As a method of holistic healing, aromatherapy utilizes essential oils to improve mental and physical health. It has numerous health benefits, but these benefits increase when combined with other health practices, like massage.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of aromatherapy massage and the seven common essential oils.
What is Aromatherapy Massage?
An aromatherapy massage is one of the types of massage therapy that incorporates the use of essential oils. Essential oils may get applied by the massage therapist via massage oil or lotion. As an alternative, some masseuses will simply diffuse the essential oils.
The science behind massage shows that it promotes relaxation of the muscles and body, as well as improves circulation which can aid in overall health and pain relief.
With aromatherapy, you either inhale or absorb essential oils through the skin, which increases the massage benefits you receive. During the massage, you can request specific oils depending on your health concerns.
Listed below are seven frequently used oils and a brief overview of their health benefits.
Chamomile oil comes from the leaves of flowers that resemble daisies. Chamomile can help with digestive concerns, treats skin irritation, and serves as an anti-inflammatory. Most commonly, chamomile is used to enhance sleep and treat cases of insomnia.
Eucalyptus oil is extracted from the leaves of the plant. With aromatherapy massage, it acts as a solution for cold symptoms like congestion, headaches, and coughs. Eucalyptus leaves are also consumed as a tea.
Lavender’s color and scent are often found in a variety of home goods like candles and detergent, or healthcare products such as shampoos, lotions, and soaps.
In aromatherapy massage, lavender oil is used to reduce stress and anxiety and provide a greater calming effect on the body.
Lemongrass is a kind of stalk plant, sometimes used in cooking. It has a very bright, citrusy smell and flavor.
This plant has antioxidants as well as antimicrobial properties, which protect your body against disease and infection. Although it provides other health benefits, lemongrass is a great choice for boosting the immune system and enhancing overall mood.
You may think of peppermint in terms of mint or chewing gum, or perhaps the brand of toothpaste that leaves your breath smelling fresh.
In addition to fresh breath, peppermint can improve blood flow and act as a pain reliever. These properties make it a prime choice for headaches or severe migraine relief. Applied to the temples or forehead during the massage, it’s a natural alternative to modern headache medications.
Rosemary, another herb that can also be used in the kitchen, has properties that can protect from chronic and age-related illnesses.
Rosemary can decrease oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can damage our cells and plays a role in aging. Too much oxidative stress can lead to heart conditions, cancer, as well as degenerative diseases.
By preventing the death of cells, it protects against the deterioration of the brain and other organs.
7. Tea Tree
Minimal use of tea tree oil softens the skin, balances skin oil, and reduces itchiness and skin irritation. Similarly, it can promote healing of the skin.
Otherwise, tea tree oil is beneficial for hair, regulating oils to promote hydration and growth.
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These oils offer naturalistic healing, and when combined with massage, promote greater health for your body and mind. There are other essential oils that can be used for massages besides these seven and you can find many helpful resources that can provide information on benefits and safe consumption.
NOTE: During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking extra health precautions to ensure the safety of our clients and staff, which include the wearing of masks. For this reason, we are not offering standard aromatherapy massage at this time. However, we can ad some scents to your massage experience in a safe way. Give us a call to learn more.