A crowd consisting of many veterans gathered March 27 at Farmer’s Natural Foods in Hinesville for a health seminar on easing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. The nearly two-hour seminar was facilitated by author Kaliana Schmidt, a natural-emotional-care advocate.
More than 100 years ago, Schmidt said, man did not understand the importance of dietary vitamin C, which led to scurvy. It was 50 years before they were able to make the connection that scurvy was a treatable disease and not a normal part of everyday life.
“We can relate it to the stress and anxiety and the insane amount of emotional stress that we live with today that we think is normal. I don’t believe it is normal. I believe it is common the same way that scurvy was common over a 100 years ago,” Schmidt said.
Stress is so common, many who suffer with it don’t feel they can overcome such tensions and feel better, she said. Schmidt told the audience that by the end of the night, she’d make them all feel better in about 30 seconds. Many attendees shook their heads in disbelief, but stuck around to learn about Schmidt’s “secret weapon,” which turned out to be the power of scent.
PTSD has been talked about a lot lately, mostly due to its association with the military, but Schmidt said it actually can be diagnosed in anyone who has been in or witnessed a traumatic event. She said she is passionate about the topic because she and her husband have battled PTSD.
The brain stores traumatic memories to protect us, she said, explaining that such memories often are stored away in the subconscious because they’re too overwhelming to process and understand. Schmidt said that specific scents can affect certain parts of the brain, and inhaling blended scents can trigger different reactions and have a healing effect.
In 1995, Schmidt had an encounter at a day care center with a boy who was experiencing extreme separation anxiety, prompting her to use her knowledge of aromatherapy to create an all-natural spray that could help calm the boy.
When, over the course of a week, the spray eased the child’s symptoms a little bit each day until he was anxiety-free, Schmidt knew she had stumbled onto a great formula. She figured it could help those who suffer from symptoms related to trauma and PTSD.
This led to the launch of her line of all-natural emotional products, “Kaliana.” They are made from essential oils, flower essences, cider and red grape vinegars. Schmidt believes her products have the power to change anyone’s mood in about 30 seconds.
Retired veteran and Claxton resident David Tetreault, was summoned to Farmer’s by his wife, who sent him a text message instructing him to come by.
Having been caught in traffic and running late, Tetreault said that he was angry and frustrated by the time he reached the store. When Schmidt asked the crowd if anyone wanted to volunteer to participate in a demonstration of her product, he was the first to raise his hand.
When Tetreault approached the front of the room, he was quiet and stern, looking tired and upset. Schmidt lightly spritzed his face and head with her all-natural emotional-care facial mist. Thirty seconds later, Tetreault said he felt peaceful.
After a few moments, she repeated the application. After a third dose, Tetreault appeared calm. He said he felt restful and not as angry.
Schmidt had Tetreault sample another of her products, a beverage booster with raw-fruit enzymes. He was happy — almost giddy — and smiled widely several times, saying he felt amazing.
“It would be nice to sit and relax at the house without getting mad over every little thing that comes up,” he said. “I haven’t felt this good in a long time. I thought being angry all the time was normal.”
Schmidt then offered facial mist applications to every attendee. The product’s light scent filled the air and customers breathed in deeply. Many said they felt tension melt away, and the room filled with smiling faces.
Paul Lucas, a veteran from Hinesville, came to the seminar to learn about strategies for treating his PTSD symptoms.
Lucas said he’s been shopping at Farmer’s for years and enjoys their evening lectures. He was in the market for natural products that promote peaceful sleep and diminish nightmares.
“I’ve come a long way and want to stay on the right path,” he said. “I am already using essential oils for aromatherapy and it is good to get validation that aromatherapy does work.”