Aromatherapy is a type of massage that uses essential oils during the session. These oils are mixed with a carrier oil or lotion.
Essential oils are concentrated extracts from roots, seeds, leaves, and flowers of different plants. These oils carry healing superpowers.
Aromatherapy has many benefits including stress relief, pain reduction, improved sleep and even a boost to the immune system.
It Reduces Stress
The soothing scents of essential oils are absorbed through the skin during an aromatherapy massage, and they can impart different benefits to the mind and body depending on what type of oil is used. For example, lavender can help relax the nervous system and boost mental clarity while eucalyptus can relieve respiratory congestion. Other common oils for aromatherapy include chamomile, peppermint, and ylang-ylang.
During an aromatherapy massage, your practitioner will mix essential oils with a carrier oil such as jojoba, sweet almond, or grapeseed before applying them to the skin during the treatment. These oils are plant-based and extracted from herbs, flowers, trees, or seeds. They have powerful therapeutic properties that can improve your mood, alleviate pain, and detoxify the body, among other benefits.
Stress can wreak havoc on the body and mind, causing chronic anxiety, high blood pressure, depression, insomnia, and other ailments. Regular massages can reduce the amount of stress hormones in your bloodstream, allowing you to relax and feel calm. Combined with the soothing scents of essential oils, aromatherapy can provide even more stress-busting benefits.
In addition to reducing stress, aromatherapy can help relieve muscle tension and joint stiffness, making it an excellent option for people with musculoskeletal problems like arthritis or fibromyalgia. It can also stimulate the lymphatic system, which helps remove waste and excess fluid from tissue, decreasing swelling and increasing flexibility.
Before an aromatherapy massage, make sure to let your therapist know if you have any allergies or other medical conditions that could be affected by the oils. For example, some essential oils, such as those made from citrus fruits, can cause photosensitivity and make the skin more sensitive to sunlight. Also, if you have asthma or other breathing issues, tell your therapist so they can use less oil or choose a different scent. The same goes for anyone who has any sensitivities to certain types of touch or massage techniques. For this reason, it’s important to communicate clearly with your massage therapist throughout the session. A good massage therapist will listen to you and respond appropriately.
It Relieves Pain
One of the most common reasons for people to get a massage is to relieve pain and tension. Aromatherapy can further enhance the relaxing effects of a massage by using specific essential oils to help manage the pain and discomfort caused by certain conditions.
For example, if a client is suffering from nerve pain, such as sciatica, frankincense and ginger oil can be used to help ease the pressure on the affected area by stimulating blood flow. Other pain-relieving oils include sandalwood, helichrysum and cypress. If a client is suffering from muscle pain, chamomile or lavender can be used to reduce inflammation and relax the muscles.
Stress is an inseparable part of life, but with the help of aromatherapy, massage can significantly decrease your levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone. The soothing scent of these essential oils can also increase your level of serotonin, which improves your mood and reduces anxiety.
Some of these oils have antiseptic properties and can help boost the immune system. Tea tree oil is an excellent choice for treating skin infections, such as acne or athlete’s foot, and is known to kill bacteria. Rosemary is another oil with antiseptic qualities and is useful for treating memory problems.
A good massage therapist will consult with a client before the session to determine which essential oils they would like to use and how they will be applied. They should also ask about any health conditions or allergies that may affect the use of these oils. For instance, eucalyptus globulus can trigger asthma in some people.
When choosing the type of oil to use, make sure that you are buying high-quality organic and therapeutic-grade essential oils. You can find them in many health food stores and online. You can either apply the essential oil directly to the skin during a massage or mix it with a carrier oil, such as coconut or jojoba oil. Then, the therapist can use different massage techniques to help the oil penetrate deep into the tissues and muscles. You can also place the oils in a diffuser to be inhaled or spray them around the room before and after a massage to promote relaxation.
It Improves Sleep
A massage is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety, and adding in some aromatherapy can make it an even better experience. Essential oils are oil-based plant extracts that have a variety of therapeutic properties, including reducing anxiety and helping you get a good night’s sleep. During an aromatherapy massage, a therapist adds scented essential oils to the carrier oil they use to rub your skin during the massage. The oils seep into your skin and your olfactory system, and the scents help you relax and feel energised.
A number of different oils can be used during an aromatherapy massage, and the one your therapist uses depends on what you’re hoping to achieve from the treatment. For example, lavender oil is calming and can help you fall asleep. Bergamot and ylang-ylang oil have been shown to significantly reduce anxiety levels, while peppermint oil has invigorating effects that can wake you up and improve focus.
Some studies have also found that a massage increases delta brain waves, which are linked to deep sleep. These are the kind of sleep you need to feel rested in the morning. A therapist can also use chamomile oil to encourage relaxation and enhance sleep. Eucalyptus oil has been shown to help treat insomnia, as well as boost immunity and clear congestion.
Aromatherapy and massage can both help to improve sleep quality, but the combination of a calming oil and a skilled massage can be especially effective at reducing insomnia. In fact, a recent study found that patients who received a 30-minute aromatherapy massage had less trouble falling and staying asleep than those who had a regular massage.
When choosing an aromatherapy massage, make sure to let your therapist know if you have any allergies or sensitivity to certain oils, as some can cause irritation. It’s also important to disclose any medical conditions or health concerns that you may have. It’s also a good idea to do a patch test before you go for your massage, so you can see how your body reacts to the oils.
It Boosts Immunity
The immune system is one of the body’s most important defences against illness. It protects us from infection and disease by attacking pathogens, eliminating toxins and stimulating the production of white blood cells. Stress, pain, poor nutrition and a sedentary lifestyle all weaken the immune system, but aromatherapy massage is one of the most effective ways to keep it in tip-top shape.
During an aromatherapy massage, your therapist will use essential oils in addition to the physical manipulation of your muscles and joints. These oils have many healing properties and will vary in scent and colour. Some are used for relaxation, others have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal qualities. Oils such as eucalyptus, frankincense, tea tree and peppermint are all excellent for immunity. They can detoxify, boost circulation, lower fever and reduce congestion. They also aid in relaxation, reduce stress and anxiety levels, improve concentration and induce sleep.
A number of studies have demonstrated that massage increases immune function and stimulates lymphocyte activity, which helps the body fight off infection. It is thought that this is because pain suppresses the immune system, and as massage relieves pain, your immune system responds. The studies also showed that regular massage decreases cortisol, the hormone that suppresses your immune response.
Keeping your immune system strong is crucial for your overall health and wellbeing. However, it isn’t always practical to have a professional massage several times per week, so if you’re feeling run down or coming down with the sniffles, try a DIY aromatherapy treatment at home with some immune-boosting essential oils.
Add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to a carrier oil such as coconut or olive and rub it into the soles of your feet. Or diffuse some eucalyptus or frankincense essential oil in the living room, to help decongest and relax. Alternatively, add a few drops of tea tree oil to your daily foot rub and it will turn it into a real immunotherapy powerhouse! Using these simple techniques will give your body an immunity-boosting boost in time for the colder weather. So stay healthy this winter and book your next appointment today!