Tag Archives: dorene petersen

How to Experience the Ultimate Aromatic Bath (Plus Recipes!)

This post first appeared on the blog of the American College of Healthcare Sciences on January 13, 2015. Reprinted with permission.

For those of us who reside in chillier climates, there’s nothing better than slipping into a soothing hot bath to soak away the winter doldrums. But if you haven’t tried adding essential oils to your bath time routine, you’re missing out!

Essential oils are extremely effective when added to bath water—they’ll work wonders on your skin, and you’ll feel radiant inside and out. And you don’t need to trek to the spa to have a rejuvenating, relaxing bath. Here are a few simple ways you can create the ultimate aromatic bath experience right in your own home:

How to Draw Your Aromatic Bath with Essential Oils 

Essential oils can be blended with your favorite base oil and then added to the bath. Or you can learn how to make fizzing herbal bath bombs with essential oils. But if lack of time is a factor in your life, you can add essential oils directly to the bath water.

  • Run the bath water first.
  • While your tub is filling, prepare all you need for a relaxing and comfortable bath. Set up your music, a few cushy towels, a head pillow or folded towel, your favorite cup of herbal tea, candles, and (especially for the parents out there) a “do not disturb” sign for your door.
  • Once your tub is full, turn the water off, and add your essential oils.
  • Swirl the oils around in the bath with your hands or feet to ensure dispersion.
  • Enter the bath and soak for around 10 minutes.

For a stress relief-booster, add one cup of Epsom salts. These magnesium sulfate salts mix well with essential oils and water and the extra magnesium gives the added benefit of a deeper, more relaxed sleep.

While you soak, be sure to take advantage of this “me” time. Meditate. Practice gentle stretches. Or simply shut your eyes, inhale the enchanting aromas, enjoy the warmth, and be fully present in a moment of peace.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have a full bath in your home—a hand or footbath can be an excellent alternative.

Safety Tips for Bathing with Essential Oils

It can be tempting to want to add more than the recommended daily dose (RDD) or stated dose in the formula, but you must resist—a little bit of essential oil goes a long way. Remember that essential oils should never irritate or burn the skin, and if you have skin sensitivities, be sure to do a skin patch test before adding them to the bath.

Also, the heat and the water of the bath can enhance absorption, so it’s important to be cautious and use less than you think you need. If you absolutely need to add more, add one drop at a time every five minutes.

You may experience slight tingling with essential oils that contain menthol, such as peppermint Mentha ×piperita (L.), but this disappears quickly once you’re out of the bath and dry. The activity of citrus oils in particular can intensify on the skin when mixed with hot bath water, so always remember to use only the stated amount in the formula.

It’s Bath Time!

Now that you know how to draw the perfect aromatic bath, here are two delightful essential oil blends you’ll have to try this winter:

Stimulating Aromatic Bath

Stimulating Morning Bath

  • Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis essential oil: 5 drops
  • Peppermint Mentha ×piperita essential oil: 2 drops

Once your tub is full, turn the water off, and add your essential oils. Swirl the oils around in the bath with your hands or feet to ensure dispersion. Enter the bath and soak for around 10 minutes. Inhale deeply and enjoy the invigorating aromas.

Aromatic Bath Recipe

Calm and Restore Bath

  • Geranium Pelargonium graveolens essential oil: 4 drops
  • Basil Ocimum basilicum essential oil: 2 drops

Once your tub is full, turn the water off, and add your essential oils. Swirl the oils around in the bath with your hands or feet to ensure dispersion. Enter the bath and soak for around 10 minutes. Inhale deeply and enjoy the soothing aromas.

You can find all of these oils in one easy >>Aromatic Bath Kit at the Apothecary Shoppe store here.

Aromatic Bath Kit

What essential oils will you choose for your ultimate aromatic bath? I’d love to know in the comments.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.

Dorene Petersen is the Founder, President, CEO, and Principal of the American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS). She has over 35 years clinical teaching and lecturing experience in aromatherapy and other holistic health subjects. She has presented papers on essential oils and clinical aromatherapy at the International Federation of Essential Oils and Aroma Trades Annual Conference (IFEAT) in California, USA; the Aroma Environment Association of Japan (AEAJ) in Tokyo, Japan; the Asian Aroma Ingredients Congress (AAIC) and Expo in Bali, Indonesia; the International Center of Advanced Aromatherapy (ICAA) at the WonGwang Digital University in Seoul, Korea; as well as the AAIC Expo in Kunming, Yunnan, China. Dorene currently serves as Chair of the Aromatherapy Registration Council (ARC), and she is also active with the Distance Education Training Council (DETC). Dorene is a travel junkie, and she hopes you will join her for the ACHS Study Abroad Program in Indonesia and India in 2015!

Check out the American College of Healthcare Sciences at http://www.achs.edu

http://info.achs.edu/blog/how-to-experience-the-ultimate-aromatic-bath-plus-recipes

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The Aroma of Choice: Health Freedom and Aromatherapy

woman inhaling

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Dorene Petersen, BA, Dip.NT, Dip.Acu, RH (AHG)                                                     President, American College of Healthcare Sciences

This article first appeared in the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal, Edition Summer 2014 and has been revised for publication here on the IJPHA Blog.

Some of my favorite summertime activities in the States are gathering with friends and family for picnics and parties on the patio, at the park, or at the beach—especially on the Fourth of July. Even though I’m originally from New Zealand, there’s something about this celebration of freedom that fills me with hope and excitement for all the possibilities and opportunities that lie ahead.

We’ve worked hard to build a society for ourselves where we are not discriminated against, where we can speak and write freely, and when we feel things need to change, we have the right to petition our law-makers. Yet, change is a process that takes time, particularly in the holistic health industry. Citizens seeking more natural approaches to healthcare have long had restricted access to services from natural medicine practitioners, such as Registered Aromatherapists (RA).

Aromatherapy and the Law                                                                        In many states, a practitioner can be criminally charged with practicing medicine without a license for offering alternative therapies such as herbal medicine, homeopathy,[1] and aromatherapy. This is also the root issue that spawned the “Health Freedom” movement, which supports patients’ rights to access alternative treatments and health practitioners of their choosing.

So what does this mean for aromatherapists? While the Aromatherapy Registration Council[2] (ARC) offers registration through an extensive exam ensuring RAs have demonstrated a core body of knowledge and commitment to safety standards and ethics, the ARC makes it clear that, legally, “it is important to realize that the ARC Aromatherapy Registration Exam and the ARC Registration in no way constitutes a license to practice medicine, diagnose, or treat patients.”[3]

California law provides a useful example of this type of restriction: “The unlawful practice of medicine is defined as: ‘Any person who practices or attempts to practice, or who advertises or holds him or herself out as practicing, any system or mode of treating the sick or afflicted in this state, or who diagnoses, treats, operates for, or prescribes for any ailment, blemish, deformity, disease, disfigurement, disorder, injury, or other physical or mental condition of any person…’ CA Stat. Sec. 2052.”[4] Considering the many uses and therapeutic service benefits of essential oils, the wording above makes providing a therapeutic aromatherapy consultancy fraught with pitfalls in the state of California, even as a Registered Aromatherapist through the ARC.

However, positive change is on the horizon. The National Health Freedom Coalition (NHFC) is an organization formed with the purpose of promoting and advocating for Health Freedom laws across the United States. As of 2013, there are nine states that have Health Freedom laws, including Arizona, Minnesota, California, Colorado, Rhode Island, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Idaho, and New Mexico. Because legislation varies from state to state, RAs should be vigilantly aware of and compliant with relevant legislation and reform within the state where they practice. The NHFC maintains a listing of the state advocacy groups which can be accessed through their website.[5]

Safe Harbor and Health Freedom Laws: How Do They Affect Aromatherapists?                                                                                   Health Freedom and safe harbor laws mean greater opportunity for Registered Aromatherapists to practice ethically without fear of violating the rigid and over-arching definitions of “practicing medicine without a license.” The legal structure of a safe harbor bill or law can allow non-licensed practitioners to legally operate, as long as they comply with the provisions stated within the safe harbor law.

For example, in 2009, New Mexico passed the safe harbor law, “Unlicensed Health Care Practice Act,” which specifically places aromatherapy under the definition of “‘complementary and alternative health care service’ [defined as] the broad domain of complementary and alternative healing methods and treatments.”[6]

This means that an aromatherapist is protected from being in violation of New Mexico medical licensing laws as long as (s)he complies with the provisions listed within the act. Section 3 states:

A complementary and alternative health care practitioner who is not licensed, certified or registered in New Mexico as a health care practitioner shall not be in violation of any licensing law relating to health care services pursuant to Chapter 61 NMSA 1978 unless that individual: A. engages in any activity prohibited in Section 4 of the Unlicensed Health Care Practice Act; or B. fails to fulfill the duties set forth in Section 5 of the Unlicensed Health Care Practice Act.[7]

One important provision to note in Section 5 of the New Mexico “Unlicensed Health Care Practice Act” is the requirement for the aromatherapist to supply an “informational document” to the patient or client. This is more commonly known as an “informed consent” document. This is a common provision within many safe harbor bills in the U.S., including Louisiana,[8] Minnesota[9] (which also specifically refers to aromatherapy), Rhode Island,[10] and California.[11] This document can be labeled differently in different states—you may see it called something like a “client bill of rights” or “disclosure.”

Under New Mexico law, the informational document notifies the patient or client:

  • of the nature and expected results of the aromatherapy services to be provided
  • that the aromatherapist is not a healthcare practitioner licensed by the state of New Mexico
  • of the aromatherapists’s degrees, education, training, experience, or other qualifications regarding aromatherapy
  • of many other details surrounding the aromatherapist’s background as well as the patient’s rights to honesty and privacy[12]

Some of these states require this “bill of rights” to be visibly posted within the aromatherapist’s office as well as an individual hard copy document.

While this type of requirement varies state to state, many Registered Aromatherapists find it useful to provide an informed consent document regardless of the law. The New Mexico Complimentary and Alternative Medicine Project LLC. (NMCAAMP) has a useful checklist for creating this informational document for New Mexico practitioners, which can be found on their website[13]: www.nmcaamp.org.

While a great number of states are still without Health Freedom laws, many holistic health advocates are campaigning for safe harbor bills. Melissa Toye, an ACHS graduate and owner of the natural products company Midwest Herbs and Oils, is currently advocating for a safe harbor bill in Missouri.[14]

States Without Health Freedom Laws                                                     It’s extremely encouraging to see our industry progressing. However, even though our society and the allopathic medical community are becoming more comfortable with the idea of alternative modalities like aromatherapy, there are still many states without Health Freedom laws.

As with any healthcare practice, it’s essential that a Registered Aromatherapist be highly informed about the laws of his or her state in order to legally practice aromatherapy in a state without a safe harbor law. Legislation varies from state to state, and I would highly encourage all aromatherapists to visit their state’s legislative website and review the laws relating to healthcare and practicing medicine. But I would also like to offer a few basic guidelines and key functions—the do’s and don’ts—of a Registered Aromatherapist.

Let’s start by discussing what an aromatherapist does not do:

  • Diagnose disease: An aromatherapist is free to evaluate a client and determine possible causes of imbalance, but he or she cannot diagnose disease, and should always refer clients back to their primary care physician for a diagnosis when necessary.
  • Treat disease: As with diagnostics, the aromatherapist does not focus on disease, but rather shares helpful information with clients, empowering them to take control of their own health and wellness.
  • Prescribe drugs or pharmaceuticals: An aromatherapist offers education surrounding essential oils, herbs, natural remedies, and holistic nutrition.
  • Perform invasive procedures or touch therapies without licensing: Registration through ARC does not license an aromatherapist to perform touch therapies such as reflexology, chiropractics, or massage. However, if an aromatherapist is also a licensed chiropractor or massage therapist, the modalities can be used in tandem with one another if it is within the scope of practice of the profession.

There are still many ways an aromatherapist can be a helpful and useful holistic health practitioner without resorting to the “don’ts” listed above. An aromatherapist does…

  • Understand good health and recognizes that it requires a holistic approach, including fresh water, physical activity, fresh air and sun, plenty of rest, and a focus on proper nutrition.
  • Share knowledge about achieving and maintaining health and wellness regularly with essential oils, homeopathics, herbs, and other natural modalities.
  • Evaluate each client with a holistic approach, recognizing that daily nutrition, the environment, and lifestyle choices have a large impact on health and wellness.
  • Empower their client to achieve improved health by addressing any imbalances caused by poor sleep quality, imbalanced nutrition, and any other negative lifestyle habits.
  • Recognize when allopathic healthcare is needed, and is always prepared to refer a client to their primary care physician for diagnosis and/or treatment.

Ambassadors for Aromatherapy and Natural Medicine                        While the Health Freedom movement is growing and legislation is changing, aromatherapists have an obligation to uphold the highest standards and ethics to maintain integrity within our industry.

This requires vigilance when working with essential oils for clinical use. It’s important, for example, that an essential oil is not labeled to imply that it’s intended for use in the diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, and intended to affect the structure or any function of the body. This type of claim categorizes the oil as a drug, and all “new drugs” require approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). So, for example, as an aromatherapist you cannot say, “This oil is supportive for cholesterol.” Though the statement does not include the word “treat,” it implies cholesterol is high.

Registered Aromatherapists should always choose the highest quality of pure, unadulterated essential oils. This requires a thorough knowledge of sourcing, production, distillation, and labeling. There are many unregulated and misleading terms when it comes to essential oils such as: “spray free,” “all natural,” “therapeutic grade,” and “CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade®.” These are unregulated marketing terms, and in no way mean the oils are truly pure, organic, or unadulterated, and often lead consumers to falsely believe that they are superior to Certified Organic essential oils.

We are ambassadors for the practice of aromatherapy. With all of these exciting changes, it’s ever more important to maintain the upmost integrity when practicing aromatherapy. I often find it helpful to re-read the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy’s Code of Ethics[15], the AIA Code of Ethics[16], the AIA Standards of Practice[17], and the ARC Disciplinary Policy[18].

I am encouraged by the progress we have made in our efforts to make aromatherapy and other natural modalities more readily available and accepted. The road to Health Freedom is long, but I couldn’t be more excited to be part of such a courageous and inspiring community of healthcare practitioners.

Dorene Petersen is President and Founder of the American College of Healthcare Sciences. She holds a BA in Archaeology and Anthropology from Otago University, New Zealand, is a NZ trained Naturopath and ran a busy clinic in NZ specializing in aromatherapy and herbal medicine. She is also a certified acupuncturist with specialized training in Chinese herbal medicine and moxibustion. Dorene serves as Chair of the Aromatherapy Registration Council and is a member of the Research and Educational Standards Subcommittee of the Distance Education Training Council. In addition to her work as President of the College, Dorene also teaches courses for ACHS and leads the annual ACHS study-abroad program to Indonesia and other locations, which explore holistic health, traditional herbal healing, aromatherapy, and essential oil distillation and production, among other topics.

*This article originally appeared in the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal Summer 2014.2: http://www.naha.org/bookstore/nahas-aromatherapy-journal-summer-2014.2

[1] National Health Freedom Coalition (NHFC). (2012). Mission and Case Statement. Retrieved from http://www.nationalhealthfreedom.org/aboutNHFC/mission_statement.html

[2] You can learn more about this organization on their website at http://aromatherapycouncil.org/

[3] Aromatherapy Registration Council (ARC). (2011). Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved from http://aromatherapycouncil.org/?page_id=75

[4] National Health Freedom Coalition. (2012). Mission and Case Statement. Retrieved from http://www.nationalhealthfreedom.org/aboutNHFC/mission_statement.html

[5] You can learn more about the National Health Freedom Coalition at: http://www.nationalhealthfreedom.org

[6] Unlicensed Health Care Practice Act HHGAC/HB 664 Retrieved from The National Health Freedom Coalition (NHFC), Health Freedom Laws Passed: http://www.nationalhealthfreedom.org/documents/NewMexicoHB0664_2009.pdf

[7] Ibid.

[8] 2005 Louisiana Revised Statutes 20-37 VI-B. Retrieved from Louisiana State Legislature: http://www.legis.la.gov/legis/Law.aspx?d=321645

[9] Chapter 146A. Complementary and Alternative Health Care Practices. Retrieved from 2013 Minnesota Statues: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=146A

[10] Relating to Health and Safety – Unlicensed Health Care Practices. Retrieved from State of Rhode Island General Assembly: http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText02/HouseText02/H6719a.pdf

[11] 2001 California SB577 – California Complementary and Alternative Health Care Practitioners. Retrieved from legalinfo.ca.gov: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/01-02/bill/sen/sb_0551-0600/sb_577_bill_20020923_chaptered.html

[12] Unlicensed Health Care Practice Act HHGAC/HB 664 Retrieved from The National Health Freedom Coalition (NHFC), Health Freedom Laws Passed: http://www.nationalhealthfreedom.org/documents/NewMexicoHB0664_2009.pdf

[13] New Mexico Complimentary and Alternative Medicine Project LLC (NMCAAMP) Check list for creating the ‘Patient Information Document’ Retrieved from http://www.nmcaamp.org/downloads/6_PatientInfoChecklist20090619a.pdf

[14] Oberholtz, C. & Rittman, E. (2014, February 20). KCTV5. Missouri woman seeks bill to support alternative medicine. Retrieved from http://www.kctv5.com/story/24767135/missouri-woman-seeks-bill-to-support-alternative-medicine

[15] National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA). (2014). Code of Ethics. Retrieved from http://www.naha.org/membership/code-of-ethics/

[16] Alliance of International Aromatherapists (AIA). (2014). Code of Ethics. Retrieved from http://www.alliance-aromatherapists.org/aromatherapy/code-of-ethics/

[17]Aromatherapy Registration Council (ARC). (2014). About. Retrieved from http://aromatherapycouncil.org/?page_id=195

[18] Aromatherapy Registration Council (ARC). (2014). About. Retrieved from http://aromatherapycouncil.org/docs/ARC_DISCIPLINARY_POLICY2004.pdf