influence over thoughts, emotions, moods, memories, and behaviors. Scents are
experienced long before words. Scents can have a powerful influence over how a
person thinks, feels, and behaves. Aromatherapy allows a person to bind the
olfactory power of plants for healing, or simply to enhance state of well-being.
In Complementary Therapy integrating aromatherapy into palliative care,
especially in palliative massage enables a certain “healing” that is not
merely physical, but emotional, mental and spiritual. I personally became
more and more conscious that working on these levels and integrating
aromatherapy into clinical environment has enabled to assist my patients
in improving their emotional well being.
Benefits of aromatherapy can be noted in promoting relaxation, alleviating
anxiety, reducing depression, reducing pain, reducing nausea, alleviating
physical symptoms, alleviate side effects of chemotherapy, improve sleep,
reduce stress and tension, assists in psychological distress and provide
emotional support, improves well being and quality of life and live with
altered body image. In my work, I have especially seen improvements
in patients’ emotions during sessions which bring about clarity into their
being despite deterioration.
In integrating scents into massage intervention, it is important for
therapists to adhere to basic guidelines when treating a patient with
aromatherapy. They should avoid using any pressure directly on the
area of cancer or affected area. Also, to avoid pressure work with
patients who are taking anti-oagulation medication or who have
low platelet counts. Being aware of signs and symptoms, when
deep vein thrombosis is suspected or diagnosed, massage to
the affected limb is avoided. Avoid areas of bony metastases
and stoma areas, dressings, catheters and TENS machines.
Be aware of patients with lowered immune functions,
as they are more susceptible to infections. Be aware that skin can
be sensitive and/or paper thin due to medication, treatment and
especially in the elderly.
|Subtle Aromatherapy works on the spiritual and psychiclevels of healing.
Once a patient has reached their end of life, working on the level of the
higher self helps the emotional, mental and spiritual come to terms with
the physical and so helps the patient reach acceptance and so attain
calmness, tranquility and lack of fear. With this, it is possible to
improve the quality of life of a patient holistically.
Chandrika P. Choo