Aromatherapy massage uses fragrant oils extracted from herbs, flowers and fruits to naturally enhance the benefits of massage. Highly concentrated oils, called essential oils, are added to the massage oil or lotion. These oils produce scents which stimulate the body and mind further, heightening your sense of relaxation and wellness.
When you inhale essential oil molecules, messages are transmitted to the limbic system and affect heart rate, stress level, blood pressure, breathing, digestion and the immune system. The oils are also believed to be absorbed through the skin. The essential oils used are chosen therapeutically to treat ailments through the olfactory glands (through smell) and when the fragrant oils are inhaled, a chemical message is sent to the brain which triggers a certain emotional response.
Each of the essential oils have different healing properties. Some have calming and soothing properties while the others may energize you. For example, if you want to have a calming effect from your aromatherapy massage, essential oils such as chamomile, lavender and geranium may be recommended for this purpose. Ylang yang, clary sage, rose and neroli has an uplifting effect while rosemary energizes and cleanses. And for decongesting or detoxifying purposes, you may choose to use eucalyptus, pine or tea tree instead.
Aromatherapy massage is particularly suited to conditions involving stress or improving emotionally-related conditions such as insomnia, headaches, digestive disorders, premenstrual syndromes and back pains.
Your massage therapist will conduct a short consultation with you to learn about your desired outcome. Following the consultation, the massage therapist will select several essential oils specific to your mental and physical conditions, and blend them into a massage oil to be used during your massage.
Please note: aromatherapy massage is not recommended for certain people with infectious skin disease, rash or open wounds, immediately after surgery, immediately after chemotherapy or radiation unless recommended by the doctor and people prone to blood clots. If you have heart disease, check with your doctor before having a massage. Pregnant women should check with their doctor first if they are considering getting a massage. The massage should not be done directly over bruises, inflamed skin, unhealed wounds, tumors, abdominal hernia, or areas of recent fractures.