What Is Required for Aromatherapy Certification?
No mandatory national certification or licensing requirement is established for aromatherapy. As an aromatherapist, you can choose to pursue voluntary certification from the Natural Therapies Certification Board or join the non-profit National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy. Read on for more information. Schools offering Complementary & Alternative Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
The Study of Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is the study of using essential oils, as opposed to man-made drugs, for medicinal purposes. As an aromatherapist, you'll promote health and wellness through natural means, such as natural oils, massage therapy and proper nutrition. Some benefits of aromatherapy include stress and pain relief, improved sleep, increased cognitive function and natural regenerative healing. Although there is no formal educational degree program in aromatherapy, you can obtain the necessary skills and information through training programs offered by professional organizations and certificate programs offered by community colleges.
Program Information and Coursework
No educational prerequisites are in place for certificate programs in aromatherapy. Programs can be completed online at your own pace on a full- or part-time basis. Programs often require roughly 13-15 coursework hours divided up into 4-5 separate courses. Programs emphasize practical experience along with structured coursework in the following topics:
- Human anatomy and physiology
- Applied aromatherapy
- Five elements of acupressure
- Massage with oils
- Wellness for women
- Foot reflexology
Because no governmental regulating body oversees practitioners of aromatherapy, certification is not necessary. However, voluntary certification, offered by the Natural Therapies Certification Board (NTCB), can be obtained and can help you advance in your career path. NTCB offers certification in a number of different natural therapies, including six related to aromatherpy. Certification is by type of aromatherapy: raindrop, animal raindrop, harmonics, vibrational raindrop, aromatherapy coach and clinical aromatherapist. You can also join the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), which offers membership internationally. Members of NAHA receive a subscription to NAHA's aromatherapy journal, monthly e-newsletters, access to monthly teleseminars, discounts and networking opportunities.
Each NTCB certification requires that participants meet continuing education units (CEUs) in several categories. For example, the aromatherapy coach certification requires CEUs to be completed in professional ethics, professional practices, informed consent form, anatomy and physiology, coaching, aromatherapy and an internship. The clinical aromatherapist certification requires candidates to have completed the aromatherapy coach certification and training through the Center for Aromatherapy Research and Education (CARE). The requirements for all the certifications are available on their website (www.ntcb.org).
NAHA offers membership at five different levels, each with its own level of dues and benefits. If you're looking to practice as an aromatherapist, you might benefit from NAHA's professional membership, which would get you a professional listing in the NAHA online directory and discounts on liability insurance and on advertising in the NAHA's published journal. To be eligible for this level of membership, you must either have 4 years' experience in aromatherapy practice or have completed a training program in aromatherapy. NAHA also offers a business membership, which can apply to whole businesses and clinics offering aromatherapy services.
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