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October 08, 2019

Effects of Aromatherapy on the Anxiety, Vital Signs, and Sleep Quality of Percutaneous Coronary Intervention Patients in Intensive Care Units

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of aromatherapy on the anxiety, sleep, and blood pressure (BP) of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) patients in an intensive care unit (ICU). Fifty-six patients with PCI in ICU were evenly allocated to either the aromatherapy or conventional nursing care. Aromatherapy essential oils were blended with lavender, roman chamomile, and neroli with a 6 : 2 : 0.5 ratio. … In conclusion, the aromatherapy effectively reduced the anxiety levels and increased the sleep quality of PCI patients admitted to the ICU. Aromatherapy may be used as an independent nursing intervention for reducing the anxiety levels and improving the sleep quality of PCI patients.

The first two authors (Mi. Y. Cho and E. S. Min) contributed equally. M. S. Lee was supported by the Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine (K12130)

October 08, 2019

Pain Research and Treatment

Background. Aromatherapy refers to the medicinal or therapeutic use of essential oils absorbed through the skin or olfactory system. Recent literature has examined the effectiveness of aromatherapy in treating pain. Methods. 12 studies examining the use of aromatherapy for pain management were identified through an electronic database search.

1. Introduction

Aromatherapy refers to the medicinal or therapeutic use of essential oils absorbed through the skin or olfactory system [12]. Essential oils, which are derived from plants, are used to treat illness as well as to enhance physical and psychological well-being. Although the use of distilled plant materials dates back to medieval Persia, the term “aromatherapy” was first used by Rene Maurice Gattefosse in the early 20th century. In his 1937 book, Aromatherapie, Gattefosse claimed that herbal medicine could be used to treat virtually any ailment throughout the human organ system. Today, aromatherapy is popular in the United States and around the world [2].

Although many claims have been made relating to the benefits of aromatherapy, most research has focused on its use to manage depression, anxiety, muscle tension, sleep disturbance, nausea, and pain [2]. Some studies suggest that olfactory stimulation related to aromatherapy can result in immediate reduction in pain, as well as changing physiological parameters such as pulse, blood pressure, skin temperature, and brain activity [1]. Although the benefits remain controversial, many patients and healthcare providers are attracted to aromatherapy because of its low cost and minimal side effects. Essential oils currently available for medicinal use are generally recognized as safe by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In some cases, essential oils can cause minor skin irritation at the site of use. If ingested in large amounts, essential oils can cause phototoxic reactions which can, in rare instances, be lethal [2].

Aromatherapy is most commonly applied topically, or through inhalation. When applied topically, the oil is usually added to carrier oil and used for massage. Essential oils can be inhaled through a humidifier or by soaking gauze and placing it near the patient [2]. Olfactory and tactile sensory stimulation produced by these oils can enhance ordinary human activities such as eating, social interaction, and sexual contact [3]. While more than 40 plant derivatives have been identified for therapeutic use, lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary, chamomile, and peppermint are the most frequently utilized extracts [2].

Even though aromatherapy is commonly used and has been practiced for centuries, few high quality empirical reviews have examined its effectiveness in reducing pain. A database search revealed that common end points for aromatherapy research often focus on the reduction of psychological symptoms such as depression and anxiety or seek to measure the increase of patient satisfaction. Many studies examining the use of aromatherapy in pain reduction focus on therapeutic massage rendering the isolated impact of essential oils without massage unclear. Obstetrical and gynecological pain has garnered the greatest attention when examining the efficacy of aromatherapy. To date, no meta-analysis has expressly examined the use of aromatherapy for pain reduction and management. The aim of this meta-analysis was to quantify the effectiveness of aromatherapy for pain management.

2. Methods

2.1. Literature Search Strategy

To retrieve available evidence related to the use of aromatherapy for pain management, the author conducted an electronic database search of PubMed, Science Direct, and the Cochrane Library using PRISMA and Cochrane guidelines. Each database was searched using the following MeSH terms: aromatherapy, essential oils AND pain, pain management. Articles identified in this manner were retrieved and their reference lists searched for additional relevant articles.


This study found a significant positive effect of aromatherapy in reducing pain. These results indicate that aromatherapy should be considered a safe addition to current pain management procedures as no adverse effects were reported in any of the included studies. Additionally, the cost associated with aromatherapy is far less than the cost associated with standard pain management treatment. Although the present meta-analysis indicates a large positive effect for the use of aromatherapy for pain management, the sample size is small. Given the prevalence of aromatherapy, more research is necessary to fully understand clinical applications for its use.

Aromatherapy massage appears to reduce the pain and discomfort of menstrual cramps, a 2015 study from the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology suggests. Participants did a self-massage with rose essential oil, an unscented almond oil, or no oil on the first day of menstruation for two menstrual cycles. By the second cycle, aromatherapy massage reduced the severity of pain compared to massage therapy with almond oil or no oil.1

Massage with aromatherapy may also ease menopausal symptoms. In a 2012 study published in Menopause, researchers compared 30-minute aromatherapy massage (twice a week for four weeks) to massage with plain oil or no treatment and found that both massage and aromatherapy massage were effective in reducing menopausal symptoms (with aromatherapy massage being more effective than massage only).2

Other research suggests that aromatherapy massage may not relieve symptoms in people with cancer. For a report published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2016, for instance, researchers analyzed previously published studies and concluded that "this review demonstrated no differences in effects of massage on depression, mood disturbance, psychological distress, nausea, fatigue, physical symptom distress, or quality of life when compared with no massage."3

When comparing aromatherapy massage with no massage, they found that "there was some indication of benefit in the aromatherapy-massage group but this benefit is unlikely to translate into clinical benefit."3

January 01, 2020

Oxidative stress and inflammation are among the most important factors of disease.

Chronic infections, obesity, environmental pollutants, and high-calorie diets have been recognized as major risk factors for a variety of chronic diseases from cancer to metabolic diseases.

Bharat B. Aggarwal, Sunil Krishnan, Sushovan Guh ,Oxidative Stress and Disease , July 27, 2011  by CRC Press 

January 01, 2020

 Researches on lifestyles have looked at how lifestyle can have a negative effect on the physical and emotional well-being.

Chronic diseases of lifestyle are a group of diseases that share similar risk factors as a result of exposure, over many decades, to unhealthy diets, lack of exercise and possibly stress.

 The major risk factors are high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and diabetes. These result in various disease processes culminating in high mortality rates due to strokes, heart attacks, chronic bronchitis, emphysema and many others.

January 01, 2020

Deep tissue massage is also beneficial to many of the body’s internal organs.

For instance, a study published in 2008 in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine involved 263 participants who reported muscle spasm or strain.

Each individual’s blood pressure and heart rate were assessed prior to a 45 to 60-minute deep tissue massage, as well as after.

The result was lower systolic and diastolic pressure, as well as heart rates around 10 beats less per minute.

Massage has also been found to improve lung function.

2017 study in the International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease shared how 12 patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) engaged in massage therapy one time and their residual volumes decreased while their inspiratory capacity and SpO2 increased, signally healthier functioning of the lungs.

Deep tissue massage offers more effective stress relief

When a client feels stressed out due to demands at work, home, or both, deep tissue massage can help ease this stress in a healthy manner.

This is important as unresolved stress can do major damage to mental and physical health, with an estimated 60 to 80 percent of doctor’s office visits being stress-related as noted in a 2003 study in the Journal of the National Medical Association.

Massage can also help with chronic tension headaches according to research published in the American Journal of Public Health.

This particular study involved individuals who reported experiencing two or more headaches per week for a period of six months or more, and each participant received two 30-minute massages weekly for a period of four weeks.

The results indicated that the mean number of headaches per week decreased from 6.8 to 2.0.

The mean duration decreased as well, with the average headache lasting between 2.3 and 4.3 hours, as opposed to the pre-study duration of 4.3 to 8 hours.

Seventy-five percent of the participants also reported improvement in headache intensity.


Deep tissue massage for improved social bonding

Research conducted at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) has even found that massage can help facilitate social bonding.

It does this through the touch of the massage therapy, which increases the body’s release of oxytocin, a hormone that Medical News Today reports as being “associated with empathy, trust, sexual activity, and relationship-building.”


January 01, 2020

Research on foot and hand massage findings showed that in patients there was a reduction of stress and these massages acts as a pain relief.

"Massaging the feet and hands stimulates the mechanoreceptors that activate the "nonpainful" nerve fibers, preventing pain transmission from reaching consciousness."

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