Aromatherapy and Essential Oils for Hospice
Aromatherapy could be defined as the art and science of using naturally extracted aromatic essential oils to promote the health of the body, mind and spirit. It is a natural, non-invasive method of therapy designed to affect the whole person, not just symptoms or the disease state. Through the proper use of essential oils, aromatherapy aids the body’s natural ability to balance, regulate and maintain itself.
What Is An Essential Oil?
Essential oils are the substance of the distinctive aroma given off by flowers and herbs. The oils are derived from various parts of the plant. Some oils come from seeds, barks, roots, leaves, peels, flowers, wood, or resins. Some plants produce many oils that may come from both flowers and leaves. Different oils from different parts of the same plant may produce different results. Essential oils have been used for thousands of years for bathing, healing, and perfume. Throughout history, essential oils have been used for their power to influence the emotions and state of mind. Essential oils can be used in many ways for treating skin irritations and skin conditions. Once an essential oil is absorbed into the bloodstream it can be very beneficial to the circulatory system.
Some oils are relaxing (lavender oil), some uplifting (lemon or orange oil) and some reviving (zesty peppermint oil). Some oils work more on the emotional level and others can affect at the physiological level. Aromatherapy is commonly used in combination with massage and is successful in increasing levels of physical and emotional comfort in patients.