Aromatherapy isn’t just about smelling good. The complementary therapy, which can be easily implemented into any massage practice, also has many health benefits.

By learning the benefits and techniques of aromatherapy in the privacy of one’s home or office through home study courses, massage therapists can easily implement these tools into their practice. Aromatherapy has been shown to have many benefits, such as improving skin tone, relieving menstrual cramps, relaxing of muscles, reducing stress, aiding in digestion, decreasing sinus and lung congestion, improving blood circulation and improving sleep patterns.

There’s a good chance you already use aromatherapy in your practice without even realizing it. Scented candles are one of the most common forms of aromatherapy used. Scented massage oils, which use essential oils, are also commonly used.

An Internet search resulted in numerous home study courses that any massage therapist can take in aromatherapy to fulfill their continuing education requirements.

For aromatherapy, some of the courses offered cover such topics as aromatherapy facial massage, foundations of clinical aromatherapy, plant language, herbal studies and essential oil education. Some of the various courses will also address safety, education of the chemical families and components, the powers of essential oils and how to make your own essential oil blends.

In a review of six different studies, researchers found aromatherapy helps ease those suffering from depression. The study, “A Review on the Effects of Aromatherapy for Patients with Depressive Symptoms,” reviewed studies conducted between 2000 and 2008.

While the researchers found 48 papers, only six met the criteria for review, which included a total of 387 subjects that participated in the studies. However, the researchers noted more studies are needed to make a firm determination about the effects of aromatherapy, since the studies used a combination of aromatherapy and massage, instead of aromatherapy alone.

In addition, other research proved the use of inhalers infused with lavender and rosemary essential oils was shown to reduce test-taking stress in graduate nursing students. Read this research report here.

Make sure to check with your national and state licensing bodies to make sure the courses you select are acceptable for your continuing education credits.

–Jeremy Maready