Iveta’s Thoughts on the Aromatherapy Certification Program

Many of you have been asking for more information about how you can benefit from taking the Aromatherapy Certification Program (ACP). I would like to share with you a more personal response to your question. Please take your time to read it.

I have been interested in the benefits of essential oils and aromatherapy for many years. The question “why would some people experience profound healing with essential oil(s) while others would not” triggered my deep curiosity and desire to learn more. With my continuing interest in learning and reading, observing, experimenting and listening about the essential oils many other questions had surfaced.

After reading numerous aromatherapy books (which many times did not provide enough detailed information), talking with my aromatherapy friends, witnessing the benefits (or lack of) from using essential oils over the years, I was not getting satisfying answers and so I decided to seek more professional education.

When I took the 235 hour Aromatherapy Certification Program (ACP) I realized, that as in any other field or subject, there is ‘much more to it’ than I could have possibly imagined. Most of the time we do not know what we do not know until we become open to learning more.

Going through the aromatherapy certification program was a great ‘eye opener’ for me and it became a great tool in the exploration of the endless possibilities of how essential oils can help us in a truly holistic way. It has also inspired me to continue learning and sharing.

I have no doubts that by gaining a deeper knowledge and practical skills in the use of essential oils you will feel truly empowered. This ‘in-person’ ACP program offers insights into, and hands on practice with over 50 essential oils.

During the certification program you learn in a friendly way about the chemistry of essential oils (students always comment how easy and fun learning the chemistry can be) to help you understand many of their therapeutic properties and possible safety considerations for their practical use and blending. All essential oils are not the same, some are very friendly and can be used long term, or in a higher dilution rate, while others may have some safety concerns and need to be chosen wisely – blended with more gentle, skin friendly oils, or diluted more, choose a more appropriate base (carrier), choose an appropriate application method, use only occasionally, or in some cases avoid completely.

Essential oils are made of many natural chemical components. You will learn about GC/MS (Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry) technology and become very comfortable in understanding the properties of essential oils from their chemical families (and chemical components) profile.

For example, the chemical profile of Helichrysum italicum from Croatia is different from that of Helichrysum italicum from Corsica. Looking at their GC reports you will see that Helichrysum from Corsica is very high in Esters, contributing to its strong antispasmodic properties, while the Helichrysum from Croatia is high in Monoterpenes and Sesquiterpenes, which contribute to its great skin healing properties.

You will learn that some essential oils may have the same common name, but come from different plant families and so their chemistry may differ dramatically from one another. Cedarwood is a good example. They are 3 essential oils, often used in aromatherapy, with the common name of Cedarwood. There is one obtained from the Red Cedar tree with the Latin name Juniperus virginiana, another from Himalayan Cedarwood with the Latin name Cedrus deodora and another one from Atlas Cedarwood tree with the Latin name Cedrus atlantica. Their aroma is different and only one of them (Juniperus virginiana) is known for its high content of cedrol, which is responsible for its tonifying effects on the veins and lymphatic system.

Learning the taxonomy (what is a chemotype, genus, species, hybrid, clone, …) will broaden your knowledge about plants’ way of offering unique essential oils with a wide variety of benefits. To understand what is a chemotype will help you seek the appropriate essential oil for your needs. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) essential oil is a great example. There are 6 different chemotypes of Thyme essential oil. In all 6 cases the common name and the Latin name will be the same, but their chemical profiles may be significantly different. Their therapeutic benefits will vary too. Thyme chemotype linalool is very gentle in its action, safe on skin and mucous membrane, very balancing to the nervous system, has a soft aroma, while Thyme chemotype thymol is very aggressive on the skin, has a rather harsh aroma, it is not recommended to use with children, and when used, it is suggested to dilute it well and use it in your blends with other, skin nourishing, essential oils. Unfortunately many retail companies do not mention on their bottles which chemotype they sell. Once you understand what a chemotype is and what plants produce chemotypes, you will be able to ask appropriate questions when purchasing essential oils.

And what about Lavender essential oil? Did you know that they are about 70 different species of lavender? Among the most popular are Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and Spike Lavender (Lavandula latifolia) – same Genus, different Species and so they will have unique chemical profiles and therapeutic properties. Lavender is very high in Esters – especially in linalyl acetate, and Monoterpenols – especially in linalool. Lavender is known for its very calming effect if used in small amounts, excellent for insomnia. It is also known for its anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory effects. Spike Lavender is high in Monoterpenols (linalool), but also in Ketones (camphor) and Oxides (1,8 cineole) which contribute to its stimulating effect for the respiratory, circulatory and nervous system and its efficiency as an expectorant, however it has some safety concerns.

When you learn some basic botany, you will gain an appreciation for the plant world and the plant parts essential oils are produced from. This information will be very beneficial to you when choosing the oils and/or creating custom blends for your clients, family or yourself incorporating the energetic qualities of the essential oils. It will encourage you to use the holistic approach (honoring the body, mind and spirit part of us) when using essential oils.

You will learn and understand the principles of blending, diluting and safety and what individual oils to use, or blend together for skin nourishing, balancing effects, or other desired physical/emotional benefits, while considering the individual person. You will understand how to prevent skin irritation, phototoxicity risks or overstimulating the nervous system, and how to create blends for a pleasant aroma.

You will also learn when the inhalation methods may be more effective than a skin application, what essential oils to use when considering the preventative approach and when dealing with an acute or chronic issue.

What about using essential oils with children, the elderly, or during pregnancy? Are the safety guidelines, the application methods, dilution ratios and choices of essential oils the same, or may they vary significantly in some cases? These and many other questions and/or concerns are clearly explained step by step in our certification program.        

By spending time fully immersed in the exploration of essential oils and aromatherapy during the studies, you will learn a lot about yourself and your relationship with the plants and essential oils. I can say with confidence that this program is as much about the self exploration as it is about gaining professional aromatherapy knowledge.

The program also includes many hands on activities, discussions about the business opportunities, ethics, development and practice of consultation skills through case studies, and much more (as our website states in detail).

Taking the certification program is a big commitment, requiring your time, energy and finances. From my own experience and that of my students, I feel very confident that you will have no regrets investing in this education. The Aromatherapy Certification will provide you with credibility in public, developing your confidence in using professional aromatherapy language, reading and/or writing professional essential oil articles, and using essential oils in your personal life and/or professional practice.

The ACP was developed about 18 years ago by one of my incredible teachers Andrea Butje (founder of Aromahead Institute) and has been regularly updated (last update in July 2017). I feel honored to carry on Andrea’s program along with sharing my personal and professional experience in the in-person class setting (since Aromahead is offering this program exclusively on-line anymore).

The program also includes an Anatomy and Physiology class (the only on-line class in this program) that was created by a very gifted teacher (Cindy Black – Licensed Acupuncturist and Licensed Massage Therapist). Her approach to the subject is very informative and very friendly to all.

Each student receives a 400+ page Manual which is full of detailed information and resources that will serve you in the future practice. Please find more detailed information about the full curriculum below.