Sunday Wellness Column: Essential Oils and Aromatherapy for Emotional Wellness

Essential Oils and Aromatherapy for Emotional Wellness
Patricia (Trish) Wald-Hopkins MSc, DABT, LMT, RMP
Holistic Wellness Practitioner

Essential oils (EOs) are volatile, aromatic plant essences derived most commonly by steam distillation of various botanical sources including petals, leaves, roots and in some cases the entire plant.

For example, the EOs of the orange are extracted from its flowers, leaves and the rinds of its fruits. Each EO contains a specific bioactive signature that is used alone or in a synergistic blend to support/nourish the body, mind and spirit to a state of vibrant health by applying the oil dermally (topically), or through inhalation or ingestion.

The application of EOs is the ancient practice of aromatherapy, and is a common complementary wellness therapy today. EOs can act locally on body tissues to reduce inflammation. EOs of lavender, chamomile and ginger all have anti-inflammatory properties. EOs can also act on a more subtle, systemic level of lifting one’s mood. Orange EO is regarded as an oil of optimism.

One of my interests as a holistic wellness practitioner is the use of EOs for emotional wellness. I have witnessed first hand and through client feedback that the use of EOs can transform negative emotional states into states of positivity. There is evidence that the mechanism of action is on the biochemistry of the limbic brain also referred to as the mammalian or emotional brain where we process and store emotions and memories side by side with olfaction. I have used EOs and have had clients use EOs primarily as room diffusion and roll-on or massage/body oil products.

My experimentation with EOs in my holistic wellness practice has been influenced by the work of Gabriele Mojay detailed in the book, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit: Restoring Emotional and Mental Balance with Essential Oils where 50 plus emotional/mental states are addressed with EO synergistic blends in the framework of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 

I have adapted the protocols in this book to fit the needs of clients and myself and want to share this valuable information with our community. Through my wellness business, Mariposa Body, I am hosting a Free Wellness Workshop at the Rosebud Café in White Rock Thursday (Aug. 28), 6-8 p.m. that is focused on the use of EOs, herbs and mind-bodywork to support emotional wellness. In addition to myself, local herbalist, Kristi Beguin, will be presenting, as well as, Michele Harkey, local mind-body connection coach.

Enjoy an evening of wellness that can last a lifetime. Register by phone at 505.238.6814 or email

About Trish Wald-Hopkins:

My Practice: Mariposa Body is my holistic wellness practice in the Los Alamos/White Rock community. Mariposa means butterfly in Spanish and to me it represents Nature’s beauty and transformative energy for nurturing and healing the body.

I was trained at the New Mexico Academy of Healing Arts located in Santa Fe. I also am a board certified toxicologist and have been working to promote environmental health for more than 17 years. I blend my training in Swedish massage, medical massage, aromatherapy, yoga therapy, Reiki energy therapy and environmental health with a bit of creativity to create a unique treatment for each client. I call this treatment intuitive therapeutic bodywork. I offer 30, 60 and 90-minute treatments in office or mobile in the Los Alamos area.

I encourage a holistic approach to health, which includes receiving other types of bodywork/healing modalities regularly including, but not limited to chiropractic, acupuncture, Ayurveda and posture therapy. This approach seems to have a positively synergistic effect on my wellbeing.

My Mission: To create space/an opportunity for people from all walks of life to rejuvenate, heal and transform to health of body, mind and spirit.

My Philosophy: Life is energy. Maintaining an energy level to live a healthy, active and creative lifestyle begins with a balanced self-care plan for body, mind and spirit.

My Lifestyle: I am a very energetic person and live a full life. I thrive on being physically active and have been athletic most of my life. I love to run, ride my bicycle, hike, ski, sea kayak and practice yoga, and massage. I also enjoy traveling, painting, sculpting, gardening, reading, writing, and meditation just to name some of my activities. My pursuits tend to revolve around health, creativity and channeling my energy constructively. I also am a wife and mother of three and enjoy the company of the family dogs and cats. Bodywork is important to keeping me healthy, so I can enjoy my Life!