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By Lisa M. Browder
Soothing music is always welcome in the hospice environment. It has the capacity to reduce physical symptoms of pain and agitation, and alleviate feelings of fear, anxiety and loneliness. This can add immensely to a patient’s quality of life and a family’s impressions of a “good” hospice experience.
Hospice work is most assuredly fulfilling but it can at times also be exhausting. We’re in a profession where people constantly tell us to take care of ourselves – get a good night’s sleep, drink plenty of water, try meditation at the end of the day, eat right. All of these things are meant to help us replenish and restore balance in our lives, as well as our emotions and our spirits. We deal with very raw emotions of patients and families on a daily basis and that can take a toll if we don’t allow some time for ourselves.
Spikenard essential oil comes from the Valerianaceae family, the same one from which we get Valerian. Both have calming and sedative properties and Spikenard is also anti-inflammatory, bactericidal, deodorant, fungicidal, laxative, sedative and tonic. It is known to be non-toxic, non-irritating and non-sensitizing.
Steam distilled from a grass, the finest quality Vetiver is called Bourbon vetiver and it originates from the Reunion Islands. However, it is also grown in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Java, the Seychelles, Brazil, Haiti, Japan and India, where it is called the Oil of Tranquility. That should give you an indication of how it is most often used in aromatherapy and perfumery.