Join Dr. Liz for a lovely, winding conversation with certified Aromatherapist Amy Anthony.
We talk about:
- What to use for better sleep
- How to set your expectations; Why less is more with essential oils
- Helping your memory and clarity
- Being careful with scent and trauma
- Scent sensitivities and how they relate to people’s receptors
- How to change mood through scent
- Increasing motivation with essential oils
- Being careful using essential oils with Autistic individuals or those with ADHD
Amy Anthony is a certified clinical Aromatherapist and Aromatic Gardner who left her career in marketing to pursue what is closest to her heart: working with plants. She is a Certified Aromatic Studies Method Teacher and one of NYC’s Top Aromatherapy Practitioners. She is currently the New York State representative for the Alliance of International Aromatherapists and has her private practice called NYC Aromatica which includes one-on-one customized aromatherapy sessions, online class offerings, corporate consulting, and article writing. See more about her at https://nycaromatica.com/
Also check out her podcast “Essential Aromatica” https://podcasts.apple.com/bg/podcast/essential-aromatica/id1556412381
About Dr. Liz
Winner of numerous awards including Top 100 Moms in Business, Dr. Liz provides psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, and hypnosis to people wanting a fast, easy way to transform all around the world. She has a PhD in Clinical Psychology, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and has special certification in Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy. Specialty areas include Anxiety, Insomnia, and Deeper Emotional Healing.
Do you have Chronic Insomnia? Find out more about Dr. Liz’s Better Sleep Program at https://bit.ly/sleepbetterfeelbetter
A problem shared is a problem halved. In person and Online hypnosis and CBT for healing and transformation. Schedule your free consultation at https://www.drlizhypnosis.com.
Listened to in over 140 countries, Hypnotize Me is the podcast about hypnosis, transformation, and healing. Certified hypnotherapist and Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Dr. Liz Bonet, discusses hypnosis and interviews professionals doing transformational work
Dr. Liz: Welcome. I’m Dr. Liz, an entrepreneur, speaker, podcaster, mom and wife. This podcast is about hypnosis, but also about all kinds of ways to help you live your fullest life, to heal, transform, to play the long game, and go after the joy. You can see more about me @drlizhypnosis.com. Hop over there to get a free hypnosis file to decrease fear and anxiety, or when to increase emotional stability.
They’re there just for you. I hope you enjoy the podcast as much as I do. Peace.
Hey everyone, Dr. Liz here. I hope that you are doing well. We’re coming up on spring, which means we’re also coming up on the rainy season for Florida, so you may hear the rain going on in the background of this interview, or the ones that I do this summer. Or the dog making her funny noises when I scratch her behind the ears.
You may hear that too. Today’s interview, it’s with Amy Anthony, who was just lovely. I have to say. She is a professional certified aromatherapist. In the New York State representative for the Alliance of International Aromatherapist, she’s also a certified Aromatic Studies method teacher, so she does quite a bit of teaching and education, and you’ll see that reflected on her website as well.
She has some free courses and some of them are by donation, so she’s really passionate about getting some information out there, an affordable way to people about how aromatherapy can help them. I found her quite grounded. I don’t say that facetiously like someone working with herbs and plants and that type of thing.
She really just felt very grounded to me. Our conversation does wander a bit, but we get to how to use some oils to enhance sexual response, how to use them for feeling calmer, more centered for autism, for ADHD, how, what to use to feel more motivated. Near the end of the interview, we talk about cold infusions.
That’s basically putting some plants in some water and letting the water absorb some of the senses and qualities of those plants, and then you can drink that water. So she gives us a recipe near the end of the interview. Now I tried the recipe and I really liked it. I actually liked it far more than herbal teas.
Like I say in the interview, I’m not really a big, huge fan of herbal teas, but I really love the cold infusion. So now I feel like I have some more options when people are like, oh, you should drink, uh, raspberry tea for blah, blah, blah. No, I feel like I have a good option. Like, oh, I can do a cold infusion instead and get the same benefit.
So let’s jump into our conversation with Amy Anthony.
Hi Amy. Welcome to the Hypnotize Me podcast.
Amy Anthony: Hello. Thanks for having me as a guest. I’m excited to spend time with you.
Dr. Liz: Yes. I had someone who worked with Essential Oils on, um, a couple of years ago and I just thought it was such a wonderful topic and so when you came across my desktop, I was like, yes.
Yeah. Like absolutely. Let’s have her on, because it looks like you do essential oil work in all kinds of different areas. Yeah.
Amy Anthony: Yes, but mostly as an educator, because I find as they’ve grown in popularity, a lot of people have heard of them, but don’t know how to work with them. So I find I’m in the educational space.
Dr. Liz: What did you picture when you first started getting interested in that field? Did you not picture it as a lot of education?
Amy Anthony: No, it’s a, that’s a great question because I come from the corporate America and I, you know, had a transition back how many years ago, and the essential oils found me, and I was just curious and wanted to learn more about what they are, the magic behind them, all that, and I just pursued this.
Obsession not knowing why, of just learning and becoming certified. And then once I became certified at the school, I learned at, I was asked, asked to become a teacher. Oh, so it’s just kind of the universe to use that language like knocking on my door and saying Yes, and it kind of fell in my lap.
Dr. Liz: Oh, interesting. Okay. Yeah. What was your corporate background like? What area?
Amy Anthony: Um, market research, so survey design focus groups. I did both qualitative and quantitative. So from thousands of survey responses like Pfizer. Yeah, add recognition to, you know, microbial research for hands. Products and, yeah. Yeah, like it, it just ran the gamut.
It ran the gamut from product concept testing too, stuff like that. Got it. It was fun.
Dr. Liz: I, yeah. I used to write reports for that, like, oh, we’re talking 20 years ago. Really? I love it. Yeah. So I’m actually familiar with the area. Yeah. And it’s funny because sometimes I’ll run across something and I’ll be like, they obviously did not do any kind of focus groups on this, you know, or else they would’ve obviously found the problems, you know?
Amy Anthony: So. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. And honestly, I, I, this I think goes into any profession when we can appreciate the qualitative, like the focus groups and the in-depth interviews, and we appreciate the stories. Mm-hmm. Then you build up to the bigger data sets to get the validation. Yes. Hopefully it’s done properly.
Like there’s value in both. Um,
Dr. Liz: absolutely. There. It’s, yeah. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. So you transitioned out of that into becoming a full-time, um, what do you call yourself, aromatherapist?
Amy Anthony: Yes, thank you. Yes, an aromatherapist. Okay, fantastic.
Dr. Liz: And, and a teacher educator?
Amy Anthony: Yes. Yeah, I’m a private practitioner, so I do one-on-one interviews, um, when I’ve taught mm-hmm. several hypnotherapists that wanted to become certified, um, incorporate essential oils into their practice. So, Being an aromatherapist, you’re always like a, it’s a modality that could be folded into so many other practices.
Dr. Liz: Agreed. It’s often helpful, um, to have just all kinds of different tools in, in your toolkit to say if someone is open to working with essential oils, aromatherapy, whether that really even walking into their own garden or having a plant or a flower around that they could smell that feels calming.
Amy Anthony: And it’s not even necessarily going out and buying a product, but something that really feels calm. That feels calming, then it’s, it’s always a good tool for someone to use. Yes, and I’m really happy you said that because it’s part of me. You always grow as a teacher, right? If you’re stagnant, you might as well stop.
Being an aromatherapist, like you’re saying, goes beyond the oil. It’s not about buying products, it is about connecting with nature. So sometimes when I’ve seen a, excuse me, a client privately, I. You go through a whole intake and sometimes they’ll be like, well, are you going outside and walking? Are you getting enough sun?
Mm-hmm. I could easily say, just start using lemon essential oil, da da da. It’s like, no, let’s look at all of you and are you getting the movement you need? Mm-hmm. I hate the word exercise. Are you getting the movement you need? Are you getting sun? You know, and it’s, it’s a big picture in a, the essential oil is just a part of it.
Dr. Liz: Mm-hmm. Well, what happens when someone is. Living in a colder climate where it’s dark. Like you’re up in New York state, correct? Mm-hmm. Yes it is. It is actually dark. Well, let’s say hazy, right? Like overcast for a couple of months of the year. Um, what happens when someone’s in that situation?
Amy Anthony: You could turn to some oils because, um, one of, I appreciate my training because it’s the quote, holistic approach of, you always look for the stress response first.
Mm-hmm. Uh, as, and to support the person in stress responses. I just have to say this, we can’t use diagnostic language. We don’t treat, we don’t cure, we can’t use that language. Um, and we’re not trained medical professionals. But, um, I would say, and I have asked like, well, what about getting a, like light therapy?
Mm-hmm. You know, so maybe it is saying, Hey, um, I’m a bit grumpy, I’m groggy. Maybe we create a blend for the person that they can incorporate into their daily life and try to get them to be outside or get, um, like a light box. Mm-hmm. If that fits into their life, you know? Yes. It’s part of the conversation.
Holistic approach. I think that words are overused now, but it is true holism.
Dr. Liz: Yeah. Well, it’s interesting because people who love plants will often have special lighting for them. So they’re growing the plants and they know, okay, they need this much light, and perhaps they’re indoors and they really can’t give them the outside light that the plant needs.
I mean, some plants are, are, um, more appropriate for shade or indoors anyway. Mm-hmm. But they don’t think to do that for themselves. Like you need light as well, right.
Amy Anthony: And special light sometimes. Yes. And how many times have we seen the research out there that says you need to go outside and get the morning light?
Because that’s about your circadian rhythms, right? Absolutely. To get that. Blue light in the morning, and then you want more of that far red light, lower light in the evening. Um, so that means we should not watch TV or shut our phones off.
Dr. Liz: Yeah. And I am an insomnia specialist. I’m trained in, um, trying behavioral therapy for insomnia as well as hypnosis for insomnia.
And that morning light really is important, even if it is hazy. Or even if we get it through a window, not necessarily being able to step outside. Sometimes that’s not possible in the morning. Um, as well as that late afternoon, like 3:30, 4 o’clock, somewhere around there light as well, and absolutely does help to regulate our circadian rhythm.
So how does aromatherapy, how could aromatherapy actually help with that?
Amy Anthony: With sleep or just. In general, insomnia?
Dr. Liz: Well, let’s say sleep insomnia. Absolutely. Let’s go there. I have a coup, I have actually several questions about how it helps with different, um, problems that people are facing, but since we’re talking about light and sleep, let’s start there.
Mm-hmm. How can it help with both of those?
Amy Anthony: The thing I love about aromatherapy and work, which means working with essential oils, uh, to get technical for your wonderful listeners, you really just have to have some consistency. So let’s say you work with me and I make you a blend for sleep and some of the greatest hits.
A lot of people know lavender and Roman chamomile, and if you hate those, we can always find something else, but. A really nice thing to do is to. Create the ritual as you’re getting ready for bed. I’m a fan of sleep mist, so you could have an aromatic spritzer that would be, you know, some essential oils diluted in water.
Mm-hmm. Distilled water. It could be dis uh, in hydrosols as well, like roses or, uh, chamomile. So many, but you could spray your bedding as you’re getting ready for bed, you know, three to five times, like misting your bed and setting the mood. And part of it is, um, the routine. Mm-hmm. And not over spraying because the essential oils are sneaky.
Okay. They’re subtle. Mm-hmm. Yeah. So they’re not drugs. They’re not going to go in and like to stop and block certain receptors in your body. Mm-hmm. You know, uh, they, they are going to subtly nudge your body. I love this loose language to where it needs to be. Mm-hmm. So maybe you start to feel a bit calmer, but it’s not like taking a sleep.
Um, like I’m blanking out on a sleep drug right now.
Dr. Liz: Oh, there’s so many. You just say a sleep medication. Yeah. Ambien.
Amy Anthony: Thank you. Yeah. Ambien is a common one, so it’s not like taking that and suddenly bam, you’re like, I’m going to sleep. Mm-hmm. It’s so much more subtle, like, because you’re just, I.
Regulating the body. It’s like, I love my herbalist teacher, Jim McDonald. When he says the herbs, which includes essential oils, they tell the body to do stuff. Mm. Like nudge, nudge, do stuff. Okay. So I, I hope I. I just said a lot there. I hope it’s clear. Like you just have to do a little, like nightly, do a sleep mist or maybe you have a diffuser.
Many people have diffusers now. Mm-hmm. And maybe you want to diffuse before bed, not during bed, not while you’re sleeping, but while you’re getting ready for bed, you’re brushing your teeth, you have your diffuser on for like 10 minutes and that will permeate the air with the molecules. You’ll be breathing them in.
Mm-hmm. And. Hopefully, you just feel a little bit calmer. Yeah.
Dr. Liz: Yeah, that sounds lovely actually, to work it into your sleep routine, like, this is how I get ready for bed and this is all the things that I do to tell my body. All right, we’re, we’re getting ready for bed here. It’s time to get sleepy.
Amy Anthony: Yeah, because like I said, it can’t stress enough. It’s not that inter like suddenly you’re like, oh, I’m sleepy going to bed. It’s just that’s not the way the oils work. And one thing I’ve learned as a practitioner is to set people’s expectations, and I think the term is effective when I say it takes the edge off. Because we can work with the oils for pain management.
Mm-hmm. You know, for sleep enhancement, for memory, or for cognition and memory retention and recall. It’s a boost, but it’s not drastic. Mm-hmm. We’ll use that word.
Dr. Liz: Which ones are good for, uh, memory retention? I love that. I haven’t heard of that before.
Amy Anthony: Yeah. Um, kind of a, a go-to classic is Rosemary, and there is research.
There’s more and more research being done, thankfully, on helping just memory formation and the clarity, mental clarity of the mind. I couldn’t tell you the chemistry behind it actually. Mm-hmm. Um, and people are still trying to figure that out. Mm-hmm. But smelling rosemary, eating the plant, like mm-hmm.
Cook with it. Have the herb with you, rub the leaves if you have it growing in your garden. But having that people have like diffused it or smelled it while they’re studying to increase. I don’t like this term memory performance, but to give that kind of bright uplift, um, sensation. And I do want to add something that is really important that aromatherapy these volatile, highly concentrated oils we’re working with.
They work on many levels and one of that is memory. Uh, formation and recall. Mm-hmm. But I’m going to bring it back to the stress response because when we’re stressed mm-hmm. And it’s proven that your hippocampus shrinks. Mm-hmm. You know, the place for memory formation. And when we’re stressed, we’re not helping ourselves.
So when we can. Bring in that parasympathetic nervous system response to say, Hey, it’s time to rest and digest them, you have a better chance of memory formation and retention.
Dr. Liz: Yes. Okay, that makes sense to me. So you’re really calming down the system. You’re, you’re helping activate that Parasympathetic system with, yes, let’s say a scent and then that in turn helps you recall things and, and, um, move into a state where you can sort of rewrite some of those pathways, let’s say. That’s very similar to hypnosis actually, when we’re going into more of a relaxed brainwave state. So we’re moving from beta, which is where most of us walk around during the day, down to alpha, which is a more relaxed state, or even theta, which is an even more relaxed state.
We know that we can change neural pathways, we can create learning. All kinds of things happen more easily in those states, so it also requires a state of focus. So, When you’re learning something, let’s say a stay of focus and then that relaxation happens, then it, yeah, it just helps the system. So that makes total sense to me.
Like a wonderful scent can help you feel more calm, more relaxed, slow to the, let’s say, slow down those brainwaves a little bit slow that then you can recall or remember or retain. It’s something you’re trying to learn. Or change.
Amy Anthony: Thanks for sharing that because the word that’s coming to my mind is receptivity and often, um, the oils can help with that sense of reception because when you can calm your nervous system down, you can be more receptive.
So I’m just going to tie this into my exploration of essential oils and sexuality and sensuality. Like when you have things like chui and vetiver and jasmine and those euphoric mm-hmm. Oils, um, when you can have that sense of ease in your body. Things open up, right? Yes. You could be like, oh, I’m pausing. I’m in my body.
Oh, look around me. This, okay. Yes. I never noticed that crack in the wall before. You know? Like, yeah.
Dr. Liz: Yeah. Well, it’s interesting to me too, because let’s say. You have a particular massage oil that you use with your partner? Mm. Just to do some foreplay or preparation for mm-hmm. Um, more intense sexual contact.
It, it does get linked to excitement over time. Mm-hmm. So it may not at first when you first start using it, but over time that will link to, oh, you know, my body’s going to move into an excited state here. So, so many scents are, I think, linked in our mind like that.
Amy Anthony: Yeah. There is evidence that the essential oils, because they’re so tiny, they’re so molecularly tiny.
Mm-hmm. In lipid loving, they can, and they potentiate activity with dopamine receptors with G A B A receptors with serotonin receptors. Mm-hmm. So there’s, there’s scent. Association. That is incredibly powerful. Yeah. And then there’s the, the, like the tiny stuff going on that when we smell those oils, we are potentiating neurotransmission, some of these chemical components can dock on.
Receptor sites. Mm-hmm. And also when we’re inhaling, because that’s what we do, and these are so volatile, they can get into our bloodstream and they travel around our body. Mm-hmm. And you know, there’s a whole cornucopia of stuff that happens. Yeah. But you start by, like you were saying, it’s, you start with that, oh, you recognize that or that’s familiar and that could trigger a response.
Dr. Liz: Yeah. And. I mean, have you ever used them to, Let’s say, um, or let me say, work with someone to actually rewrite a response, because as I’m saying, like, yes, they get linked with, um, really good things in our life. Some calming, relaxing feelings.
Sometimes when a trauma happens, it could be linked with a smell that someone does not want to be confronted with in their environment, like unexpectedly. So have you ever worked with someone to really rewrite those associations?
Amy Anthony: No. I mean, that would be an interesting experience, but I do know. Mm-hmm. Uh, I was just attending a con, a virtual conference two weekends ago with the Alliance of International Aromatherapists, of which I am the New York State representative, so I have, I’m invested, if you will.
Yeah. Um, but. There are a, um, two therapists, two trauma therapists that were presenting that do work with essential oils, and they’re bringing up something that we’re always taught that if someone is smelling an oil and it triggers a memory, you don’t have to go there. This is why it’s important for people that hear about oils.
Mm-hmm. And you hear peppermint is great for headaches. Mm-hmm. And what if you had a really bad experience with peppermint? I, as the aromatherapist, will not tell you to use that. I’d say, let’s find something else. We could definitely find something else to help you. Yeah. Yeah. But I, so we want to be very careful about aroma triggered memories in trauma. Mm-hmm. But you are bringing up something powerful that I do know of a hypnotherapist here in New Jersey. She works with essential oils to create these anchors. Mm-hmm. Um, to. To always anchor you back to the feeling. So I’m, I’m kind of, I feel like you’re going on tangent, but it’s, yeah.
Yeah. It’s really powerful to find that if there is an aroma that you want to help someone reintegrate mm-hmm. You could work with them safely, um mm-hmm. With someone like you who has training. Mm-hmm. But I haven’t, I don’t have your level of expertise in that. Yeah,
Dr. Liz: I think they’d have to be dual trained, is my guess.
Yeah. I mean, yeah, technically you could say. All right. Is there a scent you want to bring into session that you would like to anchor to? Mm-hmm. Maybe perhaps something you love and be open to that as a hypnotherapist. Absolutely. But I think. Ideal. If you are rewriting something like that in regards to a trauma, then ideally you would have someone trained in both modalities, immunotherapy and aromatherapy.
That’s more complex work than bringing in your favorite scent, you know?
Amy Anthony: Yeah. It always, so I love this too. Go ahead. This distinction. That’s like someone like you, you could work with both myself because I am not trained, a trained therapist, um, in that I’m an Aromatherapist, but you know what I mean? Um, I would love to help form new memories and associations, but I don’t have the training to do what you could do with the oils, you know?
Dr. Liz: Um, yeah. It’s always interesting to me too when, uh, a new client comes into my in-person office and they’ll remark on. How it smells often smells like chocolate in my office. Oh, they’ll say how it smells like chocolate in here, which I didn’t really have an awareness of until, um, people started saying that for me, accused me into, oh, this is someone who does notice scent.
I’m one of those people too. I’m actually extremely sensitive to sense and so. I always notice something like that. Um, people, offices, places that I go, everything, um, versus someone who doesn’t comment on them, it’s really not as much on their radar.
Amy Anthony: Yeah, I mean, I just have to share something. I think it’s hilarious. My spouse, I have him notice aromas around us now, just through association with me, because we’ll be out to dinner. Mm-hmm. And someone will have a perfume on. And years ago I’d just be like, oh God, this like, it’s ruining my experience and he thinks I’m being dramatic, but now he’ll be like, he’ll pick up on someone three tables over and make a face at me.
It’s like, Scent travels. Right. So it’s very public, uh huh. It’s very public and all of us should be aware of how powerful it really is. Yes.
Dr. Liz: Well, I think some people are more sensitive to scents than others. I had a friend years ago that I met through a transformational workshop we were doing and we had a discussion about perfume because she always wore perfume, and in her culture it was actually disrespectful not to wear perfume. Somehow, you know, like your natural body odor was considered ugh. Mm-hmm. Ucky. So you needed to wear perfume and apply it several times a day. Mm-hmm. And we were doing something together and I’d ask like, do you think you could not wear your perfume?
She was like, what? But it led into this discussion about these cultural differences. As well as like sensitivities like that had never occurred to her, that it actually may affect someone else negatively or be offensive to someone else or something like that. And hers was quite the opposite.
Amy Anthony: I love that because it, to me, I love that cultural difference.
Like, let me just back up here, like everyone has different receptors. Mm-hmm. And there’s lots of science about, um, anosmia especially, or like losing the sense of smell or not being able to smell particular chemical components that are in that comprise aromas and. Like you could be smelling. Um, what’s the classic one?
It’s about pork, I think. Like someone can have a different receptor and someone smells pork and then the other person smells urine. Geez. So we all have different receptors. Awful. Yes. Yes. Right. Uhhuh Or being able to smell asparagus pee. Yes. Like I can smell that some other people can’t. So there’s a lot of examples of how our receptors are different.
Mm-hmm. And then there’s also the desensitization we do, because let’s say you and I were perfume. You get used to your perfume, you get used to your office smelling like chocolates, so you don’t notice it anymore. Yes. Mm-hmm. So there’s. All these differences because this is all chemistry based. This is chemo sensory stuff we’re talking about that we’re all different. And it’s fascinating.
Dr. Liz: It is. Yeah. We sense things differently. We’re more sensitive to some people than others. We’re on a scale there. Um, absolutely. And we know that, especially through covid, we know how important that sense of smell is. To keep ourselves alive. Right? Like if you can’t smell food, you have very little motivation to eat it sometimes.
Yeah. So we, that became very clear during covid, like, oh my gosh, eating became a chore for a lot of people who lost that sense of smell. And we know this from, from studies way before. Covid, but that it just made it so apparent in, let’s say the, the public eye around how important smell is. And it helps us even identify whether something’s rotten and we shouldn’t need it because that would be dangerous for us, or whether something’s okay.
Um, but yeah, it’s just so important
Amy Anthony: I think. Uh, I just wrote down the word joy, and that’s something that aromas are complex, you know, really volatile, complex components and they bring joy. Like, my job is so cool, like I was just doing this. Um, Big PR event related thing earlier last week, and I got to interact with one of the first guests and like I just to present her with some scent strips and say, you were going to build your own blend for you right here.
We’re going to have fun. And just to see that person’s face mm-hmm. Light up. Yeah. That is therapeutic in and of itself. Like I will be in public and I’ll have a vial with me in my bag, because I always do. And I’ll be like, smell this. And you’ll see the person’s face change. Mm-hmm. And generally light up.
So when we are sparking that joy, not to sound all Marie, uh, organization lady
Dr. Liz: Marie Kondo
Amy Anthony: Yes. You know this right? Like we can smile. We’re changing our chemistry, we’re changing our neuro, like the neuro pathways, right? Yes. And if I can make someone smile through smelling roses mm-hmm.
I just change that person’s day. Mm-hmm. Like that’s really big and so small at the same time. Yeah.
Dr. Liz: Well, I want to change topics really quickly here to autism and ADHD. We were talking about some sensory stuff before, and I know sensory is a big component of autism. Some sensory sensitivities, let’s say.
Yes. So I know you sometimes talk about how essential oils can help autism in ADHD. Could you give us some information about that?
Amy Anthony: Something I want to stress about essential oils is that, I don’t think I said this yet, that less is more and generally, um, yes. You have like a hypersensitized neurology that this person mm-hmm.
I remember I had a client whose son was adopted and I won’t get into their case because that’s not right. But this person was so sensitized, had to wear headphones all the time, and you want to bring calming in. Mm-hmm. And sometimes, uh, we always have to remember regardless of the individual, more doesn’t mean better with aromatherapy.
So many people will often go to some of the greatest hits for calming. Could be the vir. I shouldn’t say that, I wanted to hold that one, but vet traverse, cedarwood, lavender, I already mentioned chamomile. Mm-hmm. Some of those have given an excess, and can have the opposite effect on somebody. Okay. So if you’re working with an individual that’s, if I may use the word hypersensitive, uh, you just want to introduce the oils to them mm-hmm. And let them participate. And generally I’m thinking of children. Of course this would be adults too. Mm-hmm. But you could have the oils, you could put one drop on a scent strip and you say, Hey, what do you think about this? And you just. Watch them react, ask them to share what they’re feeling and we’re just essential Oils can generally be broken into what I joke are uppers and downers, like that’s a way to get our head around things, right?
We have the Rosemarys of the world and the Roman chamomiles, like polar opposites. So if you want this person to come to a just kind of calm state, not asleep, right? Just calm. Maybe you do present cedarwood. It that people smell it, you’re breathing in and like just see what happens. But the takeaway is that less is always more.
Okay. So start when you have someone that’s really, really hypersensitive uhhuh. Start small. You know, start small. Sorry.
Dr. Liz: Yeah. No, you said it. Start small. Mm-hmm.
Amy Anthony: Yeah. And I, uh, the idea too of you said it before when we started our conversation, go outside. If you are in a, uh, you know, a non-stimulating environment, if you can go into a sensory garden and have the individual rub their hand against a rosemary plant mm-hmm.
Or if you’re warmer in someplace like Florida, maybe you have Elon, Elon growing, or you have some eucalyptus down there, you could have the sensorial thing and encourage smelling. Mm-hmm. And to see what happens. Because I think, um, when I’ve, I don’t work with children a lot, but when I have, it’s really important to engage and allow them to help choose.
That’s really important. Yes.
Dr. Liz: I just started doing adult autism evaluations actually, and. It’s such a, uh, prominent topic in the adult autistic world of how do you create a safe environment for yourself? How do you attenuate some of these sensitivities so that you don’t get overwhelmed so that you do feel more regulated?
And so I think it is, I think it’s a wonderful way, even for adults to start to be able to utilize another tool. To help themselves feel calmer and more regulated when that’s appropriate for them, let’s say. So, yeah, stepping outside if you’re in an environment where that feels calming and wonderful. Yeah.
And see what does help me, um, feel better? Is it rosemary? Is it, what’s the other one, you mentioned? Is it lavender? If it’s planted in your garden, you know, or mint. Um,
Amy Anthony: Yeah. All of them. Yeah. I just, like you said, it is important as the space is neutral and calm and not overstimulating of course, but I think a really effective way is to engage directly with the plant.
Mm-hmm. And if that’s not possible, could be inside in a really nice, you know, neutral environment where you have, you could go to your supermarket and buy ginger. Mm-hmm. Right in, in lemon, in rosemary in time. And you could get all those from the supermarket and then you could sit there and engage with them.
And if something’s appealing to that individual and they’re like, oh yes, I want to spend time with this, this makes me feel happy and, you know, calm, or whatever the right word is for that person. Then you might present the essential oil to say, Hey, let’s take one drop of this and put it on on a cotton pad, and you’re going to carry that around with you, or you know, then you can create the tool for the individual.
Dr. Liz: Yeah. Love that. Start, start small. Start, start small with a natural environment. Basically. A natural, the real plant. Plant itself. Yeah. And then move to the essential oil that matches that.
Amy Anthony: Yeah, you know what? I want to share something that’s, um, because this just happened at that event I was mentioning I had with me Melissa essential oil or lemon balm.
Mm-hmm. And it has a lot of historical anecdotal evidence and some clinical for working with anxiety, lemon balm tea, you know? Mm-hmm. And the essential oil is so, Darn strong, it could be really off-putting for people. Hmm. So I actually pre-diluted it in carrier oil because people were blending and making their own little thing.
Mm-hmm. So I was really aware that, I know the benefits of this oil, but I can’t present it in such, it’s. 100% strength. It’s too much. Yeah. Yeah. So if I, you’re working with someone or you are someone that is very sensitive, that your nervous system is so sensitive, it behooves you to go small, gentle, dilute, you know?
Mm-hmm. And that’s the story about essential oils. Please dilute them. They, are 100% concentrated. Yeah. Uh, substances that, you know, they’re so potent that we must dilute them. Mm-hmm. Got it,
Dr. Liz: got it.
Amy Anthony: Something that’s really important to me. I, I already mentioned it, but aromatherapy can connect us with nature.
So if you’re someone like me that spends most of their time in Manhattan, New York, it could be. So I. Overstimulating. Oh yeah. And if you can reach for your roller ball or the bottle to smell mm-hmm. You know, to yet a yes, you’re breathing deeper, you’re breathing more slowly because you’re thinking about smelling and, but it’s a gift we can give ourselves if we find that we are living in a certain situation, you know?
Yes. Uh, so not everyone has access to nature or a really calming space, but the. Engaging with essential oils and plant material can be. It’s, it’s, it’s a thing. It’s a start. Yes.
Dr. Liz: Yes. So we have talked about autism. What about ADHD ? Is it a similar strategy or is there, um, something that you would recommend specifically more for ADHD ?
Amy Anthony: See, I don’t have, uh, a lot of expertise in this, but because that would be the, it’s about focus, right? Mm-hmm. For people that want to, on various levels to bring a sense of focus. But I’d say it’s similar because it’s connection, centering, it might be different essential oils for the individual. Mm-hmm. But it’s still.
Scent reception. Bringing a sense of centeredness. I’m just thinking. Yeah. It’s about centeredness. Mm-hmm. And being, uh, these words that are so in the zeitgeist now, but being centered and calm and grounded is really important. So someone that has, uh, autism and ADD I just wanted to share like I would present Vever to either individual and see what happens.
Dr. Liz: Vir? Yeah. And what about for motivation? And that’s not just ADHD, but in general, do you find that there are scents? Of course everything is individual like we’ve been talking about. Yeah. But are there scents that are more, um, traditionally that activate people that help people get a little more, uh, motivated to do something?
Amy Anthony: Oh yeah. And um, by the way, this encompasses everything, but generally speaking for. The gamut of any human being unless you have a bad association. The citruses are generally very well receptive, excuse me, received by people. So red, mandarin, sweet orange. They’re kind of, these go-to classics that are sunshine in a bottle.
Mm-hmm. And kid-friendly, adult friendly. Um, they are always a go-to, to have as, um, As a therapist, uh, but for motivation, there’s, I’m like, heck yeah. Uh mm-hmm. I want to just swear like hell. Heck yeah. Um, definitely like Rosemary is hands down lots of evidence behind that. Peppermint mm-hmm. It’s effervescent. It really brings a little spark. Mm-hmm. Uh, Motivating, like Laurel Bay, Laurel, like the kind we cook with. Yeah. Very motivating. Myrtle, uh, motivating. Mm-hmm. These are all respiratory health too. Mm-hmm. Uh, in essential oils work with, you know, they run the gamut. They’re really antimicrobial, generally speaking.
They mm-hmm. They do a lot. But, um, the ones I just mentioned are great for respiratory health. Laurel Myrtle. You could go to Tea Tree too, but I just as a practitioner, don’t turn to Tea Tree. Mm-hmm. Uh, let me see.
Dr. Liz: Tea Tree is pretty intense. I mean, it has a risk for some real negative effects.
Sometimes, uh, you know, people I’ve known that have used them on, they’re like, I don’t know why there’s a burn on my hand. And it’s like, oh, maybe it’s the tea tree oil. Well, you know, so yeah, I wouldn’t start there unless you’re working with a practitioner. Like if someone wants to use tea tree oil, I actually do recommend that they talk with a professional aromatherapist, um, to make sure it’s safe for them and they’re using it safely.
Amy Anthony: It is about dilution. Um, and less is more. Mm-hmm. Uh, but there’s some, oh, basil. I was Basil just spending more time with Basil. Again, to be, it brings this kind of state of like it’s first of little bit like uplifting than it could be incredibly regulating as time goes by within let’s say 10 minutes.
Dr. Liz: Oh. Within like 10 minutes and not like an hour, but like 10 minutes. Yeah. It’s like, that’s fast to me.
Amy Anthony: Well, I’m, I’m exaggerating. It’s like, it’s not like it’s, you know, five hours. It’s like you could bring, have this excitement and then over some time, um mm-hmm. A bit of a, just more calm.
Dr. Liz: Hmm. Love it.
I’m pretty sure I have basil in my yard. It’s not technically a garden there in this teeny little yard behind my townhouse. And I’m always trying to plant different things like uh, mint chocolate, mint. I’m pretty sure there’s some basil out there. Lemon balm. Ooh. I know. So when I cut the grass, it smells great.
Oh, oh point. But you can also harvest them for tea. Um, yep. To just smell, like pick the leaf and smell it too, um, so Basil, that’s wonderful.
Amy Anthony: Oh yeah. I mean, one thing I was just writing this, you know, holy basil has a lot of evidence for. Let’s just use the word anxiety. Oh. But if you could, this is also sweet basil you could work with.
And one thing I really enjoy doing when you have the basil, when it’s starting to flower, or even before, but mature enough, you could start collecting like lemon balm and basil leaves. Mm-hmm. And make yourself a cold infusion like you do a cold brew coffee. Really and let that sit. Oh, heck yeah. I mean, I love it in the summer and it’s, just try it.
It’s tasty, it’s pleasant.
Dr. Liz: Um, so you pick a couple of leaves, like a handful, like two or three?
Amy Anthony: A handful. So get yourself a handful of leaves of both. Yep. And then a cold infusion. So, uh, like eight ounces of water, let’s say. Or maybe it’s 12 ounces. And then Okay, so you stick it in the water. Yeah. Let’s say a mason jar put the lid on.
Let it sit in the fridge, uh, six hours or overnight, and then you could strain and then drink through the day.
Dr. Liz: Ooh wonderful. Yes. Okay. I’m going to try that.
Amy Anthony: Please do. And we should stay in touch because like having that to offer, when I see clients, I often have a homemade tea and I’ll ask them about their preferences before, but mm-hmm.
Um, It’s just, you just watch the individual and ask for their feedback. Like it, it’s powerful. You don’t, again, have to use the oil. So if you wanted to engage somebody, uh, with a tea, it’s so much more gentle and subtle. Mm-hmm. Like we’re talking, if you’re working with folks that, um, are diagnosed with ADHD or it’s.
It’s a nice gift to have that more, um, cool, like slower sensorial experience. Mm-hmm. Like it’s a soft experience, I feel like having a soothing cold infusion tea.
Dr. Liz: Wonderful. Yeah, I could see that. Is holy basil a different strain of basil than the sweet
Amy Anthony: bison. Yeah. Yeah. So, um, I have to get what Oum sanctum it’s is, uh, is tulsi or holy basil.
Okay? And osim basil is, uh, is sweet basil. Okay? I was going to go to my, my oils here. Make sure I’m telling you the right Latin name. Oum Basil is, uh, the normal garden variety basil, and then mm-hmm. Oum sanctum is your holy basil. Uh, but honestly, you like the sweet basil. It’s just, I don’t know who, unless it’s a bad association, you could just rub those leaves and look at someone’s face.
Dr. Liz: I’m asking because I, I think I’m definitely more familiar with the sweet basil because of cooking and, and all of that. And it’s pretty easy to find, um, at my local Home Depot or whatever. I don’t think I’ve ever seen holy basil. I think I would’ve picked that up. Like, Hmm, maybe I can plant some, uh, the bringing some spirituality into my backyard.
Amy Anthony: Basil, you know, now that we’re talking about this, I have a feeling you’re going to see it in the next couple weeks.
Dr. Liz: Absolutely, yes. That often happens to me. In fact, back to the laundry room story, this really sweet repairman came out and he was so nice, no one I’d ever seen before in my life, and he told me what hose to get.
The washer basically needed a new hose. Mm-hmm. Um, I said, okay. So the next day I go to Home Depot to pick up the hose and he’s at the Home Depot and I’m like, oh my gosh, did I get the right hose? And he’s like, no, actually you need to go get this. I mean, never seen him before in my life, right? But the next day I see him there and he helps me again, super grateful for him.
So yes. So yeah. Holy basil is going to be everywhere now. Absolutely. Like I’m going to go look for a Home Depot and it’s going to be sitting right beside the sweet Basil.
Amy Anthony: I hope so. Or yeah, someone will give it to you as a gift, I hope.
Dr. Liz: Yes. Or you know, any other nursery. There’s lots and lots of nurseries down here.
It doesn’t have to be, um mm-hmm. Home Depot, but, um, but yeah, that would be wonderful and someone gives it to me as a gift as well.
Amy Anthony: Yeah. But I do, I’m excited we had the cold infusion conversation because I’ve noticed that since I started making cold infusions of chamomile mm-hmm. Rose any aromatic, that’s not hard.
And woody, like, you couldn’t, it’s hard to do a cold infusion of cinnamon. Um, but to do those leafy things mm-hmm. It’s just. I just hope everyone tries it. It’s poetry. It’s just, it’s subtle. And you’re not, you’re not destroying the aromatic chemicals. You’re not burning them off. Mm-hmm. You’re not bringing bitter components into your tea.
Dr. Liz: because heat brings out bitter? Is that what happens? I was wondering because it’s like, I do not like herbal teas actually, with the exception of, um, Earl Gray English breakfast or obviously herbal teas, but, but I’m talking like cammomile or Raspberry or something like that. They never taste really good to me. And it must be because of that, the heat does the bitter. Yeah.
Amy Anthony: Yes. So if you can simmer, simmer ever so slightly, then shut off heat and move to the side. Mm-hmm. But the cold infusion, I encourage you, I hope you try it. Yeah. And again, for clients, for people that are interested in essential oils, essential oil bearing plants, um, it’s, I think the theme of our conversation today is gentleness.
Dr. Liz: Yes. So I’d agree. Yeah. The cold infusion sidesteps, that completely. The bitterness. So yes, I’m looking forward to actually trying that.
Amy Anthony: Yeah, please do. Um, so now I’m smelling basil. Uh, but anyway, sorry. I sidetracked a bit.
Dr. Liz: Wonderful. That was that wonderful sigh that you did like, oh, basil.
Holy basil. Yes. Wonderful. Well, we are coming to the end of our conversation here. Can you please tell us people how to find you if they like to work with you or they like more information about aromatherapy or essential oils?
Amy Anthony: Thank you, uh, for the opportunity to share. So, um, I have a website, nycaromatica.com, and I am first and foremost an educator.
So I have a free, you know how to diffuse essential oils class. You just have to sign up for it. Oh, cool. How to make herbal infused oils class, uh, intro to aromatherapy, like why is it called an essential oil when it’s not essential or oily? I have a lot of how-to classes that pay what you wish. I’m big.
A believer in community work and trying to make, uh, aromatherapy accessible. Mm-hmm. Such as drinking tea. I just put an article up about basil, by the way, that has some blending ideas. Great. Um, but so my website has lots of free information or hopefully very affordable information. Mm-hmm. And then I have a podcast where it’s very aromatherapy focused, um, called Essential Aromatica.
Mm-hmm. But I’m really happy to share with the world that I worked on a project for about a year and a half. Called Luna Aroma, and I’m putting up an episode on Every New Moon mm-hmm. About connecting with an essential oil and that time of year, and I give a guided meditation and I just, but you’re, it’s a very special pro, uh, project for me.
Mm-hmm. That, um, I hope to make aromatherapy accessible to people and That’s
Dr. Liz: great. I love it. I love it. All right, so lots of good places that they can find you and, and find information about how to help themselves with aromatherapy.
Amy Anthony: Yes. Uh uh, Liz, this has been really delightful. Thank you for having me.
Dr. Liz: Thank you so much for coming on.
I hope you are truly enjoying today’s episode. Remember that you can get free hypnosis downloads over at my website, dr liz hypnosis.com, D R L I Z hypnosis.com. I work all over the world doing hypnosis. So if you’re interested in working with me, please schedule a free consultation over at my website and we’ll see what your goals are and if I can be of service to you in helping you reach them.
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