Exploring The Theories And Use Of Aromatherapy

831 words - 3 pages

It was once said that history repeats itself. The practice of aromatherapy is dated to be at least 4,500 years old that began in Egypt. Dozens of essential oils are cited in Judeo-Christian religious text that stated these were used on the treatment of every ailment known to men at that time. As more diseases are affecting the world populace there is a need to come up with stringent health measures that can help alleviate these problems. In the United States this has led many researchers in the field of conventional medicine to find scientific medication that can cure or reduce the effects of various diseases. Significantly, Americans showed growing interest in the use of aromatherapy starting in the 1990s despite the fact that aromatherapy is not part of the politically dominant medical health care system in America. With these facts, are Americans now ready to accept for the integration of aromatherapy and conventional medicine in the treatment of cancer and other forms of diseases.

There are diverse theories about how aromatherapy and necessary oils work. One theory is that the smell receptors of the nose can respond to smells of essential oils by sending chemical messages along nerve pathways to the brain’s limbic system, which affects moods and emotions. The U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) notes “Aromatherapy is used by patients with cancer primarily as a supportive care agent for general well-being” (“Aromatherapy and Essential Oils-PDQ”). For example, in May 2008 NCI made a study on the effects of aromatherapy massage on 42 patients with advanced cancer over a 4-week period. They found a significant improvement on the patients sleeping pattern and reported a significant reduction in depression by diffusing lavender oil in the patients’ rooms.
When the body is under attack, it is evident that the immune system is being overworked to an extent that it cannot fight pathogens effectively in the body. Kuriyama, et al., authors and microbiologists argue “While essential oils may not directly stimulate the immune system, they can complement cancer treatment by boosting the system’s ability to fight off infections” (180). The use of aromatherapy helps fight off other infections and provides room for the body to have opportunity of producing more white blood cells which will translate to an enhanced immune system. For instance, in a clinical research of 50 cancer patients, Gary Young, a world-renowned Doctor of Naturophatic Medicine in North America, found out that the ingestion of essential oils of wolfberry, oregano, and frankincense have the abilities to combat...

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