Integrative Medicine is a blend of western medicine with a variety of other healing modalities. It is rooted in science and focuses on treating the whole person.
Many integrative medicine professionals also practice Functional Medicine.
Some examples of integrative medicine practices include Ayurveda, meditation and other mind-body-spirit techniques, nutrition and nutritional supplements – to name just a few.
The use of essential oils, known as “Aromatherapy” is one of the most beloved, easy to use and effective integrative care practice. Essential oils are the ones that give plants their characteristic smell and the oil extracts can be up to 100 times more potent than the plant itself, increasing both therapeutic benefit and risk of adverse effects.
When using essential oils at home or in a healthcare practice – first do not harm! Let’s review a few safety rules:
Internal use of essential oils is not generally recommended.
Do not apply undiluted oils directly to skin.
Do not use at all for infants <3 months. For older infants and children < 3-4 years, use cautiously and preferably after consulting with a health care professional trained to safely use essential oils.
Inhalation or topical preparations (always diluted) are the most common way to use essential oils. Although there are hundreds of different types of essential oils, here is a short list of my top 3 favorite oils used for children:
- MANDARIN – one of the SAFEST of all essential oils. Recommended for tummy complaints and is very calming (use in anxiety, mild depression, insomnia).
- ROMAN CHAMOMILE – a very CALMING oil, with anti-inflammatory and anti-pain properties. Recommended for anxiety, nausea, insomnia, premenstrual symptoms.
- LAVENDER – there are many different types of lavender. Lavandula angustifolia is very relaxing. Is a highly VERSATILE oil used for it’s calming, sedating, analgesic, skin healing properties. Recommended for anxiety, headaches, insomnia, skin abrasions, colds.