and why does it matter?
Aromatherapist, Certified Aromatherapist, Clinically Certified Aromatherapist or Aromatherapy Practitioner. The amount of titles available regarding training is almost as high as the number of essential oils you can purchase. In the United States the use of essential oils is a loosely regulated industry. Mainly focusing on the use of essential oils as a fragrance generally in cosmetics.
An aromatherapist is a person that has invested in an extensive course of study. Generally 200 or more hours is required before receiving a certificate of completion. These courses require detailed study covering topics such as chemistry, anatomy and safety. As well as the emotional and energetic properties of the plant material. Generally they will also cover the FDA regulations and provide information about the limitations.
According to Learn.org “Aromatherapists are alternative healers who use essential oils to promote healing and wellness. They meet with patients to discuss their symptoms and health goals, and they develop treatment plans based on their needs.” An important note regarding this definition, unless the person also has medical training they will not view you as a patient. Many aromatherapists study essential oils and other holistic healing modalities due to challenges they experienced from the traditional “allopathic” medical field. Many times aromatherapy will be an added modality to a practice such as massage therapy, cosmetology, or even nursing.
Although unregulated, a license is not required in the US, both the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapists (NAHA) and the Alliance of International Aromatherapists (AIA) have worked to establish some educational guidelines. These ensure people operate with safety and ethics in mind. So if you are interested in exploring the incredibly diverse nature of essential oils do some research into who can guide you safely. AromaWeb has a great guide of questions to ask anyone suggesting you use essential oils.