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Aromatherapy Awareness Week ‘Anti-Viral Properties of Essential Oils’ 08th – 14th June 2020

Posted by Lauren at 15:16 on 27 Mar 2020

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08th – 14th June 2020 is Aromatherapy Awareness Week. Now in its 12th year, it was launched by the International Federation of Aromatherapists (IFA) and has since gone from strength to strength, being widely recognised now within the whole industry. The theme for 2020 is ‘Anti-Viral Properties of Essential Oils’ and was chosen due to the current pandemic of Coronavirus (COVID-19). As cases of the virus continue to increase, and shelves are emptied of hand sanitiser, anti-bacterial wipes and other medicines, this Week focuses on raising awareness of how essential oils can improve hygiene, boost immunity and support the respiratory system, as well as assisting with the psychological effects this unprecedented situation is having on mental health.

Ancient history has provided anecdotal evidence of the therapeutic use of essential oils but, in the last few decades, increasing scientific research has evidenced and substantiated their health benefits. The objective evidence base which supports Aromatherapy comprises clinical trials, case histories, clinical audits and also patient reported outcome data. The amount of research, and the media profile of some studies, has led to a high level of public confidence in the efficacy of Aromatherapy.  However, awareness and understanding of the full extent and benefit of essential oils, still requires greater recognition.

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In 2018 the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Integrated Healthcare (PGIH) issued a report urging the government to embrace complementary, traditional and natural medicine to ease the mounting burden being placed on the NHS. Never before has the benefits of incorporating complementary and traditional approaches, to achieve optimum health and wellbeing, seemed so important. Excitingly, this year also coin-cides with the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH), as declared by the United Nations General Assembly. Plant health is important for everyone, so this is a fantastic opportunity to raise global awareness on how protecting plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, disease, protect the environment, and boost economic development all over the world.

As an annual national campaign, Aromatherapy Awareness Week is brought to life by a multitude of individuals and companies throughout the UK and overseas, who come together to draw attention to the important role Aromatherapy has in healthcare management. The IFA realises that therapists often need encouragement and support to get involved in press and publicity campaigns so the IFA PR team have put together a professional support package to give therapists the confidence to speak with a collective and informed voice to any sector of the community. This PR package will be available to download from the IFA website during the build up to 08th June.

Equally, the awareness campaign is a unique opportunity for everyone to do something pro-active to raise the profile of the health benefits of Aromatherapy and to reach more people who would benefit from access to the IFA's information support services. Whilst the IFA urge everyone to use this time for self-care, it is also a first class opportunity to discover new ways to improve health using essential oils. Aromatherapists are encouraged to send a tweet, contact their local media and get the message out within their local communities. There are all kinds of ways to help raise the profile of Aromatherapy in the media without leaving the house. The IFA would stress however, that it is vitally important for only the safe use of essential oils to be promoted, as some oils do have contraindications attached to them and restrictions on how they are administered. Caution must be exercised when using essential oils and where there is doubt, always contact an IFA registered Aromatherapist who will offer guidance on the oils that are suitable for individual needs.

Please note - anyone promoting our Aromatherapy Awareness Week must include that this initiative was created by the International Federation of Aromatherapists (IFA).