By Joy Ballard, RN

Editor’s note: Joy Ballard is a nurse and guest blogger who offers webinars on Essential Oils. To sign up for the March 24 webinar, click here.

Joy Ballard

Joy Ballard

Walking into a patient’s room, you notice an instant difference in the smell of the room. What is that distinct cinnamon and clove aroma? And that sound? Why does it sound more like a spa than a hospital in this room? Is that music???

Holistic patient care is a hot buzz term that means different things to different people. Are complementary or what some may call “alternative” care methods a comfortable subject for you? Are you able to dialog with your patients with understanding and in a knowledgeable way when they want to incorporate a non-Western Medicine therapy into their care? Or does it just mean that you are dealing with some “pie in the sky” hippie patient that is going to be non-compliant?

There is a tidal wave sweeping this country called “Essential Oils.” There are a growing number of big name hospitals (Beth Israel Hospital in New York, Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, and Vanderbilt to name a few)  that are beginning to use them in direct patient care, and MANY patients that are bringing them into the hospital when they are patients. One of the oldest healing modalities is making a comeback.

The father of medicine Hippocrates wrote more than 800 prescriptions that included essential oils and herbs. Gallons upon gallons of jars that contained essential oils have been found in the pyramids, and hieroglyphics depict the application of those oils by the healers of the day. Even the Bible includes references to essential oils and how they are to be used for healing.

As a nurse myself, I was highly suspicious and very skeptical when I was initially introduced to Essential Oils. Sure I knew Johnson & Johnson sold Lavender Lotion that was supposed to help my infant sleep. But honestly it had had little effect, and I wasn’t impressed. Over the past few years though, I have educated myself and learned much about oils and want to share some of what I have learned with you.

I hope as I share you will feel empowered to knowledgably help your patients who want to incorporate complimentary healing modalities at the bedside. I hope to stretch your belief of what the words Healing and Health really mean. And move the term “Holistic care,” from being a hot buzz word to being a goal of yours as you care for patients.

Because Essential Oils are a hot topic, let’s start there.

So what are Essential Oils?  Dr. Gary Young ND is one of the many who is actively working to bring Essential Oils back to mainstream Western Healthcare. In his lecture called “The Missing Link in Modern Healthcare,” he discusses what essential oils are and how they function in the human body. Click here for a 5-minute audio clip of that lecture. The rest of the lecture is available on YouTube if you want to hear it, just search “The Missing Link by Gary Young.”

Next time I’ll discuss some of the most common oils that are used and their properties.

To your Health,

Joy Ballard, RN

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