Friday, November 4, 2011

ACHS Master of Science Graduate Student Reports on AIA Conference "The Future of Aromatics in Integrative Healthcare”

By Sandy Durand, ACHS Master of Science in Complementary Alternative Medicine

Attending the recent conference for the Alliance of International Aromatherapists (AIA) truly was a highlight of my year. What a fantastic and thoroughly enjoyable learning opportunity!

As an American College of Healthcare Sciences graduate student, a Registered Aromatherapist (RA) focusing on natural skin care and wellness, and a mom of special needs youths who use aromatherapy daily, this conference helped me on all fronts.

The 2011 conference featured informational sessions ranging from using aromatherapy to treat depression in postpartum mothers to applications in cancer care to understanding aromatherapy chemistry. Held in Minnesota’s Twin Cities area, the three-day main conference, “The Future of Aromatics in Integrative Healthcare,” was sandwiched between optional pre- and post-conference seminars.

Rhiannon Harris, a clinical aromatherapist, nurse, and educator from France, hosted the full-day pre-conference workshop on skin integrity. I couldn’t miss attending this option and enjoyed every minute of it. Ms. Harris packed an incredible amount of information into a day that just flew by. She shared a wealth of professional experience in how to address specific skin care challenges and kindly took time to answer audience questions. I think the consensus in the room was that we all would have loved another day or two to listen to Ms. Harris and absorb even more of her expertise; I heard many comments to that effect.

Other topics offered during the main conference included how to establish an aromatherapy business, current trends in spas, kinesiology, research strategies, oils of Australia, and daily morning aromatic Kundalini yoga sessions. AIA management and volunteers did an excellent job of selecting presenters and keeping everything running smoothly. They and the speakers also incorporated a lot of sparkle and humor into their presentations to keep us laughing while we learned.

The only downside is that I skipped school to attend the conference and still have not caught up in my anatomy class. Sorry, Dr. Berger. I’m trying.

>>To read the full-text article on the ACHS website, click here

Have questions for Sandy? Feel free to post them here! We'd also love to hear your thoughts on the conference topic ... What is the future of aromatics in integrative healthcare?

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