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East County Thursday, Apr. 19, 2018 4 months ago

The scent of health

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Jennifer Roberson turns to aromatherapy after cancer returns following a 14-year hiatus.
by: Amelia Hanks Community Reporter

When Jennifer Roberson got the news her breast cancer had returned, she knew she couldn’t go through the chemoradiotherapy again.

“The first time I had cancer in 1997, I suffered from neuropathy because of the chemo that I’ll never recover from,” Roberson. “When I was diagnosed again 14 years after that, they recommended radiation again. I just couldn’t do it.”

She wanted to try a more holistic approach this time. She traveled down many avenues including foot baths, colonics and organic foods. Eventually, she found essential oils.

While Roberson says she can’t claim that one thing cured her cancer, she puts a lot of value in the lavender and frankincense oils she found. She has used essential oils every day for the past seven years, and now she is cancer-free. She uses it when she has the flu, a cold and other basic illness.

Essential oils are a natural oil that, through distillation, have the smell of the plant or another source from which it is extracted. There are many different companies that sell essential oils, including Young Living Essential Oils, where Roberson buys the products.

“The tissue in my breasts have always been dense, and I had fibroids all my life and lumps in my breasts even before I was diagnosed with breast cancer the first time,” Roberson said, “Now, because of my essential oils, I don’t have any more lumps in my breasts. I believe that essential oils work.”

Roberson said she hasn’t been to the doctor in six years except for her regular checkups.

“I haven’t been on antibiotics for seven years,” Roberson said. “Instead of running to a doctor’s office or an emergency room every time I feel sick, I just use my essential oils.”

Along with essential oils, Roberson works out with HealthFit, a program offered by Sarasota Memorial Hospital. She does yoga, Pilates and total body workouts.

Roberson said she’s always liked working out, and she loves her physical routine at HealthFit.

She first found out about the program after her husband had a heart attack and was assigned to work out with the HealthFit program for 90 days beginning in March 2016.

While some medical professional may consider aromatherapy an alternative treatment, it is more widely accepted than in years past.

The National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, said essential oils can be helpful improving a cancer patient’s physical, emotional and spiritual well-being, but is used as supportive care as part of other complementary treatments such as massage and acupuncture.

“The effects of aromatherapy are theorized to result from the binding of chemical components in the essential oil to receptors in the olfactory bulb, impacting the brain’s emotional center, the limbic system. Topical application of aromatic oils may exert antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic effects,” the institute said in its overview of the treatment.

Roberson and her husband are both healthy now, and they plan to keep it that way with a consistent routine, and a religious use of essential oils.

“It’s about mind, body and spirit for me,” Roberson said. 

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