An aromatherapy massage combines the benefits of massage therapy with the use of essential oils.
They can have many different effects on the mind, body and spirit, and make an aromatherapy massage an uplifting experience.
Essential oils are an aromatic essence distilled from a single botanical source and are renowned for their sedative, stimulating and analgesic properties. They have many different therapeutic uses.
A few drops in the bath, for inhalation, or added to creams and lotions can be very pleasant, but the most relaxing and therapeutic use is through aromatherapy massage.
The Benefits of Aromatherapy Massage
Massage, dates back around 4,000 years where massage was used in traditional Chinese medicine where it was used as a healing therapy.
The benefits of massage affect the body as a whole and it particularly influences the activity of the following areas of the body:
Musculoskeletal, circulatory, lymphatic, and nervous systems.
Massage is a ‘hands-on’ therapy and there are many variations, ranging from a gentle stoking and kneading of muscles to firmer, deeper, manual techniques.
Many studies have shown that massage therapy is an excellent way of reducing stress. Many people from all walks of life enjoy regular massages for this reason.
With the correct techniques and the right blend of essential oils, an aromatherapy massage can provided symptomatic relief to a variety of problems.
Stress for example, can cause and exacerbate many chronic problems including digestive problems, migraines, hypertension, back ache and muscle tension.
An Aromatherapy massage can be an effective way of inducing relaxation, combating stress and ensuring continuation of good health.
Aromatherapy Massage – What You Can Expect
On your first visit for an aromatherapy massage, you will be expected to provide your therapist with in-depth information into your current state of health and wellbeing.
This is likely to take the form of an initial consultation. During this consultation, your therapist will need to ascertain if you have any illnesses or injuries that may affect the massage.
Your therapist may also want you to consider what factors in your life may be contributing to the symptoms you are experiencing. For example, backache or muscle tension might be related to stress at work or family worries.
The therapist will be looking to treat you as a ‘whole’ – mind, body and spirit. He or she will blend oils to relax and calm, to ensure you get the best from your aromatherapy massage.
A good therapist may also make suggestions for dealing with the issues that are contributing to your symptoms. They may suggest alternative forms of treatment or help.
Aromatherapy Massage – How does it work?
Armed with the information gathered from your consultation your therapist will select and blend essential oils that they feel best meet your individual need.
The essential oil blend will be added to a ‘carrier oil’ and this will be used for your aromatherapy massage.
During the aromatherapy massage, much of the essential oils are inhaled and absorbed through the mouth and nose stimulating the production of relaxing, sedative euphoric or sedative neuro-chemicals, providing beneficial mental and emotional effects.
Aromatherapy Massage – Choosing a Therapist
Massage is a very personable experience. It is important that you choose a therapist whom you are comfortable with, as you will be expected to remove some of your clothing, but only as much as you feel comfortable with.
Clear communication, understanding and consent are vital and you should feel confident to advise your therapist if any specific technique hurts, or you feel discomfort at any time.
An aromatherapy massage usually lasts about one hour, but can be shorter or longer on request. After the session, your therapist may suggest a blend of oils that you can continue to use at home.
The amount of sessions you have will depend on your personal circumstances. Many people recommend the use of aromatherapy massage as a maintenance tool to be used as often as possible.
Finding the right aromatherapist for you
You should take the time to find a therapist with the appropriate skills and training. If in doubt you should ask to see any relevant certificates of training.
There are various professional bodies that you can contact for details of aromatherapy massage and a number of organizations will provide an aromatherapy massage in the comfort of your own home.