Complement Ther Nurs Midwifery. 1997 Feb; 3(1): 16-20.
The use of aromatherapy in hospitalized children with HIV disease.
Paediatric Unit, St Mary's Hospital, London, UK.
Aromatherapy has been defined as 'the art--and science--of using essential plant oils in treatments ... a truly holistic therapy, taking into account mind, body and spirit ...' (Davis 1991). Aromatherapy is a valuable means of maintaining optimum health, particularly when the dis-ease of the body or mind is related to stress. The process of hospitalization is a potentially stressful experience that has been well researched (Broome et al 1990, Kachoyeanos & Friedhoff 1993, Strachan 1993, Taylor 1991). This paper examines the ways in which massage and aromatherapy could be of benefit to hospitalized children, particularly those infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Wright (1995) states that nurses should encourage self-healing by 'putting the patient in the best condition for nature to act'. Aromatherapy massage has the potential to achieve this through inducing relaxation and reducing the stressful aspects of hospitalization. Thus, the author would like to propose the use of this valuable skill as an extension of the nursing role.