Aromatherapy: A Chaplain or Counselor's Therapeutic Intervention of Relaxation


In approaching the subject of patient or client care, there are two things that make for a successful session, trust and comfort. Trust and comfort allow individuals to relax and speak freely. When it comes to being a Chaplain and Counselor there are many methods that can be employed to assist in the process of relating to the patient. One I have found to be effective in many cases is engaging the olfactory senses with the use of Aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy is the use of various scents and smells in the art of healing to bring a desired response from the patient. Often time’s smells carry feelings and emotions; what we smell is connected to our history. The smell of an Apple Pie Candle to some is so nostalgic that it invokes memories of being at Grandmas for the summer and a peace and joy come over them at the smell of that aroma. For others the smell of lavender reminds them of a calm night that they longed for.

While this technique is not a good choice for all, but for many it can cause breakthrough in relaxation. Fragrances take us to places within our imagination that sooth the raging sea in us. Aromatherapy is a great Segway into guided meditation or a focusing exercise. It sets the atmosphere for peace and the Holy Spirit (the divine) to begin to work. A hint of lemongrass may cause the walls to come down and vulnerability to be shown. Aromatherapy is a tool that can be a great asset to patient and client care if utilized creatively.

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