Aromatherapy is defined as the therapeutic usage of fragrant liquids in order to advance mental and physical health (Lua & Zakaria, 2012). These therapeutic oils are made from the distilling or steaming of plants (Lua & Zakaria, 2012). Some various uses of aromatherapy include wound-healing, sedative, antibacterial, analgesic, calming, and stimulating effects (Lua & Zakaria, 2012). Aromatherapy claims to have its roots in India as well as ancient Egypt (Lua & Zakaria, 2012). Studies that show that the use of oils, such as lavender, can be used to control symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and pain in patients of postoperative events (Kim, Kim, Yeo, Hong, Lee, & Jeon, 2011). Essential oils provide individuals relief from fatigue and allow them to have a better mood and overall better mental and physical health (Takeda, Tsujuta, Kaya, Takemura, & Oku, 2008).
This study will be conducted using the olfactory system, testing multiple essential oils. The most effective way to alleviate stress and anxiety is through central nervous system stimulation, which can be produced through the olfactory system (Takeda et al., 2008). The olfactory system stimulation produces “pleasant” and “unpleasant” emotions making a change in the autonomic nervous system and endocrine system producing central commands (Takeda et al., 2008).
The purpose of this study is to test the theory that essential oils will elicit a positive response through the use of olfactory stimulation. The use of essential oils, in particular lavender, clary sage, and bergamot, can be beneficial to individuals who lead a high-stress lifestyle, especially students in nursing school. The use of alternative medicine is often overlooked in the healthcare world, but through the implications of this study the authors hope to educate individuals about the benefits of using aromatherapy as a means to lower stress and feel more calm.
What emotional response is established from essential oils produced through olfactory stimulation on students at Denver School of Nursing?
The use of essential oils can elicit a positive sensation through olfactory stimulation.
Definition of Terms
Essential oils: any of a class of volatile oils obtained from plants, possessing the odor and other characteristic properties of the plant, used chiefly in the manufacture of perfumes, flavors, and pharmaceuticals (Merriam-webster, 2013).
Calming: free from excitement or passion; tranquil (Merriam-webster, 2013).
Sensation: a mental condition or physical feeling resulting from stimulation of a sense organ (Merriam-webster, 2013).
Stimulation: to excite (a nerve, gland, etc) to its functional activity (Merriam-webster, 2013).
Review of Literature
A study conducted by Takeda, Tsujita, Kaya, Takemura, & Oku (2008) evaluated the effect essential oils and massage would have on the human body and mind. Aromatherapy was used to determine which method is most effective in producing a response...