Raindrop Messenger Archive

Volume 1, Number 4
April 2003


1. How to Become a Registered Aromatherapist
2. The Best Workshop I Have Attended to Date

By David Stewart, Ph.D.,R.A.

At this time, no state of the U.S. or province of Canada issues
licenses for the practice of aromatherapy or considers it to be
a profession to be regulated. This leaves the way open for every-
one to use essential oils relatively unrestricted by law.

In my opinion this is the way it should be. Essential oils are gifts
from God created for everyone and their usage should remain a
matter of choice on the part of individuals, not a practice to be
restricted or dictated by government.

Many of those skilled in the art and science of aromatherapy would
like to have a credential recognized throughout North America.
While there are a number of aromatherapy schools in the U.S. and
Canada that offer certificates and/or certification in aromatherapy,
most of these are of the British school.

The so called "British" philosophy on using essential oils is incompatible
with what we have learned from the classes and literature of Dr. Gary
Young and of Young Living Essential Oils (YLEO). The British school also
contradicts what we know to be true by direct experience in the use
of pure, therapeutic grade oils such as those available from YLEO.

This is because in England, aromatherapy comes from the perfume
industry where synthetic, adulterated, and refined essential oils are
the rule and where truly pure therapeutic grade oils are not generally
available. Fragrace grade oils are standardized and manipulated to
fit industry criteria which reduces or destroys their healing capa-
bilities and, in many cases, makes them toxic unless diluted with a
massage base oil.

For example, the British school forbids the use of any essential oil
neat (with the exception of melaleuca (tea tree) oil for athlete's
foot). "Neat" is the application of an essential oil orally or directly
to the skin undiluted. In the writings of British authorities as Balacs,
Watts, Tisserand, and/or Tiran you will find warnings about the use
of concentrated, pure essential oils that would prohibit most of
what we do quite safely in North America on a regular basis using
YLEO oils(which are not easily available in England).

For example, in Teran's British book, "Clinical Aromatherapy for
Pregnancy and Childbirth," she lists the following oils as being
"Hazardous oils contraindicated in aromatherapy." She includes
Basil, Birch, Calamus, Cassia, Cinnamon bark, Clove, Fennel, Oragano,
Pine, Savory, Tansy, Thuja, and Wintergreen on her list of oils never
to be used in aromatherapy, and she is not just referring to usage
during pregnancy, but usage for anyone at any time.

Such a prohibition would effectively eliminate the practice of
Raindrop Technique. And as a matter of fact, most British
aromatherapists, as well as those trained in American schools that
espouse the British philosophy, consider Raindrop Technique to be
dangerous and unprofessional. Many of these misinformed
aromatherapists are actively seeking to legally ban Raindrop
Technique from American practice. Thus are the fallacies of
British aromatherapy, which is why one needs to be cautious in
choosing an aromatherapy school for training and credentialling.

There is a way that users of essential oils can obtain a recognized
and respected credential without taking a course of instruction
tainted by British thinking. That is by taking and passing the
Aromatherapy Exam through the Aromatherapy Registration
Council (ARC). Passing the exam makes you a "Registered
Aromatherapist," a title respected by both British and non-British
practitioners of the art and science of aromatherapy.

Registered Aromatherapists can legally put "R.A." after their names
and are recognized as professionals by the National Association of
Holistic Aromatherapists (NAHA). At this time there are fewer than
100 registered aromatherpists in North America.

All the information to become registered can be found by
visiting the Aromatherapy Registration Council's web site at
www.AromatherapyCouncil.org. You may also call them at
(212) 356-0660. They will provide you a list of recommended
references to study, a complete outline of the content of the test,
and some sample questions.

The test is administered in specific locations only three or four
times a year. It is completely multiple choice and you are given four
hours to complete it. Jacqui Close, CCI, RA, and I took the exam at
the same time at a St. Louis, Missouri, location. We both completed
it in only 2.5 hours and we both passed easily. But we did study
considerably in preparation, reading almost all of the suggested
references given by ARC. You must memorize the Latin names of
all the oils inasmuch as the common names are not used anywhere
in the exam. There are a number of questions on the chemistry of
the oils, but if you have taken CARE's Chemistry Classes, you would
have all the chemistry to pass the exam.

The thing you have to realize is that the test has largely been made
up by aromatherapists of the British school. Hence, you will need to
know the politically correct answers according to British thinking
in order to get counted as right (which may contradict what
you know from experience). If you study the ARC recommended
references, you will have a good background in the British school
and will be able to understand the differences between what most
of us do with YLEO oils (which is actually the French school of
aromatherapy). In the French school only therapeutic grade oils
are used, which can be safely inhaled, applied neat to the skin,
and taken orally.

The cost of the exam is currently $275. If you don't pass, you have
can try again as many times as you wish, paying the fee again each
time. Actually, it is an easy and inexpensive way to gain professional
recognition. Many aromatherapy schools charge upwards from
$1000 to $2000 to complete their courses of instruction to become
certified and may require a year or more of training. The ARC route
is not hard if you do your homework according to their
recommendations. It is also something you can do in a relatively short
time, like a few months studying part time.

Once achieved, ARC Registration is good for five years. Good luck.
You can do it. I say, "Go for it!"



A week after the CARE Intensive, April 4-6, in Saddlebrook, NJ,
one participant had this to say.

"I am still pumped up from my fabulous weekend with you folks!
This is the best workshop I have attended to date. The tremendous
amount of hands-on helped my technique. The weekend really
boosted my confidence. David Stewart is genuine and passionate
with a sincere drive to impart his knowledge and experience with
oils. I am still feeling so much joy! I thank you both again (David and
Lee) for being so giving of yourselves. Your pure intentions truly
set the tone for a fulfilling weekend."
Maria Malic, Budd Lake, New Jersey


Official Newsletter of C.A.R.E.
The Center for Aromatherapy Research and Education
Rt. 4, Box 646, Marble Hill, Missouri USA 63764
(573) 238-4846