Should Essential Oil Practitioners Diagnose Health Issues?
A recent certification candidate expressed her disappointment in not receiving training on how do diagnose others within the Essential Oil Practitioner course. On one hand, it always concerns me to hear about someone's disappointment. On the other hand, I am so glad she brought up this important topic. This matter is one that warrants being answered publicly.
To give this topic the attention it deserves, I decided to write this blog post so that you will understand why the course is taught in the manner it is. There is a very good reason our course does not teach you to diagnose but apparently the answer is not obvious to everyone. So here goes.
The short answer is that we won't train you to do something in this course that would be illegal for you to do as an Essential Oil Practitioner. The long answer is the purpose of this blog post.
To Diagnose Or Not To Diagnose?
To diagnose or not, is an area where we need to exercise great caution. We know that the FDA has strict guidelines for what is considered a drug. Professional regulations for medical licensing also stipulates that someone without a license may not practice medicine. This does not only apply to us as Essential Oil Practitioners, but also Aromatherapists.
"The National Association of Holistic Aromatherapists, the organization that certifies aromatherapists in the United States ... warns that any aromatherapist who claims to diagnose and treat scoliosis or any other medical condition without referring the client to a medical or qualified health care practitioner may be practicing medicine without a license." ~ Andrew Weil, M.D.
What is the penalty for practicing medicine without a license? This is no small matter.
According to the abbreviated answer that comes up in Google search from CriminalDefenseAttorney.com, "Jail or prison. A person convicted of a misdemeanor practicing medicine without a license crime faces a maximum jail sentence of up to one year. Felony offenses have more significant penalties associated with them, and anyone convicted of a felony offense can face eight years or more in a state prison. Fines."
IMPORTANT: The same is true for both Aromatherapists and Essential Oil Practitioners. We are complimentary practitioners. So, if someone has already been diagnosed by a medical professional, we can provide oils / oil blends to support the person's health, but our job is not to diagnose the condition or ailment.
That said, essential oils can often be used to support the person's identified wellness goals. As a professional, you need to discern the difference.
This is why we do not train you to diagnose. When someone presents with an issue, you have a library of resources at your fingertips, so that you understand which oils can support a person's health, how to apply the oil as well as precautions and contraindications.
In cases where a health issue is unknown, we are not qualified to diagnose it, nor are aromatherapists or anyone not possessing a license to practice medicine.
The Proper Procedure
In cases such as these, we need to refer the person to seek the advice of a qualified medical professional who can provide any testing and lab work needed. Once the diagnosis has been made, with the approval of the medical professional, the person may return for complimentary, supportive therapy with essential oils.
Got A Question?
If you have a question about the Essential Oil Practitioner Course or about some aspect of using essential oils that you would like to see answered in this blog, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with QUESTION FOR BLOG in the subject.
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