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Aromatherapy training can focus on several areas of natural health by the use of essential oils; the career goals of the student will determine the classes to be taken. Most students of aromatherapy will learn the basic properties and healing effects of many oils. Students may choose to combine aromatherapy study with other disciplines, such as massage, cosmetic manufacturing, acupuncture, and herbal medicine.
The practice of aromatherapy involves using natural, distilled essential oils to heal, stimulate, relax, and cleanse the body and mind. Basic aromatherapy training teaches students how the oil works when rubbed on a certain part of the body, when inhaled, or when taken internally. Students should also learn the harmful or toxic effects of oil misuse, and how to avoid such problems. Initial training may also teach students how to create effective oil blends, and how carrier oils and essential oils work together. Practitioners should use the highest quality botanical oils, and are usually required to buy a basic oil kit during training.
There are also aromatherapy classes in chemistry, for those who wish to learn the scientific aspect of their profession. These advanced classes teach students how chemicals present in essential oils, such as esters, polythenols, sesquiterpenes, and eugenols, affect the body. Students may choose to take advance courses in natural medicine to earn a degree in holistic medicine, which allows the graduate to perform many treatments, such as acupuncture, chelation, healing massage, and dietary medicine.
Aromatherapy classes can be taken through online courses or in training schools. Wise students will become familiar with the school’s reputation, quality of education, and thoroughness of curriculum, to be sure the aromatherapy training will meet their career goals. A student may also ask a respected aromatherapist for advice on the best aromatherapy training program. Training may take between 20 and 200 hours, depending on the course of study and the practical experience requirements. There are generally no prerequisites for students entering aromatherapy school.
There are no formal requirements for many aromatherapy jobs, and some practitioners learn aromatherapy training on the job. Several associations, such as the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), have developed standards for education and training. Many schools offer a certificate or accreditation once a student has completed a set course of aromatherapy training. Since natural medicine is gaining more acceptance around the world and is incorporated into mainstream medicine, many career opportunities exist for an aromatherapy associate.
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