top of page


Meet the AAHAA Faculty
Shanti Dechen


Shanti is the founder and director of Aroma Apothecary Healing Arts Academy, is a certified clinical aromatherapist, and has been a clinical aromatherapy practitioner and instructor for the last 22 years. Shanti has also been a clinical holistic health practitioner and a certified massage therapist since 1979. She has a university background in healing and the sciences—over 15,000 hours of extensive holistic training and certification in bodymind therapies.

Amie Theriault


Amie is the owner and founder of Santi Holistic Healing, a holistic center on the south coast of Boston Massachusetts. She blends her acquired knowledge in muscular therapy, nutrition, clinical aromatherapy, personal training, and her current studies in osteopathy to give each client a customized treatment from a holistic approach. Her love for the human body, nature and the intricacies of each person’s uniqueness drive her to continue studying different forms of healing.

Hilda “Marie” Wardlaw


Hilda “Marie” Wardlaw is the owner of Scented Earth Botanicals in Delta, Colorado. She has completed the Aroma Apothecary Healing Arts Academy Clinical Aromatherapy Mastery Program and the first level Aromatherapy Teacher’s Training. Hilda is a teacher of the Essential Aromatherapy classes, offered in Western Colorado. She is a Level 2 NAHA and AIA member. Through her website and in-person, she also provides Professional Clinical Aromatherapy Consultation while furthering her career with Massage Therapy at Intellitec College and Clinical and Orthopedic Massage with Whitney Lowe.

Telisa Chai


Telisa Chai has been a professional aromatherapist since 2007. Her appreciation of an aromatic lifestyle can be traced back to the time she growing up on the island of Taiwan in Asia. After acquiring associate degrees in fashion design (1986) and in massage therapy (2006), Telisa continues to advance her specialty in aromatherapy and has been a certified aromatherapy teacher by the Aroma Apothecary Healing arts Academy in 2014. Telisa resides in Sonoma County in Northern California where she has cultivated a lavandin field in the foothill overlooking Laguna de la Rosa. She is committed to applying true aromatherapy principles in living a sustainable, social and eco-conscious life , where she also provides aromatherapy consultations on personal care and signature product development, essential oil distillation, and workshops. Telisa is a Massage Therapist professionally certified by both the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) and California Massage Therapy Council.

Jamie Michaels


Jamie is the Midwest Regional Director for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) and the visionary founder of Children's Wellness Tree, where she teaches and empowers mothers to integrate self-care routines and natural remedies seamlessly into children's lives, nurturing their overall health, wellness, and vitality. With years of experience in the medical field, Jamie bridges conventional and holistic understanding and approaches to health and wellness. Her teachings go beyond mere remedies; they encompass a profound knowledge of the body's functions and connections, guiding moms to recognize their body signals and their child's and how to unlock its healing potential. Jamie is a devoted mother of three, infusing her personal experiences into her work with boundless compassion and understanding. Through Children's Wellness Tree, she nurtures children's ability to thrive through her educational courses, consultations, and online community. She guides mothers on a journey of self-understanding, healing, and holistic living. With Jamie's guidance, you'll discover the power of aromatherapy and natural remedies tailored to your unique wellness journey and that of your child and continue your path with coping tools to use for life. Jamie also teaches public classes in the Waupaca, WI, and surrounding areas. Jamie is a Registered Nurse, Certified Clinical Aromatherapist, Certified Aromatherapy Instructor, and a Professional Member and Regional Director of NAHA.

Rebecca Bruckner Chang


Rebecca’s first passion is teaching. With a Master of Arts degree in Education, she has been teaching for the past 32 years. She started out working in the elementary and middle schools and then settled into the rhythm of high school, where she has been for the last 27+ years. Rebecca’s enthusiasm with essential oils began in 2010 while recovering from complications that occurred during a major surgery. On her personal journey of healing, growth, and wellness, the focus of Rebecca’s study of aromatherapy was for her own well-being. As time went on and her lessons intensified at the Aroma Apothecary Healing Arts Academy, her studies began to benefit her family, friends, and others. Now Rebecca is an instructor for Aroma Apothecary Healing Arts Academy's Essential Aromatherapy course in Southern California. Rebecca is a Certified Clinical Aromatherapist and a California Certified Massage Therapist. She is a professional member of National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), the Alliance of International Aromatherapists (AIA), the Society for Oncology Massage (S4OM), and the California Teachers Association (CTA).

Jennifer Cardone Durante


Jennifer, a teacher of Aroma Apothecary Healing Arts Academy’s Essential Aromatherapy course in New Jersey, has almost 20 years of experience working as a healthcare professional. She blends her extensive knowledge of anatomy and physiology with her intuitive guidance, which is the foundation of her work as a healer. Jennifer’s true passion is working on an energetic level to heal mind, body, and spirit, and restore wholeness. She works to help others increase consciousness through the use of aromatherapy in order to heal all aspects of the individual. She “found” and fell in love with aromatherapy through her own self-actualization. Jennifer is a Registered Aromatherapist (RA) and a Professional Member of the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapists (NAHA), Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer, Reiki Master/Teacher and a Professional Member of the International Center for Reiki Training (ICRT). Jennifer is an avid gardener, and a lover of all things metaphysical. She lives in New Jersey with her daughter and husband.

Natalie Zalenka


Natalie has had a life-long passion for holistic healing and sharing with others how to help themselves in a more natural way. Her journey with aromatherapy began in 2014 after the sudden death of her husband, when she was introduced to essential oils by a family member. The emotional support offered by aromatherapy set her on a path to wellness and established a determination to study and learn the many healing benefits essential oils had to offer. Natalie continued to pursue her love of aromatherapy and is a Mastery Program graduate of Aroma Apothecary Healing Arts Academy, Aromatherapy Teachers Training and also one of our amazing blog writers and contributors. She is also a Reiki Master Teacher where she incorporates aromatherapy into her work in bringing harmony to body, mind, and spirit. She lives in Illinois with her three sons.

Aileen Halvorson


Aileen is a teacher of Aroma Apothecary Healing Arts Academy's Essential Aromatherapy course in Portland, Oregon. Aileen has been working in the medical field for the past 30 years. She received her Bachelor of Arts in 1983 from Morehead State University and not only continues to work in the medical field but also is currently a teacher of Elemental Energy Healing in the Portland area and has completed her Level I and Level II clinical aromatherapy as well as the first level teacher's training through Aroma Apothecary Healing Arts Academy. Her goal is to educate and train individuals in the field of Aromatherapy and to continue to grow her knowledge in this amazing field. Aileen is also the author of The Tarot Apothecary book.

Gregory Carter


Gregory graduated from the Aroma Apothecary Healing Arts Mastery Program in 2018. He is also a graduate of the famed Swedish Institute School of Massage Therapy. He has been a licensed Massage Therapist for the past 13 years and a member of the American Reflexology Certification Board since 2005. He completed the Natural Medicine Program with the Trinity College of Natural Health in 2000. Having graduated from the Teachers Program at Aroma Apothecary Healing Arts Academy, he is also a certified aromatherapy teacher. Gregory uses aromatherapy in his massage practice to help clients get a deepened sense of relaxation. Having worked as a freelance massage therapist and reflexologist in the New York City area since 2007, working mostly in corporate offices and in many colleges in New York City area, he believes that the combination of massage, reflexology, and aromatherapy go hand in hand. His goal is to educate people about the amazing field of Aromatherapy one person at a time.

Patty Held


Patty is a teacher of Aroma Apothecary Healing Arts Academy's Essential Aromatherapy course in Minnesota, is a licensed schoolteacher by profession. She has worked for 30 years in the public school system and has a master’s degree as a reading specialist. Her holistic training includes the following healing modalities: Certified Clinical Aromatherapist, Level 2 and teacher's training, and Reiki Master, as well as numerous workshops on meditation and other wellness topics. Patty continues to teach special education students while maintaining a private office for aromatherapy and healing clients in her home. She is a partner in a venture which plans and hosts healing retreats with various mind, body, and spirit wellness topics. Along with teaching aromatherapy, she also teaches classes on reiki, meditation. Patty is a professional member of NAHA (National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy) and an affiliate member of the ICRT (International Center for Reiki Training.) It is her belief that we have the power to heal ourselves, and to be happier and healthier than we’ve ever been before!

bottom of page