Aromatherapy is one of several branches of alternative medicine and a popular choice of career for people interested in that industry. Currently an unregulated discipline, there are numerous aromatherapy schools or institutes which offer short to long term courses in aromatherapy, after which you can practice as an aromatherapist. Some valuable guidelines on how you can become an aromatherapist are covered in this article.
As previously mentioned, there are no government bodies, federal or state, which provide accreditation or licensing to practice as an aromatherapist. However, there are a couple of professional bodies which review and regulate standards in aromatherapy and referencing the websites of these two organizations is a good idea, to find legitimate programs and schools where you can study aromatherapy.
The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) is the first of these professional bodies, which is engaged in raising awareness on aromatherapy, including setting academic and professional standards. NAHA provides a list of accredited/approved training programs or institutions, from where you can receive quality education and certification to become an aromatherapist.
The second professional body which regulates aromatherapy practice among other alternative medicine disciplines is the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). The organization provides both certification and recertification norms, including continuing education requirements. These can be found at the NCBTMB website.
Required areas of study
According to the NAHA, the following areas of study must be covered in any aromatherapy course or program:
- History of aromatherapy,
- Knowledge on essential oils, their properties and usage,
- Extracting, distilling and blending, safe usage techniques, etc,
- Basic knowledge of anatomy, physiology, organic chemistry,
- Common ailments across human organ systems which can be treated with aromatherapy,
- Minimum of 200 hours of practical and theoretical training,
- Testing and examination standards should include case history study, examination and remedies, research assignments and practical testing.
Once you’ve completed your aromatherapy education, get certified by the NCBTMB and complete all related formalities, before you begin work as an aromatherpist.