Hospital plans class in clinical aromatherapy

The nose knows

Posted: Monday, January 14, 2008

The staff at Central Peninsula Hospital have a nose for sniffing out means and methods to best treat their patients and will soon offer a series of courses for those on the scent of a certification in clinical aromatherapy.

"There is an increased interest in using natural methods to influence healing, but we don't want people dabbling in it. We want certified people, so we looked for a program to train staff and other people interested in these complimentary therapies," said Bonnie Nichols, CPH director of public relations.

The clinical aromatherapy course, offered through the Institute of Spiritual Healing and Aromatherapy, teaches the science and hands-on use of aromatic oils in healing and therapy.

Students enrolled in the three-class course will complete 240 hours of coursework, create a mini-research project and take a written exam.

"It will be an in-depth and educational course. It will go over the basic chemistry and vibrational frequencies of oils, such as what kind of reaction does it cause, what response does the body have, the practical application methods and how it is absorbed, and toxicity and oil safety," Nichols said.

The course includes three classes, two of which will be offered early this year. The first class will cost $400 to enroll and be held Jan. 25 through 27. It will be followed by the second class at $480 Feb. 1 through 3.

"The last class will be held in spring because a lot of work has to be done before the exam can be taken for clinical certification," Nichols said.

The classes, which each can accommodate 25 to 30 people, are offered to the general public, as well as CPH staff, of which roughly a dozen already have signed up, Nichols said.

Continuing education credits also can be gleaned through the classes, 16.5 hours for nurses and 20 hours for massage therapists for the first class, and 21.75 and 24 hours, respectively, for the second class.

"We're sharing the classes with the community," Nichols said.

People interested in receiving the training may contact CPH staff development at 714-4500. For more information on the Institute or Spiritual Healing & Aromatherapy, visit their Web site at or for specific information on the clinical aromatherapy class visit

Joseph Robertia can be reached at

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