We had the chance to catch up with one of our yearly Wine and Wellness vendors, Kristi Bowlby, and learn about the therapeutic qualities of essential oils that can benefit our bodies.
Can you tell us a little about your background?
My name is Kristi Bowlby. I’m a physical therapist and STOTT certified Pilates Instructor, as well as an educator about Young Living Essential Oils. I’m from Bay City, Michigan. I went to Michigan State and got my master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin Madison. I moved to Ann Arbor in 2007 and this is my forever home. I love Ann Arbor!
What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness to me means being healthy on the inside as well as the outside. Exercise is a big part of wellness, but I think we also have to treat our bodies the way they were designed. We need to put the right foods in our body and the right lotions and topicals on our skin because all of that is being absorbed and affecting us. Another huge part of wellness is daily gratitude and finding things that truly make you happy.
What are essential oils and what are their benefits?
Essential oils are extracted through a distillation process from plants and various parts of plants. It could be the flower petals, the leaves, the stems, the bark, or the seeds. An example of an essential oil is wintergreen. Wintergreen is actually 95% methyl salicylate, which is the active ingredient in Aspirin, so it has those anti-inflammatory effects. We can take wintergreen essential oil and apply it topically to our skin, and it can help with aches and pains. Another one is citronella. We know citronella from a lot of the candles that we buy and other ways that we use citronella to repel insects. It is chemically derived and probably not the best for our systems. We can take citronella essential oil, put it in a spray bottle, apply it to our skin, or diffuse it in our surroundings if we want to enjoy the outdoors without that irritation. Quality really does matter when it comes to essential oils.
What makes Young Living Essential Oils unique?
Young Living Essential Oils specifically is very detailed on how they distill their oils – so low pressure, low heat, and a very specific time frame. For example, Lavender is harvested at a specific time to optimize the therapeutic qualities that can benefit our bodies.
Young Living is a health and wellness company, so essential oils are the heart and soul of their products. But beyond that, they have an entire beauty line, a makeup line, cleaning line, dental care line, and supplements. It’s really about whole-food based supplements, organic products, taking the toxins and the chemicals out of our home, and a healthy living style.
The company is founded on their seed-to-seal process. They’ve been around for around for more than 25 years. They own their own farms around the world. They are the only essential oil company that does that. They have a farm in Oman where they have boswellia trees to extract the frankincense. Part of the seed to seal process is they plant the little seedlings in the ground that they’ve grown from seeds in their greenhouses, and they pull weeds by hand. They then harvest those plants, and use essential oils for any pest control that’s necessary, and distill themselves. They then test the oils for the appropriate chemical constituents that provide us with the therapeutic properties that change our bodies, and then bottle the oils and send them to your doorstep.
Why do you find it important to engage with the local community?
I find it important to engage with the local community because I believe in supporting locals and small business – the people who are really dedicated in pouring their heart and soul into what they are doing.
What are you looking forward to at Wine and Wellness?
This will be my third year participating in MOVE’s Wine and Wellness event. I love the community of MOVE. I think the community atmosphere that Wine and Wellness offers is really fun. I also enjoy any opportunity to share something I am passionate about – Young Living products like their essential oils, supplements, and pain cream (which is probably something that would be beneficial to people coming to an event like this who are exercising.) I am looking forward to sharing this information with other people so they can become healthier!