Aromatherapists can register with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CHNC), with members required to meet minimum standards of qualification and experience, as well as abide by a code of practice.
And patients who have complaints about the standard of care or professionalism experienced when visiting aromatherapists will also be able to turn to the council.
Aromatherapy claims to improve health and prevent disease by using essential oils – extracted from plants – in massages, bathing and inhalations.
Practitioners of reflexology, yoga therapy and Reiki will be asked to join the voluntary regulator later this year, joining nutritional therapists, massage therapists, and now aromatherapists.
Maggie Dunn, co-chair of the CNHC, said: "By applying to the CNHC register and demonstrating that they meet the CNHC entry criteria, aromatherapists will then receive a certificate incorporating the CNHC quality mark for public display and showing the details of their entry on the CNHC Register.
"Public safety is paramount so for members of the public the quality mark provides reassurance of knowing that the aromatherapist has had to meet minimum standards of qualification and/or experience and that they have signed up to a rigorous code of conduct."
Copyright © Press Association 2009
Your comments (terms and conditions apply):
"No. OfQuack gives the impression these quack therapies have some kind of official approval, but there is no requirement for any of their them to actually work. Indeed, there is no evidence that any of them are any better than placebo. They might make some people feel a bit better, but they will still imply that they can 'heal', 'help with' or even 'cure' and other weasel words, conning the public and perhaps dissuading people from seeking proper medical advice for potentially serious conditions. You say so yourself: 'Aromatherapy claims to improve health and prevent disease'. Aromatherapy may be very pleasant and a nice, relaxing massage but they certainly cannot prevent any disease and to make claims such as these is irresponsible. Of course relieving stress may be beneficial, but the implicit claims are frequently far more than that. The CNHC gives the impression of authority, but many will be fooled" – Alan Henness, London
"Although I do think this could be a step in the right direction, I do not think this will help protect the public. It appears to be a body that has established itself as a clearinghouse where individuals can register for a fee. The proof will be in the standards and oversight" – Emily, USA