resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
April, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 04
Methods: Inhalation and Topical Application of Essential Oils
By Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT
It's my hope that the information and guidelines presented in this and following articles on the basics of aromatherapy, culled from more than 20 years of experience, will help propel Massage Today readers in the right direction on a journey through the wonderful, welcoming and profitable world of essential oils.
When working with essential oils in massage, it is helpful to understand the way they enter the body. There are two basic pathways that we utilize in a massage practice: inhalation and topical application.
Inhalation and the process of olfaction are well documented and understood. During inhalation, the volatile molecules of essential oils become a vapor which contacts the sensory nerves in the nasal passage. Now, the vapor is converted to an electrical charge that is carried via the olfactory nerve to the olfactory bulb and into the brain. (At this point, there are several theories of how the charge is recognized.) However, it is then conveyed to the limbic region and reaches the hypothalamus, where it will continue on to either the ANS or the pituitary gland to stimulate hormone activity. Other molecules will pass into the cerebral cortex, stimulating memory, learning and emotional responses. Blood circulation is immediately accessed during inhalation via the nasal mucosa and the alveoli in the lungs.
Inhalation of essential oils is achieved through diffusion via machine or air sprays in the office or treatment room. It is also the most direct pathway of the aromatic blend or essence used during the massage. The therapist and other clients or office staff will also receive essences diffused into common areas via inhalation. Because of this, it's good to note that regarding true essential oils (versus synthetic fragrance), once the brain recognizes and transmits the information of the essential oil molecule, the sense of smell is satisfied and the fragrance may stop being detected -- unless we leave the room and re-enter, causing this to become "new information" for the olfactory nerve to deliver. However, the molecules remain active and in the air for hours.
Unless an air purifier is used between clients, the treatment room can become a muddled mixture of blends. This will tamper with the purity of the specific aromatic treatment. For example, if the goal is to relax a client, but stimulating essences are still in the room, the relaxing effect will be lessened ... and vice versa. The buildup can also become overpowering for the therapist. For these reasons, using an air purifier to clear the aromatic molecules in the room while the sheets are being changed is a very good idea. And because the constant diffusion of essential oils will also build up in the waiting room, a time release diffuser is preferable. It is best to use essences that are neither too sedative or stimulating, such as those from citrus and wood, for common areas. For greatest purity of experience, use no fragrance at all in the rest of the office or in the treatment room.
Unlike inhalation, the amount and action of essential oils absorbed in topical application is not as well understood, nor can it be completely and accurately described at this time.
Dermal penetration presents a more difficult route, beginning with the fact that percutaneous absorption requires that the essential oil in liquid form enters the stratum corneum, the thin outer layer of the skin that is equipped to protect the body from invading organisms. Hair follicles, eccrine and apocrine glands, which account for only 1 percent of the skin's surface, provide easier access than the cells and keratin content of the stratum corneum. Thus, certain areas of the body are said to be more permeable: forehead and scalp, soles and palms, genitals, armpits and mucous membranes.
According to aromatherapist and educator, Salvatore Battaglia, if the essence is able to permeate the complex biological functions of the stratum corneum, a variety of things can occur. One potential is for the essential oil molecule to remain in the skin itself, where it may be metabolized by cutaneous enzymes. (It is speculated that enzymes may convert some components, such as safrole, methyl chavicol and carvacrol, into potentially harmful substances.)
Another possibility is that the essence remains in the skin, forming a reservoir by binding to the stratum corneum or subcutaneous fat where it may be slowly released into the capillaries. The best case scenario is that all or part of the essential oil components will reach and be completely absorbed into the cutaneous micro-circulation.
Essential oil components may also bind with proteins in the skin, which creates the sensitizing response of allergic contact dermatitis. Skin permeability may be increased by:
Research about skin absorption rates have not resulted in a clinically proven pathway to date. In addition, none of these studies or speculations takes into account the vibratory action of the essence when it touches the body. These effects can be experienced, even if not successfully measured.
Regarding the topical method, Sylla Sheppard-Hanger writes, "Just because whole essential oils may not be absorbed into the bloodstream creating a systemic reaction, beneficial skin affects and certainly the mental effects (relaxation) are very much possible with essential oil treatments. ...Certainly the beneficial mental effects induced when using a pleasing fragrance cannot be denied."
The combination of inhalation, vibration and potential dermal penetration, coupled with the caring touch of the therapist could well be the reason Sylla concludes, "The safest and most pleasant method of delivery is the external use of essential oils (highly diluted), usually in the form of massage."
Click here for previous articles by Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.