Massage & Essential Oils
Find what the benefits of having an aromatherapy massage and the best oils to use
A massage can definitely work out the kinks and knots that you develop by working out, through stress, or even during sleep on a poor quality mattress. A massage is also a wonderful way to ease the stress and strain of a busy week. There are times when we aren’t actually suffering any physical aches or pains, and a massage is warranted to alleviate other types of duress. If you’re constantly on the go, are overtired, overwhelmed, or are suffering from depression, insomnia, or some other unfortunate condition, massage can be your ticket to feeling less anxiety, more energized, and much more relaxed. A massage combined with aromatherapy can be even more blissful, and can magnify the effects a number of times over.
Essential oils have numerous restorative properties – each caters to the human body, mind and soul in different ways. These natural, highly concentrated oils can treat a variety of ailments and with over 3000 different essential oils available to the public, you can be sure that whatever you’re suffering, there’s oil that can help. Since the whole point of an aromatherapy massage is to relax the client, essential oils are most commonly used in conjunction with a Swedish (or traditional), lymphatic, acupressure, reflexology and neuromuscular massages. No matter the type of massage, ensure that your therapist is, in fact, using essential oils and not fragrance oils. Fragrance oils, although they may smell wonderful, don’t contain the same beneficial properties as essential oils and are commonly synthetic. The essential oils used in massage should also be blended with some type of carrier oil, whether it’s olive, jojoba, coconut or sweet almond. Although most oils are considered safe, dosage does make a difference and carrier oil dilutes them enough to provide you with all of the good stuff without any negative side effects. You’ll also want to be clear with your therapist of any allergies you suffer so that she or he can avoid any oils that may act as a trigger.
Relaxing Essential Oils
If you’re looking for a relaxing massage, some great oils to use are lavender, frankincense and sandalwood. These can even be blended together to adopt further benefits and come up with some unique and wonderful scents. Lavender is probably the most obvious one for calming and relaxation. People tend to have very strong feelings about lavender – either absolutely loving or hating the aroma, so if you adore it, you’re in luck as it’s a common one for spas to offer. If you hate it, don’t despair; frankincense is equally great for relaxation, and it also calms coughing and is great for deep breathing. Sandalwood is another essential oil that shouldn’t be overlooked when it comes to a nice relaxing massage. The scent is warm and wood-like with a hint of sweet, and can alleviate depression, anxiety and even digestive complaints.
Lift your mood
For a massage that can lighten your mood and make you feel more energized, citrus is a sure fire winner. Grapefruit is a little different than what you’d normally expect, and it’s invigorating, fresh and will help to boost your immune system. It can also help with circulation, lift depression and fatigue, and even treat oily skin. Bergamot has a spicy orange aroma and will also improve mood, relieve depression and help you to fight addictions. For a child or someone who’s a bit sensitive to scent, mandarin is a great citrus option as it’s gentler than either of the other two.
Massage to relieve colds and flu symptoms
If you’re heading in to your massage in the midst of battling a cold or stuffy nose, if you’re feeling congested or just “blah”, there are some fantastic oils to help you get back on the road to wellness. Eucalyptus helps to open sinuses and ease chest congestion, and will help to fight any lingering hopeful germs. Peppermint is strong but efficient when it comes to helping open up sinuses and easing tired muscle aches and pains. This oil has a cooling effect and feels wonderful when applied to skin, but since it is so strong, it’s not recommended in use with children, even in a diluted state.
The best way to figure out which oils work best for you is to give several a try and see which ones you most benefit from. Take notes of how you feel after your massage and document which oils made you feel uplifted, energized, or relaxed and better able to get a good night’s rest. When you detail your health concerns to your massage therapist it’s likely that he or she will have a few suggestions for you. Remember that with aromatherapy, the essential oil benefits come primarily through inhalation and absorption through your mouth and nose, so choose scents that appeal to you.
If you would like to learn how to carry out a full and complete body massage or would like to work as a professional massage therapist then take a look at our holistic massage package offer.
Source: This article was written by Sam Socorro from Clearwells. She has over 10 years’ experience in writing health related topics and specializes in the health benefits of saunas and hydrotherapy.