What is Aromatherapy massage?
Aromatherapy uses essentials oils extracted from flowers, fruits, seeds, herbs and the bark of certain plants to enhance the benefits of massage. These oils are said to have healing properties and therapeutic benefits and they contain powerful natural chemicals.
The essential oils are mixed with other carrier oils, for example, sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil or apricot kernel oil. Carrier oils are vegetable oils derived from the seeds, kernels or nuts of plants and are basically mixed with the essential oils which if applied to the skin undiluted may cause skin irritation in some people.
The essential oils used would vary depending on the reason for the massage; for instance lavender or bergamot are used for a relaxing aromatherapy massage, whereas peppermint and eucalyptus are used for sore muscle massages. Therefore before your first aromatherapy massage your therapist will find out what your desired outcome is to decide which oils to use.
Aromatherapy massages are not so much to physically work out all the sore areas of your body but the use of the restorative properties of the essential oils to relax and heal body and mind.
How does aromatherapy work?
Essentials oils are absorbed into the skin by massaging. The oils enter the blood stream and travel through the body and have an effect on body organs or functions in the body. The benefits affect a wide range of health conditions of the nervous, circulatory, immune and muscular systems.
Another way essential oils enter the body is by inhalation through the nose and mouth; the aromas are absorbed through the soft tissues in the nose and mouth. The airborne molecules that form through inhalation are carried to the lungs and interact with the respiratory system. Thus, inhaled essential oils can affect the body through several systems and pathways.
What can I expect during an aromatherapy massage?
Essential oils will be selected by the therapist based on what your outcomes are. You might want to ask questions before you get started to ensure the therapist is using essential oils and that they are mixed with a carrier oil.
The desired effect is relaxation.
Aromatherapy massage benefits
- Aromatherapy reduces stress
- Relaxes, balances and harmonizes the body
- Aromatherapy massage has been shown to improve blood pressure
- Strengths the body and helps in the healing process
- Promotes a healthy immune system
- Helps fight depression