Most people associate Alaskan Earth Mama, a local business with a cult following here in Fairbanks run by my friend Monica, with herbal products - in particular, a healing salve (Soothe & Heal Balm) and an all-natural mosquito repellant (and herbal baths...and soy candles...and teas...and beard conditioning products...and a lip balm colored from Alaska cranberries...the list goes on!). But few know about a growing arm of her business: essential oil education and aromatherapy sessions.
To be honest, I really didn't understand what an aromatherapy session entailed until we arranged a model so we could photograph one. I guess I pictured...smelling things? I feel like the word "aromatherapy" has been coopted ever since the introduction of "aromatherapy dishsoaps" and the like within the last decade (so you can have indulgent self-care while washing dishes? Um....). I see it everywhere from shampoos to candles to dish soaps and everywhere in between. A personalized aromatherapy session, however, goes far beyond a pleasant aroma. Instead, it's a customized bodywork session that incorporates essential oils chosen for their unique therapeutic attributes, based on the information Monica gathers pre-session - are stiff muscles an issue? A sore neck? Insomnia? You get the idea.
But I will admit that it smelled really good.