Alumni Highlight: Mikki Anderson |

Feb 24, 2020 12:30:00 PM | Alumni Highlight: Mikki Anderson |

Aromatherapist and massage therapist Mikki Anderson is an ACHS Alumni who does many things in the holistic health field, including owning a wellness spa.


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lagunaheadshotMikki Anderson has a Certificate in Aromatherapy from ACHS and is currently working towards her Diploma in Aromatherapy.

Mikki shares how she first became interested in holistic health:

“When I look back, I see that I became interested when I saw my mom taking all these medications for everything. I felt in my gut that there was another way. I am a person that started my searching a long time ago before there were any fields of CAM (Complementary Alternative Medicine) services. It’s just gotten so much bigger now and more mainstream,” Mikki says.

Stress Busters Wellness Day Spa

Today, Mikki is doing many different things within the holistic health community. First and foremost, she and her husband own Stress Busters Wellness Day Spa. Located in Orange County, California, the spa employs 8 massage therapists, 2 estheticians, and 2 front staff. 

Hospital work

Through Stress Busters Wellness Day Spa, Mikki is contracted at a hospital as a clinical aromatherapist and as a massage therapist with both pregnant women and cancer patients. "It’s an absolutely amazing and rewarding field to work in," Mikki says. She tells me that she has been in the massage field for over 30 years, and has been contracted at the hospital for over 12 years.

"We have 16 oils approved at the hospital. We are using them on the floor, using them in the labor and delivery room," Mikki says. Mikki trains the nurses at the hospital on diffusing them in different areas and also has patients using aroma patches, because she found that some nurses were sensitive to the floor-wide diffusion of essential oils.

At the hospital, Mikki says she is lobbying for the labor and delivery department to have stricter guidelines about what essential oils patients are able to bring in. While doing massage work in the department, she encountered a woman with a migraine who was diffusing poor quality lavender essential oil in her room. Mikki looked at the woman's information and noticed that she had hay fever. "Some people don’t realize that if they have hay fever they shouldn’t have lavender, or they’re taking some medicine that interacts badly," Mikki says.

She says that people are becoming more aware of essential oil quality, but the problem is that many essential oils are sold by sales people and not qualified aromatherapists. "When they buy from mlms (multi-level marketing companies), they think they’re getting the right instruction. But they’re being sold by sales people, not by aromatherapists. So most of the time they are getting incorrect information. My mission is to educate whenever I have the opportunity to do it.“


Aromatherapy at the Ritz-Carlton 

During the recession, revenue at Mikki's spa dropped by 70 percent and she had to look for additional employment elsewhere. She ended up applying to work with the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. “By the grace of God I was hired, just part-time, and I wound up absolutely falling in love with the leisure guests and the level of high impeccable customer service. I was consistently getting feedback from people and was no longer the boss. I’m still there. We’re going to be bringing aromatherapy classes in for the groups that come in. I had to learn patience because when you work with a corporation, everything takes a long time. It’s taken 5 years for [the aromatherapy classes] to actually happen," Mikki says.

Experience at ACHS

Mikki says that she is grateful for ACHS because it put her on a great path. “I am really really grateful for ACHS because they came along in my life when I was literally clinically depressed because of the recession. When I get depressed, I take a class. That’s just who I am. I had to put it on credit cards, but look what happened!” Mikki says.

She says it was difficult to take classes online, but she loved it because she could take them at any time, even in the middle of the night. The teachers were all responsive and friendly and she even became friends with one. She later realized that one of her professors lived near her and the professor gave her over 100 books that she didn’t want. It made for great connections! 

“At the end of my schooling, everything started falling into my lap with different opportunities. I’m just unbelievably grateful to Dorene and to ACHS,” Mikki says. 

Mikki also has some advice to current students: "Everything is a long process. That’s what I want students to know. It takes a long process if you really want to accomplish and achieve and get into places that other people haven’t."

Looking forward

In the future, Mikki wants to learn more about the use of aromatherapy and massage in oncology. In January, she went to London to learn more about the subject in January. “The next frontier that I want to master is aromatherapy and massage to help eliminate the side effects of cancer treatment,” Mikki says. 

Are you interested in being interviewed for the blog?

We would love to highlight more ACHS students and graduates. An article on our blog is a great way to share your holistic health story, show off what you've accomplished, or spread the news about your new wellness practice. Please fill out this form and our Social Media Coordinator, Gillian Wilson, will be in touch with you to schedule a phone interview. 

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I am the Social Media Coordinator of the American College of Healthcare Sciences, the Institution that publishes this blog. However, all opinions are my own. This blog may contain affiliate links. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine. 

About American College of Healthcare Sciences

ACHS-Building-ExteriorFounded in 1978, is a Portland, Ore.-based, accredited college offering online, on-campus, and study abroad integrative health education. With undergraduate and graduate degrees, diplomas, certificates, and continuing education units in integrative health, ACHS makes holistic health and wellness education accessible to a diverse community, including healthcare professionals, military students, stay-at-home parents, and lifelong learners. Specializations include aromatherapy, herbal medicine, holistic nutrition, and integrative health. ACHS is a Certified B Corporation® and was named two of 100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon 2017 by Oregon Business magazine. ACHS is also accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). In response to our commitment to service members, veterans and military spouses, ACHS has been designated as one of the top 16% of military-friendly institutions in the U.S. for nine years in a row. For more information visit

Gillian Turner

Written By: Gillian Turner

Gillian joined ACHS after graduating from Linfield College with a BA in Mass Communication and a minor in visual studies. She grew up off the grid in rural southern Oregon and spent time exploring the forest surrounding her house and teaching gardening classes to other children in her garden. While at Linfield, Gillian gained valuable experience in public relations, social media management, and digital art. She was awarded a strategic communication scholarship and inducted into Kappa Tau Alpha, a national college honor society “that recognizes academic excellence and promotes scholarship in journalism and mass communication.” When not at work, Gillian can most often be found making art, enjoying nature or drinking coffee with her husband, Preston. Her interests include sustainability, mental wellness, and trying to stay connected to nature while living in the city. She studied abroad at the National University of Ireland, Galway, and has traveled to over ten different countries. Her favorite place that she has visited is the Scottish Highlands, and she hopes to visit many more countries in the future.