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  1. 1. Considering Aromatherapy
  2. 2. Aromatherapy Defined  Aromatherapy is the practice of using the natural oils extracted from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant to enhance psychological and physical wellbeing.  The inhaled aroma from these "essential" oils is widely believed to stimulate brain function. Essential oils can also be absorbed through the skin, where they travel through the bloodstream and can promote whole-body healing. A form of alternative medicine, aromatherapy is gaining momentum. It is used for a variety of applications, including pain relief, mood enhancement and increased cognitive function.
  3. 3. Looking back…..
  4. 4. Back to basics
  5. 5. Aromatherapy explained:    According to Jane Sorensen, PhD, OTR, ND, there is a distinct difference between using straight aromatic scents for therapy and using fragrances to embellish products such as lotions and soaps. Sorensen, who uses aromatherapy as a natural alternative in her private practice, explained that pure, distilled essential oils are necessary for aromatic therapy, and that mixing the oils with other products can make the fragrance "linger too long" for it to be effective. "This doesn't mean you can't put [the oils] in things," she assured crafters who enjoy adding essential oils to homemade soaps and candles. "But you are just making things smell good; it's not true aromatic therapy, and isn't necessarily going to change a mood." Sorensen explained that when fragrances are used therapeutically, the smell goes straight to the emotional center of the brain through the olfactory system. "It goes to a sensory area and runs into the limbic system, which is your emotional core," she said. "It's a double whammy–you are smelling something and at the same time also hitting off of a really primitive part of your nervous system."
  6. 6. Effects and ways oils are used     1) stimulating: to invigorate the body and raise the spirits 2) sedative: to relax and calm the body and mind 3) regulating: to regulate the main bodily functions 4) euphoric: to uplift emotions  • massage: Oils penetrate the skin and are absorbed into the body fluids and bloodstream to work internally  • aroma alone: Believed to have the quickest beneficial effect, as smell has been shown to have an immediate effect on the brain, almost instantly releasing desired hormones  • inhalation: Helps clear the head, again working on the brain  • adding to baths: Working at two levels, by inhalation and by absorption into the skin by use of skin products, compresses etc
  7. 7. Studies in using AROMATHERAPY Nurses – have piloted the use of aromatherapy in numerous hospitals in the US to promote relaxation and stress reduction > aromatherapy as a complementary treatment for chronic pain > management of acute pain – more research will be needed since only a small sample size showed favourable result.  Midwives - mothers in labor. aromatherapy can be effective in reducing maternal anxiety, fear and/or pain during labor.  older adults with physical health problems and sitters said they benefited from the aromatherapy and felt more relaxed after a session. 
  8. 8.  Smokers - sniffing either a pleasant or unpleasant odor reduced the urge to smoke. Coronary care unit patients - effects of aromatherapy on the patient outcomes of anxiety and sleep quality (hypothesis though was not proven).  Severely demented patients - essential aromatherapy oils can promote sleep, reduce dependence on hypnotic medication in demented patients and promote a restful night. 
  9. 9.  Young adults and professionals – helpful in stress reduction
  10. 10. IN Occupational therapy  Nicole Knoll, OTS; and Brynn Borer, OTS of the Minessota Occupational Therapy Association believes in Aromatherapy as an Effective Therapeutic Modality Used in Collaboration with Occupational Therapy Intervention  - Occupational therapists frequently encounter clients who experience adverse psychosocial symptoms secondary to diagnoses or injury. Adverse psychosocial symptoms such as depression and anxiety negatively affect occupational performance, as occupational therapy works to maximize a client’s optimal level of independent function.
  11. 11.  Data indicated there were several essential oils that can be used through multiple modes of administration, in a variety of contexts as a means to reduce adverse psychosocial symptoms. Evidence supports that inhalation or diffusion of essential oils may be an effective preparatory method to be used in accordance with occupational therapy as a means to reduce adverse psychosocial symptoms and increase occupational performance.
  12. 12. Aromatherapy in Occupational Therapy  the application of essential oils to promote health and well-being through massage, inhalation, baths, compresses, creams, and lotions.       (1) reduce stress (2) invigorate and promote activity and alertness (3) stimulate sensory awareness (4) facilitate interaction and communication (5) treat medical problems (6) provide pain relief.
  13. 13. Researches made by Occupational therapists   Learning disabilities provide sensory stimulation and to help develop communication by providing an environment of trust. ADHD – calming effect and helps in relaxation.    Autism effects on sleep ( study showed no beneficial effects on sleep). to increase shared attention behaviours (increased during aromatherapy and that other aspects of their behaviour also changed over the course of the research.)
  14. 14. Aromatherapy used: Peppermint essential oil is a neurostimulator, and helps with concentration  Roman chamomile essential oil has a calming effect and works well with hypersensitivity and aggression. It is particularly useful in preventing tantrums and in easing transitions.  Sandalwood essential oil is another oil that can be used for obsessive and aggressive behaviors but it is also known for helping with emotional traumas. For tactile defensive patients massaging lotion with this aroma will be beneficial
  15. 15.  Eucalyptus: Stimula ting and clears nasal & bronchial passages allowing for deeper respiration.  Neroli essential oil is known to be a very calming oil and is recommended for obsessive behaviors.
  16. 16.  Aromatherapy is one of the fastest growing yet one of the most misunderstood complementary therapies used today. Thus causing debates in most professionals some professionals are convinced with the effects and are willing to accept the modality as a part of a holistic approach to their practice however some are apprehensive and thinks that it is an issue that needs further studies and research.   For occupational therapists or other health care professionals interested in becoming certified it is necessary to attend a certification course. The course complies with the guidelines laid down by NAHA (The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy)
  17. 17. Thank You for Listening and Smelling!