Aromatherapy massage is a treatment method with a long history. It is used for relaxation, pain relief and to improve well-being.
In this article you will learn 6 useful things about aromatherapy massage.
1. What is aromatherapy massage?
Aromatherapy massage differs from classical massage by the use of essential oils. Essential oils are plant-based oils from herbs, trees and flowers. They are very concentrated and most often diluted and are therefore often used in moisturizers, creams and milder oils during massage treatment. Read more about essential oils in this post. Aromatherapy is used by massage therapists as an additional service. Massage therapists use drops of the oils in massage oils or lotions that are applied directly to the skin. It is also common to use essential oils in diffusers during the massage. The point of aromatherapy is to enhance your physical and mental well-being.
2. The different forms of aromatherapy massage
The actual performance of the massage can be done in several different ways. Some of the most well-known massage methods are Swedish, deep tissue and hot stone massage. Essential oils can be used in combination with all these forms of massage.
Swedish massage, also called classical massage, is a massage form for the whole body. Therapists use various pressures and techniques to release tension in the body and reduce muscle knots. Swedish massage is a comfortable massage method and is also used for relaxation and stress relief.
Deep tissue massage is a form of treatment that is mainly used for musculoskeletal problems. This form of massage is often used to treat strains and sports injuries. Emphasis is often placed on massaging certain areas where there is high muscle tension or pain. Swedish massage and deep tissue massage share similarities. One of the main differences is that deep tissue uses more powerful massage methods than Swedish massage.
Hot stone massage uses hot lava stones during the treatment. The stones are hot but not hot enough to burn. These stones are placed in different places of the body and should help to increase blood circulation. Compared to classical massage, hot stone massage uses even more relaxing massage techniques.
3. Take precautions
In general, there are few dangers associated with aromatherapy massage. However, some people have sensitive skin that reacts to essential oils. You should therefore mix out the oil before applying it to the skin. If you are unsure of the side effects of an oil, use a diffuser to diffuse the oil into the room instead of applying the oil directly to the skin. If you are pregnant, essential oils such as rosemary, sage and juniper can be harmful in large quantities, according to the NHI.
4. The benefits of aromatherapy massage
If one has taken the necessary precautions, aromatherapy massage can have several positive effects. Researchers in aromatherapy are divided over the health effects of the treatment. Still, the massage experience itself will provide increased well-being. A study from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) showed perceived health effects of aromatherapy. The study showed that aromatherapy massage had a positive effect on:
5. Tips for aromatherapy massage
To get the most out of the massage treatment, it is recommended to think through these tips.
Aromatherapy massage is used for various purposes. For this reason, one should choose an essential oil based on your needs and desires. Use citrus oils to enhance your mood, lavender for relaxation or eucalyptus for pain management.
5 recommended essential oils for aromatherapy massage:
- Bergamot: Get rid of stress + a mood boost
- Tea Tree: Cleanse the skin and head
- Eucalyptus: Cleanse the body
- Geranium: For relaxation
- Lavender: Sleep better and relax completely
Read more about the properties of the 5 best essential oils here;
2. Choose whether you want to use the oils with a diffuser, directly on the skin or both during the massage. If you have sensitive skin, steer clear of certain oils. Test the oil with a diffuser before applying it directly to the skin, and test the oil on a small, inconspicuous patch of skin before widely applying it.
3. Massage therapists are a good source of information on aromatherapy. It may therefore be wise to ask for their recommendations. They can recommend essential oils and find products and massage techniques that suit your needs. Communicate with your massage therapist during the massage and let them know if something is uncomfortable.
Aromatherapy is often performed in a quiet environment, and massage therapists do not want to disturb you. It is therefore important that you take responsibility for asking questions along the way.
6. Home use
If you have acquired expertise in aromatherapy massage, it is entirely possible to perform this at home. You can then perform massage on friends and family. Various diffusers and essential oils can be found on the volant website.