Uncategorized – Alliance of International Aromatherapists http://www.alliance-aromatherapists.org Wed, 30 Nov 2016 17:20:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 My Opinion: Plants as Antimicrobial Agents http://www.alliance-aromatherapists.org/my-opinion-plants-as-antimicrobial-agents/ Wed, 02 Nov 2016 23:49:22 +0000 http://www.alliance-aromatherapists.org/?p=7157 Continue reading ]]> Article by Raphael d’Angelo, M.D.


As a planet the human family faces many health challenges. One of the most pressing is the upsurge of infectious diseases that ranks high on the list of the most serious causes of death worldwide. The past century saw remarkable advances in the war on infectious agents with the advent of sulfa and penicillin followed by a host of newer antibiotics. Organisms initially succumbed to these miracle chemicals but the adaptability of these bacterial microbes began to fend off the antibiotic attack. As the 1900s came to a close the rate of antibiotic resistance had climbed to levels of great concern and continues unabated.


Even more widespread than bacterial infections are the viral diseases. They have a track record of decimating populations with virtually no opposition from modern day science. Immunization and chemical antivirals have helped curtail a few viral diseases. Nevertheless, we find ourselves looking at the possibility of pandemic influenza, the continued onslaught of human immunodeficiency virus and newer emerging viruses such as Zika virus for which there are no defenses.


The parasitic organisms are ubiquitous and have impacted the morbidity and mortality rates in many parts of the world. Fungal infections are on the rise. As opportunistic invaders of those with an immune compromised status or those whose internal environment supports their growth, recognition and treatment remain lacking.


There is an urgent need to bring new tools and techniques to the treatment of infectious diseases. Essential oils are loaded with terpenoid compounds that have anti-infectious properties. Essential oils traditionally have been used in the treatment of infections and more recently have been found to be effective in many types of infections including methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).


Modern medical aromatherapy is almost one hundred years old. The loosely organized aspects of this profession as well as its fru fru public image have hampered its acceptance as a bona fide treatment modality. Now is a good time to push the truth of essential oil therapy for infectious diseases to the forefront. We need this to happen for many reasons not the least of which is to place a safe natural option into the hands of doctors, therapists and the people at large.


For the clinical aromatherapist there has to be a time in the near future where his or her skills and knowledge of aromatherapy for infectious diseases will be welcomed and integrated into the conventional healing programs. To make this a reality we need case reports and outcome studies in the literature. We also need to educate ourselves in the safe use of essential oils beyond the narrow scope of minimal dilution practices, if there will be any possibility of effectively combating infectious agents. And we also need to become comfortable recognizing and treating adverse reactions that are unfortunately quite uncommon.

Dedication to Education: AIA’s curriculum guidelines and dedication to educational standards http://www.alliance-aromatherapists.org/dedication-to-education-aias-curriculum-guidelines-and-dedication-to-educational-standards/ Mon, 11 Jul 2016 01:44:23 +0000 http://www.alliance-aromatherapists.org/?p=6928 Continue reading ]]> Article by Lora Cantele, RA, CMAIA, CSRT


When it comes to Aromatherapy education and safety, any Aromatherapy organization would be remiss to not have any standards in place. When the AIA was newly formed there were many pieces to put into place; business plan, bylaws, budget, standard operating procedures, and the eventual creation of committees and education guidelines for Aromatherapy schools. Prior to the formation of the first Education Committee, the AIA board agreed to adopt the general outlines that had been in place for American Aromatherapy schools as established (in the 1990s) by the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA). In addition, the AIA agreed to “grandfather” in any NAHA schools that desired to be recognized by the AIA. The adoption of these guidelines was to serve in the short-term until the AIA established our own guidelines. The “grandfathered” schools were also informed that when the new guidelines were established and adopted, they would need to reapply for recognition under the new guidelines. Many of these schools either didn’t reapply or failed to meet the new guidelines.


In 2006, the AIA Education committee was formed. As an Aromatherapy organization on the move, it was a top priority for the committee to establish a comprehensive application and guidelines for evaluating Aromatherapy training. The committee consisted of Aromatherapy professionals that included Aromatherapists, a doctor, nurses, educators and a massage therapist. The committee began by examining how Aromatherapy was being used in a variety of settings and whether or not the guidelines were up-to-date with current use. In addition, as Aromatherapy was finding its way into more clinical settings there was concern that the existing training standards may not adequately prepare a practitioner to work in such settings. The Education Committee looked to other organizations outside the U.S. that employed Aromatherapists in clinical settings (U.K. and Australia) as it completed a review of their educational guidelines.


During this initial phase, the AIA received inquiries and complaints about various Aromatherapy schools. Given the nature of some of the complaints, including; lack of response from school proprietors and teachers, lack of current information, plagiarized texts, and poor quality materials, the Education Committee chose not to engage with all the Aromatherapy educators in writing the new guidelines.


The committee spent the more than two years discussing and developing the curriculum guidelines. In this time, each level was evaluated. It was believed by the committee members that a solid foundation in Aromatherapy training required more than 30 hours of study. In addition, there needed to be a focus on specific areas of education. This then led to the format for which each level of the guidelines was developed and how schools are assessed.


The curriculum guidelines are divided into 15 categories: Applied Aromatherapy, Anatomy and Physiology, Botany, Business Skills, Carrier Oils, Chemistry, Common Pathologies of the Body, Consultation Skills and the Therapeutic Relationship, Ethics, Essential Oils (Safety), Holism, Psychoneuroimmunology, Research, The Role of Olfaction on Human Psychology, and World History of Aromatics. Further, each category is divided into subheadings.


While the AIA requires a specific number of hours for each level of education; Foundation level (100 hrs), Professional level (200 hrs), and Clinical level (400 hrs), each section requires a range of hours and specific learner outcomes. So while the outline and the hours listed on the website seem somewhat generic, they are anything but. Each category has its specific requirements. So while an applying school can have more than 400 hours in their curriculum, it is possible they may only succeed in meeting the requirements for Level 1.


Success in gaining recognition doesn’t end there. In order to sustain their listing, renewing schools must indicate revisions to their curriculum to show they are staying current with research and dispelling myths.


Applying Clinical level members need to indicate a level of training that is on par with the guidelines for the Clinical level schools. In addition, they are required to complete a minimum of 20 hours of continuing education to maintain their CMAIA membership.


The expectations apply to not only the schools and members, but to the AIA to remain current with information and how aromatherapy is being used. The AIA curriculum guidelines are currently under review and are in the process of being updated.


It is the mission of the AIA to foster high standards of safe, ethical and professional practice in the clinical use of essential oils. AIA promotes essential oil research and has established guidelines that promote excellence in aromatherapy education. These guidelines assure the competency of practitioners of clinical aromatherapy.

Why I Don’t Diffuse Essential Oils http://www.alliance-aromatherapists.org/why-i-dont-diffuse-essential-oils/ Sun, 10 Jul 2016 13:51:48 +0000 http://www.alliance-aromatherapists.org/?p=6923 Continue reading ]]> Article by Haly JensenHof, MA, RA


DX Diffuser


The title of this article is misleading in that it may cause you to think I never diffuse essential oils, which is not true. I do. However, I am very conscientious about when and where I diffuse essential oils due to the safety implications of exposing others to the power of essential oils.


When clients come to me, some will ask, “Why doesn’t your office smell like lavender (or other essential oil)?” Because I am an aromatherapist; clients, friends, and family assume that my space will be filled with the fragrances of my profession, but this is not the case. For natural methods of freshening the air see the methods given at the end of this article.

There are both personal and professional reasons I do not have an aromatherapy diffuser running at all times. First let me give you the personal reasons I do not diffuse essential oils on a steady/regular basis.


  1. My own sensitivities or “scent-sitivities.” Throughout my lifetime I have been highly sensitive to scents. Cleaning products, scented candles, air-fresheners, potpourri, and even the aroma of cooking can easily overwhelm me, even to the point of causing physical distress. So, when I do diffuse essential oils I use the least amount necessary for the desired effect.
  2. My husband. There are essential oils that I adore; however, my husband does not care for some of the same aromatics. I don’t want to cause my husband any olfactory discomfort or displeasure. When the need to diffuse essential oils arises I chose essential oils both of us enjoy, and will still deliver the wanted effect.
  3. My three terriers. Animals are much more sensitive to scent than humans. Animals’ olfactory perceptions are hundreds of times more powerful than our own. Therefore, the possibility of an animal having an adverse reaction to essential oils is much greater. Since our dogs are cherished members of our family I do not want to do anything that could cause them harm. When diffusing essential oils I make certain I am using essential oils that are known to be safe for animals and not cause distress. I also make sure our dogs have the freedom to leave the room in the event they do not care for the aroma or experience any discomfort from the essential oils.
  4. Reserve the power of diffusion for those times when it is most needed. It is amazing how quickly and effectively the diffusion of essential oils can be when I have a cough, sinus congestion, or when in need of an energetic/emotional adjustment! If you don’t have a diffuser with a timer I recommend purchasing one. I have an ionic diffuser that has various settings and it will not diffuse for longer than 30 minutes every hour.
  5. Saturation. If you watch television you have most likely seen the commercial for a popular air and fabric spray that makes the comment, “you may have gone nose-blind,” to the foul odors in your home or car. It is true. We quickly become used to the scents we are surrounded by, and that is why we may not notice the scent of cooked onions after we have spent ten minutes sautéing them but a neighbor who enters the home 40 minutes later can smell the onions immediately. The same applies to essential oils when they have been diffused. I have had the experience of entering a friend’s home while she has been diffusing essential oils steadily all day, and while she didn’t notice the over-powering scent of cinnamon it caused me respiratory discomfort. I do not want to have clients, friends and family to have that same experience, so I don’t diffuse.


The professional reasons I do not diffuse essential oils unless necessary include all of my personal reasons, but my professional reasons also encompass the possible medical conditions of a client. The phrase, “know your audience” keeps coming to mind. In the case of a first time client (audience) I don’t know him, so I don’t know what essential oils are safe to diffuse in his presence. I need to have a complete medical history before diffusing ANY essential oil with a client. Here are just a few of the things I need know.


  1. Allergies. If a client is allergic to pine pollen I do not want to have an essential oil bend that includes pine diffusing in my office before she arrives. The goal is to help, not harm!
  2. Asthma. There are beautiful essential oils that are known to be helpful for asthma sufferers; however, I have seen clients with asthma respond in a negative way to those very essential oils. Until I know, from the client, how she experiences specific essential oils I will not diffuse any essential oil in her presence.
  3. Bronchitis/COPD/Multi-chemical sensitivity (MCS). As with the two previously listed conditions, until I have gathered a complete medical history, am familiar with the client, and have discussed his response to essential oils I will not diffuse any essential oil in his presence.
  4. Age. Young children, under the age of five years, should avoid direct inhalation of essential oils. Direct inhalation delivers a highly concentrated amount of essential oil. Methods of direct inhalation include: inhalation directly from the bottle; inhalation of essential oils from a personal inhaler; inhalation of essential oils on the hands, a cotton ball, or a tissue. Diffusing is an ambient or indirect method of application and is considered safe for young children. However, having said that, there are still precautions I will take if my client is under the age of five. I will not diffuse essential oils around a child for longer than 30 minutes. I will also avoid essential oils that have high concentrations of 1,8-cineole in their chemical composition (eucalyptus, rosemary, sage). I will avoid essential oils that are known to be mucous and airway irritants, such as cinnamon.


Seldom, if ever, do I use the healing power of essential oils as “air freshener.” When I diffuse essential oils it is for the physical and emotional benefit I can receive from them. When I have an unpleasant odor lingering in the air I employ one or all of the following all natural methods.


  1. Baking soda. You know, baking soda is amazing! There are so many uses for it, and it is so inexpensive. To keep cooking and dog odor down I deploy little plates of plain baking soda in strategic places throughout the house. These little plates can be disguised as small Zen sand gardens, and only you need to know that they are really odor fighting ninjas! The baking soda will absorb the odor causing molecules from the air and will need to be changed every week to ten days with fresh baking soda.
  2. Vinegar. Vinegar is just as amazing and versatile as baking soda! Another method I use to rid the house of malodor is to place small glass bowls of vinegar in the kitchen. I am always amazed at how effectively and quickly vinegar can eliminate the smell of burnt toast and even cigarette smoke! I tried this trick to rid the house of cigarette smoke during and after a party. It worked like a dream, but…the vinegar not only absorbed the odor it also turned an ugly dark grey color. Once the vinegar takes on a grey color and loses its distinct vinegar scent, it is time to change it.
  3. Open a window! Nothing smells better than the fresh outdoor air as it enters the home, especially after a rainstorm. Enough said.


Now, do I expect everyone to adhere to my stringent personal and professional guidelines for diffusing essential oils? Absolutely not, but I do hope that what I provided you with is food for thought. Know your audience; be aware of any possible negative reactions diffusing essential oils may have on you, your family, your pets, and guests to your home. Diffuse safely.


As always,
✿´´¯`•.¸¸ Fragrant Blessings ¸¸.•´¯`´✿
Haly JensenHof, MA, RA


Photo Credit: DX Diffuser

Don’t let the early bird get away… http://www.alliance-aromatherapists.org/dont-let-the-early-bird-get-away/ Wed, 29 May 2013 09:41:43 +0000 http://www.alliance-aromatherapists.org/?p=3913 Continue reading ]]>

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Happy New Year http://www.alliance-aromatherapists.org/happy-new-year/ Tue, 01 Jan 2013 12:00:02 +0000 http://www.alliance-aromatherapists.org/?p=4306 We wish you a very prosperous and Happy New Year 2014.

Hope you have a joyful journey and explore new ways to attain your goals for success. 





December 2012 Teleseminar http://www.alliance-aromatherapists.org/december-teleconference/ Tue, 11 Dec 2012 12:00:27 +0000 http://www.alliance-aromatherapists.org/?p=2147 Continue reading ]]>

  • Teleseminar Topic: Essential Oils for Respiratory Health


  • Our Presenter: Liz Fulcher, RA, Clinical Aromatherapist, Essential Oil Educator

If there’s one thing every aromatherapist knows about essential oils, it’s their powerful affinity with our respiratory system. But do you know which essential oils have the greatest impact on illness of the lungs, throat and sinuses?   click here for more information