Aromatherapy and Cancer care


Helen Buckley, Revive All

This is the fourth in our series of Aromatherapy Awareness Week blogs from Helen Buckley, owner of Revive All . Today Helen writes about how aromatherapy can be used in cancer care.


This may appear to be a bit 'off topic' for Bright Copper Kettles CIC , but we know that many of you are caring for people with cancer in your care homes

and some of you are living with cancer yourselves too.


We hope this helps each and every one of you.


Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils from plants to bring about wellbeing in a person’s body. The use of aromatherapy oils with Cancer care is as a complimentary therapy and not an alternative therapy. A complimentary therapy works alongside conventional medicine to support the person. An alternative therapy is one used instead of conventional medicine.



Aromatherapy is used alongside conventional cancer care

Aromatherapy is used alongside conventional cancer care to support the person psychologically and physically. We look to assess the person as a whole and to treat the emotional state first, followed by any physical imbalance. This may be to help with sleep, to reduce pain, to bring a sense of calm, to uplift, to reduce sadness or anger.




The pathology of different cancers, the various methods of treatment and the various oils and application techniques often mean the aromatherapist will use oils and techniques approved by medical consultants. Touch will likely be very light and avoided around the lymph glands.


Before using any essential oils please check with your medical consultant.


I have found the following oils to work well:

Frankincense is calming and enables the breath to slow down and deepen. It reduces tension and anxiety.

Sandalwood for its anti-depressive, anti-fungal and calming properties.

Lavender is well known for its stress reducing, anti-depression and calming properties. It is also antiseptic and useful for skin conditions.

Sweet Orange for its positive digestive properties and to promote a positive outlook.


When working with people with Cancer using aromatherapy oils, each person needs to be assessed each time the oils are used and if using in massage, dilution needs to be 1% essential oils. Ask for feedback after each treatment and ensure they are comfortable.


Sometimes Aromatherapy oils are used during Reflexology treatments. Reflexology is a massage of the feet using specific techniques to relieve tension and treat imbalances.

Most people receiving it find it relaxing.


To assist you in finding a therapist who has taken accredited training in Cancer care please take a look at the Federation of Holistic Therapists and their Accredited Register of complimentary therapist at https://www.fht.org.uk/findatherapist


Or feel free to contact me on helen@reviveall.co.uk

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