Lake Forest lawyer focuses on reducing stress
Chad Van Den Top (right) created an aromatherapy product to benefit two local charities that five-time PGA Tour winner Mark Wilson (left) has endorsed. Swing Trust Oil can be used by both golfers and anyone who needs stress reduction. | For Sun-Times Medi
Updated: January 14, 2013 4:01PM
LAKE FOREST — During any given round of golf, Chad Van Den Top of Lake Forest is almost certain to pull out a flask. However, it is not a shot of courage that Van Den Top is seeking, but a sniff of confidence and calm. A big believer in aromatherapy, the North Shore lawyer has created Swing Trust Oil, a combination of oils aimed at helping reduce tension, build confidence and overcome fear under pressure. The product comes in a key chain flask that clips onto a golf bag or fits into a pocket. In a question-and-answer session, Van Den Top talked about the product’s creation and its range of uses.
However, it is not a shot of courage that Van Den Top is seeking, but a sniff of confidence and calm. A big believer in aromatherapy, the North Shore lawyer has created Swing Trust Oil, a combination of oils aimed at helping reduce tension, build confidence and overcome fear under pressure. The product comes in a key chain flask that clips onto a golf bag or fits into a pocket.
In a question-and-answer session, Van Den Top talked about the product’s creation and its range of uses.
Q. What inspired you to create an aromatherapy product for golf?
Q. How did you go from the idea to the product?
A. A lot of research, development and testing. It’s proven that the fastest way for aromatherapy to work is to actually smell the oils. You don’t want to put it on your body. You don’t want it on your hands. The oil can be greasy. So I got a stainless steel flask, where you can insert the oils fully and it absorbs the oil.
Q. Was finding the right combination of oils difficult?
A. I tried thousands of different oils. When I was first introduced to aromatherapy, I did not know where to start. It was trial and error until I found a product that worked for me. I did a lot of research and narrowed down what helped me reduce tension, reduce anxiety, get focused and centered, build my confidence and overcome a sense of powerlessness. I tried a lot of different combinations (for Swing Trust). Friends and family tried them out in the process, over a year of testing. I was able to finalize the product list and come up with the right recipe with those little tweaks that changed the smell. If you are new to aromatherapy, this is a great product.
Q. Have you invented anything else?
A. This is the first thing I have ever invented. We all get ideas, we all do. But most of us don’t ever do anything with the idea. Attorneys are all very stressed out. We need to find ways to deal with it. Golfers are head cases when they get out there. This seems to help both groups of people (attorneys and golfers).
Q. How can people get Swing Trust Oil?
A. Right now, it is mostly sold online. People can go to www.swingtrustoil.com. We will be attending the PGA Merchandise Show in January. We hope to start to partner with people and get into pro shops, country clubs and sporting goods stores. We have companies that order our product for golf outings. It’s an unbelievable conversation starter. It gets people talking. We can put the logo of a company on the product’s blue pouch. It helps spread the word about the company putting on the golf outing.
Q. Is it just for golfers?
A. No, I have baseball players who use it. A person who does competitive horseback riding uses it. There are field-goal kickers who use it. Anybody faced with a situation where you have time to think seems to be where it works well. Even outside of sports, people use it. People giving presentations use it.
Q. How were the charities receiving a portion of Swing Oil sales chosen?
A. I am on the Chicago Chapter Junior Board of First Tee (a youth golf development organization). I grew up in an area where everyone had the opportunity to play. In the Chicago area, that is not easy to do. Everyone should have the opportunity to learn to golf and to learn life skills through golf. And I want to have a company partner with them. I want to provide them with funds, so I am working with Maryville Golf Academy (in Des Plaines). It has golf-club-making workshops. Area golf pros order clubs for beginners from the academy. I ordered a set from the academy as a Christmas gift. A donation from every product sold goes to the Maryville Golf Academy. It is a nice facility, with a work-to-hire crew assembling the product. It puts money into the Golf Academy and more work provides an opportunity for the academy.
Q. What has the feedback been so far?
A. It has been very positive. People say they use it while out on the golf course or in other parts of their life. They just want something to fall back on to get through moment of stress or high tension. They feel Swing Oil is something to deal with that, to take their mind off of something. People do breathing exercises. This is just one other step in finding a stress-coping mechanism.