Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils, extracted from plants, to help mental, emotional and physical well being. Essential oils, known as nature’s living energy, are the natural, aromatic volatile liquids found in trees, flowers, bushes and roots. While essential oils often have a pleasant aroma, their chemical makeup is complex and their benefits vast-which makes them much more than something that simply smells good.

The use of essential oils can be dated far back in Greek and Roman history. Frankincense and myrrh were two of the herbal gifts that the Three Wisemen brought to Jesus when he was born. In fact,  these oils are still widely used today. There are various ways to use essential oils. Massage is probably the most popular, but you can also purchase a diffuser which will disperse the oils into the air and have great benefits.

Some oils can help with pain, while others will promote relaxation and aid in sleep and digestion. I believe essential oils can complement traditional therapies and that the two can work well together. 

How do these amazing oils work? Smell is the only sense in which the receptor nerve endings are in direct contact with the outside world. The aromatherapy goes straight to the limbic area of the  brain through the olfactory system (sense of smell.) The limbic part of the brain  is considered to be the emotional seat of the brain which is why people respond to certain scents. Some oils may be stimulating, while others may have relaxing properties. Each one is unique.

I absolutely love these oils as they are gifts from Mother Earth. They are natural, pure and very powerful and I would recommend doing some reading or consulting before using them. I believe once again that it is important to share any complementary therapies with your medical team. You may want the expertise of a holistic doctor or nurse who specializes in essential oils too. Visit the internet and google cancer and aromatherapy. There will be plenty or information to assist you. www.younglivingoils.com is where I purchase my oils. They are the highest grade products on the market. 

Oils can help with stress, sleeplessness and depression. They can indirectly help bolster the immune system and aid in anxiety. In a way it is a wonderful treat for yourself to help you heal on an emotional and mental level. Quite crucial, I think when you are experiencing cancer and all that comes with it.

Pan Away is noted to be good for patients with multiple myeloma who may be experiencing a lot of pain. Rub directly on area of concern. Just a drop or two is all that is needed.

Peppermint aids in digestion so it is good for nausea. Putting a drop or two on a tissue and breathing the oil in before chemotherapy may be very helpful. I have seen it work with my own patients prior to their treatments. Peppermint oil can also assist with headaches and depression as both are side effects of treatments or the cancer itself. 

Lavender is one of the most popular and beneficial oils of all. It supports breast health, is a tissue regenerator, helps the lymphatic system and is very calming. I rub a few drops on bottom of my feet before bedtime. I also rub it on my breasts and under armpits which is part of the lymphatic system. One or two drops will do.

A friend of mine combines lavender and frankincense for breast wellness. She lets one or two drops of frankincense and one drop of lavender fall into the palm of her hand, she rubs them gently together and then rubs that all over her breasts/chest/armpit areaIf you google Dr. H.K. Lin and frankincense you will come across articles on his studies of Sacred Frankincense and Breast Cancer. It is believed to help return DNA to a healthy state. This oil also contains boswellic acid which is a potent antiinflammatory agent against rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis, another potential disease and by product of cancer treatments.

One drop of ginger in warm water may aid in nausea/digestion and may also be used to enhance flavor of food. Very important if ones appetite is lacking.

Thieves eliminates airborne bacteria and boosts immune system. Rub a drop or two on bottoms of feet. If you find that your skin is sensitive to a particular oil you can mix it with half a tablespoon to a tablespoon of a scentless organic vegetable oil such as safflower or sunflower. Your skin will let you know. Remember… your body “KNOWS” best. Listen to it!!!

A fabulous book on essential oils is called “The Reference Guide for Essential Oils” by Connie and Alan Higley. Anything you could want to know will be found here. It is a great resource. Another one is “Complete Book of Essential oils and Aromatherapy” by Valerie Ann Worwood. Essential oils are so popular today that you can buy them in most health food stores and some supermarkets. It is advisable to buy from those who have the expertise and knowledge to guide you and to make sure that the oils are of the best quality. That is why I do recommend Young Living Oils. Lots of product information available too.

I have been using oils for well over ten years now and they have without a doubt been some of the most beneficial plant extracts I have ever used. Lavender was for sure my “best friend” and helped me through some emotionally challenging times especially post surgery and radiation. Whether it was sleep, anxiety,or depression, this  therapy worked without any side effects. That was a plus!!!! Thieves and peppermint, I loved too. So many uplifting and soothing benefits to them all. 

P.S    A few drops of lavender in your bath water is so relaxing to your mind and your muscles. Take time to treat yourself to this. Take a break from the the world of medicine and cancer. Your mind and body will thank you for it. You are worthy of it all……Self care, nurturing and loving you. It will indeed help you heal.

© Patricia Bateson 2018
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