While it is
clear that the use of aromatherapy in reducing stress in the medical setting
the rise, there is little clinical data to back up its effectiveness. Even those who support
this type of treatment acknowledge the lack of information available. Dr.
Andrew Weil, director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Tucson
is wary. He says, “It’s not impossible that the essential oils get in though the skin or nose
and have effects on the body, but right now we just don’t know.”
In 1993 The New England Journal of Medicine issued a report that showed
Americans are making more visits to alternative practitioners than to primary care
physicians and are spending $13.7 billion annually doing so. But, while there exists two
national organizations (The America Alliance of Aromatherapy and the National
Association of Holistic Aromatherapy, there is no licensing standards in the United States.
Therefore anyone can call themselves an aromatherapist.
With so little clinical information available, it seem unlikely that aromatherapy in
America will reach the heights and popularity that it has seen in Europe any time soon.
The public should remain to be cautious to any information it receives on aromatherpay.
As the saying goes, “Don’t believe everything you read.”
Back to Aromatherapy and Stress Reduction Page
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