Why I Don't Belong to Many Professional Organizations
When I first started practicing aromatherapy I was introduced to 3 organizations that support the profession. Since I had just completed school, I needed to choose which one I wanted to join as they are expensive and I didn't feel I needed to join them all. I also didn't feel ready to take my exam to be a registered aromatherapist so it narrowed it down to 2. The National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) and Alliance of International Aromatherapists (AIA). I decided to join the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy. I resonated with them more.
Shortly after joining, NAHA had a conference which I attended. I had a great time and met some wonderful people, even though there was an "us and them" vibe. It really reminded me of being in high school. Nevertheless, if I wanted to see changes made, I needed to help make them. So I applied to be a director for my state. I was so very happy.
Things started to fall into place. If you know anything about me, I don't sugar coat things. I shoot from the hip, which doesn't always make people happy. Apparently a person complained to NAHA about me because I "dissed" her mentor on social media. Apparently correcting someone publicly is an issue. People NEED to be held responsible for their mis-information. I will always try and help educate.
Fast forward many months, I left the organization as a director. I wanted to start getting into CBD distribution and even though it it federally legal, NAHA sees it as a schedule 1 narcotic, or did at that time, things may have changed now. I then left the organization completely, along with some other collegues who were like me and no longer seeing the benefit.
Rest assured I am highly educated in aromatherapy. However, I refuse to join an organization because I "need" to keep a badge I earned where there are no consistant industry standards. I have earned the title of "Level 3" practitioner according to NAHA, however you will not find me in their directory. Like many, I do not see the benefit.
This issue isn't just an aromatherapy issue either. In my blog post regarding "What's in a Title", you will see that it goes much, much deeper than that. People are becoming board certified in most everything, even aromatherapy. Remember me saying this isn't a regulated industry? Well it isn't so you can't be board certified in anything because that "board certification" is bogus. So many fake organizations are popping up that give you absolutely no credibility and are nothing more than paper mills. Happy to take your money and add you to a database where you are "credible". We don't need to pay to be credible, we have earned that credibility with our education.
Holistic health seems to have the most issues. Since this industry is totally unregulated, there is no licensing bureau to keep people honest. Dentists, physicians, lawyers, cosmetologists, massage therapists, etc. all need to take standardized tests to earn their licensing to legally practice their profession. That isn't the case with most natural health modalities. I see people calling themselves doctors when they didn't attend medical school. I see people calling themselves many things they shouldn't because they didn't earn it.
I didn't mean for this post to sound so negative. That isn't my intent. There is so much going on behind the scenes of these organizations, and not just aromatherapy. I want you to be aware. Not everything is as it seems. Not everyone is a legitimate professional. Ask to see degrees, certifications, or anything you deem credible to prove they are educated in what they advertise. It's your health. You have every right to ask.
Currently the only organization I belong to is the Minnesota Homeopathic Association (MHA). I am on their board of directors. Even though it isn't regulated, homeopathy is an industry that requires continuing education to keep your Certified Classical Homeopath (CCH) certification. MHA offers CEU credits for webinars and classes they offer. We work directly with the Accreditation Commission for Homeopathic Education in North America (ACHENA).
Even in unregulated professions, some sort of standard and enforceable code of ethics is necessary. It protects the professionals and it mostly protects you. We don't want anyone harmed by any natural health modality since that helps no one. The person is hurt and the industry is dealing with a black mark. It truly is a lose, lose situation.
Organizations can be expensive to join and maintain membership. If you as a member do not see the benefit of being a member, then what is the point? What does it offer? Any benefit besides belonging to a database or other people? Is wonderful and very educational for you to belong? I urge you to look at your professional organization memberships and keep the ones you love, resonate with and find beneficial. There is nothing stating you must belong to anything if you don't want to.
I hope you all have a wonderful day! Should you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out and send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I am happy to share my credentials with any and all prospective and current clients.
Love and light,