- Katie Van Vleet
Essential Oils in the Clinic
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are the “lifeblood” of a plant- these are the oils that are extracted from the seeds, leaves, stems, bark, fruit, flowers, or roots of the plant. They are extracted in a highly concentrated form to separate the utmost healing compounds of the plant into an oil that is readily used.
Why Do We Use Essential Oils?
Though essential oils are making a strong comeback in popularity nowadays, they are not at all a new thing. Actually, essential oils have been used for thousands of years, with evidence pointing to their use in ancient Egypt for things like beauty products, skin care, ailments, and other rituals. The Bible also references several healing oils such as: Myrrh, Frankincense, Cedarwood, Cassia, Sandalwood, and Cinnamon.
So, why do we use them now? Well, simply put, we still find benefit in what each oil contains! Lavender for example can be used both for calming and relaxing properties but did you know it can also be used on burns and rashes? Peppermint essential oil smells great and we often initially only think of the enchanting candy cane-like aroma but, did you know that peppermint is effective for headaches, hot flashes, bug bites, and nausea? Each essential oil brings its own unique benefit to the table and they are effective at treating a wide range of ailments- often without the harmful side effects of other remedies!
Essential Oils in Healthcare and Clinic Settings?
Perhaps a few years ago, this would have seemed like hocus pocus. However, not only are essential oils making a strong come back in people’s day to day lives, they are also being recognized as beneficial in workplace and hospital settings! One hospital in Vanderbilt, Tennessee conducted an experiment where they surveyed employees before and after diffusing essential oils. The results spoke for themselves, with 41% of the employees reporting that they feel stress at work before being around diffused oils and only 3% reporting they were stressed after the essential oils were diffused. Similarly, 60% of those employees reported being frustrated at work (before inhaling those powerful aromas) and only 6% reported being frustrated after! And this isn’t the only hospital catching on, actually, more than 50 hospitals nationwide are turning to essential oils to uplift the mood in the ER, boost morale and productivity, ward off that “hospital smell” and ease patient’s anxiety, and to kill germs and bacteria in the air.
Essential Oils used to Destress Hospitals. Liberty Voice. Stasia Bliss. https://mysticalbreath.com/hospitals-essential-oils/
Why Would We Use Essential Oils Here at CCT?
Well, similarly to what we talked about above, we would use oils in the clinic to create an uplifting and welcoming atmosphere, to make the clinic a less scary or anxiety-producing place for some of our patients, to bring positive moods (let’s not forget that some of these oils smell oh-so amazing), and to ward off germs in the air. This could be done by diffusing (with a diffuser), spraying oils onto certain surfaces, or simply smelling them from the bottle. Actually, here in our OT gym, one of our practitioners made a “calm down spray” that we commonly spray on our pillows to promote patients moving into a more relaxed state and help bring them out of a fight or flight response!
Which Oils Might We Use?
The list of commonly used oils for kids include oils such as: Lavender, Orange, Frankincense, Ylang Ylang, Lemon, Bergamot, Eucalyptus, Clary Sage, Marjoram, and Chamomile. Hospitals are often using and diffusing oils such as Lavender, Peppermint, Lemon, Eucalyptus, and Tea Tree oil. Tea Tree and Thieves essential oil are both known for their antibacterial properties, and when diffused, can help reduce these in the air. Oils that are being diffused are diluted in water, and our “calm down” spray is diluted both with water and coconut oil, so rest assured, we are not putting any oils directly onto any of our patients!
However, if you are curious about using essential oils in your home or want to talk about uses for your specific child or family, feel free to reach out, our number is 253.237.3405. We are happy to help!