You love the sensation of being unwound and pampered during an excellent massage, so much so you may not have ever thought it could get any better.
You’ll be happy to know that adding the power of essential oil to the experience can take your session to the stratosphere.
Many people are amazed at how inhaling certain aromas while being rubbed and kneaded can reach even further into their brain to transform their mindset, clear out any stressors and leave them generally blissed-out.
Aromatherapy massage is a popular option offered by massage therapists at spas and other venues, who select time-honored essential oils to use during your session according to your needs and preferences.
These powerful substances provide another dimension of relaxation and healing by sending signals to your limbic system through the olfactory receptors in your nose, as well as being absorbed through the pores of your skin.
Essential oils can be incorporated into any form of massage within a carrier oil or lotion and through a diffuser releasing molecules into the air — they should not be applied in undiluted form to the surface of your skin as they can cause severe irritation. And, they should never be ingested.
Most people don’t experience any negative side effects from aromatherapy massage, but those who are pregnant, have respiratory conditions or allergies to certain essential oils should check with their physician beforehand.
These plant-based oils are used to achieve varied results and contribute to the benefits you can receive from aromatherapy:
Massage of all forms has been used to relieve muscle soreness for thousands of years by reducing tension and stimulating the release of endorphins and other hormones that counteract the pain signals we are receiving.
Many essential oils can offer further relief, including eucalyptus, marjoram, rosemary and peppermint.
Immune function boost
Massage by itself often targets your lymph nodes and circulation system to ensure your germ-fighting cells are streaming throughout your body, and some essential oils bring specific healing properties of their own, such as the antibiotic properties of tea tree, oregano and bergamot oil.
Calming stress and anxiety
The stress-busting power of massage is what put it on the map and is what draws most clients back to the table as either a primary or secondary reason. Many essential oils are celebrated for their ability to calm the mind including lavender, jasmine, frankincense and coriander.
Aromatherapy massage also is renowned for relieving depression and boosting mood. The power of human touch is unrivaled for offering comfort, support and pleasure. Several essential oils have a history of making us at least momentarily happier, including ylang ylang, rose, rosemary and sandalwood.
Abdominal massage is an option to reduce digestive ills including bloating, constipation, acid reflux and IBS (though it should not be done while you’re experiencing IBS symptoms). Ginger, fennel, coriander and anise are among the essential oils most often used for reducing digestive upset.