Fight cold and flu symptoms * Relax your body and soothe sore muscles * Heal skin conditions * Alleviate pain * Balance hormones * Improve digestion * Reduce wrinkles * Clean your home *  Boost energy

Those sound like the promises of a Snake Oil Salesman - a shady, seedy profiteer who exploits an unsuspecting public by peddling fake cures.

On the contrary - these are research-based, evidence-backed applications of essential oils. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy offers 'scientific, empirical and current information about aromatherapy and essential oils to the public and health care professionals.' Additionally, they promote and elevate 'academic standards in aromatherapy education and practice standards for the profession.'

The health benefits listed above are derived from essential oils and the use of aromatherapy. Essential oils are organic compounds that have proven healing properties extracted from plants.

REC Retreats and Level II Aromatherapist, Ginny Winfield, are offering a comprehensive introductory class on the basics of essential oils. Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • discuss the definition of essential oils
  • discover which part of the plant produces essential oils 
  • learn methods of essential oil extraction
  • make connections between smell and the brain
  • understand essential oil safety and care as well as methods of application and use
  • explore six essential oils and the blends which use them
  • make an inhaler to take home
  • enjoy a light herbal tea 
  • receive suggestions for further reading
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About Ginny

Ginny Winfield is a Level 2: NAHA Certified Professional Aromatherapist. She has completed 200 hours of formalized NAHA training.

Ginny completed a program in Therapeutic Swedish Massage from the Santa Barbara School of Massage with additional training from The School of Intuitive Massage and Healing.

Ginny is an active community member on Lummi Island, and generously shares her many skills (including those of Master Gardener) with the world. 

The term “essential oil” is a contraction of the original “quintessential oil.” This name originates from the Aristotelian idea that matter is composed of four elements: fire, air, earth, and water. The fifth element, or quintessence, was considered to be spirit, or life force. People once believed that the spirit, or life force, could be removed from the plant through distillation and evaporation. Now we know that essential oils are not spiritual, but physical, in nature and composed of complex mixtures of chemicals.  Source: Sell, Charles. Chapter 5 from the book: Handbook of essential oils : science, technology, and applications.

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Misinformation, low-quality oils and improper use can result in health risks or be ineffective. It is important for the consumer to do their own research on essential oils and their efficacy. We encourage you to do so at the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy: naha.org.

It is also vitally important for instructors to be formally educated in essential oils by a nationally recognized school. There are three levels of National Certification in Aromatherapy, covering safety and toxicology, organic chemistry, and patient case studies in addition to other requirements.


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Participants - please do not wear perfume or scented hair or body lotion products. 

During the winter, Ginny will be offering hands-on Essential Oil classes in which participants will practice blending their own oil combinations. Those who have taken her Introduction to Essential Oils and Aromatherapy will benefit most from the follow-up classes. Consider registering for Introduction to Essential Oils and Aromatherapy now so you are ready for the exciting classes yet to come!