Aromatherapy is a kind of alternative medicine that uses essential oils from plants to encourage and balance one’s mood, cognitive, emotional and physical wellbeing. Aromatherapists utilize combinations of therapeutic essential oils which may be issued through topical application, massage, inhalation or water purification to stimulate a desired reaction.
Essential oils are the fundamental materials of aromatherapy. They are made from fragrant essences found in several plants especially the leaves, bark, root, flowers, berries, wood, seeds or peel. When essences are extracted from plants in natural ways, they become essential oils. They may be distilled with steam or water, or automatically pressed. Oils which are created with chemical processes aren’t considered true essential oils.
Each oil contains its own mix of active ingredients, and this mixture determines exactly what the oil is used for. Some oils are utilised to promote physical healing — for instance, to treat swelling or bacterial infections. Others are used for their emotional value — they may enhance comfort or make a room smell pleasant. Orange blossom oil, as an instance, contains a lot of an active ingredient that’s believed to be calming.
Each kind of essential oil has a different chemical makeup which impacts how it smells, how it’s absorbed, and how it’s used by the body. Essential oils are extremely volatile and extremely flammable so they should not be used near an open flame. They also vanish quickly when they’re exposed to open air. Some essential oils used in aromatherapy could be: chamomile, geranium, lavender, tea tree, lemon, cedarwood, peppermint, jasmine, bergamot, and coconut.
The use of essential oils for healing, spiritual, hygienic and ritualistic purposes goes back to several ancient cultures such as the Chinese, Native Americans, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans who employed them in makeup, perfumes and drugs.
Aromatherapy, Massage Therapy and Cancer
Aromatherapy is rarely suggested as a remedy for cancer, but instead as a sort of supportive care to manage symptoms of cancer or side effects of cancer therapy. More recently aromatherapy has been used by patients with cancer in hopes of enhancing quality of life and reducing stress and anxiety. Aromatherapy may be combined with other complementary therapies like massage therapy and acupuncture, as well as with regular treatments.
Safety testing on essential oils reveals very few bad side effects or dangers when they are used as directed. However, but very rarely occasionally aromatherapy might cause a rash, asthma, or a headache.
Now we have a fundamental understanding of aromatherapy, let us check out this research. Patients with colorectal cancer were enrolled in a single-blind, randomized-controlled trial. The treatment program for a single group consisted of three mild massage sessions with coconut and ginger oil over a 1 week interval. The other (control) group received standard supportive care only.
The main finding was that lymphocyte (white cell) count was significantly greater in the treatment group than in the control group. The size of the difference suggested that aromatherapy with massage can boost lymphocyte numbers by 11%. The secondary results were that exhaustion, stress and pain were significantly lower in the massage group than in the standard care control group.
Aromatherapy with mild massage can be helpful for the immune systems of cancer patients that are undergoing chemotherapy by increasing the amount of lymphocytes and can help reduce the intensity of common symptoms.