Term Paper: Aromatherapy as a Cancer

Pages: 8 (2315 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Healthcare  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] An audience of alternative practioners would be more interested in the holistic or mind/body spirit value of evidence produced. The body of research conducted to this point in time however, reveals that too great an emphasis has been placed on subjective, qualitative results and not enough on gathering statistical or quantitative data.

Thus, methodological requirements in this instance will be more stringent in nature. Control groups and placebo oils should be utilized to examine the effects of essential oils on patients. In some instances it is possible that psycho-somatic factors may influence results. From a biomedical and quantitative perspective, it is critical that controls be utilized from which comparisons can be made.

By nature of the issue, treatment will have to be individualized to each patient. Essential oils may be standardized in use related to symptoms (for example pain, anxiety reduction or depression), however each cancer patient is likely to present with differing symptoms, stages of illness and the progression of disease. Certain stages of cancer may present with features including despair, anger and loneliness whereas others are likely to be more pain intensive. It will be critical to document the use of oils in each of these instances. Standardization of use across different like/groups, such as a group of participants experiencing localized pain may be possible.

It would be impossible to conduct a study that is solely quantitative and objective in nature, due to the nature of essential oils. Part of the benefit of use of aromatherapy is directly tied to a patient's perception of their well being, overall health and mental state. Thus this study must require incorporation of a survey of patient views related to their health and well being, combined with information gathered from biomedical mechanisms and EEG, EMG etc. results.

The aim of this study would be to combine subjective and objective processes much like traditional medicine combines with alternative medicine when aromatherapy is used as a conjunct therapy in cancer management. Survey of patient opinions are as important to include as documented statistical analysis related to brain wave activity, heart rhythms and similar biomedical measurements. The study in order to compete with existing studies will also have to be broad in scope, and incorporate a large population sample. Part of the shortcomings of earlier studies also involve the short-term examination of outcome. To differ from existing research, this proposal suggests long-term examination of the effects of aromatherapy oil use on cancer treatment and patient outcomes.


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