My college degree is in education and it is a field that I highly respect. I cherish the learning process. I firmly believe you should never stop learning. The moment you think you know it all, is the moment you stop succeeding in life. You have to stay open to change, open to learning a new way of doing something, open to the possibility that some of the things you think you know are wrong. Open mindedness combined with a quality education can take you to great places in this world. It involves being receptive to new ideas, learning from others, and acknowledging their views.
Aromatherapy is a field that is constantly changing. More peer-reviewed research is released every day. Just check out pubmed.gov and you'll see what I mean. With more people using essential oils, we are finding out more about their effects on the body. We are seeing more people with adverse reactions because they are following the advice of someone who is company trained, not aromatherapy trained. The industry experts change their stance due to new developments.
So, with the field ever-changing, how can you get a solid based beginner education from the experts for free or without breaking the bank? Let me share some resources with you.
1. Look for local classes held by qualified aromatherapists. I'm not talking a "class" that an essential oil company rep holds to get you to buy their starter kit. I'm talking a real introduction class taught by a real aromatherapist. With a local class, you get the opportunity to ask questions, smell oils, and have a memorable hands-on experience. Some classes are free and some charge a small fee.
Here's where I want you to hear me out. I've heard people snicker that they won't pay for a class when the sales rep will hold one for free. I want you to realize something. Wouldn't you rather pay a small fee to attend a class by a real expert who is giving safe advice without an agenda over a free class with a rep who was trained by her company that everything is safe to increase their sales? Who would you believe? Isn't a small fee to a qualified professional worth it? Isn't knowing the truth about aromatherapy worth it? Trust me, it'll save you money and heartache in the future.
You can check out this website to find an aromatherapist near you and see his/her class schedule. http://naha.org/membership/find-an-aromatherapist/. If you cannot find an aromatherapist near you, contact your NAHA state director for more information: http://naha.org/about/boards-committees/naha-directors/
2. Free online introduction courses taught by respected aromatherapy schools. These are great for the basic and proper use of aromatherapy.
Aromahead (where I took my original certification and clinical certification). https://www.aromahead.com/courses/online/introduction-to-essential-oils
School of Aromatic Studies (where I did my French aromatic medicine course) https://courses.aromaticstudies.com/product/introduction-to-aromatherapy/
Robert Tisserand (aka the godfather of aromatherapy) http://roberttisserand.us1.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=534199b91e34c66f2c89e6585&id=f7e8224a8e
And since it's my blog, I can promote my own 5 day email safety course. No strings attached! http://www.blossomsandblends.com/eo-safety-course
3. Facebook groups. This can be treacherous waters since there are sooooo many groups out there. Here are some respected groups in the aromatherapy community that give you a solid, unbiased base of knowledge. But please don't rely on Facebook groups for an "all-inclusive" education. These groups will steer you in the right direction!
Essential Oils, Herbs and Homeopathy: https://www.facebook.com/groups/284680855229988/
Animal Aromatherapy (Safe Use) https://www.facebook.com/groups/1595932084001505/
BTA: The Chemistry of Essential Oils: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BTAChemistry/
Essential Oil Consumer Safety Advocates:
And my group, Holistic Emotional Healing for Children: https://www.facebook.com/groups/holisticemotionalhealing/
4. Books! Ok, not exactly free but you can download some e-books for free . I'm old school and love to hold a book in my hands and flip the pages. I will be doing some book reviews in my next blog post. So be sure to check back next week or follow my blog.
So there you have it. As I like to remind everyone, company based education is biased education. As someone who has been on both sides of the coin, I can assure you that this is true. If they claim their education is valid because it only applies to their oils, smile and nod then slowly back away. And never look back. You are a worth a unbiased education.
You can use essential oils safely and effectively if you know where to look for a proper education taught by qualified professionals. But if you're serious about your aromatherapy education, think about attending aromatherapy school. There is so much more than the free education out there. Getting a formal, credible education is an investment both financially and time-wise but worth it. It opened me up to a world I never knew existed and I quickly fell in love with all it emcompassed. Whatever you choose, I hope I helped you down your right path. Enjoy your learning journey!