Aromatherapy has its serious side as well as being a fabulous way to pamper yourself. I have visited & spoken at many Alzheimer’s Cafe’s & support groups & always had a wonderful time, meeting people who are living with this disease daily. They are always happy & welcoming & determined to enjoy life.
Alzheimer’s is one of those diseases that we all hope will avoid affecting us, unfortunately it is a disease that can be devastating for friends and relatives of those affected. The lack of government funding for drugs which can help to stave off the some of the symptoms to those in the early stages is a very emotional topic for all those connected with anyone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
My stepmom Jackie, a certified Aromatherapist inAiken,South Carolinawas asked to create an Aromatherapy programme to tackle certain problems associated with the disease for a local nursing home. She has created 5 blends of pure essential oils to tackle:-
Appetite (Wake Me Up & Feed Me) – no, do not get excited this is to stimulate the appetite, not to suppress it!! Do you really think I’d be a member of the Tuesday Weigh in group if it suppressed???
Memory (Promote Alertness) – now this is a popular one. It helps concentration, also extremely useful for students who are revising or sitting exams.
Calming (Restore Peace) – a heavenly aroma of grapefruit & frankincense, to calm episodes of crying, shouting, aggression, agitation & sun-downing (a term used for when people become upset, usually at sunset). A wonderfully gentle blend to calm & soothe overly active children when you need them to quieten down – no it won’t zonk them out or turn them into little angels but can relax gently.
Pain & Insomnia (Relaxed & Dreamy) When pain medication doesn’t quite take the edge off pain & a little something extra is needed to become comfortable or to relax the body & mind to aid restful sleep. This blend has been so affective in helping restful sleep that some nursing homes have reported an 80% decrease in daytime falls from residents, sleeping soundly can make you steadier on your feet.
For all the Carer’s (Care Giver Relief) – A blend of 4 essential oils, Orange to energise, Cinnamon focus the mind, caring for others no matter how much you care or love the person/people you are looking after, can be a draining experience, physically & mentally. A positive attitude can make any task, pleasant or otherwise easier to tackle. Lemon to offer a measure of protection from airborne viruses & Ylang Ylang (now this one always gets a reaction) used to relax, not stupify, but it always gets an oooohhhh!!!! when I explain that Ylang Ylang is well known for its aphrodisiac properties, bet that little bit of info has raised some interest!! Calm down there is not enough in the blend to have this reaction, now I usually get ‘oh, that’s a shame!’ or ‘that’s a let down’ all good natured comments & always raises a smile or two.
It was the potential of this aromatherapy programme which got me hooked onto learning more & to helping Jackie on our side of the ‘pond’. Due to Jackie being asked to create something to help those affected by Alzheimer’s I began a whole new career & to those who instigated this I will always be truly grateful. I have a wonderful career, one which I truly love, live & breathe, it has changed the way I see medication (I still believe in conventional medication & still pop a headache pill or two, when needed -we should have room in our lives for both conventional & natural remedies – each has its own time & place – its for you to know when this is). My family & I have never been so healthy, even a common cold daren’t stay around more than a day or 2 at the most it’s zapped with a combination of essential oils.
The programme is very successful in theUSA& is welcomed by carers in theUK, obviously the healthcare system in each country is different & therefore the residents of theUSAare more willing to try & be receptive to alternative options to expensive medications. I do not lose hope that more people in theUKwill benefit from these soft & gentle blends.
I thoroughly enjoy meeting the carers & those with Alzheimer’s as they are warm, welcoming & ready to enjoy a light hearted discussion, believe it or not, I do ask for audience participation, its not just me talking, I do let them get more than 1 word in.
I have learnt the art of public speaking, (my husband never doubted me!! can’t think why?). I remember my first presentation, I was shaking like a leaf & didn’t think I’d done too badly & everyone said how much they enjoyed it. I returned home to tell Russell how it had gone & said ‘You know I can cope with talking for a living.’ to which he replied ‘You don’t say, I never doubted it for a minute, you should earn us a fortune then!!’. Charming, no fortune, yet but I do enjoy it.
Aromatherapy can be fun when used in soaps, bath fizzes, foam bath, etc but I never forget the serious side, the side that can alleviate pain, relieve itching & in the words of Pat Bishop RN at the first nursing home in Aiken, South Carolina, ‘Aromatherapy has helped my residents regain quality of life.’
These blends & others can be found at http://www.scentsiblesolutions.co.uk/apothecary/synergy-blends