Alumni Highlight: Massage Therapist to Aromatherapist

Kathy graduated from ACHS with a Master of Science in Aromatherapy. After working as a massage therapist for 15 years, she is now expanding her horizons with a new job as a Senior Inside Sales Representative at Aromaland.

Massage Therapist to Aromatherapist

Having always felt a strong connection with nature and plants, Kathy became interested in aromatherapy while she was working as a massage therapist at Keystone Massage Therapy, which she and her husband co-own. 

“I was looking up ways to further my essential oil education and I stumbled across ACHS. I really wanted to get that Master’s Degree and really liked the online option because I worked and had kids,” Kathy says. “I looked up the curriculum and I was just really excited about it and it was a really well structured, highly educational program. I learned so much and the flexibility was awesome.”

Kathy says that her favorite thing about studying at ACHS was the quality of the curriculum. “Whoever wrote the information, I just really learned thoroughly. There was always the opportunity to go the extra mile. There was the base curriculum but then there was always more detail to dive in multiple directions and I really appreciated that,” she says.


Earth to Kathy

While studying at ACHS, Kathy’s capstone project was a website called Earth to Kathy. “Basically, as I was studying the essential oils I kept hearing the phrase ‘There’s not enough scientific research to substantiate that claim,’” she says. So, she decided to create a website that helped solve this problem. 


“I spent thousands of hours, looked up all different directions of research on each botanical and categorized it by therapeutic action and chemical constituents,” Kathy says. “I made this big categorization and put it online.” While the website isn’t a huge moneymaker in and of itself, it did lead Kathy toward lots of valuable writing opportunities. She has written for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapists (NAHA) journal, Mountain Rose Herbs, and many other websites and publications.

Want to read some of Kathy’s work? Check out her article on Defining Conifer Oils in Aromatherapy.

Kathy also has a second website where she displays her art which is inspired by sacred geometry. “I think that we all need to be a little left brain and right brain, and doing art improves my writing. I enjoy it so much,” she says.


New job at Aromaland

After getting her MS in Aromatherapy from ACHS, Kathy wanted to start working in aromatherapy but had a difficult time finding a job that had the salary she was looking for. “I had turned down some opportunities. But then I just decided I would go for it with Aromaland. I really like it so far and I think I’ve gotten off to a good start,” Kathy says.

In the end, she says that the whole experience taught her that money isn’t the most important thing. “We put so much pressure on ourselves to make enough money to buy enough stuff,” she says. “If you’re having fun in life and you’re enjoying and genuinely helping people and you’re inspired, then I just decided to let go of caring about money.”

Kathy now works as a Senior Inside Sales Representative at Aromaland.  Founded in 1856, the company offers aromatherapy and skincare products both in retail sizes and in bulk.



Advice for students

Kathy’s advice for students who want to start a business or get a job in the holistic health field is to be patient, start small, and work your way up. “Hold on to the job you have and get that little website going. Be patient, be flexible, and just try a couple of different things here and there and the most important thing is that you’re having fun, you like what you’re doing, and then you don’t care if you spend a lot of time doing something and you reap small monetary rewards. When you’re doing what you love, the money isn’t that important.”

Earn an Accredited Online Degree in Aromatherapy. Click here to learn more.

Written by Gillian Turner, Social Media & PR Specialist

Disclosure of Material Connection: I am the social media & PR specialist for the American College of Healthcare Sciences, the Institution that publishes this blog. However, all opinions are my own. This blog may contain affiliate links. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.

About American College of Healthcare Sciences

American College founded in 1978, is a fully online accredited institute of higher education specializing in holistic health. Based in Portland, OR; our goal is to make research-driven and science-based holistic health education taught by industry-leading experts accessible to anyone anywhere while still giving students a hands-on experiential learning experience like a traditional college and a strong sense of community, school pride and student bond.

This commitment to our students and graduates reflects in our current survey results that reflect 98% of our students would recommend ACHS to a friend or family member.

We believe education is the most powerful tool for changing an individual and the world around us.

When a person enrolls as ACHS, it is vitally important that they graduate with tools they need to forge their own holistic and sustainable missions, build up their communities confidently and changing the face of healthcare with knowledge.