Our article on using Aromatherapy in Outpatient Oncology was recently got published in the International Journal of Professional Holistic Aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy and the use of essential oils are becoming very popular especially in the cancer population. Many centers and hospitals are using essential oils as a supportive therapy for symptoms such as anxiety, fatigue and sleep concerns. An alarming discovery is that patients and hospital staff are using essential oils without realizing how potent these can be and their potential interaction with medications. In addition, we found that many organizations provided little to no education for their staff.
So, the purpose of our article was to share the process for the development and implementation of an aromatherapy program in a cancer center which can be applied to other clinical areas. This program was created to support the management of the stress response in patients with a cancer diagnosis. Research shows that stress can create greater detriment to the body, causing more anxiety and pain.
Most clinical aromatherapy programs use inhalation and diffusion methods. Watch this BizTV Shows video on the proper use of diffusers. We use inhalation as the delivery method as it is easy and fast to give benefits of relaxation and stress management.
The primary essential oils that we use are Lavender for relaxation; Peppermint for energy; Orange for calming, and Lemon for uplifting. We place a drop or 2 on a tissue and have the patient inhale for a fast and effective way to bring calm and balance.
We have developed a policy to have safe, clear standards for how to use the essential oils.
Our education included classroom instruction on the policy, how to deliver the essential oil along with uses and safety considerations for each oil. This has been well received and the staff are more comfortable providing the supportive therapy.
Here is the link for the full article. If you wish to learn more or have questions, please contact me at my website.