What exactly is an aromatherapy massage?
What’s the difference between an aromatherapy massage and a regular therapeutic massage?
An aromatherapy massage includes all the benefits of a regular massage, (improved circulation, lymph drainage etc.) with the added benefit of a blend of essential oils tailored to your specific needs.
Before the treatment the therapist will go through a questionnaire with you to create a unique blend that’s most suitable for you on the day. The results of your consultation will affect which oils are chosen from the base oils. These oils can be tailored to suit your skin type and the essential oils.
The oils work in 2 ways, they enter the body through the layers of skin and enter the blood stream. This is where the chemicals react and have the desired effect on the body and also their aroma stimulates the limbic system through our olfactory senses. The Limbic system is part of the brain which deals with our emotions and can trigger long lost memories and feelings. Which is why certain smells can transport is back to childhood holidays or that perfume that your Gran used to wear. It’s one of the most powerful areas of the brain and how it functions is still being researched.
Each oil has a number of different uses and can be chosen to work in your blend for both it’s chemical properties and it’s fragrance.
How it works
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) oil has a pronounced action on the brain and the central nervous system and is wonderful for clearing the mind and mental awareness, while having excellent brain stimulant properties, as well as improving memory.
It helps with headaches, migraines, neuralgia, mental fatigue and nervous exhaustion and the antiseptic action of rosemary oil is especially suitable for intestinal infections and diarrhoea, easing colitis, dyspepsia, flatulence, hepatic disorders and jaundice and relieving pain associated with rheumatism, arthritis, muscular pain and gout. It also helps for arteriosclerosis, palpitations, poor circulation and varicose veins.
The diuretic properties of rosemary oil are useful with reducing water retention during menstruation, and also with obesity and cellulite.
It also has positive effects on the respiratory system, it can help to ease congestion, counteracts puffiness and swelling of the skin and can also be used for acne, dermatitis and eczema.
Massage therapists normally use a base of grape seed oil, it’s light and easily absorbed by the skin. But it can be blended with Avocado Oil which is much richer and great for dry or mature skin. Comfrey oil can be used to help repair tissues and bones that have been damaged and Hypericum oil would be used for any nerve damage.
So while an aromatherapy massage may not feel as intense as a deep tissue massage it’s actually working quite deep in the body.