Patients undergoing surgery can benefit from complementary medicine treatments, such as acupuncture, relaxation techniques, massage, and soft manipulation, without putting a burden on the therapeutic plan but, on the contrary, relieving it.
Amongst complementary medicine treatments a particular attention is to be given to essential oils treatments that, for their pleasantness and inexpensiveness, can result to be quite useful.
There is some clinical scientific evidence in favour of Essential Oils use in various phases of pre- and postoperative treatment.
Preoperative anxiety is a common problem that patients undergoing surgery are facing. Surgical procedures, regardless of the difficulty of the intervention, can cause considerable apprehension, mainly reported as the fear of being unconscious, the operation itself, and pain when recovering from anesthesia.
Clinical evidence of the relaxing efficacy of lavender Essential Oils was obtained by Braden et al. who enrolled 150 adult patients undergoing different types of surgery and then randomly assigned to either control (standard care), experimental (standard care plusEssential Oils lavandin, Lavandula hybrida), or sham (standard care plus jojoba oil) groups. Oils were sniffed and applied on the skin before surgery. Visual analog scales were used to assess anxiety on admission to preoperative suite and operating room transfer. It resulted in that the lavandin group showed significantly lower anxiety during operating room transfer.