Certification from a Student’s Perspective

I’m excited that my first aromatherapy certification program course started! The group is a lovely mix of medical professionals: an integrative nurse/educator, two Chinese Medicine professionals, and an integrative health researcher and trainer. One student, Desiree, offered to share her thoughts and experiences about the class. Take it away, Desiree!

Monoterpines, esters, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, oh my! I actually didn’t know what to expect on our first day, other than learning how to make great-smelling products that would be safe for my family to use regularly. I first met Denise when she partnered with our research department to start to dig into the mountains of data we had on essential oil use with patients in the hospital. I was astounded to learn of the statistically significant improvements in pain, anxiety, nausea, sleep, and the ability to cope that patients were reporting. Further, to learn that changes are happening due to chemical reactions the oils are creating in our bodies blew my mind! Check out the results poster HERE (Button linking to AHMA Poster).

Our first class got right to the heart of the matter – chemistry. Now, for a chick who hasn’t stayed awake during a chemistry course for at least 15 years (unless you count all the hours I binge-watched Breaking Bad; I managed to stayed awake through those important lessons!!) I was not convinced my brain cells would recall bonding and carbons and all that good stuff. Thankfully, Denise explained everything very simply and before long, I felt like I actually understood what “chemical structure” means and how oils that are part of the same chemical family can react in the body in similar ways.

We were introduced to my new soul mate – Robert Tisserand. This guy has done serious research on the safety of essential oils. He’s a scientist who has collected a ton, ton, ton of safety information on oils and put them all together in one little (well, huge) reference manual (Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals, 2nd Edition by Robert Tisserand & Rodney Young). This further helps me understand the power of essential oils and why using quality oils is essential. (Ha! A little aromatherapy joke for you!)

Before you get all worried that the class is all chemicals and learning and boring stuff, let me assure you we had so much fun! In between our lessons, we jumped right in too how to make products. We got to experience a steam (infused with illness-fighting oils), we created our own inhalers, we made our own green cleaning product (mine was literally green! I didn’t expect Roman Chamomile to have a green hue), and we blended lotions and made mists. All the time, we were thoughtful in our essential oil selection to ensure we were using oils that would affect our primary symptom.

We left this energizing, educational first weekend with our assignments: complete a specific Anatomy and Physiology course online and meet with at least one practice client to conduct an intake and create a blend to help that person. We also get to complete a small research study (!) later in the course. This part is pretty easy. There seems to be a number of very willing essential oil product testers.

Well, I’m off to start the Anatomy and Phys class. Wish me luck!