How does aromatherapy work?
At CHOC, aromatherapy is offered among our integrative health services. Our licensed traditional Chinese medicine practitioner performs aromatherapy in private patient rooms to help patients and their families feel better. We use essential oils that have been approved for safety and are a standard of care. Different oils are selected for specific symptom management, including:
- Pain: lavender, sweet orange, peppermint
- Insomnia: sweet orange, lavender
- Worries/Anxiety: lavender, sweet orange
- Fatigue: lemon, peppermint.
The oils are dripped lightly onto a cotton ball for a patient to hold to his or her nose. The scents also disperse into the air and benefit a patient’s family if they are in the room. Evidence suggests that when a person breathes in fragrant air, the odor-sensing nerves in the nose are stimulated, sending impulses to the limbic system of the brain.