Building Connections to Our Bodies and Selves with Essential Oils
By Chris Watson
Ever used Vick’s Vaper Rub? How about Blistex? A cup of mint tea to settle your stomach? Or chamomile to relax and go to sleep? These products are prevalent throughout any mega mart yet we never think of them as essential oils or aromatherapy. However, they have time honored health benefits that we still rely on to support our daily lives. The use of herbs, plants and oils for medicinal purposes crosses cultures, languages, and civilizations. The bible alone has over 180 references to essential oils. Frankincense or myrrh anyone?
Still, using the essence of plants to solve genuine, real health issues? Most of us are understandably skeptical. When Karla Gleason first attended a dōTerra essential oils class, she was that skeptic. “At first I thought the whole idea was a bit crazy,” she says with the knowing smile. That smile comes from a steady, researched journey from skeptic to the owner of Essential Connection, a distributor and team leader for dōTerra essential oils and products.
From Problems to Solutions
“I have a background in health care,” explains Gleason. She has a bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy from UTMC and worked at St. Luke’s for over 20 years and currently works at Central Park West Health Center. “I
have always loved out patient rehabilitation. About 15 years ago I started learning about muscle energy technique. This is a technique that use natural alignment and movement based therapies to help people regain and maintain good posture and improve movement. So, any idea of a natural, holistic approach to medical concerns was appealing.”
That physical therapy background did not, unfortunately, lead to solutions to some of her family problems. “When my son was young he had a lot of skin issues and breathing difficulties due to seasonal conditions. At four he had several prescriptions and things seemed, at best, to be kept at bay. Improvement was never in the cards”
Likewise, Gleason had ongoing sensitivity to dairy. “I have never liked taking medication. I thought dairy was forever gone from my diet. It was pretty disappointing because one of my favorite things is mac and cheese.” The problem wasn’t that prescription, regular medicine didn’t work. It just didn’t work well. “I didn’t want to throw another artificial chemical at a problem. As in my physical therapy work, I wanted solutions that were both workable and natural.”
From Skeptic to Believer
Gleason wasn’t going to take a sales pitch at face value, especially with her son. “The first dōTerra essential oils class I attended I did buy a couple of things, both for my son and for myself. I wasn’t about to just rub some oil on my son,” she says with the same concern of any parent. “I was willing to try a product called DigestZen from dōTerra for myself and then educate myself on essential oils in general and dōTerra in particular.”
The results turned out to be pleasantly surprising, as did the research. First, she found that she could start to add dairy back into her diet. She then moved on slowly for products for her son. “We decided to try dōTerra’s Breathe. The result was that his airways began to naturally open up. We went on to try a couple of other oils for his skin. The result was that he was off of prescription meds within 6 months with noticeable improvement.” The oils she tried, Melaleuca (Tea Tree Oil) and Lavender are both popular and well established oils for skin irritations and relaxation.
Even with the anecdotal evidence Gleason wasn’t finished. “I have a medical background. Everything in the health care field is about research and education. Simple marketing claims weren’t going to cut it.”
From User to Practitioner
Essential oils are, in essence, a product made from the distillation, with either water, steam or other mechanical process, of citrus rinds or other natural materials (from the International Organization for Standardization). The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy narrows that definition to even further to those products that use only physical means of extraction (steam, steam/water and water) and/or cold press.
“I wanted to make sure that what I was getting was the real deal,” states Gleason earnestly. “There are a lot of racks of product out there along with a whole slew of internet providers. I wanted to use, teach, and live inside of a world that uses natural products to support a healthy lifestyle and symptom free living.” DōTerra
became a good fit for Gleason. Besides an excellent track record as a company (ranking in the top 100 of Forbes Magazine’s best employer list), dōTerra backs their product with both research and testing. Every bottle of product has a control number that can be tracked at the central website. DōTerra also provides a comprehensive list of oils and their uses that is easy to access.
From Practitioner to Marketer
“You will never hear me say,” says Gleason earnestly, “that essential oil therapy is a replacement for medical monitoring and care. This isn’t alternative medicine. It is complimentary medicine.”
“Like dōTerra products,” says Gleason pleasantly, “my progression into teaching about oils was natural. I started using them, then talking about them, then selling them and helping other people use and sell dōTerra. I feel like I have returned to an older, proven style of medicine and health care. We try and look for things that work, not just what is assumed to work.”
Although dōTerra uses network marketing, this style of marketing is a natural fit for Gleason. “I don’t want to just throw some product at people. I called the business Essential Connection because I want to be the one connection that you need when you want to move into a more natural and healthier way of living. I work hard to keep a wide variety of contacts to make referals when people have questions. I also spend a good deal of focused time staying educated about what essential oils do, how they work, and above all, how they can be used in day to day living.”
Gleason’s passion for both her product and work come through as passionate, unfiltered honesty. “I never want to come across as that sleazy, network marketing person. Many people feel that the vehicle of sales is a direct reflection of the quality. DōTerra is setting a new standard for not only the vehicle of network marketing but also holistic health care in general. People are hurting and often they don’t need to hurt. The goal of Essential Connection is to be a resource to people, not just a retailer.”
For More information, consultation, and personal appearances contact:
dōTerra Essential Oils
6712 Mill Ridge Rd Maumee, OH 43537
PubMed Health article, Essential Oil Basices plus additional PubMed articles and References: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0032518/
Aromaticscience.com: A scientific source on essential oil research. The site itself is affiliated with doTERRA.