Meet Marie Wilkinson, MTSO's Aromatherapy Expert

Posted by Massage Therapy on

 As we have just crossed the equinox and transition into the winter months, you may wish to expand in exploring aromatherapy for your practice.

And if you’re wondering just how to add essential oils to your practice, ask Marie Wilkinson, our resident expert in essential oils and their use for healing through massage therapy.

Marie is extremely adept in understanding plants and herbs, and can suggest the best oils for your purposes, based on her experience and expertise.

I sat down with Marie to ask her about her background in using essential oils, and how she got started.

Her earlier contact had been with attars, the perfume oils from India. Soon Marie’s journey in essential oils began in earnest in 1989-1990, when she stepped into a herbalist’s office. It was a doorway into a new aspect of her life’s work. As the person there opened the variety of bottles, she became more intrigued and fascinated. This initial interest matched her exploration of plant therapies and herbology, coming to understand how to use plants to keep ourselves in good health. One way plant therapies are conveyed is through essential oils.

Marie soon went into an informal apprenticeship for 2 years that also involved conferences on aromatherapy, with what was then the early incarnation of the American Aromatherapy Association. At that time there was nothing in Canada like that.


By the mid- ‘90s there was more happening with Aromatherapy, in both Aveda’s salon formulations and the Body Shop, emphasizing salon self-care. But other aspects of the field were also evolving. Marie was in the forefront as the understanding of aromatherapy expanded from this general well-being spa approach into creating combinations and blends for body care - including using topical applications for specific needs such as wound healing, mom and baby, pain relief, protecting skin from harsh winters and so forth.

For over 15 years Marie has used aromatherapy in her private practice in foot care and reflexology. Her ongoing continuing education over the years includes conferences with international speakers, aromatherapy chemists, and specialty distilling with Jeannie Rose, keeping up with new research as the field grew. Now with the explosion of information on the internet she’s found there is as much misinformation as valuable knowledge on the web.

Her best advice? Start with simple stuff. Aromatherapy works on two levels – not only the smells that trigger brain and body, but also the benefits from skin application which open an unending area of exploration.

At Massage Therapy Supply Outlet we offer a small selection of preblended massage oils, lotions and creams that include some aromatherapy.

And if you want to explore further, an easy way is to simply add aromatherapy into any unscented massage therapy medium. Just use 2-4 drops of essential oil to 1 tsp of your massage oil, lotion or cream. It is entirely safe and beneficial, always okay on skin in the correct amounts. We have aromatherapy oils available as single essential oils or blends.

Here's another tip from Marie: Using a diffuser? after about 5 minutes you may not smell the aromas that your diffuser has put into the air, but make no mistake, it is there. In fact, many RMTs find that there is no need to diffuse into the air, for using essential oils as part of your practice will soon fill your practice room with a therapeutic scent that people will more and more appreciate.   And check out our Aromatherapy Permachart – it’s a good resource to keep on hand for details.  

Marie often provides recipes in our blogs and newsletters, with suggestions for good ways to bring aromatherapy into your practice and self-care. She is always happy to answer questions – feel free to drop by the store, give her a call or email her direct at marie@mtso.ab.ca.

Feeling the change of season?

Marie's Antiviral Blend:

 Frankincense 3 drops; Lavender 5 drops, Lemon 3 drops, Lemongrass 1 drop

Respiratory Relief:

 Eucalyptus 5 drops, Japanese Mint Oil 1 drop, Lavender 3 drops, Lemon 3 drops
aromatherapy practice tips

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