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How Vibrant Blue Oils Got Started

By Jodi Cohen

A woman in a blue blouse smiling while standing at a booth that promotes therapeutic oils for nutritional essentials with a range of health benefits listed on the display behind her.

I am often asked how I started Vibrant Blue Oils.

The short answer is that “necessity is the mother of all invention.”  I created my proprietary essential oil blends to help me navigate my own health crisis.  Once I experienced how well they worked, I decided to share them with others who experienced similar results.

Building upon this success, I founded Vibrant Blue Oils ten years ago in 2013 and have been honored and privileged to watch it grow and support over half a million natural health seekers every year.

I share more detail on my journey into natural health in the video and post below.

My journey into natural health started with my son, Max.  My first child was ridiculously easy so I mistakenly assumed I was this great mom and had another child 22 months later.

Max was born on March 8, 2006 and was never easy. Don’t get me wrong – he was adorable, fun and brilliant, but his nonstop energy and lack of impulse control sent me searching for better parenting techniques.

I read every parenting book and took every class I could find, but nothing seemed to help. At one point, we were instructed to point at our nose, while instructing him to “look at our nose” and even that seemed to fail to capture his attention.

It was frustrating to feel like I had tried everything I could think of and yet nothing seemed to help. I started praying for a sign and tried to stay open to any strategies that might help – that help guided me to the first step of my own natural health journey.


My Food Mood Discovery

One day we were at a birthday party at the zoo where Max was showing up as his best self and my friend, Alex, complimented how well behaved he was. It was definitely one of those proud mom moments.

A few moments later, another mom passed out a snack of Ritz crackers. He literally took a bite of the cracker, Jekyll Hyde’d it and took off towards the jaguars. I sprinted after him, scooped him up, brought him back, sat down next to Alex at which point she said, “You know, I’ve never seen Max Jekyll-Hyde after eating food before. My brother was on Ritalin his whole life. And it turned out, he was just allergic to weird foods. You should take him to a nutritionist.” And I thought, “Well, yeah, I can certainly do that.” I’ve tried everything else.

So I found a nutritionist and during the first appointment was told that he was really sensitive to corn, soy and dairy. We removed those foods from his diet and the next day he was calm, focused and able to look at my nose. It was pretty dramatic and life altering, so I decided I had to learn more.

This prompted me to earn a degree in nutritional therapy from the Nutritional Therapy Association (NTA) with the intention of trying to help other moms. The NTA teaches a whole testing protocol, but when you’re trying to assess squirmy kids who won’t sit still for five seconds, that can be challenging.

So being in Seattle near Bastyr, I was able to learn this technique called muscle testing. It’s a really efficient way to kind of drill down really quickly and figure out what the root causes and what the solution is. So I was using that in my practice, and I was learning more and more about imbalances in the body and the brain and how to help balance those systems. And I was helping a lot of moms like me, mostly healthy, just kind of tired, and more anxious, and stressed, and overwhelmed, which is often related to your adrenal glands, which also came in handy.


Full Adrenal Collapse

I was under a lot of stress, but I managed to keep it together, until I didn’t.  My husband suffered from bipolar disorder and was growing more and more depressed to the point where I was concerned he might die on my watch. It escalated to the point where we needed to move him into a residential treatment facility. The moment I knew that he was safe and it wasn’t my job to be on high alert all the time and keep him safe, it was like crossing the finish line of a marathon where it was finally safe to collapse.

This presented as full adrenal collapse. I could barely function. My kids were five and seven and obviously needed a mother, but it took every ounce of energy I had to show up for them. I would get up with them in the morning, make them breakfast, pack their lunch, check their homework and drive them to school. Then I would come back home, crawl into bed and set the alarm for five minutes before pickup.

No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t shake this exhaustion. I was taking all the right adrenal and adaptogenic supplements. I was doing everything I could think of. And I was barely treading water every day.  It was not sustainable, but I didn’t know what else to do.


My Introduction to Essential Oils

Fortunately in my pre-adrenal collapsed life, I was that kind of type A overachiever. And I had helped a friend with a fundraiser who came by with a big box of essential oils as a thank you gift. When she was dropping them off, she said, “You know, you have been so high stress for so long. And high stress means high cortisol and high cortisol often contributes too long-term and systemic inflammation, especially in the gut.”

She observed that my gut was probably so inflamed that nothing I was ingesting was actually getting into my system.

What she said next really intrigued me.

She explained that oils can be used through the skin. You can topically apply them. You can inhale them like this might help you.

And that was such a new concept that I decided, “All right, I’ll try it.”

So I muscle tested the box to see if there was anything in the box that might help my adrenals.  For me, muscle testing presents like a scale – you might think of it as volume where it could range from really quiet to super loud.  The muscle testing response was really strong which excited me, because I really did want to feel better. I just didn’t know how.

But suddenly essential oils felt like a hopeful option – I vividly remember thinking, “this might actually work!”

So I decided to drill down further to figure out which oil would actually help- and that’s where I got stuck, but only momentarily.

You see, in my previous experience with muscle testing, I was always able to narrow remedies down to like one, maybe two. Despite numerous attempts to pick the one winning remedy, I kept getting the same five oils, which confused me because that hadn’t happened before.

It suddenly occurred to me, “Oh, wait a minute, they’re liquid. I can combine them.” And so that’s what I did.

Being new to essential oils, I literally ran into the kitchen with the 5 oils, grabbed a shot glass and began drilling down and testing each of the five oils to see how many drops of each to add to the shot glass.

It looked something like this – I would grab the bottle of Rosemary and test for how many drops to add to the shot glass, then grab the next four oils – Cinnamon, Galbanum, Manuka and Thyme (the ingredients in our Adrenal blend) and test how many drops to add to the blend.

After adding all five oils to the shot glass and creating my first blend, I intuitively applied them on my low back, over my adrenal glands, which are your energy regulators. Your adrenal glands release cortisol in response to commands from the brain, they’re located on the low back. And they’re right above the kidneys.

So here is a simple hack. Your adrenal glands sit right on top of your kidneys and that helps you know how to apply the oil. Your kidneys are the size of a fist and the bottom of your kidney lines up with your lowest rib, your 12th rib. So if you take your fist, and line it up with your low back, then apply the Adrenal® blend to the pointer finger of your other hand and gently apply the blend right above the top of your fist – that is exactly where I recommend you apply the Adrenal® remedy.


The Transformation

Immediately after applying the Adrenal blend, I felt a shift – it was like, the car that was running on empty suddenly had gas.

And possibilities immediately began to open up.

I remember thinking, “Oh my goodness, I could clean the house. I could go to the supermarket. I could do all these things that honestly felt overwhelming.”

On my darkest days, it felt overwhelming to walk upstairs. It felt overwhelming to answer the phone. Everything felt like too much. So I had this moment of, “I can do this. I can do all the laundry that’s been sitting by the machine. I can fold it. I can put it away. I can go to the supermarket. I can make my kids favorite meal.”

I had such a win of a day. I felt so hopeful for the first time in weeks.


Sleep Solutions

That night my mind was racing.

Sleep had been challenging since the overwhelm started.  My rhythms were completely out of synch. I would feel exhausted during the day, but at night I would literally stare at the clock praying for sleep to find me.

I jokingly called it “clock watching”. I’d get my kids to bed and then I’d crawl into bed and try to fall asleep as the clock ticked to 9:00 p.m., then 9:30 p.m., then 10:00 p.m. I would just watch the clock all night, but somewhere around 10:30, it occurred to me, “Oh, wait a minute. I wonder if an essential oil can help me sleep.”

I knew that my circadian rhythms were off and that my pineal gland, which releases melatonin to trigger sleep, wasn’t really functioning as well as it could.

I had studied the pineal gland during my nutritional training and recalled that specific points right above the ears on the skin were level with the pineal gland and an ideal place to topically apply nutritional remedies like GABA that can help with relaxation and sleep

It occurred to me that essential oils could also be applied to that point where the skin is the thinnest so oils could be easily absorbed and quickly support the pineal gland, which is right in the center of your brain beneath between your eyes.

Since I was wide awake anyway, I decided to get out of bed and see if I could create a blend to trigger the pineal gland to release melatonin and initiate sleep.

This led to the creation of the Circadian Rhythm® blend.  Thank goodness I wrote down the formula because it worked so quickly that I don’t even remember falling asleep. I literally passed out and stayed asleep until my son woke me up the next day by jumping on the bed which felt like a great way to celebrate the sleep win.


Researching Essential Oils Online

Over the next few weeks, I kept making up blends to help me feel better. When I started feeling like myself again, all of my friends and nutritional therapy colleagues wanted to know, “What did you do that worked so well? ” So I started sharing samples of my blends that they then were trying it on their clients and having a lot of success.

My friends kept encouraging me to do something with the oils.  But, at that point, I didn’t really know that much about essential oils. I just knew that from personal experience how quickly they could transform your health.

It was so powerful and so obvious that I assumed that someone must already be producing and selling essential oil blends to balance organ systems and regions of the brain. So I did what I do well – I went online to research.

I went on a Google rampage – I looked up essential oils for the brain and essential oils for organ systems. I was really surprised to find that (1) not only was no one really looking at essential oil blends through this lens, but (2) they made it seem so incredibly complicated.

I was almost grateful that my mental bandwidth was so low because if I had started with research, I would’ve felt completely unqualified and not even done it.


From Concept to Launch

Once I realized that I had stumbled into a unique idea, my friends were trying to convince me there was a nutritional therapy conference that was coming up. It was only $250 to be a vendor at that time. Fortunately, in my life prior to being a mom and working in nutritional therapy, I had a background in marketing. I had earned an MBA from Columbia Business School where I had learned how to conduct market research and test product concepts. My friends helped me create and assemble a hundred test kits and basic marketing materials.

I went to the NTA conference and sold out in the first hour. And that is how Vibrant Blue Oils was started back in 2013.

After the conference, I hired a developer (who I am proud to say still supports me to this day) to help me build a website.  I have a background in journalism and really love researching and dot connecting and figuring out how and why things work.  For example, I would notice, “This works really well. That’s fascinating. Why did that work?”

Then I try to figure it out, reverse engineer and put the puzzle pieces together to connect the dots and say, “Oh, of course.”

So I started writing a weekly blog, mostly after my kids went to bed. I’d fill orders at night when they were at bed, I would go to a yoga class in the morning that was right next to a mailbox  So before I head out the door, I would fill my Lulu lemon bag with the orders, and drop them in the mailbox before heading into yoga.

That’s really how Vibrant Blue Oils got started.

I started writing a weekly blog and I do a good job researching.  Through Dr. Google people would find me, they would learn about me and practitioners would refer out.

So we’re still a very small business. It’s me, my assistant, two other women that help me with marketing, and some people that help me with fulfillment. We really try to be super responsive. We’re so grateful that we’ve figured some things out that are helping people.


Writing My Book

I love bookstores. So did my kids actually, we were all big readers. So we would often go to a bookstore, we’d go to brunch and then we’d go to the bookstore and they would go to the children’s section. I would always let them buy one or two books, but they’d find like seven and I’m like, “All right, sit on the floor for a little bit and figure out which one you’re going to buy today.”

And I’d go over to the Natural Health section. I was always trying to find a book on essential oils that kind of talked about it the way I saw it working. And I never could.  So one day Max said to me, “Mom, I think you’re just going to have to write your own book.”

And so I finally did, sadly after Max passed away from a car accident, but Essential Oils to Boost the Brain and Heal the Body goes into more detail about how I see oils working, how I use them and how the clinicians that we work with, use them in their practice.

So I hope this is helpful and gave you a good background on Vibrant Blue Oils.

We’re so grateful that you found us and we’re so excited to join you in kind of your transformational journey. And we would love to hear more about how you’ve used oils, how oils have helped you or made any shifts in your life. So thank you again!


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About The Author

Jodi Cohen

Jodi Sternoff Cohen is the founder of Vibrant Blue Oils. An author, speaker, nutritional therapist, and a leading international authority on essential oils, Jodi has helped over 50,000 individuals support their health with essential oils.