There’s perhaps nothing more painful and gut-wrenching in the world than watching a loved one struggle in their final days of life. Whether it’s simply due to old age or a crippling form of cancer or a debilitating mental illness like Alzheimer’s Disease, it’s undeniably sad and more than a few families feel helpless as they watch their loved one or friend struggle.
As of 2015, there were an estimated 1.4 million hospice patients in the United States and that number will undoubtedly grow as approximately 20% of the U.S. population will be at least 65 or older by 2030.
Fortunately for folks in their final days, hospice care can be invaluable. Hospice workers can make patients as comfortable as possible by offering needed medicines and providing emotional support to a patient and their family and friends.
It’s true that there are many benefits to traditional methods of hospice care such as medication and clinic therapy. But for patients who are looking for a different approach to feel comfortable, there are many benefits to choosing holistic hospice care. Holistic hospice care and holistic hospice therapy can do a lot to enhance a patient’s quality of life and to offer a more natural option for care or pain management.
When it comes to holistic hospice care, there are three popular choices for care: aromatherapy, Reiki therapy and acupuncture:
This is a popular form of holistic hospice care that can bring positive physiological changes in a patient’s blood pressure, and muscles and blood flow through different smells. Essentially, the therapy uses essential oils to stimulate a patient’s brain. By smelling different oils, patients can have:
- Control for nausea and pain
- Reduction of stress and anxiety
- A calm, peaceful atmosphere
Another great benefit of essential oils is that they can very easily be blended into creams and lotions and then applied to any body parts or area where there’s stiffness, swelling or soreness.
Popular essential oils include:
- Peppermint: used as an energy booster and for digestion
- Sandalwood: used to improve focus and calm the nerves
- Chamomile: used to help patients relax and to improve mood
- Jasmine: used to help patients with depression
- Lemon: used to alleviate headaches, improve mood and aid digestion among other things
- Ylang-Ylang: used to treat common symptoms like nausea and headaches
This form of holistic care hospice uses the idea that all life has an energy field or area that is constantly flowing around and through it. So essentially this therapy aims to improve a patient’s energy flow by creating a peaceful, comfortable environment. Reiki therapy promotes several things including:
- Pain management
- The release of fear, grief and anxiety
- Positive emotional closure
By utilizing Reiki therapy, hospice patients can get many benefits which include:
- It helps the body release stress and tension
- It aids with sleep
- It helps the body’s immune system by helping the body cleanse itself from toxins
- It helps improve focus and clears the mind
- It helps a patient’s emotional cleansing and spiritual growth
- It aids in pain relief
This form of holistic care hospice uses needles placed at strategic points in the body to stimulate the release of endorphins, which naturally help the body modify its perception of pain. You may not know it, but acupuncture has been used for thousands of years and has been identified by the World Health Organization as a viable treatment for more than 200 different diseases.
When it comes to holistic care hospice, you might wonder if acupuncture hurts and the answer is no. They are inserted into the skin to stimulate acupoints, thereby improving the body’s natural healing abilities. Once needles are inserted (and they can be put just about anywhere), they may be further stimulated by electricity or pressure or heat.
Acupuncture has many benefits in that it can:
- Relieve stress and anxiety
- Relieve depression
- Reduce fatigue as well as vomiting and nausea
- Reduce pain
There are many types of holistic care hospice and these therapies can help a friend or loved one feel better in their final days.