where do you see your business in five years?
In five years, I see my AUM*AROMA product line being used by everyone: around the world, in meditation, in yoga practice, or simply as a perfume. Everyone resonating aroma and archetype... what a beautiful picture of harmony and peace. I definitely will continue to develop my perfuming concepts, and I actually have several "cooking" while we speak. (Perfuming with essential oils and creating accords, and waiting for the bouquet of the blend to develop has taught me a lot--especially patience.)
I also see myself continuing to teach, and I have several workshops that I offer, my most favorite being called "Your Epic: An Aroma Journey," which explores the emotional, psychological, and spiritual nature of essential oils. I'll also be teaching "Therapeutic Uses of Essential Oils to Massage Therapists," as I received my NCBTMB Provider Approval this year.
How do you use oils to maintain your own health and well-being?
Well that's an easy one, everyone that went to Aromahead with me knows: inhalers! I love them! I have one for almost everything! But all kidding aside, I diffuse oils in the office every day. I use Juniper and Vetiver daily, for protection and clearing of my energy, by rubbing a little blended-in jojoba wax on my solar plexus, especially before a busy day at the office. I make all my own body products and house-cleaning products. For me, a day without essential oils is a day without joy!
What inspires you about your work?
What inspires me is that creativity and intellect are combined. What's unique about my work is that it puts me in a space where I am neither too right or left-brained. For me that's a good thing... being in balance is always good! My work always inspires me to rise to greater levels of achievement because I have a hunger to learn, and I am so grateful I have discovered my calling.
What do you wish everyone knew about essential oils?
I wish everyone knew where essential oils came from and how exactly they end up in that pretty little bottle they just bought. I wish that by understanding where these beautiful gifts came from, that knowledge would give them more love and respect for the earth and all its dwellers, from the bumblebee bouncing from flower top to flower top to the elderly man using a hand sickle-cutting Helichrysum on a rocky mountain side. I wish everyone knew just what extraordinary tools essential oils are.
For more information about Gina's work, visit her website at www.essentialbodywisdom.com.
Gain the knowledge and skills you need to make therapeutically effective essential oil blends! The Aromatherapy Certification Program provides you with the highest-quality aromatherapy education available so you can feel 100% confident in your ability to use your essential oils safely and effectively. You’ll gain the expertise needed to create blends for others – and even transform your career!