One of the biggest questions I see not only in messages to myself but on the pages I am on is “Why do I need to ask an Aromatherapist?” Most often this question comes from those who have been buying from their friends or who have been a part of one of the big multi-level marketing companies for so long they just don’t understand the need. But here is the thing
~You don’t know what you don’t know~
Simply put spending 5 minutes reading a brochure from one company is not nearly long enough to get a true sense of the magnitude that is the full aromatherapy profession. Heck I have been in it for only a few years and many days I am still amazed at the vast knowledge that I still want to learn to feel like I have a better grasp on this profession. Often I see comments from people amazed that certain essential oils shouldn’t be used on kids or pregnant women or pets.
~ You mean we can’t just use them on anyone? ~
That is exactly what we mean, it only takes looking at a few pages from Tisserand and Young’s Essential Oil Safety 2nd Edition to realize there is so much we don’t know about these oils. One of my favorite quotes about essential oils is this “Essential oils should only be used on children when there is a medical need for such.” – Valarie Wormwood. This quote embodies a lot of what I try to get people to understand when I teach classes and workshops. Of course this does not just pertain to children but to all who use it. Essential oils are powerful substances that can eat through Styrofoam (I know you saw that done at a “class” once didn’t you?) knowing that should also lead you to ask – what could it do to me then? It is asking this question that will bring you to the world of aromatherapy and the people who make it their life’s work to follow it- Aromatherapists.
~What is an Aromatherapist? ~
Simply put we are a profession that has taken the time to truly (start) to understand the essential oils and the chemistry that makes them. I say start because this is a lifelong learning type of profession for many reasons. The first is once you get a taste you will want to learn all you can- this takes time (and in most cases money). Then you have the fact that science is just beginning to do the real research on these oils- for that we can thank their popularity. Daily I see new research pop up on places like Google Scholar and other noteworthy research sites. This is amazing to behold but it also means that our definitions of safety can literally change overnight. Keeping up with this is not an easy task. Aromatherapists are those people who have made the choice to keep up with this field- to trudge through all the crazy posts and to work daily to push for safety with these powerful components.
~ How do I find one? ~
There are two really easy ways to get in touch with an aromatherapist near you.
Both of these organizations are here in the US and can point you in the direction of an Aromatherapist that is truly certified in the field. Unfortunately since there is no government regulation or federal/state licenses for aromatherapy anyone can call themselves an aromatherapist. These two bodies check credentials before adding a person to their listing. Take a moment to find one located near you- they are an invaluable resource.