I recently returned from an intensive four day, in-person class on aromatherapy for pain management. My herbal and aroma education has been a blend of online courses, in-person classes, and self-study. Here are some reasons for taking an in-person class for aromatherapy.
1. See new places, or visit old friends. Sometimes a class will be in a new-to-you location making it an opportunity to explore the area. Sometimes it will be someplace where you have family or friends to visit, either way, you win!
2. Aromatherapy is a sensory science. Experiencing new scents such as a specially crafted artesian rosemary essential oil, a costly mitti attar, or rhatany root co2-total, is possible in an in-person class, making purchasing decisions easier.
3. Colleagues! Small in-person classes, in addition to the meal times between, allow for networking between like-minded colleagues. This aspect of an in-person class is just as valuable as the labs and expert instructors. Oftentimes people will know one another by reputation from social media but, that real-life time together can forge stronger alliances between colleagues. Unique skill sets can be compared and remembered for future contact. For example, there may be people who work with PTSD, palliative care, oncology, children, pregnant moms, and dementia clients in one class. Each class member has something to contribute to the class.
4. Hands on labs. Video lessons are great, for some things, but serious blending techniques are learned best as a hands-on lab. In person classes allow for step by step guidance from the expert on technique. There are often fine nuances which set apart a novice formulation from a well crafted product which will work reliably for a client. Often, good instructors will not give recipes, but will walk students through the hows and whys of formulating for individual needs.
5. World renowned instructors. Many of the aromatherapy teachers who are offering classes are truly experts in their areas. Perhaps a specific technique is being offered that doesn’t translate to a book or video format. Sometimes the materials being taught require certain educational or experiential background, and so the class is only offered to a select group of students who are qualified. In person classes with experts cannot be replicated in other formats.
6. Focused and targeted learning. An instructor led, in person class usually sticks to a syllabus making it easier to focus on learning one thing really well during a well organized class. Also, sometimes books don’t exist on a particular area of interest, but it is possible to learn from the expert in that area.
7. Q&A. The dynamics of a class with a good instructor leads to interesting question and answer sessions, sometimes as part of the class, but more often over the lunch or dinner table. These events are not replicable in other formats and provide invaluable information.