Ok. No more procrastination. It’s time to get the conversation started.
As promised, here is the proposed curriculum skeleton, based on the local certification course I already teach. I’ve been holding off on starting this process because I wanted to give you this information and I bit off a bit more than I could chew. From now on, blog posts will be short and sweet so that I can convey info without getting writer’s block or feeling snowed under.
Here are the topics I suggest we include in your Aromatherapy course. These are basic subjects that will give you the foundation upon which to build your knowledge about Aromatherapy. You may feel that some of these subjects aren’t very sexy, or they may sound difficult, but they are pretty necessary. From there, we can flesh out the material, like hanging clothes on a clothes tree, to make this THE AROMATHERAPY COURSE OF YOUR DREAMS!
In my current class, I start with light-weight topics such as “The History of Essential Oils” and “What are Essential Oils?” (Why do plants make them and what they can do for us).
From there, we move on to Essential Oil Safety (common sense information about how to store and use your oils most effectively), and how to pick quality essential oils (what is the difference between oil companies, where can you find the best essential oils, and how can you tell the difference between adulterated, synthetic, and genuine/authentic essential oils. In this module, I compare and contrast the three different schools of Aromatherapy thought by using the American Revolution as an analogy. I postulate that what we really need in the United States in an American School, one built on a combination of common sense, medical research, and clinical experience. Viva La Revolution!
Blending basics, including the characteristics of possible base oils is included just before the module on Essential Oil Chemistry. With the help of information from Dr. David Stewart, I hope I have simplified the latter complex topic so that lay people and those who are rusty in the medical sciences can pick up on these concepts. Now, hold onto your seats, Chemistry can actually be sexy! When you see a picture of an oscillating aromatic ring with its “non-local double bonds” you will see what I mean! It’ll blow your mind.
Because the biology and character of the plants contribute to the properties of essential oils as much as their chemistry, we have a module on this subject. It’s combined with information about plant characteristics and binomial nomenclature (using the proper Latin names is our only way to make sure we are all talking about the same plant, and reputable companies will put the proper name on their labels to avoid confusion).
Once we digest the Chemistry and Biology, now we move on to a review of Anatomy and Physiology. It’s important to remember how your olfactory system works so that you can understand how the essential oils enter your body and how they are experienced by your brain and nervous system. Likewise, the anatomy and physiology of the skin will explain how the oils enter your pours and then travel to your organs and cells. The eliminative organs are important to study so that we can understand how essential oils can help us detoxify. When we study the sense of smell (olfaction), we also look at how the limbic system of our brains processes emotions and how the oils can affect our unconscious feelings and body processes.
In the bodywork module, I will demonstrate several different types of bodywork that utilize essential oils. We review the properties of base oils to help you choose which one is most appropriate for each mode of delivery. Though I talk about and demonstrate Vita Flex and Raindrop Technique, I do not teach this method. If you wish to study it further, you will need to find a certified teacher. Neither do I teach massage or reflexology, though we talk about the different strokes.
Just in case you want to get involved with Aromatherapy research, we talk about what constitutes a proper research paper, and what different types of research studies there are. I also go over how to set up a natural healing office, the ethics and legalities involved, and what type of license you will need in order to “touch” your clients. In most cases, Aromatherapy is not considered a stand-alone modality. It is usually combined with some other, licensed profession.
Finally, the last module covers different conditions that might respond to essential oils and Aromatherapy, with particular emphasis on how to incorporate the use of essential oils into other types of healing work (such as hospitals, doctor’s offices, veterinary practices, chiropractic offices etc.).
Now it’s your turn to make comments about the proposed curriculum and discuss how you feel about the topics. If you have any suggestions about other subjects that should be included, please make them in the comments section below. If there is a topic that you think should be studied more at length, we could even create a short workshop to focus on that particular subject that would be separate from the certification course.
In the Aromatherapy Seminar of Your Dreams, what would you like to know more about?
Next blog topic will be “What is the Purpose of the Course”? How do I see the purpose, and how do you? What would you like to get out of it?