Current Situation of Aromatherapy in Singapore
Essential oils, extracted from plants and flowers to heal and soothe the mind and body, has become a popular form of alternative therapy today. This practice started in France and quickly swept to Europe, before reaching the USA. Even with years of experience in the use of essential oils, much controversy still surrounds many aspects of aromatherapy, especially in the area of safety. In Singapore, interest in aromatherapy is gaining momentum. Although many are curious about the efficacy of essential oils, very few are properly trained in this field. Users usually end up scouring the internet for information on essential oils usage. One main concern that arises in Singapore is the potential adverse reactions that can occur if these oils are not correctly used.
Even though most essential oils are perfectly safe for general use, there are few well-documented dangers. Regretfully, many users have only vague ideas about these potential hazards. Some friends I know even ingested some ‘safe’ essential oils because they have seen it done on the internet by someone using essential oil of the same brand. Most of these blogs are run by untrained and inexperience people who give all kinds of advice on use of essential oil.
Ideally, companies selling essential oils should have a certified aromatherapist available to answer questions or queries by their clients. But in their failure to do so, their clients end up getting information from the internet and may fall prey to wrong and dangerous advice.
This trend, if allowed to continue, will do aromatherapy practice injustice. It is no wonder why many still view aromatherapy as a form of perfumery or, at worse, quackery. I believe it is about time that interested individuals get themselves adequately trained, and hopefully come together to support each other in the quest of educating those interested in using essential oils as an alternative treatment to support healing of the mind and body. The public needs to be made aware of the safety precautions and correct usage of essential oils by certified aromatherapists and not just by random sources on internet.