Instructors

Andrea Butje - LMT, Aromatherapy Educator

Andrea Butje

Andrea Butje is an internationally-recognized Aromatherapist who is changing the educational paradigm through her inspired approach to teaching + creating community online.

Andrea spent the first decade of her career working in private practice as a massage therapist and studying plants and natural medicine. She and Cindy Black joined together in 1994 and founded the acclaimed Finger Lakes School of Massage in Ithaca, New York.

It was during this time in Andrea’s career that her lifelong interest in plant medicine really began to take shape, as she began incorporating herbal and essential oils into the school’s curriculum.

During the course of Andrea’s studies, she discovered the book Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. So inspired by its teachings, Andrea contacted the author Gabriel Mojay who encouraged her to visit Rhiannon Lewis in France, and to experience the essential oil distillation process firsthand.

During a trip with Rhiannon in the south of France in 1995, Andrea witnessed the craftsmanship involved in the distilling process. This ignited her passion and commitment to source all of her essential oils directly from distillers, to ensure quality and purity. She formed the popular essential oil website Aromatics International in 2006 to bring these high-quality oils to people all over the world.

Andrea continued to gain knowledge and a practical hands-on understanding of essential oils with every trip she took to visit distillers (in more than 15 countries to-date!). As she learned about how the plants were grown, distilled, and used in different cultures, her passion for Aromatherapy deepened. Over time, she realized there was a need for an Aromatherapy training that would take people beyond what they could learn by searching online or reading an Aromatherapy book. She wanted to help students really understand the art + science of essential oils – as well as how to apply them in their everyday life and careers.

That’s how Aromahead Institute was born…

Andrea taught her first Aromatherapy Certification Program in 1998, and began teaching online courses in 2008. In line with the Institute’s mission to make the study of therapeutic and essential oils globally accessible, Aromahead Institute became an entirely virtual school in the fall of 2013.

Andrea’s first book Essential Living: Aromatherapy Recipes for Health and Home was published in 2012. Her second book, The Heart of Aromatherapy, was published in January, 2017. She is a contributing writer for several aromatherapy journals, and writes her own blog, newsletter and eBooks.

In 2013, Andrea won the Alliance of International Aromatherapists' Lifetime Achievement Award for her heartfelt work in educating and connecting people involved in all aspects of the Aromatherapy industry – from renowned authors and distillers to those who are brand new to essential oils. 

Andrea continues to travel the world working with independent essential oil distillers and regularly serves as a guest lecturer at Aromatherapy conferences.

When she isn’t sharing her love of Aromatherapy with others, you’ll usually find Andrea in her kitchen – cooking, baking and playing with new recipes!

Community is a big part of Andrea’s message. You can connect with her on:

Cindy Black - L.Ac., LMT, NCCAOM Diplomate Chinese Herbology and Acupuncture

Cindy Black

Cindy Black pioneered the innovative Meridian Massage method and is the founder and lead instructor at Big Tree School of Natural Healing. Her work is focused on teaching Massage Therapists how to incorporate Traditional Chinese Medicine into their practices, as well as teaching acupuncturists to incorporate massage into their practices.

Cindy spent several years working as a counselor before acting on encouragement to study massage therapy. Leaving New York to study massage in Gainesville, Florida changed the trajectory of Cindy’s career.

It was there that she realized she had finally discovered the avenue of health education that she had been searching for. Cindy especially appreciated the curriculum’s emphasis on personal awareness, and its application to her bodywork and daily life.

She then met Andrea Butje, LMT, and Aromatherapy Educator and joined her in founding the Finger Lakes School of Massage in 1994, where Cindy served as the lead anatomy instructor. She quickly developed a reputation for her ability to easily navigate students through even the most complicated subjects.

Cindy's love of teaching is only matched by her love of learning. She went on to study acupuncture, earning her master's degree in Chinese Medicine in 2007. She continues her study and practice of Chi Nei Tsang, Qi Gong, the I Ching and Yoga.

In addition to the classes she offers through Big Tree School of Natural Healing, Cindy teaches the Aromahead Institute's Anatomy and Physiology course. Andrea and Cindy also co-teach two of Aromahead's online classes: Aromatherapy for Massage Therapists and Viruses and the Immune System.

You can connect with Cindy on her blog: Big Tree School of Natural Healing Blog.