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The Competent Aromatherapy Consultation

By: Jimm Harrison
Posted: March 28, 2011, from the April 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

The successful use and application of essential oils, known as aromatherapy, is easily accomplished and requires very little knowledge. There are a few rules, the first one being, purchase some oils and use them. From this humble beginning, steps can be taken to make your essential oil treatments more effective and finely tuned for precise activity and healing results. Familiarity with the oils used, application methods, formulation, and a study of essential oil chemistry and biology are building blocks to achieving your clients’ desired outcomes. Like any successful treatment, you begin with a well-defined purpose, or therapeutic goal, for the use of the oils. This is accomplished with a competent holistically focused aromatherapy consultation.

Aromatherapy treatments can be thought of like a well-structured business plan and should include the following treatment progression.

  • Identify the client’s therapeutic goal.
  • Find out what essential oil properties would best achieve the goal.
  • Find out what chemical compounds contain the selected properties.
  • Compose a list of essential oils with the desired properties and compounds.
  • Figure out what application is best suited to the desired goal.
  • Make a final selection of oils for blending.
  • Blend according to the therapeutic goal, application method and fragrance.

Your competent aromatherapy consultation is your guide to defining a goal, selecting an essential oil, and applying and blending it for your treatment plan. The information needed for such a consultation, resulting in customized experiences for consumers with therapeutic goals, as well as increased retail sales, is included in this article.

Art, science and skill

Essential oils are richly diverse therapeutic tools that bring together art and medical science. They are mysterious in many ways, not always abiding by modern scientific research, and can be found to have contradictory and conflicting results when analyzed and studied. The science of essential oils is complicated, making aromatherapy a scientifically sound practice that requires intuitive and artful expertise.

For many aromatherapists, this artistic side is the heart and soul of this practice. And, as in any creative and intuitive art, it’s fun. When your intuitive and creative practice includes a foundation of experience and a solid scientific understanding of essential oils, your skill as a spa professional is amplified. A perceptive and finely tuned aromatherapy consultation is another aspect to your art and proficiency as a spa professional.

The chemistry of essential oils