The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

4107.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - Board 5

Abstract #62747

Aromatherapy: Its effectivenss in treating chronic diseases and depression

Patricia Ann Mc Partland, EdD, CHES, Director, Southeastern Massachusetts Area Health Education Center, Inc, P.O. Box 69, Marion, MA 02738, (508) 748-0837,

This session explores whether aromatherapy is effective in treating depression and other chronic illness. Cooksley (1996, p. 3) defines aromatherapy as the “skilled and controlled use of essential oils for physical and emotional health and well- being”. The onset of depression often occurs when there is a combination of genetic, psychological and environmental factors. If stress is a trigger, can Aromatherapy by reducing stress help prevent the onset of depression and other chronic illness? Aromatherapy does not remove stress; it distances us from it and helps us cope with it. It balances disturbances and strengthens weaknesses on all levels. The theoretical basis of aromatherapy is that there is some olfactory-neural connection between the nose and brain, balancing the nervous system and calming the emotions. Papadoupoulos evaluated an aromatherapy service for older adults with physical health problems in Birmingham, UK and found that all clients reported feeling more relaxed after their aromatherapy session. Vickers believes that practitioners make claims regarding the clinical effects of their treatments as fact, often with no attempt to explain the basis upon which the claim is made. Cooksley (1996, p.239) found that aromatherapy was effective in treating mild forms of depression. For severe depression additional therapy will be necessary. Aromatherapy can be useful when combined with other forms of therapy including cognitive behavior, anti-depressant drugs, group therapy, exercise, flower essence therapy and light therapy.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Alternative Medicine/Therapies, Chronic Illness

Related Web page:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: N/A
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Introduction to and Considerations in Complementary and Alternative Therapies (CAM)

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA