Advanced Aromatherapy Case Study

Published on 17 February, 2014 | Case Studies



 aromatherapychildRead this case study of a twelve year old girl who suffers from Attention Deficit Disorder.  Find out how her grades improved, her attention span and all the other benefits that she received after having this treatment: 

Consultation Notes:


 Treatment Card:2 drops Frankincense1 drop Sandalwood

2 drops Lavender

10 ml Jojoba oil

Application time: 15-20 minutes, hands and wrists

Home treatment instructions: 1-2 drops on a tissue, inhaled

Additional home treatment: lavender oil, 1-2 drops on pillow or temples during rest and/or periods of stress.

Mother brought client in today for a consultation and initial treatment.  Answers to above questions were provided by client and mother.  The mother reports that her daughter was diagnosed with ADD and a Learning Disability in the first grade.  She has been evaluated by the school as well as by her physician and no underlying cause for this has been determined.  Attention and mood problems do run in the family.  Her daughter receives a lot of assistance in the classroom and outside the classroom but still experiences a great deal of self-reported stress and difficulty focusing when doing school work.  She is currently taking a medication prescribed commonly to children with ADD, but her mother and she would like to see if complementary therapies could help her focus more and reduce her stress enough that she may reduce her medication.  The client has had Reiki and massage treatments before but reports being uncomfortable during them. “It’s hard to sit still”  “I got really bored and wanted to go home”.

Very well behaved, the child obviously had a lot of energy during the initial consultation, spoke rather rapidly and smiled brightly, laughed loudly, throughout the initial interview.  She made good eye contact but did shadow her mother intensely, holding her hand and often looking to her before she spoke, as if for reassurance.

Based on the initial discussion during this interview, and with client and mother’s consent, I offered to introduce some oils to the client which I think will be helpful in grounding, calming and centering the client.  I informed them that the initial treatments would involve only 15-20 minutes in a chair, not on a table, with instructions for home treatments to build up a tolerance for treatment.  Session time could increase then.  I also chose a chair rather than a table for treatments.  I made this decision for the following reasons: her age, her energy levels and attention span, and her response to previous complementary practices. Considering her age, I know that to establish a comfortable, trusting relationship can sometimes take longer with children and should never be pushed.  I want her to bring the practice home and be able to apply it’s benefits in her daily life to reduce stress long term and on a daily basis.

We began.  Mother stayed in for initial treatment. I asked the client to wash her hands before the treatment as did I.   I lowered the lights and turned on some soft, soothing music that incorporated sounds from nature.  The client agreed to sit in the massage chair and I initiated a brief hand massage as an introduction to our treatments. I chose several oils known for calming and grounding as well as relaxing for the client to smell, asking her which smells she like the best.  Floral scents were her identified favorite upon the intake but given her age, I thought it best to sample various scents to make sure we identify the correct scents that match her liking and to avoid misunderstanding of terms.  I chose to mix the following oils to help ground and center the client: Sandalwood, frankincense and lavender.  I mixed them in a base of jojoba oil.  I chose jojoba oil because its composition is so closely related to the oils excreted naturally by the skin.  It does not clog pores, something a girl starting puberty might be concerned about, and absorbs quickly and smoothly, leaving no greasy residue. The oils I chose included Frankincense, sandalwood and lavender.  I mixed 10 ml of jojoba with 2 drops frankincense, 1 drop sandalwood and 2 drops lavender.  I then massaged the oils into the client’s hands for 15 minutes, asking her to breathe rhythmically with me in order to facilitate a parasympathetic response.  Client visibly relaxed, her breathing deepening and her eyes closed.  When the session was completed, client reported feeling “good” and “sleepy” but ready to play.

I instructed the client not to wash her hands for as long as possible (understanding that the recommended 6-8 hours before washing could not apply if she used the facilities or became dirty, she was a child after all!).  I also cautioned mom and client about exposure to the sun after any direct aromatherapy treatment.  I recommended drinking extra water and going to bed early after treatment as well, in order to rest and be able to feel the full effects of the massage.

I prepared a mix of the same oils used during the session and instructed client and mother to apply 1-2 drops on a tissue for inhalation when studying and doing homework.  I also provided them with a bottle of lavender oil and directed them to place 1 drop on the client’s pillow during bed time or applied directly to the temples during periods of perceived stress.  We scheduled a follow-up appointment.

Conclusion: Treatment has progressed with this client.  She notes reduced stress when doing her homework and mom notes less emotional outbursts of frustration.  Grades are better than they have ever been mom reports.  We continue to work on breathing techniques in combination with the aromatherapy.  Client has been able to sit for longer periods of time, we include feet and upper back during sessions when tolerable.

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