Holistic Learning of Maui

Holistic Alternative Healing Blog

Aloha and welcome to the HLC of Maui Holistic Alternative Healing Blog, your go-to source for insights and inspiration on holistic learning! We’re thrilled to have you join our community of wellness enthusiasts who are passionate about integrating mind, body, and spirit for a balanced and harmonious life.

BEMER: Understanding the Importance of Micro-Circulation for Optimal Health
Understanding the Importance of Micro-Circulation for Optimal Health 

Blood circulation is the human body’s supply system. It supplies tissues and organs with nutrients and oxygen while removing and disposing of the resulting waste products. We all remember our first anatomy classes and learned that veins bring blood to the heart and arteries carry blood away from the heart to the rest of the body.  But what about those little blood vessels?  Did you know that they supply the organs with oxygen and nutrients and that 75% of this supply process takes place in the smallest blood vessels or organ tissue?  It is the flow to those vessels that is called microcirculation.

So just to review MACROcirculation is the circulation of blood to and from the organs and MICROcirulation is the circulation of blood to the small vessels within the organ tissue. 

Why is this important?

Microcirculation supports your body’s immune response.  It’s what gets those slow moving white blood cells moving around to attack disease and restore health to the tissues of your organs.  

How can this be assisted?

Deep tissue massage assists this process, as does Physical Vascular Therapy. (PVT)  Without medication, PVT stimulates that necessary blood flow to the smallest capillaries, bringing increased white blood cell flow to your organ tissue.

Energy deficient cells cannot assist with efficient flow.  For the body to self heal, the white blood cells need to move into all areas of the organs, and PVT assists this process quickly and efficiently.

Who can benefit from Physical Vascular Therapy?

PVT is beneficial to:

-injured athletes

-car accident patients in pain

-those lacking mental clarity

-those with decreased range of motion

-those with toxic build up from chemicals, venom, etc.

-people with poor diets and/or who do not exercise due to obesity, pain, etc.

How is Physical Vascular Therapy done locally on Maui?

At the Holistic Learning Center of Maui, located in Lahaina, a BEMER mat is used, either in isolation for 8 minutes, or as part of a craniosacral therapy session.  BEMER is an acronym for Bio-Electro-Magnetic-Energy-Regulation. The BEMER mat is placed under the sheet of a massage table.  Many clients report not feeling anything from the mat, as it does not shake or vibrate in any way.  However, they do report feeling tingling in areas of the body that were previously numb, warmth to areas of previous injury, and increased range of motion in areas where it had been restricted.  

Patients begin at a low intensity, for 8 minutes, and can increase the intensity each time they come for subsequent sessions.  As the blood flow increases and the white blood cells are efficiently transported, recipients report restoration of wellness, vitality and “getting back to all the activities I used to do!”


Susan Varsames, M.A.Ed, is your neighbor in Launiupoko and the owner of the Holistic Learning Center of Maui. She offers BEMER sessions, as well as training and services for CranioSacral Therapy, Reiki, Somato Emotional Release, meditation, and how to use Young Living Essential Oils for wellness. 


Floating Your Way Into Wellness

Floating Your Way Into Wellness with Susan Varsames, M.A. Ed, RM

Aquatic Therapy continues to gain popularity as athletes and recovering injured proponents publicly support its use. Medical studies have shown that therapeutic intervention while floating in warm salt water improves the outcomes of treatments such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and craniosacral therapy.

Imagine floating in a 91 degree salt water pool assisted by flotation equipment. The serenity is magnified by your weightlessness and your spine begins to feel as if it’s melting the stress of your life away.  Light touch from an experienced Aquatic Therapist is all that is needed to release discomfort and negative emotional energy.  An hour of this leaves you feeling light…..some say even euphoric!  Most say statements such as, “This was the most intensely healing session of body work I’ve ever experienced,” or “I never imagined being so relaxed and rejuvenated.”

By floating, you relieve gravitational pressure which in turn creates the following benefits:

  • Decreased  recovery  time  from an injury  
  • Increased  energy  and  vitality  
  • Boosted  immune  system  
  • Reduced  lactic  acid  levels  in  the  body  
  • Facilitated  rest,  which  in  athletes  improves  their  exposure  to  fatigue  
  • Reduced  injury  risk  in  the  future    
  • Improved  sleep  habits    
  • Reduced  muscle  tension, which in turn means increase relaxation time for muscles to recover from strain and injury
  • Reduced cortisol levels
  • Increased secretion of endorphins

When CranioSacral Therapy and/or Reiki is added to  a floating recipient, the results are exaggerated.  Healing goals are achieved more rapidly. It is pure bliss for the body, mind and spirit.


Susan Varsames, M.A.Ed, is your neighbor in Launiupoko and the owner of the Holistic Learning Center of Maui. She offers training and services for CranioSacral Therapy, Reiki, Somato Emotional Release, Aquatic Therapy, meditation, and how to use Young Living Essential Oils for wellness. She can be reached at 808-222-7981 to schedule directly. Or visit the Services page to book online. 

Healing Emotions with Essential Oils

Learning to use Young Living Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils for the
FIVE STAGES OF HEALING: Daniel Macdonald: Manual 1: Emotional Healing with Essential Oils, 2012

1-Essential Oils assist in healing the physical body (discuss anti qualities and raising the body’s vibration)

2- Essential Oils assist in healing the heart (once physical body is vibrating higher, the body wants to release stagnant anger, resentment, sadness, grief, etc.)  Suppressed emotions become unbearable once the body is vibrating higher.  This may feel like regression into depression while the body is learning to cope with higher vibrations and the heart feels so vulnerable.

The RELEASE –> RECEIVE cycle: once the heart releases the trapped negative emotions we must Surrender to the path of healing and replace that pain with Joy.

Remember that the oils don’t do the work for you, they support the work of therapy, counseling, etc.  Oils prepare and “water” our emotional soil so the deep emotional roots can  be pulled.  Meditation, counseling, therapy, journaling, etc. is critical here.

3- Essential oils assist in releasing limiting beliefs: Again the oils support the other work such as tapping, EFT/AFT

4-Essential oils increase spiritual awareness and connection: Oils of higher vibration should be combined with a meditation practice, yoga class, yin class, etc. for real results.

5- Essential oils inspire the fulfillment of our life’s purpose:  Once you’ve cleared the blocks, released the negative emotions, replaced the space with joy and fulfillment and increased vibrations, you can clearly see why you are here, what is your DIVINE PLAN?

At the Holistic Learning Center of Maui, we are committed to only using the purest products available. Young Living is the leader in essential oil research and production, and is the only company that offers the Seed To Seal guarantee. As an educator in the use of Young Living Oils you can become a member so that you can purchase all products at 24% discount. In addition, you can join our Essentially Healthy Facebook page for all your essential oil learning. To get your discount use this link. 

    Oils for Pre Labor, Active Labor, Post Labor and Recovery

    How To Use Essential Oils in Labor?

    Diffusing, massaging and inhaling are the top three methods I’d suggest for labor and delivery.  Each oil, depending upon its purpose, can be used as needed.

    For massaging oil into your skin, dilute a drop or two with a teaspoon of carrier like V6 or grapeseed oil. Have your partner massage the oil into your feet, temples, or lower back.

    If you’re over being touched or probed, you can also simply inhale the aroma. Add two drops into your diffuser, or no more than four drops into a warm bath. Let your lungs do the work while you bask in the calming scent.

    Essential Oils for Labor: (Susan’s Top 12 from my own research)

    Only certain essential oils are safe to use during labor. And keep in mind, these are only OK to use if you’ve had a healthy, low-risk pregnancy.

    1.  Stress Away or En-R-Gee: contains citrus so it keeps you perky and focused when exhausted. It’s great to use when labor begins to get you ready for the long process ahead. Try each before and see which you like best.  Then pick one for your birthing day.

    2: Frankincense: is a calming oil that’s especially useful toward the end of the first stage of labor. Place a single drop on the center of both of your palms, cover your nose and inhale it, have it in your diffuser, or rub some onto your lower back and tummy. Besides relieving pain, this essential oil can also prevent tearing the perineum or help heal a tear after childbirth. Be sure to dilute it with a carrier oil. 

    It is said that Frankincense was used to anoint Baby Jesus at birth.  Anointing means to massage or to apply with intent of love and gratitude.  

    3. Clary Sage: makes contractions more productive.  So, do not use it until labor has begun.  The best place to use it is on your inner ankles or over your lower belly, both diluted with a carrier oil, or in your palms and inhaled between contractions.

    Clary sage is the best option when it comes to minimizing tearing and relieving muscle tension resulting from emotional stress. 

    Doulas are a big fan of this essential oil. When applied at the last stages of labor, the mother can really get into a euphoric state, instead of threatening vengeance on the father of the child.

    ***Note: Clary sage can induce labor, so don’t use this unless you’re ready to give birth and have consulted with your team experts. ***It also lowers blood pressure so consult with your nurse, midwife or doctor before applying.

    4. Peppermint: can help with exhaustion, nausea, during labor. Dilute with a carrier oil and massage into back, hips, and temples, or simply place a small drop on your tongue. For a burst of energy, inhale it from your palms.  Peppermint might be helpful in negotiating a breech baby into a proper birthing position by rubbing it on top of the abdomen. (Also see Myrrh below for breech babies.)

    5. Myrrh: is a great option for moms experiencing stalled labor. To move the labor along, and open the cervix, place a few drops of myrrh in the belly button or in your palms and take a few sniffs. This might help increase contractions. 

    For breech babies:  Use Myrrh applied to the belly button, several drops rubbed onto the belly, repeated application might be needed.

    Post delivery, if you have an issue with the umbilical cord stump, applying a few drops of myrrh can help it fall off easier.

    6. Lavender: The fear and anxiety of childbirth can be as challenging as the physical challenges. The scent of lavender oil calms the nerves and brings on a relaxed state. It’s great to have in the diffuser throughout the labor and delivery and use the other oils as needed on the body. For recovery of incisions, such as episiotomy or C-Section, it’s great to add to bath water.

    7. Chamomile: Although chamomile doesn’t make contractions less painful, it helps control pain during labor by relieving tension. Massage into the feet, or dilute and massage on the back, shoulders and neck between contractions. It’s really nice on a cold washcloth on your forehead when you need a break and get one between contractions.

    8. Cedarwood: Think of this as synonymous with increased focus and clear intention setting.  Cedarwood provides oxygen to the brain and in turn to all your cells. During labor you may feel exhausted and wonder how you are going to move on.  That’s when putting cedarwood on your right ear, right thumb and right big toe comes in handy.  Inhale it and set your intention to remain focused and energized to deliver this baby with ease and joy.  Speaking of joy…..

    9. Joy: Hard labor is a time that you may want to curse out your partner for their participation in this decision! Joy vibrates high and brings on a sense of euphoria.  Many people who really need this oil do not like the scent.  (This is often the case with many oils.) A drop on your head, or in your palms to inhale will assist with keeping you in the game with a positive outlook to get through the delivery process.

    10. Peace and Calming: Many find this oil makes you sleepy, so if you need to stay alert and calm, I’d suggest Stress Away. Peace and Calming might be good if you feel hysteria, nervous, or anxious during labor.  It will help you “get back into the game” and be calm enough to accept coaching and listen to your body.

    11. Helichrysum: This is the only oil I would use without a carrier oil. It is great for tears, open cuts and bleeding. It heals tissue trauma and stops bleeding.  Great for healing the perineum if it tears or if you had an episiotomy or on a C-Section incision.

    12. Valor: is often called “chiropractor in a bottle”  because it helps align the body. The smell of Valor also inspires you to be brave and it’s invigorating and, in a weird way, encouraging. Put this oil in a roller bottle with a carrier for easy and abundant application. Don’t forget VALOR FOR THE PARTNER!  Those you love mom need support too.  

    Recipe for mom’s belly to ease contractions:  In a bowl add warm water and use a washcloth soaked in this and place it on Mom’s belly.

    Afterbirth Blend: use with a carrier oil to help expel the placenta and tone the uterus:

    •  10 drops Geranium
    • 15 drops Jasmine

    Contractions experienced after labor: After labor, apply a warm, wet washcloth with a few drops of Frankincense and lavender to the abdomen to soothe the discomfort. 

    Diffuser Blend for when labor is just starting and for the first days with your baby: Lavender, Peace and Calming, and Gentle Baby: It is so soothing and keeps a calm tone in the house for all who come to visit. Diffuse a combination of 10 drops Lavender, 10 drops Gentle Baby, and 5 drops Peace and Calming during early labor at home, throughout the entire labor process and daily in the first weeks post delivery.

    Healing from C-Sections:

    • Idaho Balsam Fir  – one time 10 drops into ‘OO” capsule taken internally to wean off pain medications after C-section
    • Believe Blend (Frankincense, Idaho Balsam Fir and Rosewood): for wound healing, diluted on the area
    • Lavender – prevention of scarring, skin healing. Use in the bathtub, on washcloth or in a diffuser.
    • Trauma Life: if needed for distress

    For Stretch Marks:

     Gentle Baby, Myrrh, or Frankincense mixed with V-6 oil (or coconut oil).

    At the Holistic Learning Center of Maui, we are committed to only using the purest products available. Young Living is the leader in essential oil research and production, and is the only company that offers the Seed To Seal guarantee. As an educator in the use of Young Living Oils you can become a member so that you can purchase all products at 24% discount. In addition, you can join our Essentially Healthy Facebook page for all your essential oil learning. To join our team use this link to become a member.

    Visit Holistic Learning Center of Maui’s Facebook events page for upcoming classes.

    Oregano Essential Oil Best Uses

    Oregano oil has been used for thousands of years for the multitude of healing properties if offers.  This was first discovered in Greece, where it was used on wounds as a topical antibacterial. Because it grows wild in high altitude mountainous areas, it got its name, ‘oregano,’ which translates to  ‘joy of the mountains.’

    Oregano Essential Oil is a natural:

    • Antibacterial
    • Antiviral
    • Antifungal
    • Antioxidant
    • Antiseptic 
    • Digestive Aide
    • Anti-Allergenic Aide
    • Anti-Parasitic
    • Anti-Inflammatory and 
    • Immunity Booster

    It’s uses are endless!  Always use a high quality therapeutic grade essential oil. It is strong in healing properties, so it’s smart to test in on your skin in a small area first;diluting it with a carrier oils such as coconut oil, almond oil or grapeseed oil is a great way to dilute it safely. 

    Uses the Essential Oil of Oregano: To boost your immune system: rub it in your hands and cup it over your face and inhale 10 times, or put in a diffuser and inhale for 1-2 hours. You can also make an immunity roller ball by adding a carrier oil and 7 drops of oregano oil into a 1 oz glass roller ball bottle. Rub over the stomach, on the bottoms of the feet, or behind your head at the hairline.

    To break up chest congestion or to manage seasonal changes: add a couple of drops to boiling water and inhale its steam. You can also try mixing a drop with your favorite oil or lotion and rubbing it onto your chest.This is great for clearing sinuses too. 

    To support thoat health and bid farewell to a cough, add a drop to a spoon of local honey.  The taste is strong, but repeating this each hour for 3-4 rounds will have you better in no time.

    For skin irritations, it’s important to dilute the essential oil of oregano as it’s known as a “hot oil” and may be too strong for irritated skin. Dilute it and apply to a small area, or take internally in a homemade pill with an added carrier oil. For acne, add one drop of oregano essential oil to a shot glass of water and use a cotton ball to dunk and apply onto the skin eruptions.  For the scalp, it can be added with tea tree oil to shampoo and applied to the itchy or flaky scalp.  The antifungal properties work will here.

    For stomach discomfort: Add a drop to boiling water and make a “tea,” or put a drop in a capsule and add a carrier oil as well and swallow the home made pill. This can also support ridding candida overgrowth in the gut as well. Intestinal parasites can be managed in the same fashion. 

    For oral health, add a drop to your toothpaste or make a mouthwash rinse with water and one drop to swish around for up to a minute for improved gum health. Oregano oil contains thymol, which is the active ingredient used in over the counter mouthwashes to fight bad breath, bacteria and plaque. 

    To manage painful ear symptoms: add a drop to your carrier oil and rub outside the ears, NEVER in the ears.

    For nail fungus, warts and Athlete’s foot, add 15 drops or oregano oil to warm water and soak for 20 minutes a couple of times daily. If no sensitivities to the oil is noted, add one drop straight onto the area, just once and determine the dilution that is best for you. Try using neem oil as a carrier for the feet and nails.  It works well with oregano oil to bring you back to your best heath!

    For Muscle Support: Oregano essential oil, being a power anti-inflammatory, can penetrate the skin and go deep into the joints to help relieve pain and inflammation.  This in turn, can help increase mobility. Research has shown that the oil can go to the synovial fluid in the joints and be a soothing relief.

    When not to use oregano oil: Pregnant woman should avoid oregano oil because it is an emmenagogue,  which means it can induce contractions in the uterus so oil of oregano should be avoided during pregnancy. (It is helpful for menstrual flow and to regulate periods for women, just not if they are possibly pregnant)

    For bug spray, both on your skin when outdoors and for your garden plants, oregano oil can come to the rescue. Fill a 8 ounce glass bottle with 3 ounces of water and 3 ounces of witch hazel.  Add 10 drops of oregano oil  10 drops of each: oregano essential oil, peppermint essential oil and citronella oil. For a bug spray, it’s best to spray your clothes.  For a garden spray, add 1 full teaspoon oregano oil to 5-7 drops of regular dish washing liquid in a 1/2  gallon spray can of water and spray the blend on your vegetable patch to keep it pest-free.

    Because oregano essential oil is so strong and has a multitude of uses, always test a small area of skin and use oregano oil highly diluted as it is a “hot oil” and can cause irritation. Never use it if pregnant as it increases blood flow to the uterus. Shop Oregano Oil here

    Written by Susan Varsames, M.A.Ed. CAS, RM, owner of the Holistic Learning Center of Maui,  She is a Reiki Master and Craniosacral therapist, as well as an educator and Independent Distributor for Young Living Essential Oils.  She can be reached at the center at 808-222-7981.


    The Use of Essential Oils in Your Reiki Practice

    The Use of Essential Oils in Your Reiki Practice

    By: Susan Varsames, M.A. Ed., Reiki Master

    The History of Essential Oils:

    Essential oils have been used since the 3500 BC by Egyptians for skin care, aromatics, religious ceremonies, and medicinal applications. There is evidence that they were used in China and India around 2700 BC, even for cooking. Around 460 BC, Hippocrates, known as the “Father of Medicine” used botanicals for medicinal use. The Bible refers to the use of “anointing” which is merely a way to describe topical application.

    What are Essential Oils?
    Essential oils are the “lifeblood” of plants. They are essential to the survival and propagation of the plant. They attract bees for pollination, deter destructive critters, and create the environment for photosynthesis to occur. They are extracted from the roots, leaves, bark, rind, and flowers of plants in a variety of methods such as cold pressing, steam distillation and “tapping” (such as the way we tap a maple tree to get sap for syrup).

    All life energy vibrates at a frequency and Reiki providers tune into this vibrational energy to scan for “Byosen Reikan Ho” or vibrational discrepancies (literally translated from Japanese to mean “sick accumulation”). Our chakras also vibrate, and of course, so do essential oils. Matching the support needed in a chakra can easily and efficiently support an out-of-balance chakra to become cleared and aligned to it’s healthy and vibrant state.

    First, let’s review the vibrational frequencies of the body. A healthy person’s body vibrates between 62 and 78 MHz. People who are enlightened, or who meditate often even vibrate higher, up to 90 MHz. The higher chakras of the throat and head vibrate between 72 and 78 MHz and the lower chakras vibrate between 55 and 72 MHz.

    Illness and wellness span on a continuum of low to high vibrational frequencies, and our goal as wellness providers is to restore health, in fact increase to vibration. Our goal in remaining healthy is to remain above the wellness line. According to Dr. R. Rife, who measured the electromagnetic frequencies of organs, viruses, and cells, in order to stay healthy, we must vibrate over 58 MHz. Disease begins when the body begins to vibrate under 58 MHz. The common cold and flu vibrate at 57-60 MHz. Candida overgrowth in the gut begins lower at 55 MHz; Epstein Barr Virus begins even lower at 52 MHz. Our body becomes receptive to cancer at 42 MHz, and we begin the process of death at under 25 MHz.

    To restore health that falls below the critical line (58 MHz), we must use vibrational energies that are high. Clinical research shows that therapeutic grade essential oils have the highest frequency of any natural substance known to man, creating an environment in which disease, bacteria, virus, and fungi cannot live.

    Reiki Sessions without Essential Oils:
    When conducting a session, Reiki practitioners connect to divine light, bring in that pure high vibrating energy into their chakra system, and transfer it to their client. They often use the visualization of the colors of the chakras, (and ask their clients to visualize colors too) since colors also vibrate at corresponding chakra frequencies. Many clients report that when relaxing during their reiki session, with their eyes closed, they see colors.

    Energy workers and yoga teachers often use sounds or “seed mantras” as well such as “Om” because sound vibrates as well. You may have seen many chakra charts of the seven major chakras with their matching sound vibrations.

    Reiki Sessions with Essential Oils for Specific Chakra Support:
    Since therapeutic essential oils vibrate higher than herbs and foods, they are a simple, pleasant and efficient way to restore health to the body. Matching the vibrational frequencies of the essential oils to the chakra that is out of balance is an easy and pleasant method of restoring the chakra system to its highest balanced state. Oils can be delivered in a variety of ways:
    -in a diffuser with water
    -my rubbing them in your palms and holding the palms over the nose area for the client to inhale

    -mixing the essential oils with water in a glass spray bottle and spraying the table, sheets, or over the client in session,
    -applying diluted essential oils to the chakra area itself (with permission from the client to touch, or by showing them where to apply so they can do it themselves). Dilute essential oils with a carrier oil such as any massage oil, olive oil, safflower oil, etc. Ask about allergies so that you are not using a carrier that would cause an allergic reaction such as almond oil with a client who has nut allergies.
    -applying to the feet using a Vita Flex Foot Chart:

    What Does a Session with Essential Oils Look Like?
    Imagine scanning (Byosen) and sensing a disruption (Hibiki) in a chakra. As you use your intuition and hands to balance the chakra, imagine adding aroma to the session by either applying it to your palm and holding it over the client’s nose, or by adding an essential oil to a spray bottle with water and spritzing it over the client. As they inhale the vibrations of the essential oil, you will notice that it acts as your “Reiki Assistant,” as the chakra balances into alignment. You will feel the healthy balance spinning of the chakra more quickly, making essential oils an efficient assistant to your treatment. For example, I recently had a gentleman in a session and his first chakra was not vibrant, not moving well. He had just opened a new business and had a new first baby on the way with his new wife. His complaint was sciatica nerve pain, numbness in his hip, and weakness in his legs. Oils that support grounding and first chakra issues such as financial security are those botanicals from tall trees with deep roots. I had Sandalwood, Eucalyptus, and Cypress ready and I scanned all three to feel the attraction to one of them with one hand as my hand was placed over his sacral chakra. I was attracted to Cypress. I placed a drop in his hand and asked him to rub his hands together and inhale the aroma of Cypress for 10 breath cycles. I could feel the vibration of the chakra come into alignment, feel the spinning and feel the lightness of the chakra within two minutes. Then, I asked him to inhale the color red and visualize red in the area of his root chakra. I explained to the client how the colors vibrate in the frequency of the chakra offering additional support and an easy way to practice self care when he got home. The following day I sent a message to him asking how he felt. His response was, “The business is still new and challenging, and this baby is still coming, but somehow I feel rooted enough to manage all of this…I’ve got this! And the crabby hips and legs now feel happy. I guess I would say I feel balanced and stronger.”

    Another client, a teenage girl diagnosed with ADHD, Emotional DIsturbance, and displayed severe aggression was seeing me twice monthly. Her solar plexus chakra was consistently lacking movement, and after an hour session she was balanced, but the effects only lasted for the rest of the day. By the next day, she had stomach pain, was irritable, and displayed aggression with her caregivers and teachers. I added the essential oils of GInger and Fennel with water in a spray bottle and spritzed the sheets on the table before her session. I explained the properties of the essential oils to her and her dad and they agreed that the smell in the room made them both feel calm, and agreed to try using this solution during the session. I had the teenager hold the bottle and allowed her to spray the mixture whenever she wanted to. She sprayed it twice and fell asleep within 10 minutes while her dad was astonished in the chair observing this. They took the bottle home and used this spray before bedtime and upon waking. She stated that her “stomach monsters were gone.” Her teachers reported that her aggressive episodes were decreasing in frequency and intensity. The last place positive changes were noticed was at home; however within a month, she was able to be reasoned with and could manage to wait to get her needs met by her caregivers.

    The vibration of the essential oils supported the work of the Reiki Session as beautiful frequency partners in both situations!
    The chart below offers examples of specific oils for supporting the chakra systems. Use only 1-2 drops, as therapeutic grade essential oils are strong. The body will recognize the frequency within 22 seconds, within 2 minutes they can be identified in the bloodstream, and within 20 minutes, every cell in the body will be exposed to the frequency of that essential oil.
    Lower frequencies create physical changes in the body. Middle frequency oils create emotional changes in the body, and higher frequency essential oils create spiritual changes in the body. These changes balance the chakra, get the “wheel” spinning again so energy can move and restore health.


    Can I make a mistake and mismatch an essential with the chakras?
    Not to worry! The frequency of an oil attracts to a like frequency in the body, just as the healing energy from your hands finds its way to the chakra that needs it at that exact moment. It always has and always will, especially when you and the client set your intention for the greatest good for health and wellness. The same way that you trust that the client’s energetic body will take the energy needed and deliver it where it’s needed most, you can trust that essential oil frequencies will do the same.

    Aromatic preferences:
    You will notice that some clients have specific likes and dislikes for specific scents. Some will be more sensitive than others. Some will absorb one drop and that is their “just right” limit, while others will need more. Many people complain that aromas cause headaches and/or nausea. They state that perfumes make them feel ill. That is because they have been exposed to artificial aromatics. Many perfumes, oils, lotions and candles are scented with chemicals and are branded as botanicals, and those chemicals do often cause noxious side effects. The rule is to start slowly, with just one drop of pure, therapeutic grade essential oil in a dilution of carrier oil. Observe and discuss so that future sessions can be calibrated accordingly.

    Which oils to use, as they are so popular and there are so many brands:
    It is important to only purchase essential oils that are labeled therapeutic grade and have no fillers and no chemical additives. Every drop in your oil bottle should be nothing but that essential oil on the label. If a brand has an expiration date, it is not pure. Pure essential oils do not expire. If you are unsure, put it in your freezer. If it freezes, it is not a pure therapeutic essential oil. Many pure essential oils are ingestible. If you see a whole product line of a particular brand and the labels warn you not to ingest them on every bottle, you can be sure that that is not the brand you want for your reiki sessions. Look for a company that owns its farms, tests their oil frequencies in house and also uses outside companies to test as well. That way, you can be sure you are delivering the highest quality to your clients with confidence.

    Susan Varsames, M.A. Ed. is a Special Educator, Reiki Master, Minister, and the owner of the Holistic Learning Center, LLC in New York, and the Holistic Learning Center of Maui, LLC. She is in the lineage of Master Usui, and was trained at The Open Center in NYC. She received her Karuna and Holy Fire Training with William Rand of the International Center for Reiki Training.

    At the Holistic Learning Center of Maui, we are committed to only using the purest products available. Young Living is the leader in essential oil research and production, and is the only company that offers the Seed To Seal guarantee. As an educator in the use of Young Living Oils you can become a member so that you can purchase all products at 24% discount. In addition, you can join our Essentially Healthy Facebook page for all your essential oil learning. To join our team use this link to become a member.

    Trade Secrets of the Word “Fragrance” in the World of Perfumed Products: Another Version of “Secondhand Smoke”

    Trade Secrets of the Word “Fragrance” in the World of Perfumed Products: Another Version of “Secondhand Smoke”

    When you see the word “fragrance” or “parfum” on the label of a scented candle or a beauty product, you most likely don’t think twice that this general word is used with no understanding of what the “fragrance” really is.  But if you’ve walked through a mall and passed a candle store or a lotion “apothecary” and got an immediate headache, you know that those overwhelming scents are making you feel sick.

    A Brief History of the Use of Fragrances:

    In Ancient Egypt, essential oils were used to create fragrant items, such as gloves, textiles and even body wraps for burial ceremonies.  From there, Greeks and Romans used essential oils and the trend spread throughout Europe and into India. Recently, in Cyprus, archaeologists uncovered a perfume factory dating back to 2000 BC which used essential oils to create scents from coriander, laurel, myrtle, lavender, and rosemary. In France, perfumes were commercially established by the 1190’s and by 1709, Eau de Cologne was created which diluted perfumes from 40% fragrance, and brought it  down to 20%. Today, Eau de Cologne is allowed to be sold at a 15% dilution.

    In 1973, the perfume industry was allowed to use “fragrance” to mean a host of harmful toxic chemicals without having to disclose what they are. These chemicals include benzene derivatives, aldehydes, phthalates, and a slew of other known toxins that are capable of causing birth defects, nervous-system disorders, ADHD, and allergies—some of which are cited on the EPA’s hazardous waste list. In addition, they have been associated with dermatitis, respiratory distress, reproductive problems, specifically reduced sperm count. Many find that these scents also cause irritability, mental vagueness, muscle pain, asthma, bloating, joint aches, sinus pain, fatigue, sore throat, eye irritation, gastrointestinal problems, laryngitis, headaches, dizziness, swollen lymph nodes, spikes in blood pressure, coughing, and burning or itching skin irritations. Studies also show correlations to diabetes, cancer and obesity. These fragrances are absorbed through the skin, ingested and/or inhaled right into the olfactory receptors that let your brain have exposure within a few seconds.

    The scary part behind this is that US manufacturers are able to legally hide these toxic ingredients under the concept of “trade secrets.” Our government protects the perfume industry and allows over 3000 chemicals to be used under the word “fragrance.”  (The USA has banned the use of chemicals such as phthalates in toys, but not in the perfume industry. Europe, Canada, Japan, China and South Korea have banned all chemical fragrances.) According to the Environmental Working Group, “fragrance secrecy is legal due to a giant loophole in the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1973, which requires companies to list cosmetics ingredients on the product labels but explicitly exempts fragrance.” 

    What can you do about this?  

    1- Download the EWG app! The Environmental Working Group informs us of toxic ingredients in everything from sunscreen to toothpaste, and perfume ingredients are part of what they cover.

    2- Go back in time and make your own perfumes from pure essential oils. No additives, no chemicals, just pure essential oils!

    3- Be a conscious consumer.  When our spending habits change, industries change.  Don’t buy toxic products and share information with your contacts.  Taking dollars away from industries that use toxins sends a wake up call!

    4- Come to the Holistic Learning Center of Maui to learn more! We utilize Young Living Essential Oils and can help you to create your own personalized scents. Check out the center’s Facebook page of events to see what may be coming next!


    Susan Varsames, M.A.Ed, is your neighbor in Launiupoko and the owner of the Holistic Learning Center of Maui. She offers training and services for CranioSacral Therapy, Reiki, Somato Emotional Release, meditation, and how to use Young Living Essential Oils for wellness. She can be reached at 808-222-7981

    Understanding CranioSacral Therapy and Reiki Interventions

    Understanding CranioSacral Therapy and Reiki Interventions

    By Susan Varsames, M.A.,Ed.,
    Owner, Holistic Learning Center of Maui, LLC

    Our brain and spinal cord is surrounded by two porous sacs called the dura mater and the pia mater. Contained within them is craniosacral fluid which pumps through our system with a rhythm of its own. This fluid brings neurological information to our cells, nourishes our organs, cleanses our brain and acts as a protective shock absorber.

    Dr. John Upledger pioneered the study of the cranio sacral system. As an osteopath and researcher, he discovered the rhythm of the system and documented the effects of restrictions within it. His worldwide teachings through the Upledger Institute has provided course work for practitioners to learn from and expand upon his findings. Injuries along the spinal column create compressed areas that block the movement of the fluid resulting in pain and “dis-ease” that can occur anywhere in the body. Through light touch, craniosacral therapists evaluate the symmetry, quality, amplitude, and rate the cerebral spinal fluid. This provides feedback about restrictions that negatively effect our overall health. Light touch is then applied to release restrictions, thus allowing the CSF to flow freely, provide neurological clarity to our cells, and remove toxins from the brain. Once the fluid is flowing freely, our body begins to restore to its healthier state and begins to find balance. This can produce a variety of results to include recovery from fatigue, release of pain, increased flexibility and range or motion, increased oxygen production in our cells, better digestion and elimination, increased mental clarity, and more. In addition, craniosacral therapists are trained to gently evaluate and release any restrictions in the skull sutures. This can address conditions such as headaches/migraines, learning disabilities, Autism, blurred vision, tinnitus (ear ringing) and TMJ distress.

    Reiki is a Japanese method of energy healing that was pioneered by Master Usui. In Japanese, rei means “spiritually guided” and ki means “life force energy.” So, Reiki is Spiritually Guided Life Force Energy! Our brain and spinal column have spiraling “wheels” of energy called “chakras.” (The Sanskrit word for wheel is “chakra.”)

    Reiki practitioners are trained to detect discrepancies in the flow of energy along the various chakras and they use both light touch and directed energy flow to balance the chakras to their optimal condition. The study of reiki consists of three levels. Reiki One introduces the chakras and is for practitioners to learn self healing and a self care protocol. This forms the basis of learning to channel Universal Life Energy to flow through their bodies and be directed through their hands. Reiki Two students learn further skills with the chakra system, learn to use symbols for in-person and distance healing, and study the anatomy of humans, animals, etc. to become practitioners who can treat others. They often have office space, are covered by insurance, and provide Reiki Circles for other practitioners to come together for shared treatments. Level Three practitioners are Reiki Masters. They are at the teaching level and can initiate students into the practice of Reiki. This is called an ” attunement.” They are committed practitioners who engage in self healing routines daily so they bring clear and focused every to their sessions, teachings, and daily life routines. They often work in hospital and clinical settings, as reiki has been proven to restore optimal health for pre- and post surgical procedures, alleviate negative effects of chemotherapy, increase acceptance of transplanted organs, reduce high blood pressure, and provide stress relief to patients and medical providers as well.

    Many professionals in the alternative health field study on Maui offer multiple treatments that are complementary to each other.
    Therapists who are skilled in both modalities use them in tandem with each other when appropriate. CranioSacral Therapy can serve to release restrictions so that reiki can flow with ease. Reiki can bring energetic life force to restrictions in the craniosacral system thus allowing the body to correct itself from “dis- ease.” So the systems can compliment each other beautifully with skilled practitioners.

    What does a session look and feel like? Clients are fully clothed on a massage table and the touch applied is light and soothing. There is no tissue massaging. There is no skeletal adjusting. Clients often slip into a deep meditative state or fall asleep during their session of approximately one hour. They report experiencing a glow around them or a radiance that fills them with a profound sense of peace. A variety of outcomes result including pain relief, mental clarity, overall joy, deep relaxation, and physical wellness. They are often realized immediately and can last days and weeks after their session.

    Susan Varsames is a Reiki Master and craniosacral therapist. In her Lahaina practice, she specializes in clients who are experiencing pain, trauma, cancer, and a variety of health conditions. She is also highly trained in pediatrics and has been a special educator specializing in Autism for 34 years.


    Understanding Holistic Treatments

    Understanding Holistic Treatments by Susan Varsames, M.A.Ed. RM

    We see the term “Holistic” popping up often.  Is this a passing trend?  

    Why are so many health conscious people turning away from pharmaceutical medicine and looking for alternatives?  By definition, “holistic” means that which is characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the physical symptoms of a disease. However, the term has become synonymous with “natural,” and “pure” as it relates to intervention strategies that support our optimal health and wellness.  

    We have all had that giggle-to-yourself-moment at TV ads that say, “Side effects include suicidal thoughts, loss of appetite, loss of sexual urge, erections lasting 4 hours, etc.” followed by  “Ask your doctor if this prescription is for you.”  In light of side effects and the costs of medical care, millions are now looking for interventions that offer whole body support with food, herbs, naturopathy, homeopathy, essential oils, acupuncture, chiropractic care, and yoga/breathwork, just to name a few.

    What these alternatives offer are chemical free/toxic free options to promote wellness, and they can be used on their own or in conjunction with medical intervention if proper precautions are taken.  It is important to consult with alternative health practitioners who are knowledgeable with regard to how prescriptions interact with holistic treatments.  It’s naive to think that just because you can buy it in a health food store it’s safe to combine with prescriptions or not pay attention to proper dosing.  

    For references, check out these books for strategies to use with your children:

    Parenting the Whole Child: A Holistic Child Psychiatrist Offers Practical Wisdom on Behavior, Brain Health, Nutrition, Exercise, Family Life, Peer … Life, Trauma, Medication, and More  by Scott M. Shannon and Emily Heckman

    Conscious Parenting: The Holistic Guide to Raising and Nourishing Healthy, Happy Children by Gabriel Cousens M.D. and Leah Lynn

    Holistic Parenting: Raising Children to a New Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Well-Being by Lynn Wiese Sneyd and Harold H. Bloomfield and 

    The Other Baby Book: A Natural Approach to Baby’s First Year Megan McGrory Massaro and Miriam J. Katz

    For adult interventions, check out these two:

    The American Holistic Medical Association Guide to Holistic Health: Healing Therapies for Optimal Wellness by The American Holistic Medical Association and Larry Trivieri Jr. and

    Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food Supplements by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC.

    Holistic Treatments are here to stay offering practical options for feeling and functioning at your best! Contact us today to schedule your personalized treatment.