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. By learning the benefits and techniques of aromatherapy in the privacy of your home or office through home-study courses, massage therapists can easily implement these tools into their practice.

Scented candles are one of the most common forms of aromatherapy used. Scented massage oils, which use essential oils, are also a common use.

An Internet search revealed numerous home-study courses that are available for any massage therapist to take to fulfill his or her 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.

The benefits of aromatherapy also were observed in a recent study. The study, “The Effect of Lavender Aromatherapy on Autonomic Nervous System in Midlife Women with Insomnia,” reviewed the effects of 67 women between 45 and 55 years old. The group was split with half participating in an educational program on sleep hygiene and the rest receiving 20 minutes of lavender inhalation twice a week for 12 weeks.

Researchers found significant changes in the heart rates of women who received the aromatherapy treatment. The women in the aromatherapy group also experienced significant improvements in sleep quality following the treatments, the study showed.

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