Rae Marie bases her business, Rae of Light Aromatherapy Massage, on the use of scented oils. In a candid essay, she explains why: as a teenager, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Rae spent her high-school years cycling between different medications and inpatient programs, but continued to feel mired in negative emotions—when she didn't feel like a "walking vegetable," that is.
In 1993, something changed. Rae's mom, an alternative healer, was enrolled in a course on essential oils. When Rae reluctantly accompanied her mom to class, she intended to sleep through it. But by the end of the lecture, the soothing scent of an oil called "joy" had put her mind at ease, and as the duo smelled it in the car, they found it facilitated communication between them. Over the next few months, Rae learned more about oils, eventually stopping her medication and leaving the hospital to focus in on a new path in life. Today, at her massage clinic, she helps others experience the dramatic changes she went through via a variety of massage modalities, oils, and spa packages.