The role of an aromatherapist in health care is one of education and support. Although being an aromatherapist can be a licensed position, (Registered Aromatherapist) that license does not allow for the aromatherapist to diagnose and/or treat any medical conditions. Our job is to support and educate you, our client, about the options for your health care decisions.
We can provide education into how the use of essential oils can aid in symptom management for common ailments but never relay or imply to you that the treatment with essential oils will provide you with a cure. It is also our obligation to refer you to your primary healthcare provider in the event that your symptoms do not get better, your symptoms return after using the oils, or your symptoms get worse within a certain period of time.
Aromatherapists may also provide support for emotional and spiritual issues. All Aromatherapists should use caution and consider each clients situation individually when dealing with emotional issues. If a client is severely clinically depressed, for example, an aromatherapist can provide some support through the use of essential oils but it is extremely important for us to always refer you, the client, back to your primary mental healthcare provider or the results could be extremely detrimental.
Aromatherapy is not meant to be a stand alone therapy, it is meant to be an adjunctive therapy. In some cases, aromatherapy may indeed be all a client needs for symptom management of a particular complaint, but it is important for the aromatherapist to be well aware of the limits of the therapeutic effects of this type of therapy and never imply that the use of essential oils will be a cure all.
It is also in the best interest of both the aromatherapist and their clients to provide an FDA disclaimer with any product information. Wether that be on the product label, in a product handout or brochure or in product information provided on a website.