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It's Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature ...

What makes another person’s story fascinating? Is it the genuine curiosity that drives the interest? Does the narrative carry an inherent credibility, or is the aim to make comparisons between contrasting experiences?


I am particularly intrigued when an individual shares the unexpected twists and turns that shaped their life journey, when they exhibit the courage to lead with aspects of themselves beyond the mere accumulation of titles and credentials.

This, to me, holds significant meaning.

It demonstrates not only an appreciation for the varied tapestry of life experiences but also reveals the ability to connect the dots, finding purpose and meaning even in the most unforeseen detours.

Isn’t there a saying, 'If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans'?

In preparation for a podcast interview, I was provided with a structured set of questions that the host intended to guide the conversation:

  1. Background

  2. Education and training

  3. Personal or business story

  4. Clinical and practical insights

  5. Current endeavors

  6. Plans for the future

  7. Overall mission and passion

An earlier version of myself would have likely showcased my background and education, driven by the underlying struggle to truly value the path I had chosen to follow.

  • Aromatherapy?

  • Olfaction and neuroaromatherapy?

In those days, these hardly seemed like legitimate career paths, let alone areas of widespread interest. I can recall, with amusement, how I used to remark, 'If someone had asked me if I wanted to be a neuroaromatherapist when I grew up, I might have humorously sprayed my beverage in surprise.'


Back then, aromatherapy was reemerging in the English-speaking world, virtually an unknown concept. To me, scents were mere compliments to experiences, nothing more. The notion that they could profoundly impact human health was, quite frankly, inconceivable.

Fast forward to today, and genuine, authentic, or pure natural aromas have undergone extensive study, offering significant benefits to both the brain and the body.

The body follows the brain.

It's important to note that while other aromatics may offer pleasant experiences, they can also influence health and wellness, initiating a separate yet crucial conversation.


I do not align with the practice of scenting offices, stores, or using diffusers in an attempt to manipulate the ambiance.


Simply put, the human olfactory bulb directly receives input and boasts a substantial size in absolute terms, comparable in neuron count to that of other mammals. Furthermore, human olfactory capabilities are remarkable, encompassing the ability to detect and differentiate an extraordinary range of odors. With an intact olfactory system, humans surpass rodents and dogs in olfactory sensitivity, even capable of tracking odor trails.


In essence, our behavioral and affective states are influenced by the aromas pervading the environment, and this influence does not require exclusively natural scents.

Nature communicates with chemicals…

Driven by a quest for answers about human health, I embarked on a journey in pharmacology following a brief stint as a pharmacy technician. The desire to be a business owner had always lingered, revealing itself at opportune moments.


As time allowed, I enrolled in a small business class, where I was fortuitously introduced to one of only seven professional noses in the world. She had left her position at IFF (International Flavors & Fragrances) to establish a natural fragrance company, driven by a thyroid cancer diagnosis.

Christine and I found synergy.

I held a strong conviction that no two bodies were identical, nor were they inherently weak. Her experience of working with synthetic chemicals and its link to cancer aligned with this belief. The occurrence of cancer, particularly thyroid cancer, was absent from her family's medical history, and 'we,' unfortunately, didn't possess sufficient knowledge regarding the potential risks of man-made chemicals.


Our collaboration revolved around crafting elixirs and perfumes using essential oils. Scent, a childhood pleasure, turned into productive work. Soon, I discovered that depending on the day and the formula, I could experience profound surges of energy or moments of intense peace and relaxation. This was a sensation I had never encountered before without deliberate effort.


As the business expanded, I found myself attending whole life expos and workshops, where I had the privilege of meeting my future mentors: Robert Tisserand, Jeannie Rose, Mindy Green, Kurt Schnaubelt, and Avery Gilbert. Eventually, I pursued further education under Kurt, drawn by his background in organic and biochemistry, all driven by the foundation of scientific inquiry.


While I never abandoned pharmacology, I began practicing aromatherapy on the side, focusing on addressing the concerns of individuals dissatisfied with their healthcare experiences. This endeavor left me feeling somewhat conflicted, as if I stood at the intersection of two disparate worlds.


The question emerged: Could these seemingly divergent realms find productive harmony?


What I observed, unfortunately, was often ridicule and harsh criticism from both ends.


On one hand, I found immense joy in helping individuals align with their desired health outcomes, but I was equally disheartened by the limited results they achieved. Regardless of whether they relied on medications or oils, they seemed to attain only transient relief. Having witnessed my youngest sister grapple with health challenges from birth, ultimately succumbing despite the myriad medical interventions and pharmaceuticals prescribed, I refused to accept mediocrity as the best we could achieve.

Though I felt the weight of defeat, an unyielding inner drive continued to resonate in my mind.

I am grateful for remaining open to the opportunities that unfolded, leading me into the realm of epigenetics. During this period, I encountered a substantial contract proposal to create essential oil blends targeting various 'genetic mutations.' After days of careful consideration, I chose to decline.

This decision stemmed from a deep sense of conviction, placing principle over financial gain.

In many ways, the journey I've undertaken and the modality I've developed stand as a tribute to my sister.


My mother, during her pregnancy, had been prescribed diuretics, and Joelle was born with heart complications that eventually extended to respiratory issues. The culmination of her struggles resulted in fluid accumulation in her brain, exacerbated by thirteen years of intensive medication and cardiovascular treatments.

This condition, however, was not a hereditary trait in our family and has not reappeared since.

Having declined the contract, I found myself part of a team involved in the production of nutraceuticals based on genomics. Our discussions encompassed not only oils but also delved into the intricacies of the human genome. The deeper our studies, the more we emphasized the necessity of personalized approaches to health and wellness.


Though my diagnoses of MS, breast cancer, and arthritis seemed untimely, especially while raising a family, I chose to embrace them as my next source of inspiration.


Throughout my adult life, I adhered to a disciplined regimen, adopting the recommended healthy lifestyle. Given this commitment, it puzzled me how I ended up facing such diverse conditions, ones that no other member of my family had encountered. To add complexity, the surgeon was unable to fully eradicate the cancer in my breast, leading to additional allopathic treatments.


In the midst of preparing for surgery, as the need to eliminate blood-thinning oils became apparent and the perplexing reactions to chemotherapy surfaced, I found myself compelled to distill my knowledge of oils and unravel the intricacies of pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and, ultimately, pharmacogenomics.


Admittedly, up until that point, my approach had been influenced by the conventional mindset of 'see the symptom, treat the symptom.'


The human body operates as a complex system of interconnected processes.

Nature communicates with chemical signals.

Symptoms serve as indicators of a system in distress. The epigenome, in turn, constitutes the body's stress response, influenced by numerous factors leading to epigenetic adaptations.

While addressing symptoms is crucial, the consistent application of remedies and medications, aimed solely at providing relief, can disrupt homeostasis. The strategic introduction of essential oils, guided by pharmacogenetic principles, introduces a form of negative feedback that alleviates the stress response, fostering improved interactions among the brain, gut, and immune system. This orchestration becomes essential in the pursuit of reducing inflammation and halting the progression of degenerative conditions, from the prenatal stage to the golden years.


__________________________________________________________________________________


This is my story, and as much as I value education, I've come to understand that knowledge, devoid of wisdom, yields limited outcomes.


For a significant portion of my life, my ability to memorize and regurgitate information earned me commendations and accolades, yet it felt hollow. I'm grateful that I heeded the inner yearning, which eventually transformed into my motivation and mission, crystallized through the words I now share.


My purpose lies in dismantling misconceptions surrounding 'stress' and challenging the current standard of healthcare. You, along with your family, deserve more than a mere management of dis-ease.


I do not believe we are being intentionally deceived. Instead, I contend that our knowledge is subject to limitations, preventing us from exploring the full spectrum of possibilities.

So, I pose this question:
Is knowledge controlling you, or are you the one controlling knowledge?

As don Miguel Ruiz aptly stated, there's a prevailing belief that knowledge empowers. Indeed, knowledge offers valuable insights. However, we must acknowledge that the physical world is inherently organic, not static. The attempt to manage dis-ease often amounts to an endeavor to control nature with knowledge, reminiscent of the sentiment echoed in a 1970s commercial: 'It's not nice to fool Mother Nature.'


When knowledge dictates your actions, you inadvertently impose limitations. In contrast, when you wield knowledge as a tool under your command, you open the doors to the profound possibilities only wisdom can generate.


In this context, it's essential to recognize that stress, in its essence (not just the external stressors), represents a form of wisdom that often goes untaught. Embracing this insight grants you the reins to break free from the cycle of dis-ease management.


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