By: Deborah McKinney, Certified Aromatherapist
I had the privilege of attending the Alliance of International Aromatherapists conference held in Minneapolis, MN. Aromatherapists from across the globe attended this amazing event. Professionals from across the US, the UK, and even the island of Malta presented measurable evidenced based results that integrates aromatherapy with traditional healthcare. We saw proof that integrating aromatherapy with traditional medicine saves money, helps patients heal quicker, and results in happier patients.
Hospitals world wide use essential oils for a host of reasons including but not limited to pain management, situational depression, chemo induced nausea, wound care, insomnia, etc.
Here’s a staggering statistical fact presented by Certified Clinical Aromatherapist Jodi Baglien, “The United States prescribes 50 times more opioids than the rest of the world combined.” Yes, you read that correctly, 50 times more opioids are prescribed in the US than the world combined! But, she continues, medications like opioids can be reduced by as much as 50% because measurable case studies show that integrated aromatherapy treatments with traditional medicine works.
Clinical based evidence from around the globe shows that aromatherapy helps with a host of issues. One case study, according to Jacqui Stringer, Co-lead for the complementary therapy team at The Christie in the UK, presented a case study regarding a patient with large, pussy lesions. After months of treatment that didn’t heal the patient’s wound, they finally integrated an aromatherapy blend with the treatment and the patient had visible healing results within two weeks! He began to heal simply by adding an essential oil blend to traditional medicine.
Side Effects of Cancer
Marika Fleri, a clinical aromatherapist, reflexologist, and massage therapist, specializes in oncology and palliative care. She is the Coordinator of the National Cancer Platform Association in Malta. Her story is nothing short of inspirational. She presented clinical proof that adding aromatherapy treatments to traditional treatments results in less anxiety, less nausea, and better pain management, etc. in patients who were undergoing cancer treatments.
World Wide Evidence
This is just a sampling of what we learned. In sum, there is world wide evidence that aromatherapy integrated with traditional medicine works. But, keep in mind, these experts repeated what I always tell my clients when blending products for themselves… Less is More. Using too much essential oil in a blend doesn’t mean it’s better, in fact, it could create just the opposite effect. These experts also expressed the importance of not using too much oil in a blend and they impress upon their clients that using organic essential oils from responsibly sourced growers is necessary.
And please don’t believe everything you read on the internet. Talk to a Certified or Registered Aromatherapist for advice. I can’t express how often I’ve read well-meaning articles which actually jeopardize a person’s well being.
When choosing oils, look for things like: distillation date; shelf life; country of origin; common name and botanical name; the plant and plant part from which the oil was extracted; safety precautions; extraction methods; a Certificate of Analysis or GC/MS report.*
Red flag any oils with descriptions that say: therapeutic grade; grade A, pharmaceutical grade; medical grade, etc. These are purely marketing terms and are not regulated aromatherapy terms.*
Here is a report that may interest you: https://www.consumersadvocate.org/essential-oils.
Lobby for Better Laws
And finally, while the world embraces the holistic approach to healthcare by integrating aromatherapy with traditional medicine, the US by enlarge is slow to accept this method even though there is measurable, clinical evidence that it works. Perhaps we need to start lobbying for better laws…and perhaps we need to lobby our healthcare providers as well.
Association for Holistic Aromatherapy and Alliance of International Aromatherapists