“Aromatherapy is a caring, hands-on therapy which seeks to induce relaxation, to increase energy, to reduce the effects of stress, and to restore lost balance to mind, body, and soul.”
– Robert Tisserand

What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils derived from plants to promote well-being physically, emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically. The blends that Montgomery Hospice and Prince George’s Hospice uses are applied topically (in a cream or carrier oil base), or via inhalation. Many times, both types can be used for the same symptom.

Montgomery Hospice and Prince George’s Hospice different types of aromatherapy blends

The way that a blend is applied will dictate its effect. For instance, to help with mood, inhalation is ideal; using one of our creams is also an option. For aches and pains, topical is the most effective; inhalation can also have a positive effect on pain perception.

Note: Carrier oils are used to dilute essential oils to the proper and safe percentage (as essential oils can be quite potent), while also preventing the essential oils from evaporating too quickly. A carrier oil helps to carry or bring the essential oils to the skin for topical applications.

There is so much buzz about essential oils on the internet today, and it is important to note that not all the information may be true or even safe.

In fact, not all the oils that you see in stores may actually be essential oils. Many are fragrance oils or chemical reproductions where sensitivities and benefits can be unknown. Some oils should not be used if you intend to spend time in the sun. Some are not advised with certain medical conditions. When trying essential oils, always look for bottles that contain the Latin name. Better yet, seek the help of a Certified Aromatherapist.

Montgomery Hospice and Prince George’s Hospice has 3 Certified Clinical Nurse Aromatherapists, who have received extensive training in Aromatherapy to help gentle our patients’ and caregivers’ journeys.

All our blends are custom-created by our Certified Clinical Nurse Aromatherapists. When we create a blend, we look at the desired effect, the safety of the ideal oils, and the most effective yet safe concentration. We also carefully consider the carrier as they all have different benefits too. Everything that we use comes from real plants, trees, fruits, and nuts. The only preservatives we use are Jojoba oil and Vitamin E.

At Montgomery Hospice and Prince George’s Hospice, we have developed many blends for our patients: for pain, breathing conditions, sleep, anxiety/relaxation, itching conditions, wounds, constipation, nausea, mouth sores, calming, and sleep. As Certified Clinical Nurse Aromatherapists, we can provide tried and true formulary blends, or even customized personal blends based on patient preferences or rarer symptoms.

Montgomery Hospice and Prince George’s Hospice aromatherapy blends

“Oh my gosh, I witnessed it firsthand in action this morning!  My patient with severely contractured (shortened muscles, tendons, or tissue) hands and arms. I applied comfort blend and massage blend to her worst hand and I watched the furrowed brows and the grimace melt right off her face. Her blood pressure went down after applying, and I truly believe it’s because she just felt better. The daughter’s next question was ‘can you refill this if she runs out?’ (of course, yes).  What you all offer is magical!”

Montgomery Hospice, Inc. Nurse

These Aromatherapy blends are soothing alternatives for patients who are in pain, but do not like the side effects of conventional pain medicines.

We are so lucky to be able to bring comfort to our Montgomery Hospice and Prince George’s Hospice patients and caregivers in this way. Aromatherapy is a great way to involve families in care when they otherwise might not be sure how to help. We hope that if you or a loved one is receiving hospice care, you consider Aromatherapy as part of your tool kit.

“The young sons of one of my patients feel more involved since they’re allowed to use the cream on their mom’s arms and shoulder.”

Montgomery Hospice, Inc. Nurse

“We were able to get our patient off so many meds due to pain, spasms, and agitation by using the Montgomery Hospice and Prince George’s Hospice Aromatherapy blends.”

Montgomery Hospice, Inc. Nurse

Aromatherapy is one of our Complementary Therapies, offered to all our Montgomery Hospice and Prince George’s Hospice patients and families. To learn more about these therapies, visit www.montgomeryhospice.org/services/complementary-therapies/

© 2022
Cathy Mitchell, RN, BA, BSN, IAC
Beth Worthington, RN, IAC
Gina Murray, RN, IAC
Montgomery Hospice and Prince George’s Hospice