AANP 2018 Conference Spotlight: Aromatherapy in Clinical and Home Healthcare Settings

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) 2018 national conference will soon be upon us. There is much to look forward to at this year’s conference, with several exciting and relevant topics to be presented.

On Tuesday, June 26, a session titled “Aromatherapy: Introduction for Clinical Use” will be given. It promises to be an informative session on aromatherapy and how it is used in clinical settings.

Aromatherapy: An Ancient Art

The art of aromatherapy dates back to Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, who was known to have used the principles of aromatherapy (before it was named) for healing purposes. Then in 1937, French perfumer and chemist, Rene Maurice Gattefosse, wrote a paper on the health effects of the practice. Thus, he is known for being the father of modern aromatherapy.

Since 1937, aromatherapy has evolved, though it still focuses on the practice’s ability to be used in the healing process. According to the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, a modern definition of the practice states that aromatherapy or essential oil therapy is “the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize, and promote the health of body, mind, and spirit. It seeks to unify physiological, psychological and spiritual processes to enhance an individual’s innate healing process.”

In recent years, as the popularity of essential oils has grown, along with the desire to find more natural methods of healing, aromatherapy is once again being discussed and evaluated.
So, what are the clinical applications for this ancient practice?

Aromatherapy’s Clinical and Home Healthcare Applications and Outcomes

Recently, many studies have been conducted to evaluate the use of aromatherapy in both clinical and home healthcare settings. Overall, the studies indicate the use of aromatherapy has significant promise in both patient benefits and outcomes.

A recent paper published in 2017, titled “The Effects of Aromatherapy on Intensive Care Unit Patients’ Stress and Sleep Quality: A Nonrandomised Controlled Trial,” explored the use of aromatherapy on some of the healthcare community’s most sensitive patients. The study found that there were “significant differences in perceived stress, objective stress index, blood pressure, heart rate, and sleep quality between the experimental group who received aromatherapy treatment and the control group who did not. Overall, the results demonstrate that aromatherapy, which was administered over two days, reduced stress and improved sleep quality in ICU patients.”

In the home healthcare setting, aromatherapy also has many beneficial uses. The use of this practice has shown improvements in the lives of elderly patients with dementia and those battling chronic illness. Also, the use of essential oils in the home is relatively easy and doesn’t carry with it risks of overdosing or dependency.

Charting a Course Ahead

Aromatherapy is an ancient art which can have significant value in modern medicine. If the intersection of holistic healing and modern medicine interests you, be sure to check out the talk at the conference.

If you happen to be interested in a new opportunity in your career, reach out to one of our nurse practitioner recruiting specialists. At National Recruiters, we are industry experts in healthcare staffing. We have placed many healthcare professionals in challenging and fulfilling roles. Please visit us at AANP conference at our booth (#436) to discuss how we can help you chart a path toward your future.


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