What you should know about the benefits of aromatherapy
We recently spoke with Sarah Price, assistant patient care manager at UK Markey Cancer Center, about aromatherapy and how it can help with pain management.
What is aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is a nurse-driven intervention to provide increased comfort to foster a healing environment for patients.
It uses essential oils from plants, with the most effective tools being high quality essential oils which are derived directly from natural plants. UK HealthCare provides these oils to patients admitted to the hospital. You can also purchase essential oils in the gift shops at UK HealthCare or at grocery stores that specialize in natural and organic foods and products for use after discharge.
What are the major benefits of aromatherapy?
Non-pharmacologic, nursing driven but patient led, multiple modes of administration, many complaints can be addressed with current list of approved oils.
If someone who's never tried aromatherapy is considering it, what should they know about the practice?
Aromatherapy is a great way to help improve many common complaints that patients experience in the hospital. It is often something that the patients can control usage of and is non-invasive. It is something that we think everyone should try at least once.
What issues/conditions can be treated most effectively with aromatherapy?
Nausea, pain, stress/anxiety, depressive symptoms, sleep issues, respiratory and immune health.
How can aromatherapy help with pain management?
We find that when used in combination with other treatments or by itself, aromatherapy can provide comfort to those with chronic and acute pain.
What aromatherapy services does UK HealthCare offer?
We provide inhalation and topical application of peppermint, lavender, ginger, eucalyptus, and sweet orange oils for many common complaints.
Is there anything else you'd like people to know about aromatherapy?
This is just another great example of a nurse-led initiative that is offered to promote autonomy and nurse-driven patient care. We have a lot of success with aromatherapy in the oncology population and have led the way in its usage throughout UK HealthCare. Many times, these patients are managing a complex list of issues and aromatherapy is a great way to help foster a healing environment while in the hospital and out.
To learn more about UK HealthCare aromatherapy services call the UK Markey Cancer Center at 859-323-4325 or visit our Integrative Medicine and Health webpage.