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Aromatherapy

Summary
Aromatherapy uses the natural oils extracted from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant to enhance psychological and physical well-being. The inhaled aroma from these ‘essential’ oils is believed to stimulate brain function. The essential oils can, in addition, promote whole-body healing as they are absorbed through the skin, where they travel through the bloodstream. Aromatherapy is gaining momentum as a form of complementary medicine and can be used for a variety of applications, including pain relief, mood enhancement and increased cognitive function.
Description
During your first visit, the therapist will discuss symptoms, your medical history, allergies and any medicines you are taking before giving you a treatment. After a detailed consultation, the therapist will carefully choose a blend of oils with you. These oils will be used in a very dilute form, taking into consideration any symptoms you may have, your treatment, and any side effects caused by it. The aromatherapist may use the oils in several ways, usually therapeutic massage, but they can be used in your bath, for inhalation, in creams and lotions, or in burners/vaporisers. Aromatherapists can advise you on the safe use of essential oils at home. The essential oils are usually blended with a carrier oil, such as almond or sunflower oil, and used for gentle body massage. The oils are absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin but there is also some uptake as we breathe in. Essential oils may not be appropriate if you find the aroma too strong, as can happen during chemotherapy. In this case a plain carrier oil would be used instead. The number and length of appointments will vary depending on the centre and your individual needs, which you should discuss with the centre co-ordinator.
History
The therapeutic value of natural plant oils has been recognised for more than 6000 years and used across many cultures, for their healing, cleansing, preservative and mood-enhancing properties, as well as for the pleasure of their fragrances. Massage has been used as a healing therapy for many thousands of years. Ancient cultures, including China, Japan and India, considered massage to be calming, soothing and relaxing, and also very important as a healing therapy. Now, in the 21st century, there are many different kinds of massage therapies available, each of which offers specific benefits to the mind and body.
 
Notes
Safety/Precautions: As essential oils have very powerful effects upon the body they should only be used under the guidance of a qualified practitioner. Oils should never be swallowed, or used undiluted on the skin. You should check with your doctor before having massage and/or aromatherapy as massage may not be suitable for all cancer patients. Generally, massage given to patients with cancer should use only very gentle touch techniques, as gentler types may be safer. People with cancer should avoid very deep massage. It is also important to choose a qualified massage therapist who has undertaken all the necessary training to understand the theory and practice of massage therapy, is a member of a recognised professional body which represents their therapy and that they have public liability insurance. This is especially important if you are having cancer treatment, are very weak, have bone fractures, have heart problems, suffer from arthritis, or are pregnant or breastfeeding. Also, some oils should not be used on pregnant women. If you are having radiotherapy you should avoid massaging the treated area. And don’t have massage to any area of your body where the skin is broken, bleeding or bruised. You should also avoid general massage therapy to your arms or legs if they are swollen because of lymphoedema. However, there is a particular type of massage used for lymphoedema called manual lymphatic drainage (MLD). This is a very specialised treatment and people who need MLD are referred to a lymphoedema specialist by their doctor or specialist nurse. Some people worry that having a massage when you have cancer may make the cancer cells travel to other parts of the body. No research has proved this to be true. Several reviews of the scientific literature have attributed numerous positive effects to massage, including improvements in the quality of patients’ relaxation, sleep, and immune system responses, and in the relief of their mood disturbance, fatigue, pain, anxiety, anger, depression, stress, and nausea resulting from chemotherapy treatments. Although it is not completely clear from studies how much added benefit the use of aromatherapy oils adds to the massage itself, an experienced aromatherapist should be able to work with you to find the most appropriate oils, depending on your mood and current symptoms. For example, abdominal massage with certain oils may help with constipation.
 
Typical Therapy Costs
British pound 40-60. Some clinics are able to offer an initial package of up to eight free or low cost sessions. The average cost for a 1 hour session is between 40-60.
 

Providers

After qualifying from St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical School, Dr Sosie Kassab gained considerable experience in a range of different medical fields Read More
Nadia Brydon MNIMH. Dip Phyt. MRCHM. Dip Ac. MAR. MBRCP, HMA (Student Member) has been involved in Complementary and Alternative Medicine for over 20 Read More
Run by Alexander Yuan, BA, DC, ND, DHt since 1987 and is the largest health centre in Hong Read More
Altair has been training in Holistic Medicine since 1975. His studies have covered a wide range of Holistic Medicine: Feng Sui, Meditation, Nutrition Read More
Integrated Cancer Therapies is a registered charity specialising in delivering complementary therapy to people with cancer living in Read More
Rosalind Blackwell ND MRN MNIMH MCPP LCSP (Phys) is a registered naturopath, nutritionist, medical herbalist and physical therapist and is director Read More
Synergy Healthcare is Belfast's First Integrated Medical Centre. Synergy Healthcare was originally established in 1998 by Dr. Finbar Magee and Read More
Waterside Cancer Support Centre is Wessex Cancer Trust's non-clinical support centre based in Hythe for the benefit of anyone from the Waterside, New Read More
Wessex Cancer Trust was established in 1981 to provide relief for adults, teenagers and children living with cancer and their carers. The Trust Read More
Weston Park Cancer Information and Support Centre is a charity that supports cancer patients who are receiving radiotherapy. They provide Read More
The Wokingham District Cancer Care Trust was established in 1991. The object of the trust is to offer help in the relief of suffering and improvement Read More
The Centre provides complementary therapies to people with a cancer diagnosis and their primary carer. Using a fully integrated range of Read More
The Peace Hospice cares for people living with a life limiting illness and supports their families from across South West Hertfordshire. They provide Read More
The Chemotherapy Outreach Project was set up to enable cancer patients in the West Country to receive their chemotherapy, cancer information and Read More
The John Holt Cancer Support Foundation was founded by his wife Chris Holt with a mission to improve the quality of life and to give a sense of Read More
The Haven Centre offers support for people affected by life limiting conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, Parkinson Read More
Thames Hospicecare is an independent charity, established in 2005 as a result of a merger between Thames Valley Hospice in Windsor and The Paul Bevan Read More
The Elgin and District Cancer Support Group is a registered charity which offers emotional and practical support to those who are suffering from Read More
Founded in 1986, Sunflowers was set up by a group of people who had something in common; each had been affected by Cancer and each had found a lack Read More
The Swansea and Gower Cancer Self Help Group exists to provide support to cancer sufferers, their family and carers. The group manages a Charity Shop Read More
Macmillan House is in the grounds of Wokingham Community Hospital and is the base for their community and day therapy team in the Wokingham area. Read More
Self-help group for people with cancer, their relatives, partners and friends; meetings first and third Monday of each month at The Patchills, Read More
If you, or a family member or friend, have cancer and would like someone to talk to, you are welcome to call in for a chat to the Nenna Kind Cancer Read More
Rotherham Cancer Care Centre (RCCC) provides free care and support to people in Rotherham who have had a diagnosis of cancer and also to their main Read More
Open everyday from 9 am to 5 pm and Tuesday from 9 am to 8.30 pm. They offer a wide range of supportive therapies. Individual support groups for Read More
Their aim is to alleviate the physical and emotional distress of cancer patients and their carers. St Ives is the registered office but meetings and Read More
On site and at need support for patients and carers. One day a week Head Art is demonstrating head scarf tying. Benefit advice for carers. Resource Read More
The Macclesfield Cancer Help Centre is a registered charity, which aims to provide friendship, help, information and support, and a range of Read More
Jane Scarth House is Wessex Cancer Trust's walk-in centre in the heart of Romsey, offering free, one to one counselling, aromatherapy, massage, Read More
Macmillan Cancer Resource Centres provide a safe and welcoming environment for people affected by cancer. Services for people with cancer, their Read More
Helen Rollason's vision to provide better emotional support for cancer patients has led to the foundation of the Helen Rollason Cancer Support Read More
The Harbour Cancer Support Centre offers support and information for people affected by cancer - the patient, their families, carers and friends, Read More
White House Cancer Support is a registered charity that provides practical help, emotional support and information to people with cancer, their Read More
The Douglas Macmillan Cancer Information Centre offers information on all types of cancer, emotional support, support groups, complementary Read More
Sympathetic listeners offer support and encouragement to cancer patients, their families, partners and carers. Complementary therapies given by Read More
The support centres at the Gentle Approach to Cancer Association, offer a holistic approach to the treatment of cancer. They believe that the whole Read More
Coping with Cancer has a team of therapists who are experienced in treating those affected by cancer and are able to offer an extensive range of Read More
CREST is a local charity run entirely by volunteers who give their time and expertise for free to support cancer patients and their families and Read More
Derry Well Woman is a support group for women with all types of cancer. They offer complementary therapies, act as a pressure group working to Read More
Dimbleby Cancer Care is a support and information service for patients and their carers from South East London. Their staff work closely with the Read More
The Holistic Centre Godalming was established in June 2000 and has been growing steadily since then. Their emphasis has always been on providing Read More
Cancercareline provides a range of support services to anyone affected by cancer living in the County Borough of Caerphilly. Since its foundation in Read More
CLAN Cancer Support is an independent charity for anyone affected by any type of cancer at any time from diagnosis onwards. Based at CLAN House, on Read More
CancerCare help local families affected by cancer and other life limiting conditions living in North Lancashire and South Lakeland. Delivered by Read More
Cancer Support Scotland (formerly known as Tak Tent) provides emotional and practical support on a one-to-one basis and through community based Read More
Cancer Wise is a registered charity offering support and information to anyone concerned about cancer in the communities of Havant, East Hants, Read More
Cancer Help was formed by Margaret O Donoghue in 1989 and now has two fully staffed day centres, bringing invaluable benefits to countless thousands Read More
Cancer Lifeline provides a welcoming home from home for individuals and their families living with cancer. The organisation was set up in October Read More
Cancer Choices was formed in 2004 and offers support and a number of complementary therapies to people affected by cancer. Each therapy is provided Read More
Cancer Connections is a charity which opened to the public in May 2007 and provides many services including counselling, complementary therapies, Read More
The complementary therapy service at Parkside Hospital is an integral part of the overall oncology healthcare service, and offers a wide range of Read More
Bury Cancer Support Centre offers support, information and complementary therapies in an informal atmosphere. Therapies include relaxation, massage, Read More
If you have you been diagnosed with cancer and would like to benefit from a complementary therapy such as aromatherapy or reiki, then you can ask Read More
Ayrshire Cancer Support has operated in Ayrshire since 1982, providing emotional support and practical help for cancer patients, their families, Read More
The Arthur Rank House Day Therapy Service aims to help people live their lives to the full and to improve the quality of life for all who are Read More
Action Cancer is a Northern Ireland cancer charity, established in 1973 by cancer specialist Dr George Edelstyn. Services include counselling and Read More
Complementary therapies is the term given to a collection of approaches which may be used to support you during and after cancer treatment. They may Read More
The origins of Wirral Holistic Care Services stretch back 20 years. It was then that Dorothy Crowther, their chief executive, first proposed the idea Read More
The Olive Tree Cancer Support Centre is an independent charity providing a range of support services to cancer patients, their carers and families. Read More
The Munro Health Co-Operative Ltd is dedicated to the provision of complementary health care to people who would normally not be able to afford such Read More
The Haven offers free support, information and complementary therapies to anyone affected by breast cancer. At their Havens in London, Hereford and Read More
The Hospice strongly believes that complementary therapies can work together with medical and nursing care to improve a patient's well-being, reduce Read More
The Fountain Centre is located within The Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford, and is an integral part of the St Luke's Cancer Centre. Read More
Providing complementary therapies, counselling and creative therapies to people in Hastings and Rother living through cancer and other serious Read More
The Bracken Trust supports those who are coping with cancer, their families and the bereaved. Located in secluded premises on the outskirts of Read More
The Cancer Support Centre, Sutton Coldfield work alongside the local health services, hospices and other cancer charities so that people affected by Read More
The Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine (RLHIM) is the largest public-sector provider of integrated medicine in Europe. Formerly known as Read More
Penny Brohn UK is a national charity, funded by public donations that provides free, integrative care to cancer patients Read More
The Lyndale Knowsley Cancer Support Centre is a voluntary group and charity, founded in 1983, to help and support people affected by cancer, their Read More
New Approaches to Cancer is a national registered charity that was started by a group of four colleagues - two doctors and two healers back in 1969. Read More
Every week Grove House offers over 150 treatments and consultations to patients, their families and carers at Grove House or at home. All services Read More
The FORCE Cancer Support Centre (Friends of the Oncology and Radiotherapy Centre, Exeter) offers practical and emotional support to anyone affected Read More
Coping with Cancer North East celebrated 30 years as a charity in 2012. Founded as a support group, Coping With Cancer North East exists to offer Read More
CYANA provides cancer support for the residents of Newham and surrounding boroughs. Qualified and experienced Counsellors offer one-to-one, couple Read More
The Complementary Cancer Care Trust supports and encourages a holistic approach to self-care and seeks to address the physical and emotional needs of Read More
Cherry Lodge Cancer Care is an independent charity committed to improving the quality of life for people living with cancer, their carers and Read More
Chai Cancer Care is the Jewish Community's Cancer Support Organisation, providing services for patients and their family and friends affected by a Read More
The Kent and Canterbury Hospital offers both counselling and complementary therapies to patients/carers currently or recently receiving cancer Read More
Founded in 1987, Cancerkin was the first dedicated holistic breast cancer charity based on a hospital site, the Royal Free Hospital North London. Read More
Cavendish Cancer Care are an independent charity which was established in 1991, and gives free emotional support and complementary therapies to Read More
The Arcturus Clinic has been running for over 15 years and aims to treat the holistic needs of the individual using complementary medicine. It offers Read More
Cancer Aid Merthyr Tydfil Ltd is a registered charity that provides a free service to those whose lives have been touched by cancer living within the Read More
For the past 27 years BASIC has been providing counselling, information and support services for patients and their families following a brain or Read More