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Aromatherapy As An Alternative To Medicine: Sunita Teckchand Shares Her Story

We recently had the honor of having a conversation with Sunita Teckchand, clinical aromatherapy expert and consultant, and the owner of The Holistic Alternative FZ LLC. Sunita has devoted more than 27 years of her life to acquiring various aromatherapy skills, with a passion for learning the art and science of the field. 

Despite all the obstacles and challenging times in her professional life, Sunita Teckchand has never given up. She has instead concentrated on educating herself in this area and building a name for herself. In this interview, Sunita Teckchand speaks about her career journey over the years, her challenges in this field, the relevance of technology, and how she maintains a balanced approach while investing in updated ideas.  

The Beginning

We started the interview by asking, “Can you tell us about your professional journey and what led you to your current role?”

Sunita shared, “My journey into the world of Aromatherapy commenced in 1997 in Hong Kong. I suffered from tremendous backaches and tried everything from acupuncture to physiotherapy, chiropractic treatments, and other healing modalities. With just one session of a professional Aromatherapy massage, I felt so much better; that is when I decided to dedicate my life to learning this art and science because of how it felt, this is exactly what I accomplished.

When I moved from Hong Kong to Dubai in 1997, I realized that nothing was happening here as far as alternative medicine was concerned, so I decided to open the first-ever Aromatherapy Centre in UAE and offered sessions in Clinical Aromatherapy, Clinical Reflexology, Kinesiology, Manual Lymphatic Drainage and much more. I acquired a specialized rehabilitation license from the authorities to treat men and women equally, a first for this country.

The business flourished; however, my health deteriorated, and I got paralyzed in my right arm from overworking after running the company for nine years. I decided to sell and take a one-year sabbatical. That was unfortunate, but I could not work with one good arm. In 2009, I opened the first Aromatherapy Training Institute in Dubai and received approval from the education body in UAE to hold classes with full International diplomas from IFPA and ITEC. We had teachers from all over the world coming here to offer training, and our business was successful until the DHA (Health authorities) came up with a regulation, that all my graduate students must leave the country for two years before being granted permission to work here legally as therapists. This rule killed my business, and I shut down The Holistic Institute.”

She added, “With no regrets, I pushed ahead and offered consultancy services with my experience in this field by teaching In Hong Kong, the UK, and the UAE with many workshops and short courses. I then registered The Holistic Alternatives in the RAK free zone and opened a digital online training platform (due to COVID) where we teach the entire curriculum of the IFPA syllabus to receive a Diploma in Clinical Aromatherapy. This program is open to anyone interested in professionally studying this science. We have many students on our platform who have accomplished this diploma, which usually takes two years to complete. I am on the board of Trustees for The International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists – UK.

Currently, I work in Dubai, offering sessions in Clinical Aromatherapy treatments and blends, Clinical Reflexology, Jin Shin Jyutsu Healing, Manual Lymphatic Drainage, Regression sessions, and more. I provide face-to-face classes in Manual Lymphatic Drainage, Clinical Reflexology, and short courses in ‘The Art of Blending’ essential oils. I also help train therapists in Spas to upgrade their skills. I continue my education to better myself in this science and have co-authored a book ‘She is Remarkable’ as a local author in Dubai. I continue to present hybrid classes online for Traditional Medicine in the Science and Research of Alternative Therapies. I will speak in person in Paris this June 2024 on “Nature’s Pharmacy and Lymphoedema – Case Studies on how essential oils help.”

Experience Speaks 

To learn more about the factors that set Sunita’s business apart from the tough competition, we asked, “What sets your business apart from competitors in the industry?” 

Sunita replied, “My business is due to my experience in alternative medicine in the last 27 years. Progressing further with studies with new essential oils coming into the market, research papers, and more, hence my credibility in this field speaks for itself.”

Notable Achievements 

We were intrigued to learn about the remarkable achievements of Sunita Teckchand’s company; we inquired, “What has been your business’s biggest achievement to date?” 

Being one of the pioneers in this field to open a center for treatments and an educational Institute offering Diploma courses. Speaking on the case studies I have personally done myself on clients with a multitude of serious conditions, which I speak about in my presentation in the scientific research panel for Traditional Medicine worldwide conferences.” Sunita shared.”

Leadership Style

We further asked, “How would you describe your leadership style?” 

 

She replied, “My leadership style comes from my students; they are my teachers and help me progress in this field of Aromatherapy.” 

Nurturing Talents 

“What strategies do you use to motivate and develop talent in your organization?” 

Sunita shared, “Well, we have social media support on Instagram and Facebook. We hold seminars and talks in schools, organizations, and healthcare centers, who invite us to discuss various alternative therapies. We have turned out more than 50 students in this field who are very successful today in their careers, building it from scratch to developing formulations for the retail industry. My students are the ambassadors of my work.” 

AI As The Leading Tech 

The era of rapid digital transformation, particularly the rise of AI, has marked specific significant changes in every industry. We asked, “What role does artificial intelligence or technology play in this industry?” 

Sunita shared, “This is a terrifying thought using AI for something that one has dedicated their life to study and deliver. No AI can deliver experience.” 

Envisioning The Future 

To learn more about Sunita Teckchand’s perspectives on the evolution of her industry in the upcoming years, we asked, “How do you envision the future of your industry?” 

She replied, “Aromatherapy has become more and more popular today. However, there are the odd Multilevel marketing companies that give it a bad reputation by selling essential oils in the pyramid scheme and teaching newcomers to take them internally, which is the worst thing one can do considering safety, as essential oils can burn your stomach lining and cause nasty rashes and other health outcomes. 

We believe in educating the newcomer on the safe use of essential oils because they can help the unborn child to the very old if used correctly. That is also why we are members of professional bodies like The International Federation of Professional Aromatherapy (IFPA), NAHA, and CNHC, to name a few.” 

Adaptability Amidst Challenges

While challenges are indispensable to every business, overcoming them efficiently counts the most. So, we asked, “What have been some of the most significant hurdles you’ve encountered in your business, and how did you address them?” 

She responded, “The main hurdle I have encountered is the non-recognition of Aromatherapy in UAE, and this has hindered our business as they have it licensed under therapeutic massage. If I am a formulator (not offering massage), I have no category under this umbrella here. Hence, it is essential to have proper legislation to allow professionals such as myself to offer these services to the public here with the right protocols.”  

Worth-Sharing Advice 

Eager to learn about business advice Sunita Teckchand feels is worth sharing, we asked, “What is an excellent piece of business advice you have ever received?” 

She shared, “Keep trying, as failure does not exist.” 

A Balanced Approach 

We concluded the interview by asking, “How do you balance investing in up-to-date ideas with ensuring ongoing operations remain successful?” 

Sunita concluded, “You need to have proper time management; some time must be given to further your education in this field, as things are changing constantly in our fast-paced world. With the right time management, one can successfully achieve their goals.”

Connect with Sunita Teckchand on LinkedIn.

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