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5 Questions with a certified aromatherapist in Grand Forks

The Herald sat down with certified aromatherapist Caitlyn Malone for 5 Questions this week.

Caitlyn Malone Certified Aromatherapist.jpeg
Caitlyn Malone has been a certified aromatherapist since 2018
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GRAND FORKS — The Grand Forks Herald sat down with certified aromatherapist Caitlyn Malone for 5 Questions this week.

Q: What is aromatherapy?

A: I guess the official definition would just be the use of things like essential oils, and not just essential oils, but other aromatic substances for overall health and well-being. It's more of a homeopathic kind of therapy.

Q: How did you get into aromatherapy?

A: I started using essential oils, I think, in 2015. I was just going through a really hard time mentally, and I had some friends who use them and said that it really helped with things like their anxiety and their sleep, so I decided to give it a shot. And I immediately fell in love with it. I noticed it helping really, really well. There was nothing I could get my hands on fast enough to learn about how these worked, and more so like the science behind them, because there is legitimate science behind them. They are still a chemical compound. And then I think it was in 2018 that I realized I had pretty much learned everything I could learn from free resources online, and if I wanted to continue learning I was going to have to go to school. So that's why I decided to get my certification.

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Q: What training did you have to complete to become a certified aromatherapist?

A: So there are probably hundreds of schools across the world that do aromatherapy certification. There isn't any sort of standard on education, so it's really up to the school. We do have a way of self-regulating within the business, but it's really up to the individual person as to whether or not they want to follow those regulations and ethics. But for me, it involves obviously choosing a school that I felt like aligned with my personal ethics, and then the actual schooling part was about 650 classroom hours to get my certification. The minimum to be considered a certified aromatherapist is only 200.

Q: What can you treat with aromatherapy?

A: You can treat all sorts of things, although I try to impress upon people that essential oils are not a cure-all. Somebody might come in to me, like I've had somebody come in wanting help with something like PCOS. I've had general health and wellness (questions) like, ‘What do I do to keep my health where it is?’ I've had people come in for muscle aches and pains. I try to keep it (to) very minor ailments. Anything more major than that, and that's where we started to get into were like, ‘OK, you might need, you might need somebody who's more specialized than I am,’ or, ‘You might need another specialty completely, and I don't want to practice outside of my scope or give you advice that may not work.’

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Q: What would you say to someone considering aromatherapy who has never experienced it?

A: My main piece of advice I would say would be to check your sources. There is lots and lots of bad information on the internet, and unfortunately, a lot of that comes from essential oil companies who are really just out to make a sale. Some of these companies don't really care about safety or ethics, they just care about money. And so that's why I always tell people, ‘If you want to learn, make sure you're learning from somebody who isn't trying to teach you things in order to make a sale as their end goal.’ Find a certified aromatherapist. That obviously doesn't have to be me, but there are websites out there where you can garner safety information and learn how to use them safely and effectively and protect your own health and well-being and your body so you don't end up hurt, because you can end up hurt.

Jacob Holley joined the Grand Forks Herald as its business reporter in June 2021.

Holley's beat at the Grand Forks Herald is broad and includes a variety of topics, including small business, national trends and more.

Readers can reach Holley at jholley@gfherald.com.Follow him on Twitter @JakeHolleyMedia.
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