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Aromatherapy and Hand Massage as a Means of Relieving Chronic Pain Essay (Article)

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Updated: Apr 9th, 2022

One of the main concerns of the contemporary medical worker is the patient’s comfort and well-being during the period of their presence in the hospital. Medical facilities today offer a wide range of services directed at the improvement of the patient’s comfort. Medical treatment of various diseases is more likely to have a positive outcome if the patient was taken care of in calm and peaceful surroundings. One of the most effective ways to encourage relaxation and calmness in patients is through aromatherapy and gentle massage. This technique is highly effective for patients that suffer from chronic pains and anxieties.

Regular massage therapies showed strongly positive results in chronic pain alleviation and improvement of the overall physical and emotional condition of the patients. The researchers in this field were focused on measuring the pain using Iowa Pain Thermometer and Geriatric Multidimensional Pain and Illness Inventory before and after the several-week courses of massage and aromatherapy. The researchers documented a significant decrease in pain and the improvement of the quality of life of the participants of the studies. This means that this rather simple method of treatment is highly effective and should be considered by the contemporary therapeutic nursery.

The patients’ comfort and well-being are the main functions of contemporary nursery professionals (Kolcaba et al, 2006). People of different ages report having chronic pains which influence their quality of life in a negative way. Patients with chronic pains tend to have multiple comfort needs of psychological, physical, and environmental characters. The procedure of massage and aromatherapy is very helpful, not complex, it can be easily included in the process of patient care and the nurses and nursery assistants can be trained to perform the most useful and efficient massage techniques.

The experiments conducted by medical professionals all around the world were directed at measuring the levels of chronic pain the patients experienced. After the quantitative data was collected the course of aromatherapy and hand massage was practiced. The researchers worked with patients experiencing a variety of chronic non-malignant pains. The therapy course proved to have a significant analgesic effect on pain in the lower back area, neck and shoulder pain, and headaches. Massage and aromatherapy were recommended as auxiliary treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome and fibromyalgia and musculoskeletal pains (Tsao, 2007).

The research conducted by Cino included forty participants that took a four-week course of massage having sessions twice a week. To measure chronic pain Geriatric Multidimensional Pain and Illness Inventory points such as emotional distress, life interference, and suffering. Besides, Iowa Pain Thermometer, a pain scale, was employed. The course showed that hand massage with and without aromatherapy significantly reduced the scores showed by the measuring devices at the beginning of the experiment (Cino, 2014).

The research by Yip and Tse included a course consisting of eight sessions of manual acupressure therapy that was held within three weeks on adult patients with sub-acute non-specific neck pains. The researchers use the Visual Analogue Scale to measure pain intensity, stiffness and stress levels, lateral and forward neck flexions, and extensions in centimeters. The research results documented that massage therapy reduces stiffness by twenty-three percent, stress level by thirty-nine percent, improved lateral and forward neck flexions, and also showed a twenty-three percent pain level decrease (Yip & Tse, 2006).

To introduce changes to the practice it is recommended to add simple massage techniques on a group of patients suffering from knee pains and neck stiffness and flexions. The functional improvements of the limps can be measured with the help of a goniometer. Massage sessions should be provided within several phases. Each of the phases should last for at least three weeks. One week should include at least two massage sessions conducted with a break lasting one or two days. The sessions should not be scheduled for two days in a row as it is believed that muscles need time to recover from massage sessions so the therapy is more effective if it is properly combined with the periods of rest.

After each of the three-week phases, the measurement should be renewed and documented. This will help to follow the improvement tendency and speed. Through the course of the therapy, the staff included in the procedures will be able to learn and improve their insights on the techniques performed during the sessions and alter their approach to achieve better efficiency and more positive results.

The end of the trial session will be able to show the results of the patients’ improvements, the best techniques, and the best performers. Massage sessions for patients with various kinds of chronic pains should be tested. To make the practice regular, experienced nurses should be able to train and teach others. This way the procedure to aromatherapy, massage, and acupressure treatment will become available for any patient with chronic pains.

To conclude, massage and aromatherapy are practically useful, efficient easy, and safe methods of addressing such serious concerns of many patients as chronic pains. One of the main tasks of contemporary nursery professionals is to do everything to improve the quality of life of their patients. Aromatherapy, massage, and acupressure are fresh and innovative ways of improving the performance of nurses and nursing assistants, creating more comfortable and less stressful surroundings for the patients and alleviating their pain.

Reference List

Cino, K. (2014). Aromatherapy Hand Massage for Older Adults With Chronic Pain Living in Long-Term Care. Journal of Holistic Nursing 1(117).

Kolcaba, K., Schirm, V. & Steiner, R. (2006). Effects of Hand Massage on Comfort of Nursing Home Residents. Geriatric Nursing 27(2), 85-91.

Tsao, J. (2007). Effectiveness of Massage Therapy for Chronic, Non-malignant Pain: A Review. ECAM 4(2), 165-179.

Yip, Y. B., & Tam, A. C. Y. (2008). An Experimental Study on the Effectiveness of Massage with Aromatic Ginger and Orange Essential Oil for Moderate-to-severe Knee Pain Among the Elderly in Hong Kong. Complementary Therapies in Medicine: 131-138.

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IvyPanda. "Aromatherapy and Hand Massage as a Means of Relieving Chronic Pain." April 9, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/aromatherapy-and-hand-massage-as-a-means-of-relieving-chronic-pain/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Aromatherapy and Hand Massage as a Means of Relieving Chronic Pain." April 9, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/aromatherapy-and-hand-massage-as-a-means-of-relieving-chronic-pain/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Aromatherapy and Hand Massage as a Means of Relieving Chronic Pain'. 9 April.

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