Community Partners, Subtle/Energetic
Essential Oil Energetics Enhance Self-Introspection
By Caryn Gehlmann
Joni Keim has been one of our partners at e3 for many years. She researches and writes articles for us, provides excellent direction on natural skincare, and assists in product development. So we’re happy to interview her and her business partner Ruah Bull about their new website. It features their books on subtle aromatherapy — the art of using essential oil energetics for subtly shifting emotions, thoughts, and spiritual awareness to a deeper and more positive state.
Tell us a little bit about your background.
Joni: I grew up and stayed in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I am a fifth-generation Californian. I worked in alternative health for over 40 years as a practitioner, educator, author, and consultant in the fields of aromatherapy, holistic health sciences, aesthetics, nutrition, flower essence therapy, and energy healing. I have retired from my private practice, which specialized in integrating alternative modalities and products into lifestyle/wellness programs. I am currently enjoying my association with Aromatic Practice as well as continuing to write.
Ruah: I grew up on the east coast, moved to California in 1987, and then returned to Massachusetts in 2021. I have masters degrees in both psychology and education and have been a professional in the healing arts since 1977. These days, I work as a Spiritual Director and have an international practice with people of different faiths. I have learned that incorporating practices such as subtle aromatherapy, ceremony, meditation, and prayer can enhance spiritual journeys.
How did you two meet and begin working together?
We met while we were both training in energy healing and had the same teacher. I [Joni] was working on an article for a magazine and contacted Ruah as a resource. We connected and discovered our mutual love of essential oils, energy work, and spirituality. During the next years we wrote our three books, all of which are now in second editions and have been translated. We work well together and our new project, Aromatic Practice, is a joy.
How did you connect with Caryn and essential 3? How has this relationship benefited your aromatherapy practice?
The aromatherapy company that I [Joni] was working for closed. Those of us working there were brainstorming about what other aromatherapy companies might have jobs available. One of my contacts mentioned that she met a “lovely” woman at a trade show who owned an aromatherapy company in Oregon. It was Caryn’s company, Essential Three. In early 2010, I called E3 and spoke with Caryn. I introduced myself and sited the aromatherapy books that Ruah and I had written. Caryn said that Daily Aromatherapy was one of her favorite books. We made an instant connection and have worked together in various capacities ever since. More importantly, Caryn is a treasured friend and one of the dearest people I know.
The aromatherapy field has changed dramatically over the years, but one aspect remains the same and is of the utmost importance—the quality of the essential oils. As consumers, the only way we know that the essential oils we use are of therapeutic quality is to trust our supplier. E3 maintains a strict standard for their essential oils, and I refer people to them.
What is the difference between subtle aromatherapy and regular aromatherapy?
The primary difference is that subtle aromatherapy focuses on the energetic body and not the physical body—though, ultimately, it can affect the physical body. Also, when practicing subtle aromatherapy, fewer drops of essential oils are used (usually a 1% dilution or less) and we suggest that they be used with intention and visualization.
Who can benefit from learning to use essential oil energetics?
It’s very intuitive to match the energetic properties of essential oils with our energetic needs. For example, our reaction to the oil tells us that Peppermint is stimulating, Lavender is calming, Black Pepper is warming. So anyone can benefit from and enjoy subtle aromatherapy—women and men, lay people and practitioners. Those who have an interest in alternative health and self-care should find subtle aromatherapy interesting and valuable.
What are the essential oils that support meditation and how would they be used?
There are different forms of meditation. Sandalwood (Santalum album) and Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) support most forms. To be more specific, Sandalwood is a good choice for mindfulness meditation and self-introspection; Frankincense for contemplative prayer and spiritual awakening; and Lavender or Clary Sage for guided imagery meditation.
To use: Place one drop of the essential oil on a tissue and inhale the aroma through your nose, without the tissue touching your skin. Pause. Inhale the aroma once more and then begin your meditation. You may also end your meditation with inhaling the aroma again from the tissue. This will strengthen the connection between the aroma and a meditative state.
Why do you emphasize safety guidelines when using essential oils?
Essential oils are concentrated and pharmacologically active. Using them requires following safety guidelines to avoid possible mishaps.
What do you recommend for someone who wants to learn more about the energetics of essential oils?
The best way is to read books and learn from teachers for a general approach and then dive right in for the personal experiences. With practice, using subtle aromatherapy becomes individualized with nuances that are unique—because everyone is different.
Thank you Joni and Ruah for expanding our understanding of essential oil energetics. We carry one of Joni’s books, Natural Skin Care: Alternative & Traditional Techniques, in our online store. If you’d like to read one of Joni and Ruah’s books on subtle aromatherapy, visit their website, Aromatic Practice.
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