Today, I gave an hour's presentation on various complementary therapies that we use in hospice to 60 graduate nurses. Although I quoted several double-blind placebo-controlled studies on aromatherapy and its effectiveness, I guess some people refuse to hear you unless they have the piece of paper in hand. The majority of the evaluations loved the presentation but one young man wrote that "testimonials don't convince me." I guess his hearing went out when I talked about the studies. I'd like to say he's the loser here, but truthfully, that comment bothers me. He'll go out and into practice in a clinical setting and totally disregard many wonderful therapies that could help his patients and their families.
Tis the season. Everyone at work seems to be getting the flu so I offered to make hand sanitizers for the staff and they liked the idea. I'm using an aloe vera gel with no alcohol and putting in essential oils of Rosemary cineole, Lemon, Scotch Pine and Tea Tree. Hope it's not too late.
I received an email from someone in hospice who said she wants to start a complementary therapy program with essential oils in the form of "sensory kits" for their dementia patients. The question was if it wasn't safe to use familiar aromas like lemon, peppermint and vanilla because they would be given out by volunteers, would it work just as well to use "kitchen flavorings." I'm assuming that means extracts. Hmmm. I didn't know much about the production of extracts so I looked it up and it seems they're solvent extracted and most, if not all, contain an alcohol content of somewhere around 2-3%. I'm pretty sure that would change the chemical struture of the product so I guess it all depends on what they're looking for, right?
I was in Austin, Texas over the weekend and made it a point to stop in at a store that was advertised online as being an aromatherapy store. NOT! I got the distinct impression that the new owner (so identified by the clerk I talked to) was interested in taking her business in a new direction but sure didn't want to lose a single dime in the process. She had two shelves with bottles of essential oils - all opened from what I could tell - and they weren't samples; they were for sale. She even volunteered that most of them were about 7 years old. Now there's a great selling point, right? Needless to say, I didn't purchase anything.
Yes, I'm working on a special for Valentine's Day but it will only be available for one day so check back on February 1st. I'm contemplating several different ideas because, if I'm only making it available for one day, I want it to be a really good offer - what do you think? 25% off? 50% off?
You know, most of the time, I actually like getting older but once in awhile, the body does some pretty funky things that not only leave me scratching my head, but in a bit of discomfort. Don't ask me how, but I managed to strain the muscles along the right side of my back and boy did that make my yoga class this morning challenging. I came home and slathered on a back remedy I made for myself some time ago and although it's still sore, it's no longer grabbing every time I stand or turn. The butter contains Shea Butter, Evening Primrose Oil and essential oils of Rosemary ct. verbenone, Peppermint, Nutmeg, Lavender and German Chamomile.
Looking for something to help with dry winter-weathered skin? I made a nice mixture for myself that I thought I'd share: In 1oz of coconut oil, 1/4 teaspoon of Evening Primrose Oil and 1/4 teaspoon of Tamanu Oil, add 15 drops of Lavender (I like High Altitude), 5 drops Helichrysum, 3 drops Sandalwood (I use sustainable Vanuatu) and 1 drop of German Chamomile. Smells lovely as well as helping with roughness and dryness.
It's sometimes not so easy, especially when working with medical personnel, to stand your ground and root for something you believe in but I was proud of myself for doing that today. The discussion centered around a COPD patient. When the nurse listed 4 separate essential oil cremes he was using, I piped up and told her we could easily make him an inhaler stick that he could open and sniff whenever he felt the need and it would get into his system faster than the cremes. She seemed hesitant and deferred to the doctor whose response was, "I'd need to see the carrier mechanism." I asked him what he meant by that and he explained he needed to see what was used to make it an aerosol. That's when I got the chance to explain that it's not an aerosol at all. He asked to see an example and after thoroughly checking it out he decided it could be used for his patient. I love having aromatherapy validated like that!
Today I gave a webinar presentation to about 135 sites around the country on Aromatherapy Protocols for End-of-Life Care. I find webinars nerve-wracking because you have no way to judge how you're doing, whether you need to hurry through one subject or spend more time, if your audience is captivated or bored to tears. I could only judge by the fact that we got lots of questions online during the Q&A at the end and I've already received a couple of emails from participants asking additional questions and saying they enjoyed it and it stimulated lots of interest in the use of essential oils for patient care. Fabulous!
The Integrative Medicine pamphlet, which publishes the results of clinical research on all sorts of integrative medicine issues, has an article in the current issue on whether or not African Geranium (not Pelargonium graveolens) was effective in treating bronchitis in three separate age groups, from children (1-8) to the middle years to young teenagers. The results were very positive and have me wanting to see if my supplier carries this essential oil so I can compare it in smell and efficacy to my usual bronchitis and respiratory EO's.
One advantage of working in hospice is that I get to play with all the therapy dogs. This is Asher, a Corgi.