My main endeavour with this article is to journey with you through some of the different aspects of Lupus, and, how aromatherapy may provide one of the keys to its management.

The relationship between the main biochemical constituents of essential oils and the psychological and physiological results achieved by the aromatherapy treatment has been amongst the most important and interesting discoveries in aromatic medicine of the last 20 years.

The psychological and biochemical interface between cells and essential oils is today believed to occur at the level of the microtubules present within the microskeleton of cells. It is at this level that the constituent molecules of essential oils interact with the organic molecules already present within the cell and are able to produce specific responses.
“Our Antibodies, Our selves”
Lupus, (lupus from the Latin name for wolf), is an autoimmune disease which strikes women the hardest in their childbearing age, appears suddenly, without warning, during the best times of a woman's life and bring her plans to a screeching halt. Or, it can work slowly, without any sign that a life-threatening illness is undermining her health.
The characteristic skin disorders in Lupus Erythematosus are;
1.- A butterfly erythematous rash on the face. This blush is slightly swollen and is localised on both cheeks and across the bridge of the nose.
2.- A maculopapular rash usually occurs after sun exposure, is usually itchy and may involve any place on the body including palms and soles, and can resemble an allergic drug reaction.
3.- Discoid Lupus Erythematosus, usually involves the face, scalp and ears, but may occur anywhere. The rash may be itchy.
Later on the lesions heal with scaring, leaving a white area with or without increased focal pigmentation.

Psychosis and Affective Disorders may include psychosis which produces delusions or hallucinations, and severe depression.
Miscellaneous
The incidence of headache is increased in SLE patients and is considered by some to be one of the common manifestations of NP-SLE. It usually presents as migraine and must be distinguished from other lupus and non-lupus causes of headache.
RISK FACTORS: stress, pregnancy, use of certain drugs, such as hydralazine, procainamide, methyldopa and chlorpromazine, genetic factors. COMPLICATIONS: Bacterial or viral pneumonia, impaired kidney function, Pericarditis, seizures, hypertension, arteriosclerois, SLE is sometimes associated with other auto-immune disorders such as arthritis, diabetes, hypo-thyroidism
PROGNOSIS: Though Lupus is currently considered incurable, the long term prognosis is excellent, provided the initial episode is controlled. The disease is characterised by remissions and relapses often with long periods of remission.
TREATMENT:
A) CONVENTIONAL MEDICAL TREATMENT:
Allopatic or conventional medical treatment usually incorporates the use of immuno-suppressant drugs. These are frequently chosen as the most suitable medication, the treatment if Lupus is very broad, and not at all specific to the targeted cells.
B) AROMATHERAPY TREATMENT:
The aromatherapy treatment plan for Lupus sufferers should be formulated encompassing the choice of oils and the appropriate individual method of treatment. This is geared primarily to deal with the underlying stress to which the body is responding, thus the treatment is geared to eliminate the trigger factors.
After a careful case history and a prioritization of the main symptoms and signs presented by the sufferer, a shortlist of essential oils is drawn up. Taking into consideration those oils which have analgesic, calming, balancing, adrenergic and antiallergic properties, in other words, oils which in their molecular composition have aldehydes, ethers and monoterpenic alcohols, while those with a predominance of sesquiterpenes and ketones will be very beneficial when specifically formulating for the skin complaints.
Because from the above discussion we know that infections are a great risk in patients with SLE, the anti-infectious effects present in some essential oils may also be required, such as Thyme Chemotype linalol, Thymus vulgaris linaloliferum, Eucalyptus Radiata, Honey Myrtle, Myrtus communis, and in some clients with a marked imbalance in their oestrogen oils such as Niaouli , Melaleuca quincuinervia viridiflora, Myrtle, Myrtus communis, are amongst those chosen. Furthermore, some clients require a balancing of their adrenal functions and for them Black Spruce, Picea mariana, Pine, Pinus sylvestris, Scots pine, Pinus pinaster may be amongst your choice, immunomodulant, relaxing, uplifting and mood enhancing. Amongst them Bergamot, Citrus bergamia, which although it is known to be photosensitising, is indicated in clients suffering from this disorder, as they are unable to be exposed to sunlight. Other very good oils include Ravensar Ravensara aromatica, Melissa Melissa officinalis, Manuka Leptospermium scoparium, Tea tree Melaleuca alternifolia and others.
As sunlight sensitivity is manifest, the protection with hats, sunglasses, sunscreens, long sleeved clothing is recommended. Apply alternative heat or ice to relieve joint pain. Controlling stress is an important factor.

The methods of treatment include all of the traditional aromatherapy methods, such as body massage, facial massage, aromatic baths, hydrosols, cold compresses if necessary for very painful joints and hot compresses for Reignauds on the extremities.
Personal uplifting aromatherapy perfume formulations have also proven very beneficial to counteract stressful situations which are in some cases unavoidable for the sufferers.

Active exercises are encouraged to retain full range of motions, relaxation techniques should be part of the recommended aromatherapy treatment.
DIET: A wholesome balanced diet with no stimulants or red meat is of help in this condition, in patients where the kidneys or heart are affected, restrict intake of salt.

PROGNOSIS: Though Lupus is currently considered incurable, the long term prognosis is excellent, provided the initial episode is controlled. The disease is characterised by remissions and relapses often with long periods of remission.

Author's Bio: 

Vivian Nadya Lunny, MD, MBBS *Medical Barchelor, Batchelor of Surgery, MDMA *Medical Doctor Medicina Alternativa,
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Author of: Aromatherapy, Aromatherapy for the Birthing Year, Crystal Healing Crystal Zodiac e books Aromatherapy and Colour Healing Sections of the Reader’s Digest Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. Doctor Vivian has been Speaking at International Conferences of Aromatherapy Worldwide since 1992, teaching Aromatherapy Professional Certification Courses in Europe, the Americas, Middle East, Asia and Australia since the early 90’s. She is currently based in British Columbia, Canada. Consultant to the Aromatherapy Industry since the early nineties, a founder member of the Aromatherapy Organizations Council and the International Federation of Aromatherapists UK and the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy NAHA U.S. She is fluent in English, Spanish, German and Hungarian, and has a knowledge of French, Portuguese and Italian
For more information on all aspects of aromagems, subtle and clinical aromatherapy, consultations, treatments and courses, please contact Doctor Vivian at doctorvivian@shaw.ca , or visit her webpages at:
www.realessencesoflife.com
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