Aromatherapy is a useful tool for hospice care providers, and can help relieve tension and provide comfort to patients. Read on to learn how Samaritan Hospice uses aromatherapy and how it benefits patients.
Aromatherapy, also referred to as essential oil therapy, can be defined as the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize, and promote the health of body, mind, and spirit. It seeks to unify physiological, psychological, and spiritual processes to enhance an individual’s innate healing process. (www.naha.org)
The use of essential oils for therapeutic purposes goes back to a number of ancient civilizations including the Chinese, Indians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans who used them in cosmetics, perfumes, and drugs.
There are a few types of aromatherapy applications. However, Samaritan Hospice uses a method called aerial diffusion which allows the fragrance to diffuse into the environment through a sachet or small perfumed bag. The two primary oils used are lavender oil and orange oil.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) has a fresh, sweet, floral, herbaceous aroma that is soothing and refreshing. Lavender is used for restlessness, insomnia, nervousness, and depression. It is also used for a variety of digestive complaints including meteorism (abdominal swelling from gas in the intestinal or peritoneal cavity), loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, intestinal gas (flatulence), and upset stomach. (www.webmd.com)
Orange (Citrus sinensis) essential oil has a rich, fruity scent that lifts the spirit while providing a calming influence on the body. Orange brings peace and happiness to the mind. Orange oil is used to relieve spasm, stimulate digestion, combat tumors, stop blood from clotting, and relieve depression.
“It was all the little special things you did for him that I appreciate so much.”
– Patricia B.
Though not required or covered by Medicare, Medicaid and many private insurers, Samaritan’s hospice aromatherapy services are made possible through generous donations to Samaritan. It’s one of the many services that sets Samaritan apart from other hospice service providers.