Saturday, 17 April 2010

Clinical aromatherapy massage

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Clinical uses of Aromatherapy - Depression

Depression is a mood
disorder in which
feelings of loss,
anger, sadness, or
frustration interfere
with everyday life.
Although everyone
feels sad sometimes,
depression is
persistent and
disrupts your daily
life. Depression is
one of the most
common illnesses. It
can be mild,
moderate, or severe
and occur as a single
episode, recurring
episodes, or chronic
depression (lasting
more than 2 years).
Many experts
consider depression
to be a chronic illness
that requires
long-term treatment.

Preventive Care:

Although there is no guarantee you
can prevent depression, the following
steps may help prevent depression or
decrease the chances of relapse:

* Getting adequate sleep and
regular exercise, and eating a
balanced, healthy diet may help
prevent depression and reduce
* Mind-body techniques, such as
biofeedback, meditation, and tai chi,
may help prevent or reduce
symptoms associated with depression.
* Psychotherapy directed at coping
skills may help prevent relapse.
* Family therapy may prevent
children or teens of depressed
parents from becoming depressed
later in life.
* Adhering to your prescribed
treatment decreases the chance of

Massage and Physical Therapy

Studies of formerly depressed teen
mothers, children hospitalized for
depression, and women with eating
disorders suggest that massage can
help decrease stress, anxiety, and
symptoms of depression. Giving
massage may also be help people
who are depressed. Elderly
volunteers with depression showed
improvement in their symptoms when
they massaged infants.

Aromatherapy, or using essential oils
in massage therapy, may also be a
supplemental treatment for
depression. The benefits of
aromatherapy appear to be related to
treatment's relaxing effect, as well as
the person's belief that it will help.
Essential oils used during massage
for depression include:

* Lavender (Lavandula officinalis)
* Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
* Orange (Citrus aurantium)
* Sandalwood (Santalum album)
* Lemon (Citrus limonis)
* Jasmine (Jasminum spp.)
* Sage (Salvia officinalis)
* Chamomile (Chamaemelum
* Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
* Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Nutrition and supplements

A comprehensive treatment plan for
depression may include a range of
complementary and alternative
therapies. Preliminary studies
suggest some nutritional supplements
may reduce the symptoms of some
depression. It's important to talk to
your team of health care providers
about the best ways to incorporate
these therapies into your overall
treatment plan. Don't try to treat
moderate or severe depression on
your own. Always tell your health care
provider about the herbs and
supplements you are using or
considering using.

These supplements may help reduce

* SAMe (s-adenosyl-L-methionine),
1,600 mg daily, is a substance that is
made in the body that may raise
levels of the brain chemical
dopamine. It has been studied for
depression, but results are mixed and
not all of the studies have been of
good quality. However, some of the
studies suggest SAMe can help
relieve mild-to-moderate depression
and may work faster than prescription
antidepressants. If you are taking
other medications for depression,
speak to your doctor before taking
* 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan),
100 mg three times per day, may help
raise serotonin levels in the brain.
5-HTP is a precursor to serotonin,
and some early studies suggest it
may work similarly to antidepressant
drugs. Although rare, contaminants in
5-HTP, caused by poor
manufacturing methods, have been
associated with a potentially fatal
condition called eosinophilia-myalgia
syndrome. Combining 5-HTP with
other antidepressants can cause
serotonin levels in the brain to rise to
dangerous levels, a condition called
serotonin syndrome. As a result, you
should not take 5-HTP without the
supervision of your doctor.
* Omega-3 fatty acids, such as
those found in fish oil, 3 - 9 g per day,
may help relieve symptoms of
depression, but evidence is mixed.
Some studies suggest that fish oil,
when taken with prescription
antidepressants, works better than
antidepressants alone. However, a
meta-analysis (a statistical review of a
number of studies) failed to find any
benefit. Fish oil taken in high doses
may increase the risk of bleeding, so
do not take it if you also take
anticoagulants (blood-thinners), such
as warfarin (Coumadin).
* Vitamin B6, for women with
premenstrual dysphoric disorder. A
few studies suggest that vitamin B6
may help relieve depressive
symptoms associated with
premenstrual syndrome, although the
evidence is mixed. High doses, which
require a doctor's supervision, we
reused in the studies. Some other
studies suggest that B6 may also help
with other types of depression, but
there is not enough evidence to say
for sure.


Herbs are generally a safe way to
strengthen and tone the body's
systems. As with any therapy, you
should work with your health care
provider to get your problem
diagnosed before starting any
treatment. You may use herbs as
dried extracts (capsules, powders,
teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts),
or tinctures (alcohol extracts). Unless
otherwise indicated, you should make
teas with 1 tsp. herb per cup of hot
water. Steep covered 5 - 10 minutes
for leaf or flowers, and 10 - 20
minutes for roots. Drink 2 - 4 cups per
day. You may use tinctures alone or
in combination as noted.

* St. John's wort (Hypericum
perforatum) standardized extract, 300
mg two to three times per day, for
mild-to-moderate depression. St.
John's wort has been studied
extensively for depression, with most
studies showing it works as well as
antidepressant drugs for
mild-to-moderate depression. It has
fewer side effects than most
antidepressants. It may take 4 -6
weeks when taking St. John's wort
before any improvement is noticed.
St. John's wort interacts with a large
number of medications, including birth
control pills, so check with your doctor
if you are taking prescription
medications. Do not use St. John's
wort to treat severe depression.
* Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)
standardized extract, 40 - 80 mg
three times daily, for depression. A
few studies examining gingko for
treating memory problems in older
adults seemed to show that it also
improved symptoms of depression.
One laboratory study found that
gingko, when given to older rats,
increased the number of
serotonin-binding sites in their brains.
It had no effect on younger rats, so
researchers speculated that it might
relieve depression in older adults by
helping their brains respond better to
serotonin. However, much more
research is needed to say for sure.

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