Case study of Aromatherapy Massage and the benefits
This is a genuine case study from one of our students whom is practising to become a professional certified therapist. All our students once they have completed their course work and exams are eligible to join the International Practitioners of Holistic Medicine if wishing to work as a professional therapist.
Home visit –
My client called me to book an appointment for an aromatherapy massage in her home. We decided on a mutually acceptable time and I asked her to tell me a little about herself and her expectations of the treatment. As this client is a friend of the family I have never given her a massage treatment before.
She is feeling quite low at the moment, lethargic and tired all the time. Her self-esteem is very low as she hasn’t been going out much and she’s put on a little extra weight and not caring so much about her appearance. She hasn’t sought medical advice as she would rather take a holistic approach in the first instance and feels by taking this route it will help to bring back some balance and peace within. She fears taking the conventional route would have her on some kind of medication that she would rather avoid if possible. I advised her that although holistic therapies can be a great benefit and make you feel good they are not a replacement or alternative to traditional medicine. She understands this.
I have allowed an additional 30 minutes at the beginning of the session so that we have plenty of time to go through the client questionnaire and re-cap on symptoms and expectations. Client is 45 years old, she has had no recent surgery or diagnosis, isn’t on any medication and has no contra-indications or allergies. She likes most aromas but not Rose. She doesn’t like her knees or feet being touched so wants a back and shoulder massage. I suggest a scalp massage also, she is happy with this.
Conditions /Complaints: lethargy, no energy, low self-esteem, tiredness
Expectations: To feel relaxed, uplifted and pampered.
Preparation: Based on the consultation and expectation I chose geranium, clary sage and rosemary to make up the massage oil. I chose these essential oils because they all have anti-depressant qualities. Clary sage and geranium also help anxiety and depression and have the ability to help lift the spirit, and rosemary can help with fatigue. I chose almond oil as the carrier as I noticed Amanda’s skin is quite dry and could benefit from its nourishment.
I place a drop each of these essential oils on a tester strip and ask her if she likes the combination, checking her reaction as she smells it. She is happy with the aroma so I proceed with the blend. I measure 10ml of almond oil into my mixing bowl then add the essential oils in order of top, middle and bottom notes – 2 drops of geranium, 2 drops of clary sage and 2 drops of rosemary. I cover the glass until I’m ready to use the oil.
Treatment: Back and shoulders
My client went upstairs to change and I set up the room. I put the bed up and arranged the big soft towels, set a few candles around the room and put on some low music. To prepare myself for the treatment I washed my hands and started to quieten my mind. I burned a small leaf of white sage to cleanse the area, setting my intention for the treatment. By the time she came back downstairs the room was suitably transformed into a peaceful and relaxing space.
I lifted the top towel up in front of me so that she could lie up on the bed and my vision of her was obscured while she lay down. She lay face down and I covered her back and legs with the towel. I could feel her starting to unwind.
In a low calm voice I asked client to relax and take a few deep breaths, imagining her body getting heavier and relaxing deeper into the bed.
Starting the massage – To begin, using the palms of both hands I applied deep holistic pressure through the towel, to the centre of her back and hold this for a few moments, grounding us both.
Head Massage – Moving to the top of the bed to work on her head, with dry hands I applied gentle pressure using my thumbs and working from under the occipital bone, up over the skull to the centre then the top, towards the bed. I massaged the back of the neck using kneading and stretching movements then performed a deep scalp massage using shampooing movements, covering the full scalp area. Ending with finger combing the hair from root to tip giving a slight tug on the ends inducing a deeply relaxed state and encourage blood flow.
Back Massage – I folded the top towel down over the buttocks so that the full back, hip and the top of the buttocks were accessible. I warmed some of the prepared oil in my palms before spreading over the skin using effleurage movements, allowing the client to get used to my touch, warming the skin and allowing a good penetration of the oil.
Massage Techniques – Using thumbs I applied pressure along each side of the spine working from the coccyx to the neck, right side then left. I used sliding movements with thumbs from the lower to the upper back and butterfly movements from the hip to below the shoulder, on one side of the body then the other. Working from the coccyx up towards the shoulders and neck I used a series of effleurage, kneading and stroking movements to induce a deep relaxation and encourage increased lymph and blood flow.
Shoulder Massage – Working on the shoulder area using pickup across the top of the shoulders, thumb and palmer kneading across the trapezuis, finishing with wide finger stroking across the shoulders then from the buttocks, wide finger stroking upwards across the full back area, nice and slow, inducing a sense of calm and relaxation.
Completion – Ending with both palms on the middle of the back and using moderate pressure, hands separating one to just below the cranium the other to the coccyx, giving the back a nice stretch.
Covering my client with the towel I gently rouse her advising the treatment is finished and to take her time coming to. I leave her to get a fresh drink of water and clear myself of any negative energy.
Aftercare Advice Given
Avoid strenuous activity, heavy or spicy food, alcohol and caffeine. So that the oils can continue working, leave having a bath or shower until the morning. Drink plenty of water and herbal tea. Rest.
Bath Oil Remedy – I have given my client a small bath oil for use in a few days time to as a little boost to today’s treatment. The bath oil is a blend of 10ml evening primrose oil chosen for it’s repairing and nourishing properties, 3 drops of lavender, 2 drops of roman chamomile and 1 drop of sweet orange. The lavender was chosen for it’s soothing and balancing qualities, roman chamomile for stress reduction and sweet orange to uplift and relax. Lavender added first as top note then roman chamomile then sweet orange, both middle notes.
I have also given her a citrine crystal to protect against negative energies.
A lot of knots and tightness across the shoulders.
Skin dry and patchy in places on her back
Client Feedback –
My client said she is feeling relaxed and a little bit emotional. She enjoyed the treatment and is feeling quite pampered.
Going forward & Summary
Client called me a few days later to make another appointment for 2 weeks time. She asked for the same treatment and blend to be used because she said she felt and smelt gorgeous for the rest of the day. She said for days after the initial massage she felt really good about herself and that had a very uplifting effect. She also asked if I could make her a bigger bottle of the bath oil and she would pay me for it.
I am very pleased with this outcome as I feel great knowing that I have genuinely helped someone else feel good about themselves.
End of Case study – Student completed the Advanced Aromatherapy Course
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