HISTORY OF ISHA
Linda Lee Smith,
RN, MS, HN-BC, HTCP, CCAHA
In the early nineties, Linda Smith was the administrator for the Healing Touch program. On most weekends, she would be somewhere in the country teaching one of the many levels of Healing Touch. At one point, she began noticing that many of the students would ask her questions like “How does this healing work fit with my faith?” or “How do I talk to my minister about this work?”
At first, she just answered from her own experience, but after awhile, the questions were asked in just about every course she taught. So, she thought, if only the wording could be tweaked a bit, it would go over much better in churches; however, Janet Mentgen, the founder of Healing Touch, wanted the work to continue being taught with nursing and clinical language. After some time passed, Janet became bombarded with requests to have the work taught with a Christian approach. She asked Linda to start a new division for Healing Touch, and Janet named it “Healing Touch Spiritual Ministry."
The work caught on quickly, and within six-months Janet let Healing Touch Spiritual Ministry stand on its own as an independent program owned by Linda Smith, the author of the new curriculum. That was in 1997, and the birth of this new program. It was a Christian approach to energy healing based on the laying-on of hands, and consisted of three workshops. The purpose was to help those who had problems with a language they deemed too “new age”. It focused on two forms of energy healing – prayer and touching. This humble beginning eventually developed into a full-fledged certification program with seven workshops.
In 2000, a fellow Healing Touch instructor challenged Linda to rethink how the early church fathers and mothers healed – they touched, prayed and anointed with healing oils – those healing oils were not cooking or lamp oils. This led Linda to do a lengthy investigation into the healing powers of essential oils, and she discovered that this indeed was the secret formula that Jesus must have taught his disciples because this is what was handed down through the generations. So, a new workshop was added to the curriculum introducing students to the power of essential oils in healing. This became a very popular course and opened many doors for those in healing ministries. After a few years, students were clamoring for more courses on aromatherapy.
So, in 2004, a new division was developed and led to a separate certification in Clinical Aromatherapy, recognized by several aromatherapy organizations. The Institute of Spiritual Healing and Aromatherapy (ISHA) was founded to house these two independent certification programs. Healing Touch Spiritual Ministry is now 18-years of age, and the aromatherapy certification program is 11-years. Hundreds of practitioners have now achieved their professional certifications through ISHA. In 2014, Margaret Leslie became the new owner and president of ISHA, and the offices were moved to Knoxville, TN.
The legacy continues...