Aromatherapy is a complementary therapy that uses essential oils that may help to improve both physical and emotional wellbeing.
Essential oils are made from essences found in the flowers, leaves, roots, peel, resin, seeds and bark of some plants. Examples of aromatherapy oils include:
· citrus oils like lemon and grapefruit
· tea tree
Read more about essential oils and where you can buy them.
Some research suggests aromatherapy can boost and enhance wellbeing, with its relaxing and stimulating effects.
Aromatherapy benefits are reported to be wide-ranging and it’s used to help a variety of symptoms and conditions. Aromatherapy is sometimes used by people with long-lasting pain, anxiety, depression and poor sleep. Some people also use aromatherapy for feeling sick after surgery, and in cancer and dementia care.
In general, aromatherapy appears to be safe if you use the oils in the right way. Essential oils are highly concentrated, powerful liquids.
Please read the following advice to help ensure that you use essential oils safely and effectively.
- Essential oils are flammable liquids. Keep products away from plastics, polished surfaces and all naked flames or sources of ignition.
- Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
- If you have a medical condition and are taking any medication or undergoing any type of medical treatment you should check with your doctor, pharmacist and a qualified aromatherapist to ensure that it is safe to use aromatherapy in conjunction with your prescribed treatment.
- Certain essential oils should be avoided during pregnancy. Please seek professional advice prior to using aromatherapy whilst pregnant.
- Always consult a qualified aromatherapist before using essential oils with babies and children.
- Never take essential oils orally and avoid all contact with the mouth area and eyes.
- Essential oils should never be applied undiluted to the skin as they can cause irritation
- Certain essential oils (i.e. spices) can cause skin irritation for people with sensitive skin. If you have sensitive skin we recommend performing a small patch test prior to using any new oil or product.
- A few essential oils such as Bergamot and other citrus oils are phototoxic which means they can cause skin sensitisation and skin discolouration in bright sunlight. These oils should not be applied to the skin before direct exposure to sunlight.
You can discuss safety issues related to the use of essential oils with our aromatherapy team on 020 8102 5000.
Using essential oils:
- may help to lift mood and relax the mind, particularly when combined with a restful activity, such as self-massage, listening to music/podcast/ audiobook, reading or writing, a creative activity – or simply napping
- may help to improve energy, concentration, mental focus
- may help to ease nervous tension/restlessness, i.e. headaches
- may help to improve poor sleep, ease fatigue
- may help to improve breathing, ease congestion
- may help to ease nausea, sickness
- may help to distract from pain, ease muscular stiffness/tension
ONE drop of chosen essential oil added to 1x teaspoon of plain, unscented lotion or oil (ie: coconut, olive, grapeseed or sweet almond). The mixture can be applied to local areas, such as back of neck, upper chest and small amount to temples, lower legs, feet.
Add ONE drop of essential oil to a tissue or cotton wool ball, gently inhale when needed. You can place inside a pillow case if looking for relaxation, creating calming mood, before rest/bed time; or keep the tissue/cotton ball in a pocket, or near a table to release the scent for a short time. Do not allow the tissue/cotton ball to come into direct contact with the nose/skin.
If you have an electric/Ionic diffuser or one of the ceramic tea light burners, you can safely diffuse essential oils into the air for a specific time. This not only fragrances the room, but allows you to passively experience the fragrance and the benefit of the essential oils. Add 3-6 drops to the diffuser or as per instructions.
It is advised not to have the oils diffusing continuously, for maximum benefit, diffuse on 30 minute cycle to avoid overstimulation or sensitivity. Or just a specific time, i.e. 30 minutes before bed, or 30 minutes to refresh/energise in the morning.
Do not allow the water to dry out
Combining essential oils
You can choose to use ONE essential oil, or if diffusing combine TWO for balancing, personalised effect.
If combining oils, do not exceed the number of recommended drops, so if a maximum of 6 added to a diffuser this could be 2 drops of Peppermint and 4 drops Frankincense.
To see examples of electric aroma-diffusers click on the following links:
Mention of third party products, services, companies and websites on any part of the Pembridge Hospice website is for informational purposes only and constitutes neither an endorsement nor a recommendation.