Archive for November, 2012

Aromatherapy with Hydrotherapy for Skin Care

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

When aromatherapy and hydrotherapy come together for skin care, to improve the condition and appearance of your complexion, results can be profound. Each one is a respected and effective modality on its own, and together, they can be a most valuable beauty aid.

Aromatherapy uses essential oils that have properties that can rejuvenate your skin, soothe irritations, reduce inflammation, promote wound healing, stimulate circulation, and fight a broad spectrum of infections (bacteria, fungi, viruses). It also offers psychological benefits, and can promote positive emotional states such as optimism, and reducing negative ones such as anxiety.

Hydrotherapy, considered the oldest natural form of medicine, uses water in its varied forms (liquid, ice, steam) and varied temperatures to cleanse, hydrate, refresh, and condition your skin.

Aromatherapy and hydrotherapy can be combined for skin care in a variety of ways, but there are three techniques that are especially beneficial for your complexion: 1) facial compressing, 2) misting, and 3) steaming. They can be used on a regular basis to keep your skin clean, refreshed, hydrated, and in beautiful condition.

The following list provides some suggested essential oils per skin type. (This is not an all-inclusive list but proposes popular and effective essential oils for skin care.) Also recommended is the E3 Skin Care Blend synergy, which can be used by all skin types and in each technique.

Normal skin:  Rose, Neroli, Lavender, Frankincense, Geranium, Sandalwood, German Chamomile, Ylang Ylang, E3 Skin Care Blend

Oily skin:  Lavender, Geranium, Neroli, E3 Skin Care Blend

Dry skin:  Rose, Frankincense, Sandalwood, German Chamomile, E3 Skin Care Blend

Sensitive skin:  Rose, Frankincense, Sandalwood, German Chamomile, E3 Skin Care Blend

Blemished skin:  Lavender, German Chamomile, E3 Skin Care Blend

Mature skin:  Rose, Neroli, Lavender, Frankincense, Sandalwood, German Chamomile, E3 Skin Care Blend

Aromatherapy Facial Compressing

Aromatherapy compressing consists of a cloth that is immersed in water into which a few drops of essential oils have been added and stirred. The cloth is wrung slightly and then applied to your face and upper chest (décolleté). Using aromatherapy compresses in your skin care routine cleanses, hydrates, and conditions your skin.

When you are choosing the water temperature, remember that cool water tightens, slows down sebaceous (oil) and sudoriferus (perspiration) glandular activity, decreases circulation, and calms inflammation. Warm water relaxes the tissues, encourages glandular activity, and increases circulation. Extreme temperatures, either very hot or very cold, are not recommended.

Aromatherapy compresses can be used any time of day, as needed or desired, but they are well used during your evening facial cleansing routine before you go to bed. They not only help to cleanse but they also help to soften fine lines and wrinkles when used regularly because they hydrate the skin. (Did you know that losing moisture in the skin is one of the causes of wrinkles?) Compressing is also psychologically comforting and relaxing, making it a great way to end your day.

How to compress: Fill your basin with water (choose your temperature) and add 4 drops of essential oil or blend of essential oils. Agitate the water to mix well. Dip in a clean, cotton washcloth, wring slightly, lean over the basin, and hold the cloth to your face (with your eyes closed) for about 15 seconds. Breathe in the wonderful aroma. Repeat this, applying five to ten compresses. Then cleanse your face with your facial cleanser, if needed. If your face is already clean, there is no need to cleanse again. (Do NOT use soap.)

To finish, splash your face with a little cool water, once or twice. The warm and cool applications of water have a combined effect that stimulates and strengthens circulation and tones the skin tissues.

Normal skin:  Cool or warm compresses.

Oily skin:  Cool to slightly warm compresses.

Dry skin:  Warm compresses.

Sensitive skin:  Tepid or warm compresses.

Blemished skin:  Cool to slightly warm compresses.

Mature skin:  Warm compresses.

Aromatherapy Face and Body Misting

Aromatherapy face and body misting is used to refresh, hydrate, and condition your skin. It is best to use misting on skin that has a moisturizer on it. Moisturizers usually contain a humectant—an ingredient that holds moisture. The mister helps to re-hydrate your moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated and protected. It is especially important to mist your skin in dry climates, air-conditioned rooms, and airplanes—places where there is little moisture in the air.

To make your own mister, add 4 drops of essential oil or synergy in 4 ounces of water in a misting bottle. Find a mister bottle with the finest possible mist. (If flying, simply use a two-ounce misting bottle with two drops of essential.) Shake well before each use and do not get the mist into your eyes. When you mist your skin, allow the mist fall gently on the surface, like dew.

Misters can be used conveniently throughout the day and, if used lightly, will not disturb your make-up. Place one wherever you spend time, such as at your desk or in your car. Take one with you when you travel. When the weather is warm, misting your neck, arms, legs, and shoulders can prevent you from feeling ‘wilted’ in the heat, and if you spend time in the sun (with a moisturizing sunscreen, of course), misting will keep your skin cool and hydrated.

Aromatherapy Facial Steaming

Steam is the gaseous state of water that results from heating it to a high temperature. Facial steaming serves a number of purposes for skin care. The warm, moist heat adds moisture, temporarily softening fine lines and wrinkles. It increases circulation, thereby, increasing the oxygen and nutrient supply to the tissues. Steaming also improves cellular and glandular metabolism. It encourages the pores to clean from within, eliminating toxins, and it softens dead surface skin cells as well as oil, make-up, and dirt residue so that it can be more effectively cleansed. Essential oils, added to the steam, can aid these processes.

Aromatherapy facial steaming is appropriate for most types of skin and can be used on a regular basis. Facial steamers are available at a variety of stores and on the Internet. (The face-over-the-pot method is not recommended because the steam output is not consistent or continual.) Add essential oils according to the manufacturers instructions.

If for any reason the steamer does not allow the addition of essential oils, simply apply them to your clean face before steaming. To do this: mix together 1 drop of essential oil in 1 teaspoon of natural, fragrance-free lotion and gently apply to your face. (You may not need the entire teaspoon to cover your face.) Then steam the appropriate amount of time.

For all skin types, prior to steaming, clean your skin of make-up, protect the skin around your eyes with a moisturizing eye cream, and protect your lips with a lip balm. If there is an area with broken capillaries, it should also be protected with a moisturizer, and in this case, steaming should be done at a distance (reduced heat) and for only a short period of time.

After you have steamed your face, rinse with warm water. If the steaming has softened and loosened a lot of debris, you may want to cleanse your face again with your facial cleanser. Then, splash with cool water and pat dry.

Steaming time and frequency depends on your skin type and what the manufacturer recommends. The suggestions below may need to be adjusted based on the manufacturer’s instructions.

Normal skin:    Steam once a week for about 5 minutes.

Oily skin:  Steam once a week for about 5 minutes.

Dry skin:  Frequent steaming is not appropriate. However, once or twice a month will help to hydrate your skin. Steam only for 2-5 minutes, at enough distance from the steam source that it does not feel hot.

Sensitive skin:  Frequent steaming is not appropriate. However, once or twice a month will help to hydrate your skin. Steam only for 2-3 minutes, at enough distance from the steam source that it does not feel hot.

Blemished skin:  Steam once or twice a week for about 5 minutes to encourage the skin to self-cleanse and to unclog pores. The steam should be warm and gentle— not too hot.

Mature skin:  Frequent steaming is not appropriate. However, once or twice a month will help to hydrate your skin. Steam only for 3-5 minutes, at enough distance from the steam source that it does not feel hot.

Joni Keim has worked in the alternative health field for over 25 years as an author, educator, and consultant. She has certificates in aromatherapy, wholistic health sciences, nutrition, massage, and aesthetics. Joni has authored 6 books—4 on aromatherapy and 2 on natural skin care. She currently has a consulting practice that specializes in creating proprietary aromatherapy blends, designing guidelines for self-care remedies and natural products, and integrating alternative modalities into lifestyle and wellness programs.

Transitioning into the Fall Season with Essential Oils

Friday, November 16th, 2012


Fall Routines – Back to School & Work
Concentration:
Are you or your child having difficulty focusing at school or work? E3 Concentrate roll-on is a perfect study/work partner. Easy to carry in backpack or purse and safely diluted in fractionated coconut oil so that it is ready to use. Roll on wrists or chest, this essential oil blend helps to uplift our mood, clear the minds and helps to focus on the task at hand

Anxiety:
Sometimes with the change of season comes a shift in routine and new activities; which may create a bit of anxiety for both children and adults. E3 Child Harmony and Transition Blend, the essential oils chosen for these blends gently sooth frazzled nerves to ease anxiety and nervous tension; supporting us to move through changes in a more balanced and calm state of being. As a Roll-On rub on chest and/or pulse points, with a 10ml diffuse or spritz the synergy blends at home to create a peaceful home environment.

Immune Support:
Colds and flu seem to increase with the fall season; enclosed spaces with less fresh air ventilation and kids in school all promote the spread of germs. Ravensara and Eucalyptus Smithii are great immune boosting essential oils to use for the whole family. Ravensara is antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, expectorant and Eucalyptus Smithii is analgesic, anticatarrhal, anti-infectious, antiviral, decongestant, and expectorant.

Chest Rub: Mix 5-15 drops of essential oil in 1 tablespoon of carrier oil or e3 all natural lotion. Apply to upper chest and upper back.

Inhalation: Put 1-3 drops of essential oil on a tissue and inhale the aroma through your nose. Pause and inhale again. (Avoid touching your nose with the tissue.)

Fall Activity
For many of us the cooler temperatures of fall get us spending more time outdoors. Whether that is exercising, raking leaves or extra long walks enjoying for the most colorful trees in the neighborhood we may experience muscle and joint aches. Essential oils such as Ginger, Black Pepper and Juniperberry help to increase circulation, warm muscle tissue to ease aches, spasms and stiff joints. I like to mix these single essential oils into my blends for massage. Add 20 drops of Massage Blend, Muscle Soothe or Joint Relief and 10 drops of Ginger, Black Pepper or Juniperberry to 1 oz of all natural lotion or carrier oil and use to massage the area in need.

Fun Fall Recipes

Mulled Wine or Cider
Ingredients:
1 cups Pomegranate or Cherry Juice
4 1/2 cups Apple Cider
2 whole Cinnamon Sticks
1 large Orange, cut in slices

Blend 1 drop of Clove and 3 drops of e3 Orange Sweet in 2 tablespoons of honey. Combine the pomegranate/cherry juice, apple cider and cinnamon sticks and orange slices in a small stock pot or crockpot. Slowly heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the essential oil and honey mixture and stir. Take off the heat and serve. (You can substitute 1 liter of red wine to make mulled wine).

Lavender Roasted Vegetables
Ingredients:
3 red potatoes cut into 1-2 inch pieces
5 carrots
1/2 cup whole garlic cloves
1 large onion, sliced
2 cups winter squash cut into 1-2 inches pieces
3 Tbs. olive oil
sea salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp. dried lavender buds or 1 drop of lavender essential oil

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat potatoes, carrots, onions, squash and garlic with olive oil. If using lavender essential oil, mix with olive oil before coating. Sprinkle lavender buds or essential oil and sea salt over vegetables. Roast about 25 min or until vegetables are tender.

 

Honey Bee – Healthy Pollen Patty

Friday, November 16th, 2012

RECIPE

5 cups water
2 ½ pounds of sugar
1/8 teaspoon lecithin granules (used as an emulsifier)
15 drops spearmint oil
15 drops lemongrass oil

Bring the water to a boil and integrate the sugar until dissolved. Once the sugar is dissolved remove the mixture from the heat and quickly add the lecithin and the essential oils. Stir until everything is evenly distributed. This solution should have a strong scent and not be left open around bees. Cool before using

E3- Application Methods – How to safely use your essential oils

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

The methods and number of drops described below are general guidelines for using essential oils for adults. Individual sensitivities, the desired results, and the characteristics of the essential oil(s) used must all be considered. Adjust methods and proportions accordingly.

Add to Products: Essential oils can be added to pre-made, fragrance-free products to enhance their performance. Add 4-8 drops to 2 ounces of facial moisturizer; 15-30 drops to 8 ounces of lotion; 10-20 drops to 8 ounces of shampoo; 15-30 drops to 8 ounces of conditioner.

After Shower: After showering, while your skin is still wet, put 1-3 drops of essential oil in the palm of one of your hands and rub your hands together. Quickly and evenly spread the essential oil over your legs, arms, and torso. Avoid sensitive-skin areas. Wait for 30 seconds, breathing in the aroma, and then pat your skin dry.

Anointing Oil: Anointing oils are used for subtle aromatherapy and subtle energy work. Mix 1 drop of essential oil in 1 teaspoon of jojoba or olive oil.

Bath: Mix 4-8 drops of essential oil in 1 teaspoon of carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil. (You can also add the essential oil to 1/2 cup of whole milk or heavy cream.) Set aside. If you have muscle aches, add Epsom or Dead Sea salts. Fill the tub with warm water and immerse yourself. Add the essential oil mixture and swirl the water around you. Massage your skin and breathe in the aroma. Remain in the tub for 10-15 minutes.

Bath, Foot: Mix 1-3 drops of essential oil in 1/2 teaspoon of carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil. Set aside. Fill a tub (deep enough to cover your feet and ankles) with warm water. Add the essential oil mixture, stir well, and immerse your feet for 10-15 minutes. Breathe in the aroma and massage your feet.

Body Lotion: Add 6-30 drops of essential oil in 1 ounce of fragrance-free, natural moisturizing lotion. Apply to your skin, especially after a shower or bath.

Body Oil: Mix 6-30 drops of essential oil in 1 ounce of carrier, such as fractionated coconut oil or sweet almond oil. Apply to your skin, especially after a shower or bath.

Chest Rub: Mix 5-15 drops of essential oil in 1 tablespoon of carrier oil or fragrance-free, natural lotion, apply to upper chest and upper back.

Compress: Fill a basin with water. (Warm water relaxes and increases circulation. Cool water invigorates and relieves inflammation.) Add 3-5 drops of essential oil and briskly stir. Lay in a washcloth, wring, and apply to the area in need. Dip, wring, and apply 3 more times. Leave the last compress in place for 3 minutes.

Compress, Facial: Fill the sink with warm water. Add 1-3 drops of essential oil in the water and agitate the water to mix well. Lay in a clean washcloth, wring, and apply to face, with eyes closed, holding in place for 5-10 seconds. Repeat dipping, wringing, and applying—3 times. Pat dry.

Diffusion: Follow diffuser manufacturer’s instructions to fill the air with therapeutic aroma.

Easy alternatives:
Don’t have a diffuser?  Place 2-4 drops of essential oil on cotton balls and place near by or tuck into the grate of a fan or air vent in your home or car.

Salt Diffuser: Use a clean (wide mouth) glass jar with a lid that will hold about 1/2 -1 cup epsom salt.  Add epsom salt to the jar then add 5-10 drops of essential oil. This makes a wonderful bedtime diffuser. Keep jar on night stand, near to bed; shake before use then remove lid. Provides a gentle diffusion to help promote restful sleep. Replace cap when you are done or in the morning. Replace or refresh salt/essential oils as needed.

Facial Oil: Mix 2-5 drops of essential oil in 1 ounce of carrier such as jojoba, olive oil, or rose hip seed oil.

Inhalation: Put 1-3 drops of essential oil on a tissue and inhale the aroma through your nose. Pause and inhale again. (Avoid touching your nose with the tissue.)

Inhalation, Hot Water: Add 1-2 drops of essential oil in a small bowl of hot water. Keeping your eyes tightly closed, lean over the bowl and breathe in deeply yet gently and exhale. Continue for 30 seconds. Inhale through your nose for respiratory or sinus conditions and through your mouth for throat issues or coughs. Repeat as desired.

Easy alternatives:
Heat water, pour into a mug then add a couple drops of your essential oil. Close your eyes and inhale the aroma. (I have done this when I travel and have limited supplies available)

Massage: Mix 6-30 drops of essential oil in 1 ounce of carrier oil or fragrance-free, natural lotion.

Perfume: Mix 10-20 drops of essential oil in 1 tablespoon of jojoba. Apply to pulse points, such as inner wrists, behind knees, or backs of ankles.

Room Mist: Mix 30-60 drops of essential oil in 4 ounces of water in a mister bottle. Shake well before each use and avoid getting it into the eyes.

Skin Mist: Mix 10-40 drops of essential oil in 4 ounces of water in a mister bottle. Shake well before each use and avoid getting it into the eyes.

Scalp Oil: Mix 12-24 drops of essential oil in 2 ounces of fractionated coconut oil or jojoba, or a blend of both. Store in a glass bottle with a cap. Use about 1 teaspoon to massage into scalp at night. Shampoo in the morning.

Spot Application: Mix 1-4 drops of essential oil in 1 teaspoon of carrier oil or aloe vera and apply to the spot in need.

 

The Methods of Use are general guidelines. Individual sensitivities, desired results, and the characteristics of the essential oil(s) used must all be considered. Adjust methods and proportions accordingly.

For external use only. Always dilute before use. Keep out of reach of children. Avoid eyes and other sensitive areas. Keep away from direct flame—essential oils are flammable. If pregnant or nursing, consult a physician before using essential oils. Store at room temperature and avoid direct sunlight.

Aromatherapy: The use of natural, aromatic substances, known as essential oils, to enhance the well-being of body, mind, and spirit.
(This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. No information provided is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.)

 

Aromatherapy for Alzheimers Disease

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Alzheimer disease is the most common form of dementia; it is described as a loss of brain function that gradually gets worse over time affecting memory, thinking, and behavior.  Aromatherapy can play a significant role for both the caregiver and the care recipient helping to ease stress, anxiety, mood swings and memory issues as well as decreasing the need for medications and increasing the quality of life.   1

Many of the memory enhancing drugs currently used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease are designed to inhibit cholinesterase, the enzyme which breaks down acetylcholine in the body.  Acetylcholine is vital to the central nervous system; it acts as a neuromodulator and when there is damage to the cholinergic (acetylcholine-producing) system it affects memory, REM sleep, attention and sensory perceptions.

Several essential oils such as Lemon, Rosemary and  Spanish Sage have been shown to act in a similar way to conventional drugs, inhibiting cholinesterase but without any negative side effects.   It has also been shown that using these essential oils in their natural state vs. isolating chemical constituents has a greater effect on preventing the breakdown of acetylcholine.  6, 4

In a study conducted by Kilstoff and Chenoweth, Lavender, Geranium and Mandarin were combined in a base of sweet almond oil and applied via hand massage. “The specific improvements for clients included increased alertness, self-hygiene, contentment, initiation of toileting, sleeping at night and reduced levels of agitation, withdrawal and wandering. Family carers have reported less distress, improved sleeping patterns and feelings of calm.” 8

When using essential oils with the elderly or frail it is generally best to start with the lowest dilution 1-3% and whenever possible allow the patient to choose the essential oils or blends that they prefer.  If a patient is non-communicative body language and facial expression will give you insight into their likes and dislikes.

Essential oils for Common issues associated with Alzheimer’s Disease

Restlessness and poor sleep:
Applications – Bath, Inhalation, Diffusion, Massage, Spritzer
Essential oils –  Lavender, Marjoram Sweet, Chamomile Roman, Mandarin or combination of Ylang Ylang and Lemon  (*also helpful for the caregivers)

Loss of appetite:
Application –  Inhalation, Diffusion, Spritzer
Essential oilsCardamom, Rosemary, Basil ct. linalol, Lemon, Ginger

Constipation:
Application – Compress, Abdominal Massage
Essential oils – GingerRosemary, Orange

Diarrhea:
Applications – Compress, Abdominal Massage
Essential oils – Marjoram Sweet, Niaouli, Peppermint, Geranium

Indigestion:
Application – Compress, Abdominal Massage, Inhalation
Essential oils – Basil ct. linalol, Mandarin, Lemon, Melissa  (4 drops and 1 drop Peppermint) information indicates that Melissa and Peppermint are best used together.

Anger, Aggression, Irritability:
Application – Inhalation, Diffusion, Massage, Spritzer
Essential oilsLavender, Melissa

Anxiety, Agitation:
Applications – Bath, Inhalation, Diffusion, Massage, Spritzer
Essential oilsNeroli, Lavender, Bergamot FCF, Geranium, Melissa*
* in a placebo controlled trial Melissa was added to a carrier and applied to the face and arms of patients with dementia, twice a day for 4 weeks.  60% of the group receiving the Melissa showed reduced agitation.  7

Apathy:
Applications – Bath, Inhalation, Diffusion, Massage, Spritzer
Essential oilsRose  (1 drop rose and 2 drops Lavender), Peppermint, Sage

Depression:
Applications – Bath, Inhalation, Diffusion, Massage, Spritzer
Essential oils – Bergamot FCF, Clary Sage, Geranium, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Orange, Neroli, Rose, Rosemary, Ylang Ylang,  Chamomile Roman

Headache:
Applications – Inhalation, Massage of neck and shoulders
Essential oils – Lavender, Chamomile Roman, Basil ct. linalol

Memory:
Applications – Bath, Inhalation, Diffusion, Massage, Spritzer
Essential oils – Rosemary, Spanish Sage, Lemon

Muscle Contraction:
Applications – Bath, Compress, Massage
Essential oils – Lavender, Geranium,  Juniper Berry

Withdrawal:
Applications –  Bath, Inhalation, Diffusion, Massage, Spritzer
Essential oilMelissa

Application Methods

Diffusion:  Follow diffuser manufacturer’s instructions.  If you do not own a diffuser you can add a few drops of essential oil or blend to several cotton balls and place near to where the patient spends much of their time.

Massage: Hands, Arms, Feet:  Mix 12 drops of essential oil or essential oil blend into 1 ounce carrier oil such as jojoba, sweet almond or fractionated coconut oil. Use to massage hands, arms and/or feet.  For those patients who enjoy the contact using massage as an application method provides the additional benefit of personal contact, for some this helps to create bonding between patient and caregiver which can also help to reduce stress and anxiety for everyone.

Inhalation: Add 1-2 drops of essential oil or essential oil blend to a tissue or cotton ball, tuck into pocket. or pillow case.  Inhalation is one of the quickest and easiest ways to use essential oils.

Spritzers:  Add 25 drops of essential oil(s) to a 1 oz glass spritzer bottle, fill with purified water. Shake and spritz as desired. Spritz rooms, clothing or bed linens.

For more information on application methods click here

Related Articles

Hogewey “Dementia Village” | The Future of Dementia Care?
“Hogewey, located in the Netherlands, is the only care facility of it’s kind in the world and is home to over 150 people with severe dementia.  Started by 2 nurses who feared having to put their own parents in a traditional nursing home, ‘Dementia Village’ is a place where residents live a seemingly normal life, but are actually being watched by caregivers at all times. There are almost twice as many caregivers as residents in the village and they staff everything from the grocery store to the hair salon.”
To read full article click on the link below.
http://alz-caregiver.com/hogewey-dementia-village-the-future-of-dementia-care/

References

1 Use of plant essential oils in treating agitation in dementia units: 10 case studies. Int. J. Aromatherapy 2003
http://alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=306&pageNumber=2

2 Comparative study on the antioxidant capacity and cholinesterase inhibitory activity of Citrus aurantifolia Swingle, C. aurantium L., and C. bergamia Risso and Poit. Peel essential oils.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22260108

3 Acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase inhibitory activity of Pinus species essential oils and their constituents.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20429778

4 Effect of aromatherapy on patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20377818

5 Effects of lavender oil inhalation on improving scopolamine-induced spatial memory impairment in laboratory rats.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22402245

6 In-vitro activity of S. lavandulaefolia (Spanish sage) relevant to treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11697542

7 Aromatherapy in dementia, Clive Holmes and Clive Ballard
http://apt.rcpsych.org/content/10/4/296.full

8 Int J Nurs Pract. 1998 Jun ;4 (2):70-83  9748936  Cit:9 New approaches to health and well-being for dementia day-care clients, family carers and day-care staff.  K Kilstoff, L Chenoweth

Faculty of Nursing, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia. Kathy.Kilstoff@uts.edu.au

This study was conducted in one multicultural dementia day-care centre over a period of 18 months. It introduced a gentle hand treatment for clients using three essential oils. The study evolved out of the process of action research where the family carers and day-care staff participated with the researchers to choose, design, develop and evaluate a hand treatment programme. Data was collected through in-depth interviews pre- and post-treatment, focus group discussions, client observation logbooks and a disability scale. The findings indicate a positive strengthening of the relationship between the person with dementia and their family carer, and an improvement in feelings of health and well-being for both. The specific improvements for clients include increased alertness, self-hygiene, contentment, initiation of toileting, sleeping at night and reduced levels of agitation, withdrawal and wandering. Family carers have reported less distress, improved sleeping patterns and feelings of calm. They also found the treatment useful in helping them manage the difficult behaviours exhibited by their relative with dementia. The benefits of this treatment for nursing practice are that it is safe, effective and easily administered by staff in any setting.
http://lib.bioinfo.pl/auid:2832952