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Effects of Aromatherapy in Treating Postoperative Pain

Paper Outline

Use of Aromatherapy
Evidence of Aromatherapy Efficacy

Pain Management using Complimentary Therapies

Study Based Evaluation of Aromatherapy
Effect of Massage Therapy in Psychiatric Setting
Side Effects of Massage Therapy (Insight into Complimentary Therapies)

Modifications in Conventional Complimentary Therapies (M technique)

Use of Aromatherapy
Buckle, J. (2003). Clinical Aromatherapy: Essential Oils in Practice. Churchill Livingstone. PA.
This book is logically presented to help health professionals intending to use aromatherapy in clinical applicationsto augment their practice. The book’s content is designed to cover the needs of all health professionals and not only from a nursing perspective. The book demystifies aromatherapy and explains on ways in which essential oils can be incorporated in healthcare. The book is divided into two segments; Overview and Clinical Use. The overview section covers background information on aromatherapy such as its historical use,source of essential oils, how to obtain them, their mechanism of working,building components and how the body assimilates them. Also covered is the psychology of smell. On the clinical perspective, it covers issues of safety, toxicology and contraindications. The book gives a detailed coverage of application of aromatherapy in nursing, massage therapy and physiotherapy. The use of essential oils in addressing problems of infection, nausea, pain, insomnia and stress is discussed in detail in this book. The use of aromatherapy in the clinical section is well outlined according to departments in medical facility setting.
The book references published research, author’s own clinical experience and that from her students. The author is well qualified to write the book as she has immense wealth of knowledge and experience spanning over 25 years. The book has also been critiqued, reviewed and edited by many other knowledgeable professionals. The book is therefore a resourceful material in learning of effects of aromatherapy in treating postoperative pain.
Evidence of Aromatherapy Efficacy
Maddocks-Jennings, W. & Wilkinson,J.M. (2004). Aromatherapy Practice in Nursing: Literature Review.Journal of Advanced Nursing. 48(1), 93–103.
            This article covers literature relating to use of aromatherapy in the nursing practice critically evaluating the evidence that supports the use of this practice. Based on available information as of 1980s and 1990s, the article reports that there exists little evidence to support the efficiency of aromatherapy in the nursing practice. The article identifies enhanced relaxation as the only positive result obtained from aromatherapy use and recommends balancing of its use against negative potential risks such as allergic reactions and related safety concerns. According to the article, there is an enormous potential for more collaboration among stakeholders in the healthcare sector to explore the application of essential oils in therapy.
The article is extracted from the highly esteemed Journal of Advanced Nursing and is based on references from peer reviewed articles obtained from highly reliable databases such as Medline, CINAHL, MANTIS and EBSCO Host. The article is therefore a credible source of information regarding effects of aromatherapy in treating postoperative pain.
Pain Management using Complimentary Therapies
Adams, R., White, B. & Beckett, C. (2010). The Effects of Massage Therapy on Pain Management in theAcute Care Setting. International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. 3(1).
This paper reports on a study carried out to determine the effects of massage therapy on pain management in the acute care setting. The paper identifies pain management as a major issue in most health facilities and asserts on the need to use alternative therapies such as massage for pain management. The study involved evaluation of inpatient pain levels following massage therapy. The massage sessions were carried out on patients in medical, surgical and obstetric departments. It was found out that the mean pain level subsided significantly following massage therapy. The study concludes that massage therapy has a general positive impact on pain relief, relaxation, emotional wellbeing and the overall healing process.
The study was published in the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, a peer reviewed journal that only publishes studies with a proven credibility in terms of data collection and analysis. The article is therefore useful in understanding the usefulness of alternative therapeutic techniques under which category falls massage and aromatherapies among others in treating post operative pain.
Study Based Evaluation of Aromatherapy
Kim, J.T., et al (2006). Evaluation of Aromatherapy in Treating Postoperative Pain: Pilot Study. Pain Practice, 6 (4), 2006 273–277.
This paper is a report on a study to evaluate aromatherapy in treating postoperative pain. The study specifically studied the analgesic efficacy of lavender oil on a cohort of 50 patients following breast surgery. Half of the patients were given supplemental oxygen combined with two drops of lavender, an essential oil known to have analgesic properties. The control group was introduced only to oxygen supplement.Indicators for pain relief were recorded on a 0-10 scale. The postoperative aromatherapy using the lavender oil was not found to have any significant influence on pain scores but the patients subjected to it reported of achieving higher rate of satisfaction in pain control in comparison to the control group.
The study was published in the Pain Practice journal, a peer reviewed journal that only publishes studies with a proven credibility in terms of data collection and analysis. As such therefore, the results and discussion provided by the researchers concerning this study are reliable and can be used as a credible reference in explaining the effects of aromatherapy in treating postoperative pain.
Effect of Massage Therapy in Psychiatric Setting
Garner, B et al (2008). Pilot Study Evaluating the Effect of Massage Therapy on Stress, Anxiety and Aggression in a Young Adult Psychiatric Inpatient Unit.Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry42:414-422.
            This paper reports on a study carried out to examine the effectiveness of a relaxation massage therapy program on a young adult psychiatric inpatient unit in relieving stress, aggression and anxiety among the patients. The article reports that the study revealed beneficial effects of massage therapy in reduction of stress and anxiety among patients in psychiatric facilities.
The article, extracted from the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry gives results and an analytical discussion the efficacy of massage therapy. With the information offered, it is possible to set knowledge base concerning the use of therapies such as massage which in one way or another compares to aromatherapy as they both influence sensory functioning. The article borrows heavily from many peer reviewed journal article references and can therefore be relied upon to give accurate information.
Side Effects of Massage Therapy (Insight into Complimentary Therapies)
Cambron, J.A., Dexheimer, J., Coe, P. &Swenson, R. (2007).Side-Effects of Massage Therapy:A Cross-Sectional Study of 100 Clients. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.13 (8). pp. 793–796.
            This article offers an insight into the negative side of alternative therapies with reference here to massage therapy. Based on a study that aimed to determine the amount and type of adverse effects and positive effects arising from a massage session, it was designed in a cross-sectional format. The results from the participants indicated that the therapy resulted in some minor discomfort following a massage session but overall the positive side effects were more.
The results and analysis of this study was published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, a peer reviewed journal that has for a long time published studies of credible ratings. The study was the first of its kind to analyze negative side effects of the alternative therapies such as massage therapy. Therefore more elaborate studies may be required for a more in-depth analysis of such therapies. Nevertheless, it is a reliable source of insight into the negative side of the alternative therapies and could help one design a similar study to determine the negative effects of aromatherapy during treatment of postoperative pain.
Modifications in Conventional Complimentary Therapies (M technique)
Roberts, K. &Campbell, H. (2011).Using the M Technique as Therapy for Patients at the End of Life: Two Case Studies.International Journal of Palliative Nursing.17 (3).
This article describes the working of a complimentary therapy technique christened ‘M Technique’. This entails use of manual touch to induce a therapeutic response in patients experiencing pain. Based on case studies carried out by a renowned complimentary therapist, Dr. Jane Buckle, the technique is said to be overly effective and has been described as “physical meditation”. The studies focused on relieving patient symptoms in palliative and end-life stages. The technique is said to be a good complimentary therapy to mainstream therapies.
The description of the mechanism of working and reported results in this article were published in a peer reviewed International Journal of Palliative Nursing. An in-depth understanding of this technique as discussed can act as a basis for research into use of other complimentary therapeutic techniques, including modification into the conventional therapeutic techniques such as aromatherapy with an aim to finding and/or improving the efficacy of aromatherapy in treating postoperative pain.

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