I first got into Aromatherapy when I was about 14 years old when my Mum took me to a Naturopath and I was getting a little bit nervous about exams and all that sort of stuff.
The Naturopath at the time introduced me to Basil essential oil and it really worked for me because I noticed when I used it, I put it on a tissue and just breathed it in, I felt much calmer, more focused, and more alert. I thought there was something in this that was more than just a smell and so from that age, I got interested in other essential oils like Lavender, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, and so on.
I decided from an early age that I really enjoyed using essential oils.
Then I met a friend called Stewart in about 2008 and we ended up working at Womad Festival together as massage therapists and I noticed when I was there, a lot of people had a whole range of different products, including essential oils.
Someone said to me, Tobias, you love essential oils, why don’t you make a product.
So we got together and decided to actually do a process with essential oils that I had at home. We drew up some pictures and put them on the wall and mapped out the chakras, and then we intuitively worked out which essential oils work with which chakras.
Over the process of a few weeks to a few months, we mapped out about 25 different oils. Then I decided to make up some sprays to help with the different chakras.
It all sort of happened organically.
I developed the three basic products that I’ve got now and found that when I started to use them with my clients and my customers, they said ‘Oh, this smells really nice, what’s in it?’. When I told them they were quite amazed because they say to me it smells like more than essential oils and there’s something special about it. I said, it’s not just the oils, it’s also the way you combine them and it’s the intention, as there’s also an alchemical process that occurs when you put things together.
It’s a whole philosophy of combining essential oils with the chemistry, the science, and the intuition altogether.
I’ve got three different sizes – a small one, a large one and an economy one.
When I first started, I had some simple plastic bottles, and I was going into the clinic and workplaces doing massage and I did it quite rough and ready, choosing essential oils and mixing them with water and then went back to refine the process when I understood how they actually blend together.
It’s a little bit like blending wines or blending teas because one of the main concepts of making a beautiful blend is to have a bass note, a mid note, and a high note.
The bass notes are the woody plants like Frankincense, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, and so forth. Then you’ve got your mid notes, which are more things like Basil, Lavender, Tea Tree. Then there are the high notes, more citrus essences, so things like Lemongrass, Lemon, and Peppermint.
Part of that process is to find a nice balance and on the physical, aromatic level, that creates a beautiful scent, which is what people get drawn to, but at the same time, it’s also in the combination together, so the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.
What is a Chakra?
An energy vortex which is located in the energy body within the auric field. There are seven main chakras that we tend to talk about from the base chakra just below the base of the spine, all the way up to the crown chakra just above the head.
These act as an etheric form of energy transmission in and out of the body’s energy field and they work together to balance the various organs, systems, tissues and emotions so they work on all different levels of the being.
One example is the heart chakra which is in the centre of the body, it’s number four in the seven chakras and is the colour green. Each chakra has its own separate colour from red all the way up to white and a good comparison would be the rainbow, so going through the rainbow colors, from red, orange, yellow, blue, green, indigo to white.
Each chakra has its own specific energy and its own specific properties and together in harmony these help to balance and align energies so that everything can work together.
Relax & Restore Space & Energy Aroma Spray is designed as a balancer for the base chakra particularly as it’s very grounding. It’s great to connect you to the earth if you’re feeling unsettled and spaced out and it can help to bring your energies down into the root of the earth and help you to reconnect back to yourself.
Calm & Clarify Space & Energy Aroma Spray is designed with the intention to balance, align and focus, so during times of stress and anxiety, or if you’re feeling a bit scattered and nervous. It helps to bring things together and bring you back into your heart to reconnect back to yourself, and, in fact, your emotions.
Revive & Revitalize is designed to be an energy booster. So you can think of it as an alternative to coffee, but without the side effects. This one has got more of the higher energies in it, for example, Jasmine, citrus, lemongrass, lime, basil and other types of essential oils.
They all have different intentions and whenever someone chooses one they can never get it wrong, because the intention is that whatever they choose will work for them in accordance with their higher self..
How do you know what oils go well with each other? Is that intuitive as well?
There is a school of thought that there is a bit of chemistry to putting it all together and I guess you can look at it from a scientific point of view but at the same time, getting back to that whole process of blending things like wines and teas. It really comes back to personal preference, I think and I’ve found that over the years, as I’ve started to become more aware of all the different essential oils out there, it’s mainly more specific about what I choose to actually put in the products.
When I first started, I only had 25 essential oils that I did my basic studies and Aromatherapy with and over the years I’ve now got around 80 or 90 different essential oils.
I’ve really developed a greater understanding and it’s basically a process of refinement. I don’t think you can get it wrong because as you go along, you learn what smells right and what smells wrong and you can get a sense of things just being off balance.
I tune into each formula to get a sense of how it feels and how it smells.
When I first started, I did it drop by drop, so I actually started with the basic plan of doing 10 drops of essential oil and then I refined it and tested it, refined it and tested it. I’ve also found that some people just don’t like the smell of certain things as well, which is quite funny. One client said to me that when she was about five or six, her grandmother used to wash her mouth out with lavender soap, you know the type that your grandmas and grandpas used to use back in the old days, so she hates lavender, she can’t stand it!
Another client can’t stand orange because they’re used in cleaning products. So I think that you can never get it 100% right but the most important thing is that you like it and that’s what is important.
What to use for mind and body balance
I would suggest the Calm & Clarify. There are times when you feel like you’ve got too much energy, and there are times when you feel like you’re really flat and down. Calm & Clarify is designed to balance it either way and because it has just the right blend of oils and the intention that I put into it, when people actually look at the logo design on the bottle, on a subconscious level, they’re drawn to a few different things including the colour, the pattern, the design and the name or smell. All of those things combined together attract you to choose what is right for you.
What can a client expect when they book to see you?
I tend to get an impression before they walk in the door. So as soon as someone walks in, I get a sense of what they need and why they’re coming to see me and I intuitively start to tune in that way.
Other times, people walk in the door, and I pick up on visual cues, the way they walk, the sound of their voice, how they’re emotionally, it really depends on each individual. When I first started doing massage and healing work, I was taught a basic sequence when I studied relaxation massage, which is based on Swedish massage, and that was more of a dot to dot routine to give me a good understanding of how to give a massage.
As time went on, I realized that I could actually make up my own stuff, too. Even though I’ve learnt all these different techniques and done all these courses, the part of being intuitive is that you can actually do things as they come to you. Sometimes I’ll get guided towards a technique that I’ve never been taught. I remember an occasion when I used a Japanese technique, which is called Anma the grandfather of Shiatsu. Sometimes when I’m doing this particular technique, I’ll get guded to move my hands a certain way and to do a certain specific movement, which I’ve never done before and I’ll go to my book, and I’ll look stuff up and that’s that particular movement on that.
I find that with certain people, when they’re open to receiving and they’re willing to just allow the process to occur, amazing things happen. That’s when the healing occurs. I find it much easier just to get myself into that flow state and to really sit and allow myself to be with that person and to have that presence inside awareness that I can feel what’s right for them at the time.
So this is quite an interesting story. Does the name Edmund Gooden ring a bell? Back in 2017, I was at the Spring Fair at Waldorf Primary School and I saw Edmund doing massage there at a stall. I hadn’t seen him for many years, and he walked up to me and said “Oh, you look familiar.” Then we chatted and he said we should collaborate together.
We’ve now been helping each other out for the last two or three years at least. I had always wanted to produce my own balm because I had a company years ago in Queensland that was making beautiful products but unfortunately I couldn’t get hold of certain products due to covid etc.
We’ve developed a balm together which is called Revitalize which is based on Eddie’s work for the last 10 or 12 years plus my input as well from the essential oil of emu, so we’ve incorporated a combination of medicine, aromatherapy, as well as some skin science as well.
I’m very grateful for having met him and we always get excited when we get together, and always talk about ideas. I love Edmund’s passion about plant science and the way he grows his products in the bush. He’s got a beautiful property up near Strathalbyn and he puts a lot of intention in the way that he does things, a lot like myself, and you can feel that in his products as well.
Does it work for skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis?
Yes, it does. Eddie and I have tested it with hundreds of different people and because it has a combination of beeswax and olive oil, we found it has a very healing and nurturing effect for those types of skin conditions as well as rashes and other reactions. We’ve never had one negative reaction at all.
The main difference is that it’s got a herbal emulsion which is where you put the plant material into an oil and you let it sit for a period of six to 12 weeks. It extracts out the nutrients into the oil, so in Ayurvedic terms, they call it ‘herbal pulling’ which allows the active nutrients to be absorbed into the oil.
When the oil and wax are mixed together, it creates a beautiful emulsion, which is easily absorbed into the skin and becomes bioactive when you put it on the skin. The Terrall plant is sitting there in the bottom active and then you put it on the skin, and the heat helps to dissolve and it absorbs right through the skin.
We’ve added a beautiful range of essential oils including lemongrass, lime, peppermint, and together, these create a really nice uplifting effect, which is why it’s called Revitalize because it lifts your energy.
You can put it on various pulse points, on the wrists, on the temples, and the third eye and I find that even just doing that in the morning, it creates an energetic change and makes you feel ready and prepared for the day.
Where can we find you?
Higher Health Wellness Centre, Mile End, SA, on Thursdays and Fridays, and I do workplace massage on some Tuesdays and Wednesdays at the moment. I’m transitioning to a more clinic based service as more people prefer to come and see me at the clinic where I create a welcoming and nurturing environment. I occasionally do home massage as well.
Let us know about the musical instruments you’re learning to play
I first started to learn the flute, back in primary school and believe it or not, used to play in a community led Jazz band when I was 14, then I had a bit of a break from music, and decided to study.
My friend Colin Forster has a Sound Studio in the Hills and he’s a bit of a Maestro and has a drum kit, piano, guitar, percussion, everything you can think of. He asked me if I wanted to learn something, he’ll teach me and that inspired me. I’ve been wanting to play the guitar for some time and Colin gave me a few tips and tricks but I’ve also found a teacher, Erica, and she’s fantastic.
I’ve also decided to take up the banjo because they’re both stringed instruments and I thought, well, I’ll just keep going and learn the tongue drum. I’ve got a keyboard at home and a few other things and I love music and sound. As things progress, and I start to get more into the sound side and the music side, I’ll probably start to develop my own music, hopefully.
I have a vision for creating specific music so I can use it in the healing setting, and can help provide music for other clients or customers. I just love the atmosphere that music creates, I mean, the whole thing about having the right music, it sets up the right energy, it sets up the intention that creates a space and it helps people to connect to a different part of themselves which I think is amazing. I’ve seen some amazing things, just by finding the right music in the right atmosphere for people, it can just put them into the delta states and create the most profound experiences.
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