Supporting Health in Later Life

Later life

There are many changes that we may experience physically, mentally and emotionally as we approach our later years, and the use of plant aromatics is a wonderful way of providing support during this evolutionary time in our lives.

We may experience journeying through the menopause where the use of hormonal balancing oils such as Geranium can support these changes and help alleviate symptoms. Suffers of hypertension (high blood pressure) would benefit from the use of oils such as Ylang ylang, Neroli, Frankincense and Clary sage.

Essential oils also have the potential to be very useful with suffers of dementia and Alzheimer’s, particularly regarding mood and emotional behaviour, by supporting memory cognition, reducing anxiety and depression and promoting a calm, positive mood.

As with children when treating people in later life the approach to aromatherapy needs to be with awareness and care. As we age our metabolism slows, our rate of absorption is increased and excretion slows, therefore the dilution of oils must be a lower percentage, usually around 0.5-1% dilution. The integrity of the skin is also compromised as we age, so a more gentle application and gentle massage is generally considered more suitable.

Other conditions that can be supported by the use of aromatherapy can include:

  • Arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, joint pain and stiffness
  • Alzheimer’s and dementia
  • Anxiety, stress and worry
  • Circulatory problems (oedema, varicose veins)
  • Coughs, colds, sore throats
  • Dehydrated skin
  • Digestive issues (reflux, diarrhoea, constipation)
  • Emotional wellbeing and mood
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Menopausal symptoms (insomnia, hot flushes, mood)
  • Respiratory issues (Asthma, dysponea)

what to expect in a treatment:

First treatments are slightly longer, so that I can understand your full medical history. We will discuss your current general health and emotional wellbeing from which we will plan the focus of our session together, including how you'd like to feel at the end. Treatments typically involve holistic massage therapy as this is one of the best ways to support the body using essential oils (through skin absorption and inhalation). If appropriate and you are receptive, I may also include other holistic practices to the treatment (see the About Me page). Again, we will discuss this together prior to starting the treatment. 

I believe it is essential to discuss the choice of aromatic oils with you, and for you to be part of the final selection used for the treatment. Many oils may be appropriate, but there is also a level of preference and likeability that is needed due to the subjective nature of aroma, so it is really important you like the choice of smell. Beauty of blending brings an exquisite nature to the oils so I typically suggest using a minimum of three oils, with each oil having a direct and independent therapeutic action to the body. 

Note - intense massage work may not be appropriate particularly if we are treating an acute injury or illness. Therefore the application of oils may be through the use of an ice or heat compresses, an inhalation mask, or other applications such as home remedies (i.e. a sitz bath), until the immediate acute stage has settled, when massage can be given.