Service Spotlight: Aromatherapy

Oct 11, 2022 | About Us, Integrative Therapies, News

Aromatherapy is an ancient practice that uses essential oils to treat maladies and symptoms, as well as support overall well-being. 

It is also one of the integrative services offered free of charge to patients at Hospice of the Northwest, thanks to generous community support through the Hospice of the Northwest Foundation.

The process of the end-of-life journey can cause pain and discomfort. For many different reasons, patients often want to try alternative methods of symptom management for increased comfort or relaxation. In many cases, aromatherapy has been proven effective in helping manage symptoms caused by life-limiting illness and side-effects of medication.

“Aromatherapy is a safe way to provide comfort and support wellbeing in our patients,” says Dr. Leslie Estep, MD. “We are so glad to be able to offer it.”

Getting Started

Your loved one’s care team may recommend aromatherapy as a safe and effective way to provide comfort care. If recommended, you will meet with our aromatherapist for a consultation to discuss symptoms and/or chronic conditions you would like support with, in order to determine which aromatherapies would be most effective. 

After your consultation, your loved one will receive a customized aromatherapy treatment plan to address their personal needs and conditions, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Nausea
  • Muscle Tension
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • And more

Essential oils used in aromatherapy can be administered in several different ways (or combined together), including:

  • Massage. Oils can be blended together and used by caregivers or licensed massage therapists during their visits.
  • Diffuser. Oils are dropped in water and the diffuser disperses them into the air.
  • Steam Inhalation. Oils are dropped into steaming water and the patient places a towel over their head and hovers over the steam.
  • Rollerball. Oils are put into a small vile that has a rolling ball attached, allowing the oils to be rubbed onto specific areas of the body.
  • Aromatic Spray/Spritz: Oils are used to create sprays as a gentle way to freshen up a small space, improve the energy, and/or invoke a sense of calm.
  • Foot Soak. A relaxing way to get the benefits of essential oils through the feet. Combined with a light salt scrub, it can stimulate circulation, and reduce conditions like edema (swelling).

Find out more about aromatherapy and other integrative services offered by Hospice of the Northwest.

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