AROMATHERAPY & CEREBRAL PALSY

The use of aromatherapy, especially in combination with massage, can be extremely helpful for individuals (all ages) suffering from any kind of handicap. As I said before, touch transgresses everything as do the essential oils. They reach into the very deepest part of a person to balance and sooth. I want to tell you about Jane, one of my clients some years ago. She was, at the time, aged 24 and suffered from hypotonic cerebral palsy (CP). She was living at home except for some holidays and her parents were wonderful and loving people, doing all they could to make her comfortable. Jane was in a wheelchair, unable to move at all which had, over the years, made her skeletal structure crooked and brittle so she had been through surgery a few times to be able to stay in the wheelchair. She had no communication-possibilities at all since she had no control over her face or body. Her respiratory system was very weak resulting in repeated bouts of pneumonia when she would have to spend time at the hospital. Her digestive system was also weak, and sometimes she wouldn’t take nutrition so then she would go to the hospital for feeding. She was also given medicine to help with the cramping.

When I saw her the first time she was strapped in her wheelchair, hands tightly clasped against her chest. She kept moving her head from side to side, gnawing her teeth. I sat with her and her mother for some time, chatting and bringing out the oils. I made a selection of oils for Jane to smell. I could see by the way she moved her head what oils were interesting to her, they made the motion of her head slow down. In this way she chose:

Orange (citrus sinensis) 14 dr, Lemongrass (cymbopogon citratus) 8 dr and Lavender (lavendula augustifolia) 10 dr. Blended in 100 ml blended vegetable oil + 50ml macerated oil of Marigold (Calendula officinalis)

Together with her mother, we massaged her hands and arms, one hand each. Soon she started relaxing her fists, allowing her hands to lie open in her lap. Once the hand-massage was finished, the hand massaged by her mother stayed relaxed and open longer. I then massaged her legs, showing the mother how to enhance circulation. By this time Jane was meeting my eyes and her head was stiller. I just had this flash that she was suffering from headaches (constant gnawing of her teeth) so I asked her. Tears started rolling down her cheeks and I made an oil-blend for her face and neck which I massaged her with; feeling the tension leave her head as I massaged her scalp.

In a blend of 25 ml veg.oil blend + 5 ml of infused Teebalm (monarda fistulosa) + 3 dr of Neroli (citrus aurantium ssp amara var. pumilla).

I showed her mother and father the massage and made oils for them to use: Massage of legs, feet and stomach every morning, massage of face, head and hands 3-5 times during the day. A month later I visited again and Jane, was visibly happy to see me again. She basically stayed with the oil-blends above with small changes in the essential oils to help with circulation and relaxation. When I left Sweden I referred her to another very good aromatherapist in the area. Jane is still doing fine on the oils, her life (and that of her parents) a little bit easier. Over time her respiratory and digestive problems have lessened with a lot less traumatic days in the hospital.

Her movements are involuntary, which makes the observations very interesting, proving that massage (and) essential oils have an impact on the central nervous system.

For info on Cerebral Palsy (CP):  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerebral_palsy

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2 responses to “AROMATHERAPY & CEREBRAL PALSY

  1. Wow, I wish I had know about this several years ago. When I first graduated from massage school, I took a job with a company that provided massage and physical therapy for clients with Cerebral Palsy. I quickly learned how much massage was essential for these clients and I gained knowledge everyday working with my clients and also working with their physical therapists achieving exercise and mobility goals. It was a rewarding and wonderful experience that I wish every new therapist could have. I will pass this information along to a couple of therapists I know who still work in that field. Thanks so much!

  2. Thank you for this very helpful article. Cerebral palsy and other such conditions have been causing a great deal of distress in many families

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