Aromatherapy is the systematic use of essential oils in holistic treatments to improve physical and emotional well-being. Essential oils, extracted from plants, possess distinctive therapeutic properties which can be used to improve health and prevent disease. Both their physiological and psychological effects combine well to promote positive health.

These natural plant oils are applied in a variety of ways including massage, baths and inhalations. They are readily absorbed into the skin and have gentle physiological effects. Aromatherapy is an especially effective treatment for stress related problems and chronic conditions.


Training in Aromatherapy will vary from school to school but should involve the following :


A sound knowledge of anatomy and physiology.

The ability to perform a full body massage.

The origins and history of aromatherapy.

What is an essential oil?

What is a fixed oil?

Different carrier oils and their properties.

Methods of extraction of essential oils: distillation, solvent extraction, expressing, enfleurage, maceration etc.

Location in the plant of essential oils.

Natural functions of essential oils.

Basic chemistry of essential oils: acids, alcohols, aldehydes, esters, ketones, phenols, lactones, oxides.

The synergistic effects of ingredients.

The physiology of smell: fading, tiring, concentration.

The physiology of skin: absorption.

Methods of application: massage oils, inhalation, compresses, bath oils, ointments and creams.

Diluting and blending essential oils.

Potential dangers of essential oils: acute toxicity, chronic toxicity, dermal toxicity, skin irritation, skin sensitisation.

Client consultation and how to take and compile a case history.

Pre-treatment advice to clients.

Post-treatment advice to clients.

Selecting and choosing essential oils for an individual prescription.

Blending and mixing essential oils for an individual prescription.

Administering the prescription.

Supervised clinical practice on clients.


Prospective students should examine the individual prospectuses for schools to ascertain the level of training offered.