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Changing lives through regulation and specialist qualifications
that develop and recognise world-class Clinical Aromatherapists

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Having met the UK-wide highest standard of practice and governed by stringent regulations, you can relax in safe hands with an IFA registered therapist ARROWS.png

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The objective evidence base which supports aromatherapy comprises clinical trials, case histories, clinical audits and patient reported outcome data     ARROWS.png

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We stand up for our registrant's interests and represent the profession before decision-making bodies to strengthen the recognition of aromatherapy ARROWS.png

Industry Insights

Safety & Toxicology

Essential oils have been used medicinally for thousands of years and when used appropriately pose little risk. Essential oils are obtained from plants and, when processed correctly, contain potent chemical compounds each with their own proven therapeutic properties. Some oils are carcinogenic, phototoxic, hepatotoxic, neuro-toxic and renal toxic. Others can cause sensitisation and irritation and should not be applied to the skin. It is vitally important that they are handled with the relevant knowledge to ensure their safe and effective use. 

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Essential Oil Legislation

While it is impossible to predict the long-term implications that Brexit may have on the essential oil trade industry, it will be ‘business as usual’ until the UK government decide which of our current laws and regulations they wish to keep, and which to amend. Approximately 60% of these laws were put in place by the EU so it seems unlikely all of these are going to change any time soon. Importantly, no matter what changes the UK decides to make, all products supplied to EU member states must continue to comply with the existing EU regulations.

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Healthcare Policy Updates

The IFA are a stakeholder in National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) who advise Government health policy. The Prescribing Observatory for Mental Health 10-year report highlights good practice in antipsychotic medicine prescribing for patients with dementia. This includes suggestions for alternatives, namely aromatherapy as an alternative. This was highlighted in NICE’s patient decision aid who also call for improvements to be made in the frequency of reviewing antipsychotic medication for people with dementia.

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Sustainable Healthcare

A survey conducted by the Integrated Healthcare Collaborative (IHC) of which the IFA is a core member, showed that 85% of complementary and natural healthcare therapists do not use plastic-based products in their practice. Practitioners from across the complementary health sector took part to find out how sustainable our working practices are, and our sector’s impact on the environment. These results reveal a sector which has high environmental awareness, which cares deeply about the welfare of both the planet and patients.

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Member Webinar Lecturers

Latest & Upcoming

Essential Oil Aroma, Subjective Stress Research and Comparative Trials of CO2 & Traditional Oils

Ground breaking research, trial one - results are released!

The IFA appointed Northumbria University to undertake three studies to determine whether essential oils can reduce chronic stress. Also comparing the difference between CO2 and traditionally obtained essential oils. Previous studies have not kept the essential oil active, subjecting it to oxygen and sunlight, which quickly kills the active ingredients, so results are not accurate. That is until now ….

The uniqueness of this research is that in the past, other studies have only investigated acute effects of stress with the impact of a single exposure of an essential oil sniffed over 10, 20 or 30 minutes once. Our pioneering study involved tackling chronic stress rather than just lowering stress levels for a small amount of time in response to an immediate stressor. There have been many studies that have identified the effects of massage on stress but none done in such a rigorous research protocol on the effects of essential oils on stress alone without massage. We are delighted to announce the results of the first trial are now available.

Wild Life: Shinrin-yoku and The Practice of Healing Through Nature Webinar with Stefan Batorijs

17th July 2024 @ 7pm LIVE

This webinar will explore our primal belonging to Nature and a deep dive into how Nature facilitates enhanced physiological and psychological wellbeing. Shinrin-yoku arose in Japan in response to epidemics of stress and exhaustion amongst the population – offering a slow, calming walk in ancient protected forests full of Kami -nature spirits, silence and cool clean air. It is only an illusion that we are somehow separate and superior to Nature; ‘Wild Life’ touches on the origins of this false perception alongside practical suggestions for re-wilding our inner psyches, re-inhabiting our bodies and senses and examining the active components of the much claimed healing properties of Shinrin-yoku, including Phytoncides.

Stefan was a founding pioneer of Ecotherapy in the UK in the early nineties, culminating in setting up the highly acclaimed Ecotherapy Project with Plymouth NHS. He has been lecturing on the benefits of Nature for recovery from mental illness in the Clinical Psychology department at the University of Plymouth for the last 27 years.

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