Inshanti Wellness Spa: Essential Oils Infused with a Passion for Science
Jan 31, 2014 12:11AM
By Kyle Hass
Deb Stoltzfus, the founder of Inshanti Wellness Spa, in Lancaster, is a self-proclaimed health and science geek. She started her professional life as a certified aerobics and fitness instructor and taught classes at spas, gyms and for college sports teams. Enthusiastic about wellness inside and out, Stoltzfus also pursued a degree in cosmetology with a focus on skin care. While she had no intention to shift her concentration to essential oils, a naturally investigative mind drew her in, and she was captivated by the science.
As a skincare specialist, Stoltzfus started Inshanti Wellness Spa in 2004. When the sales representative of an essential oils line wanted the spa to carry her products, Stoltzfus probed. “I started asking really hard questions, like ‘How do you know these oils are not adulterated?’” she recalls. “I always need to do the research, know the chemistry and make sure what I do is based on science,” Stoltzfus explains.
Soon, she was hooked. “Essential oils are all about biochemistry, which I’ve always loved. Plus, there’s a creative side to the work of blending the oils; the sky is the limit,” remarks Stoltzfus. She enrolled in the Aromahead Institute, in Florida, where she studied the botany, advanced chemistry and pharmacology of essential oils, as well as anatomy, physiology and differential diagnosis under well-known scientists and integrative medical doctors. Ultimately, she became nationally certified as a clinical aromatherapist.
Although Stoltzfus still provides skin care treatments at Inshanti, in April 2009 she launched the Inshanti On-Line Shoppe, which features more than 60 products for health and wellness, bath and body care and pet care. Categories include single essential oils, which have been extracted by steam distillation; handcrafted essential oil blends; herbal infusions (two to three pounds of fresh, organic herbs infused into a gallon of olive oil); and hydrosols (spritzers created from water distillations of plants). Stoltzfus also makes body lotions, balms and butters; bath salts and scrubs; and deodorants and skin treatments.
While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate essential oils, Stotlzfus’ passion for purity pressed her to seek the plant farmers and oil distillers that could guarantee her the cleanest and highest quality ingredients. Through her colleagues and instructors, she built a network of suppliers that continues to grow. Stoltzfus imports 99 percent of her oils and requires that every batch is tested using gas chromatography mass spectrometry. Because the purity and chemical composition of each batch can be affected by everything from growing conditions to storage method, she uses the printed report of results to evaluate them.
Stoltzfus divides her time between making products with essential oils and consulting with clients and medical professionals. In addition to her online retail shop, she offers wholesale purchasing to holistic and integrative natural health practitioners. In one-on-one clinical
aromatherapy consultations, she gathers information from clients in order to formulate custom blends that will be the most effective for them. She provides detailed, written information on the medicinal properties of the essential oils and the protocol for their application, as well as two follow-up sessions. Stoltzfus will also make changes to future blends that address the same health issue for just the price of the oils. This thorough approach keeps patrons coming back for years.
“Above all else, I am concerned for the well-being of my clients. I am excited to offer pure essential oils as a natural alternative to chemical-based medicines,” Stoltzfus remarks. “These products provide a natural source for healing to help reduce and eliminate pain and relieve the symptoms of ailments such as colds, headaches, flu, sinus infections, allergies and asthma.”
Looking forward, Stoltzfus will continue consulting and educating, as well as developing more products and channels of distribution. She teaches classes and offers home parties by request for groups of 10 or more people. She also serves on the Alliance of International Aromatherpists’ board of directors, participating on the education and publication committees.
“I hope to help people to realize the benefits of essential oils and to respect their power,” Stoltzfus comments. “Essential oils are like herbs on steroids; they should be used after consultation with a clinical aromatherapist or credentialed health professional.”
For more information, call 717-587-3990 or visit Inshanti.com.