Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Science


Faculty of Regional Professional Studies

First Advisor

Dr Patricia Sherwood


This Research Study explores the quality of the experience for the patient of the external application of ginger using a Husserllan phenomenological methodology, In this Study the phenomenon Is the patient's experience of the external application of ginger. A group of Anthroposophical Nurses in the Hawkes Bay of New Zealand personally selected seven appropriate consenting adults to receive one external application of ginger. Following their experience, the patients were asked a series of open-ended questions by the researcher, These Interviews were audio taped. The interview data have been transcribed and reduced to themes that have been explored and reflected on alongside relevant literature in the field. Four Interpretative themes capturing the patients experience were identified. These are patient experience: •warmth in the body as increasing In intensity and radiating outwards; •Increasing stimulation of internal activity within their body; •changes In thought-life, sensory perception and bodily tension; •centredness within themselves and a greater sense of personal boundary In relation to the world. The warmth response was slow and subtle initially and experienced externally on the skin beneath the ginger compress. Gradually the heat Intensified and developed into deep inner warmth. Patients were astonished at the strength and depth the heat generated. The warmth penetrated deep within the body spreading as far as the limbs. There was a definite awareness that this internal heat response was caused by the ginger compress, remaining long after the treatment and stimulating internal body activity. Patients experienced an enlivening of internal activity within the digestive, excretory and circulatory organs of the body. The increasing activity within the circulation moved and energised the metabolism. There was an awareness of increased blood flow throughout the body accompanied by a sense of an opening up within. Digestive disturbances and increased energy ware experienced; It was as If the body received something extra that enabled a movement internally. Patients experienced a stimulated thought life, including a transition from a dreamy to a wakeful state, changing sensations within the skin, activation of the senses and a relief of aches and tensions in the body. Following the ginger compress thinking was alert and active along with a general Increase In vitality and a sense of being present. There was a sense of being more centred, more connected to oneself and more aware of one's physical body. Patients experienced the opportunity to revisit their inner self, the inner core of their being. For all the patients the experience of the ginger compress was positive. Some of the patients expressed the wish to have repeated treatments. Future research on the experience of a series of ginger compresses for patients with specific conditions would be significant.