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A Certified Aromatherapist Talks Some “Scents” into the Bay Area

Updated: May 19, 2023 12:49
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Hi and welcome to the BAS Wellness Column! My name is Erynne Elkins and I’m a Well-Being Advocate and Certified Breathwork Facilitator. Every Friday I’ll share a holistic wellness modality available here in the Bay Area. Cheers to good health!

How an Aromatic Lifestyle Makes More “Scents”

Photo courtesy of Geraldine Surkyn

Remember scratch-and-sniff stickers? It’s okay if you don’t. If you’re like, ‘What is that?’, it just means one of us is really, really, really old, lol. However, for those of you who do remember frantically scratching your thumb nail back and forth intending to get a whiff of cotton candy or pepperoni-scented euphoria without being mistaken for an uncharacteristically young drug addict, this article is for you. Because while I would love to go back in time and find a “COVID-19 never happened” sticker and get my denial sniff on, the reality is I’ll have to involve my bottle of lavender essential oil in my everyday life just a smidge more. The good news is, there’s an expert in our midst who can give us a “scents” of relief.

“Essential oils do work. They are not a placebo. Our olfactory sense is our only sense that is directly connected to the brain. It’s connected to the cortex. And the cortex manages our limbic system (which is) responsible for managing emotions, hormones, and memory,” shared Geraldine Surkyn, a Certified Aromatherapist and Founder of  Blue Tansy Aroma. I spoke with Geraldine recently over Zoom to learn more about the benefits of aromatherapy.

Photo courtesy of Geraldine Surkyn

A Belgium native, Geraldine arrived in the Bay Area in 2018. She embarked on studying essential oils as it aligned with her love of being out in nature as well as her affinity for natural fragrances. As a child she was always attracted to scents, many times mixing flowers with sugar and other ingredients to make her own homemade perfumes. As an adult, she used essential oils during her own pregnancy because she wanted her body to be very pure. For her aromatherapy certification, Geraldine wrote her research paper on labor and post-partum. She’s really excited to help more doulas ensure their clients have a relaxed pregnancy and labor. “The use of essential oils right after giving birth, within the first 48 hours, reduces the risk of “baby blues”. Lavender, bergamot, and orange oils are the most tested oils,” she explained.

Photo courtesy of Geraldine Surkyn

Whether it’s childbirth, getting married, acclimating to returning to work in person, or driving in bumper to bumper traffic, stress isn’t picky. It loves everyone. “When you are tired, stressed, or sick, your body is taking this energy out and depleting your reserve. You can (actually) get sick faster. So that’s where essential oils are magical because you can use them in prevention. Your automatic nervous system has two modes: Fight or flight and rest and digest. Today, we stay longer and longer in fight or flight. So, our body doesn’t recover as much. We need more rest and digest because your blood flow goes to your digestive system, to your cellular energy restoration and that’s where essential oils come into play. (It’s) helping your body to relax and to get rid of chemical and mental stress that causes oxidation in your body,” Geraldine pointed out.

Chemical stressors, unfortunately, are things most of us deal with on a regular basis. Whether it’s processed foods or breathing polluted air, it’s a daily battle to remain stress fee. So things like good nutrition and getting a decent night’s rest can amplify the benefits of using essential oils regularly. If you’re new to essential oils or are looking to expand your collection, here are a handful of tried and true beauties. “The queen of oils for women managing their cycles and hormones are Clary Sage and Rose. Ylang ylang, Ginger, and Peppermint are helpful (for men) for libido and sexual appetite,” Geraldine added. And for those who have pets, children, and elderly relatives, essential oils are equally beneficial as long as they are diluted as this trio has a heightened sensitivity to scent and topical treatments.

It was so great talking with Geraldine about aromatherapy not only for its benefits but because she created a business for herself based on something she loves and that also helps people feel better. “It’s possible to have a passion and a business,” she encouraged.

And for any of you reading this who are prone to researching things on your own, I invite you to contact Geraldine first. Not all essential oils are created equal. And because this is something you’ll likely be putting on your skin or in your environment to breathe in, you really want to make sure you have quality products. If you have any questions, Geraldine is happy to guide you in selecting the best essential oils for you. I know for me, I scored some lovely blue lotus essential oil that I wouldn’t have found had it not been for Geraldine. “I love to share,” she added before we ended our call.

For more information about essential oils and tailor-made blends that can support/enhance your daily life, you can reach out to Geraldine by visiting her website. Also, be sure to check out her Facebook and Instagram pages.




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Erynne Elkins Chief Well-being Correspondent

Erynne Elkins Chief Well-being Correspondent

Writer ✨ Certified Breathwork Facilitator ✨ Oracle Reader ✨
I’m also a Chicago native, San Francisco resident, and avid city bicyclist. When I’m not writing my next masterpiece, liberating souls one breath at a time, or illuminating minds with intuitive readings, I’m immersed in classes at City College of San Francisco. I love learning. I’m presently working towards my goal of earning my PsyD to become a licensed psychotherapist specializing in Womxn’s empowerment.