My appreciation for aromatherapy was sparked when in college at LSU in the late 1980’s. It all started with a lamp diffuser ring paired with lavender and eucalyptus essential oils purchased at a natural living store on Lee Drive. 30 years later, they are still among my favorites as well as many others that have proved to enhance the well-being of my family’s life.
My love of aromatherapy, paired with an appreciation for natural wellness, and a lack of properly trained providers in Louisiana, led me to undertake professional aromatherapy education. It is one of the most valuable decisions I ever made, and I enjoy sharing the knowledge and reliable resources with family and friends.
To read more about my aromatherapy journey in one of my early blog post, click here.
The use of essential oils and other botanicals has a deep, long and rich history in many cultures and generations. We can learn from all of them.Hope Himel-benson
Aromatherapy is defined by The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy as
“the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit. It seeks to unify physiological, psychological and spiritual processes to enhance an individual’s innate healing process.”
At the heart, aromatherapy is the practice of using pure, unadulterated essential oils to support emotional, spiritual and physical wellbeing.
Aromatherapy can be as simple as inhaling a drop of calming or energizing essential oil on a cotton ball, to diffusing a carefully selected blend of essential oils, to combining essential oils with other natural ingredients from nature to further enhance their applications for everyday needs, concerns, green beauty, natural home care, and wellness.
An aromatherapy rich lifestyle goes well beyond diffusing essential oils. It also incorporates the use of pure essential oils with fat-soluble vegetable oils (i.e. jojoba wax, sweet almond, sesame, sunflower, rosehip, olive, avocado or coconut oil) for safely diluting and enhancing their actions.
Herbs, mineral-rich clays and sea salts, sugars, grains, fruits and berries, beeswax, butters, hydrosols and botanical infused vegetable oils can be used to further expand options for an aromatherapy supported natural lifestyle.
Professional Associations & Safety Guidelines
Aromatherapy practice is legally regulated in many countries, but not in the United States. Given the lack of regulation and formal licensure of aromatherapy practice in the United States that is typically found with other complementary health practices (massage therapist, chiropractors, etc.), aromatherapy consumers are advised to seek services from aromatherapy practitioners who are members of a professional association and committed the professional education, practice and safety standards set forth.
Tisserand Institutes Essential Oil Safety Pages
Additional Professional Associations
Alliance of International Aromatherapist + AIA Safety Standards
Aromatherapy Trade Council + Safety Matters
British Columbia Alliance of Aromatherapy
British Columbia Association of Practicing Aromatherapists
Canadiana Federation of Aromatherapists
International Aromatherapy and Aromatic Medicine Association
International Federation of Aromatherapist
International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists +IFPA Pregnancy Guidelines
Labeling Guidelines for Aromatherapy Products
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