Out of our five ‘traditional’ senses, our sense of smell is the most emotive. Different odours and smells can trigger a variety of emotions and moods. Some examples include helping you relax, reducing anxiety or uplifting your spirits. Smells are capable of more than you think.
When coupled with the healing properties of essential oils, you get to experience a myriad of restorative benefits.
It is the combination of our sense of smell and the healing properties of essential oils that make up the backbone behind aromatherapy.
In this guide, you will learn all about aromatherapy. What is aromatherapy massage? How can I benefit from it? Is it safe? Keep reading to find the answers to the questions and more!
So what is aromatherapy massage?
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to promote healing and relaxation. When used in massage therapy, it can increase the relaxing and soothing effects of a massage.
What are essential oils? Essential oils are oils extracted from flora such as flowers, fruit, plants, bark and seeds. They contain the same beneficial properties as their derivatives.
In aroma massages, they are applied onto the body along with regular massage oil. This allows for their fragrance to be inhaled and their oil absorbed into the skin. This improves both the health of the body and the person’s emotions and moods.
Aromatherapy is not a new practice. It has been done for thousands of years. Ancient civilisations used fragrances and aromatic plant extracts in oils, resins and balms.
These days, it is a common type of massage therapy and can also be used via electronic diffusers.
The benefits of aromatherapy
Aromatherapy has a lot of benefits, both for physical health and for stress and anxiety. The specific benefit is largely dependent on which kind of essential oil is used during the session. Some examples of different oils and their various benefits include:
- Chamomile: calming and soothing properties, reduce stress and anxiety
- Cypress: improves circulation, treat spasms and cramps, relieve pain, uplift and boost mood
- Ginger: reduce inflammation, support digestive function, relieve nausea
- Grapefruit: anti-fungal properties, invigorating, immune boosting, improves blood circulation
- Lavender: increases relaxation, aids sleep, calms and soothes, relieves itching
- Lemon: reduce inflammation, boost energy levels, relieve nausea
- Rose: reduce anxiety, treat acne, improve complexion, reduce inflammation
Essential oils can also be combined to provide many benefits all at once.
In general, aromatherapy can reduce stress and anxiety, aid concentration or energise individuals. It can also speed up healing, reduce inflammation and ease pain.
What happens during an aromatherapy massage?
Interested in going in for a session? Thankfully, the benefits of an aromatherapy massage can be readily provided by most massage therapists!
Most aromatherapy massages use Swedish massage techniques as a basis. Swedish massage incorporates long, gliding strokes across the body. It is designed to provide relaxation to the body. Aromatherapy builds on this by adding a few drops of a chosen essential oil to the massage oil.
Standard massage preparation is also recommended. These include:
- properly hydrating
- taking a shower
- avoiding a meal right beforehand
An aromatherapy massage usually lasts around 60 - 90 minutes. All you need to do is relax , take in the aromas and enjoy the massage! You should also communicate with your massage therapist during the session. If you are in pain, let them know!
After your session, you should be feeling like a hundred bucks! Adequately rested and relaxed, it will feel like you have just been revitalised. At this time, you should drink water and take it easy. This prolongs the effects of the massage and also helps your body recover from the session.
Is an aromatherapy massage safe?
Before going to your first session, it’s very important to understand that aromatherapy is not for everybody. If you are currently pregnant, have high blood pressure or other heart conditions, it may not be for you. Also, since essential oils for massage are applied to the skin, those with sensitive skin may experience an allergic reaction or breakout.
Other side effects you may experience include:
- Asthma attacks
It’s important to let your massage therapist know about any of these allergies or conditions. They will determine if aromatherapy is suitable for you!
Enjoying the benefits of an aromatherapy massage for yourself
In this guide, you will have learned the answer to what is aromatherapy massage, and more. The calming, soothing and healing benefits of aromatherapy massage are hard to overlook. The fact that they come from completely natural sources only gives more reason as to why you should try an aromatherapy massage for yourself.
Try going to your local or trusted massage therapist to inquire about an aromatherapy massage now!
If you want to enjoy a massage within the confines of your own home, take a look at our wide range of electric massagers! No matter what level of comfort you’re seeking, we have something for everybody!