Aromatherapy for Manual Therapists: Understanding Essential Oils

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Aromatherapy has been practiced for centuries by different cultures using essential oils to improve the health of the body, mind, and spirit. This course provides an in-depth discussion of common essential oils and their benefits for use during treatment. Explore how essential oils are made, how they impact various body systems, how to create an aromatherapy blend, and how to integrate essential oils into the treatment of various conditions.

In this course, you will learn:

  • The historical origins of modern aromatherapy.
  • How essential oils are produced.
  • The workings of the olfactory system.
  • How essential oils affect the mind and body.
  • Details of twenty of the most common essential oils and their uses.
  • How to integrate aromatherapy into a manual therapy treatment.
  • How to create an individualized aromatherapy blend.
  • Ways to integrate aromatherapy into therapist self-care.

Dexterity Professional Development submits courses for approval to regulatory colleges and associations across Canada. Timelines vary and courses are submitted on a rolling basis. As approvals are granted, this section is updated. Remember to check back often!

Certified Registered Massage Therapist Association (CRMTA) 1.5 Secondary Credits
Canadian Massage & Manual Osteopathic Therapists Association (CMMOTA) 1.5 CECs
Massage Therapist Association of Alberta (MTAA) 3 Primary Credits
Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba (MTAM) 1.5 Complementary/Secondary Credits
Massage Therapist & Wholistic Practitioners of the Maritimes (MTWPAM) 1.5 credit hours Secondary / Category B
College of Massage Therapists of Newfoundland & Labrador (CMTNL) 1.5 Category A Credits
Massage Therapists Association of Nova Scotia (MTANS) 1.5 Secondary CEU
PEI Massage Therapy Association (PEIMTA) 1.5 Category B Credits
L'Association des Naturopathes Professionnels du Québec (ANPQ) / L’Association des Naturothérapeutes du Québec (ANQ) / Regroupement des Massothérapeutes du Québec (RMQ) 3 Credits
Natural Health Practitioners of Canada (NHPC) 5 CCP Credits
National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) 1 CE
New York Sponsored (NCBTMB) 1 CE

Under the CMTO’s new Quality Assurance Program (STRiVE), courses are no longer granted approval by the CMTO. It is up to the learner to demonstrate that a course is relevant to their learning goals and the STRiVE competencies. We have provided the description below to help the learner link the course to the STRiVE competencies. A course is often related to more STRiVE competencies than those listed.

The competencies below are established in the CMTO continuing education guidelines. This course addresses the competencies in many ways, including those described below.

Function in a client-centred manner.  This course is centred around client wellbeing, providing a thorough discussion of the various factors that must be considered when choosing to integrate aromatherapy and essential oils into a massage therapy treatment plan. This course provides the RMT with an in-depth understanding of aromatherapy and the applicable uses of many common essential oils. It guides the RMT to apply the modality of aromatherapy with therapeutic intent and how to integrate its use into a massage therapy treatment plan.

Work within areas of personal knowledge and skills. This course provides the RMT with the opportunity to better understand and integrate the complementary modality of aromatherapy into a massage therapy treatment. The course guides the massage therapist in recognizing common complaints and making appropriate selections of essential oils and ways of integrating them into treatment, within the parameters of the RMTs scope of practice. Additionally, the course highlights essential oils that are contraindicated generally and for specific conditions.

Maintain a safe work environment.This course provides details on various types of adverse reactions to essential oils, which essential oils are contraindicated generally, and which essential oils are contraindicated for common conditions. It explains how the RMT should maintain the physical safety of all who enter the practice environment when using essential oils through a variety of recommendations, tests, and mechanisms.

Use an evidence-informed approach in your work. This course provides the RMT with up-to-date information and knowledge regarding aromatherapy and essential oils. The Dexterity PD promise is to evaluate every course on a biannual basis to ensure any developments or changes in the profession are reflected in course content. Thus, RMTs who take this course and adopt its recommendations can be assured that they are practicing in a manner consistent with current developments. A resource list is included in the downloadable guide to every course so that RMTs can conduct further research and/or confirm course findings. Any treatment recommendations are based on this research and the opinion and experience of the RMT who developed the course. All course content and recommendations have been evaluated by two additional RMTs to affirm the accuracy of the content. For more details, please see Our Quality Control Process.






Maria Naccarato
B.Sc., RMT

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