STARR Experts

Practitioner Profile – Johan Ligondé: Aromatherapy

Johane Ligondé

Aromatherapist, Self-Care Leadership Coach, Speaker, Trainer

Award-Winning School Principal, Educational System Thought Leader and Speaker, Founder of Joyous Leader Consulting Firm

Johane’s Bio:
Johane is a certified transformational coach, aromatherapist, motivational speaker, and experienced trainer.  She teaches aromatherapy, targeted breathing techniques, and mindfulness strategies to alleviate the negative impact of stress on every area of life. She is a member of the Alliance of International Aromatherapists, National Association of Secondary School Principals, the Association of Middle Level Education, and the National Association of Professional Women.  She is committed to helping others create joyous spaces in their lives that nurture the heart as well as the brain while accomplishing high levels of success.  Johane is currently writing a book, called The Joyous Edge Method, about how people can effectively tap into their joy.

During Johane’s tenure as a school principal, her schools have been recognized for their academic excellence and positive culture, receiving various nominations and awards, such as the National Blue Ribbon of Excellence Award, the Invitational School Award, and the ASCD Whole Child Award. She has presented to members of Congress on practical life skills and mindfulness tools to effectively combat trauma and stress suffered by students.  She has trained hundreds of aspiring leaders in curriculum and supervision as an adjunct instructor in the Summer Principal Academy at Teachers College, Columbia University. Johane speaks at conferences, such as The New York State School Board Association, the International Alliance for Invitational Education, the Nassau County Special Education Association, amongst others.  She conducts training workshops for school administrators, not for profit leaders, and business owners on long term planning, data analysis, social emotional wellness, mindfulness practices, and organizational culture.

According to Johane, why Aromatherapy works to improve mental health:

Aromatherapy involves using plant extracts, such as essential oils, for the healing of mind, body, and spirit.  Essential oils can be used aromatically, topically, and internally.  The molecules in essential oils affect the olfactory receptors in the brain which causes an improvement in mood.  Smell, our most primal sense, remains a strong  link to our subconscious, where we guard memories related to smells for a long time.  The limbic system is responsible for emotion regulation and mental functions, while creating and storing memories.  The limbic system is also directly connected to those parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels, and hormone balance (Higley & Higley, 1998). Essential oils have a great impact on how we think, feel, and behave.  Research has indicated that the use of essential oils improves sleep, nausea, memory, attention, and energy, while stabilizing one’s mood.

“The profound and complete therapeutic effects of essential oils derive from more than their pleasant fragrance. They have vital electromagnetic properties and vibrational energies that invigorate the mind, the soul, the body’s energy, and thus their functioning.” Kurt Schnaubelt, Ph.D

Johane’s Resource Recommendations:


The Alliance of International Aromatherapists

National Library of Medicine

National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health

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