- What is Aromatherapy Massage?
- The Benefits of Aromatherapy Massage
- How to Enjoy an Aromatherapy Massage
- How to Give Yourself an Aromatherapy Massage
- Ready to Treat Yourself and Unwind?
Unwinding doesn’t have to mean meditating like a Buddhist monk for hours, or turning yourself into a pretzel with yoga. One of the most powerful ways you can lift your mood is through harnessing the power of smell.
Just like the smell of coffee in the morning or those tempting smells that emanate from the cake shop, fragrances can deeply impact us, and even lift our mood or help us to feel less stressed.
Combine this with a relaxing massage and you’ll de-stress so much that you’ll practically be in a coma!
What is Aromatherapy Massage?
Aromatherapy has long been a popular alternative treatment, thanks to its range of physiological and psychological benefits.
Aromatherapy massage combines these benefits with a deep-tissue massage designed to soothe sore muscles and relax the mind.
In deep-tissue massage, the masseuse uses odorless oils or creams to work on your body, in order to ease muscle tension and back pain.
Aromatherapy massage uses similar massage techniques, but with the addition of fragrance-rich essential oils mixed with the carrier oils to stimulate your senses during the massage.
The essential oils used vary depending on your preferences and the benefits you’re looking for. For example, lavender and chamomile are used to calm your mind, while rose and pine scents can lift your mood. The benefits of these essential oils, especially during massage, go far beyond their pleasant smell.
The Benefits of Aromatherapy Massage
Aromatherapy massage does a lot more than just calming your mind. The magical combination of essential oils and massage has a range of benefits for your physical health and emotional wellbeing.
After a physical injury, trauma or stress, it takes a while for our body and mind to heal. Whether you are trying to recover from on-going or short-term stress, an aromatherapy massage can help you to unwind. Aromatherapy has been shown to help ease depression, improve sleep quality, reduce stress, and ease headaches and migraines.
Calms Your Mind
A regular deep-tissue or Swedish massage is relaxing, but be prepared for this relaxation to go off the charts when you combine it with aromatic essential oils. Scents like lavender oil and rose calm your mind, while nimble hands take away your muscle tension. You’ll quickly feel your stress melt away.
Lifts Your Mood
If you’ve ever had an aromatherapy massage, you’ve probably noticed how much better you feel afterwards. Of course, taking some time out from your busy schedule to lie in a quiet room will make just about anyone feel better, but it is more than that. Scientific research has shown that many essential oils have mood-lifting properties.
Alleviate Pain and Inflammation
Pain and stress are closely related. Stress can cause muscle tension and even pain, and so in helping you unwind, aromatherapy massage can lessen your aches and pains. Not to mention that the massage itself will relieve muscle tension.
Furthermore, the essential oils themselves can help to treat inflammation and alleviate the symptoms of joint pain, neck pain, and backache. During an aromatherapy massage you’ll be exposed to the benefits of essential oils not only through your nose, but also as they are absorbed through your skin.
How to Enjoy an Aromatherapy Massage
In aromatherapy massage, plant-based essential oils are typically mixed with a carrier oil, such as almond and jojoba, which is applied to the skin and muscles. A professional massage therapist will prepare a mixture that may have up to four or five types of essential oils mixed with a carrier oil. You will also find spas where the therapists create their own signature oils to address anxiety, stress, and other issues.
How to Pick Your Aromatherapy Massage Oil
The effects of the aromatherapy massage depend largely on the oils used. Your massage therapists may have set oils and lotions they plan to use, or they may give you a choice of the scents you want included in your massage. This will allow you to get the most out of your massage and address any specific issues.
The scent of essential oils is so strong that even a couple of drops of these plant-derived oils mixed with a carrier oil is enough to induce a feeling of relaxation. Take your robe off, lay on the table, and breathe deeply.
The best essential oils for relaxation include:
If you want to learn more about the power of fragrances, take a look at our Scented Memories series. On this journey through fragrance and memories, you’ll learn how to train your noise and discover 12 authentic ‘sensory triggers’ that you can use to lift your mood and trigger memories. You’ll also get your own beautiful and stimulating fragrances that you can use to give yourself your own aromatherapy massage – read on to learn how!
How to Give Yourself an Aromatherapy Massage
Of course, you can’t give yourself a full-body massage, unless you’re some kind of contortionist! Not to mention that professional masseuses have years of training. However, you can give yourself a de-stressing foot massage that incorporates the power of aromatherapy.
This is a great way to relax and unwind on a regular basis, in between full-body aromatherapy massages from the professionals.
Here’s a brief guide to giving yourself an aromatherapy foot massage:
Sit on a chair with one foot on top of your other thigh.
Take your chosen essential oils and rub into your skin using your fingers.
Hold your ankle with one hand and use the forefinger and thumb of the other hand to put pressure on the back of the ankle to relax your Achilles tendon.
Making circles using your thumb, work from the bottom of the heel towards the toe.
Repeat on the other foot.
Ready to Treat Yourself and Unwind?
Aromatherapy massage is a simple, natural way to soothe your soul and calm your mind. Whether you book a professional massage at a spa or simply give yourself a foot massage at home, try aroma massage to unwind, de-stress, and heal your body.