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Working in Aromatherapy

Posted by Andrew Irvine on

One of the questions we are asked most is about working with essential oils.  Our passion for oils means that we have undertaken a lot of learning in the area.  We are delighted to supply many aromatherapists with the oils for their practice. However, it is a complex area and something that can be potentially dangerous if you get things wrong - so if you want to work with essential oils where do you begin?


The Hobby Oil Lover


This is probably the safest and most comfortable level for most people.  There is a myriad of courses available online or at local colleges that will help you understand the basics.  This is the best place to start, and for most people, the information you get in these courses will be ample for using essential oils safely in the home for yourself and your family.  When you see the price of these courses (which to be fair is not much), you can begin to understand what these courses are for.  They do no equip you with the level of information needed to profess yourself an aromatherapist and start treating and advising other people.  Unfortunately, many people do undertake this level of course and start claiming to be an expert.  If you decide to work with a professional aromatherapist ask to see their qualifications as some of the online courses are really just necessary level information.  However, for self-work, these classes will help you understand the properties of each oil and enable you to select the best oils for you.


The Professional Aromatherapist


You will need to study extensively.  Not just in essential oils but in human anatomy as well.  You will need to understand every oil, its benefits and contraindications and how to safely use and blend oils.  You will learn about medical conditions and how certain oils can impact negatively on them.  These courses will not be found cheaply.  In the UK you want to be looking for courses that have been approved and accredited by the Aromatherapy Council and once qualified you wish to seek registration with them.  A qualified aromatherapist will have insurance to work with members of the public, which evidences that they understand the responsible nature of the role they have undertaken.  Registration to the council is voluntary, and there are plenty of aromatherapists offering advice despite not registering, however, if all clients seek this reassurance it helps the industry to stay safe and reputable.  For courses to qualify to be approved by the Aromatherapy Council providers must ensure the syllabus they offer covers the core curriculum.  These standards help to protect everyone involved from therapists to clients.  While these courses can be undertaken on a distance learning basis, there are elements of practical study needed, and in this case, you will need to either go to a training providers premises or in some cases find another qualified therapist to act as a mentor.  This person would need to be prepared to help you complete the practical aspects of the course.