As the name suggests, an aromatherapy massage combines the physical action of a massage with the principles of aromatherapy. Most frequently, this involves the use of massage oil that is infused with essential oils.
Essential oils are associated with a variety of health benefits, with each oil offering different qualities. When you enjoy an aromatherapy massage, you will absorb these oils through your skin and also via inhalation. Therefore, you are able to experience the health benefits they offer.
Which essential oils are used during aromatherapy massage?
Essential oils are usually diluted in a base massage oil, such as sweet almond oil. This is because essential oils are too potent to use neat on the skin. However, even though they are diluted, the oils offer a number of therapeutic benefits.
The oils used in each massage are usually chosen with regard to the aspect of health or well-being the individual receiving the massage wishes to focus on. Common choices include:
- Lavender (calming)
- Roman chamomile (anti-inflammatory)
- Geranium (calming)
- Ylang-ylang (antidepressant)
- Clary sage (stress relief)
- Rosemary (boosts mental activity)
- Eucalyptus (decongestant)
- Patchouli (mood-lifting)
Essential oils are usually blended in the massage oil, allowing for multiple benefits to be targeted in the same treatment. Most therapists will use a premixed oil, though some can create a personalized blend if you request it.
What health conditions may aromatherapy massage ease?
- Mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, or stress
- Symptoms of dementia
- Pain conditions, including menstrual pain
- Menopausal symptoms
Additionally, it is worth noting that while there are encouraging signs for the use of aromatherapy massage in the treatment of various health conditions, you can just enjoy the experience.
What happens during an aromatherapy massage?
- The appointment usually begins with a consultation. The therapist will discuss any issues you wish to address, and then offer a variety of options for you to consider.
- You can be as involved in the oil selection as you wish to be. You can spend time smelling each option, or just ask the therapist for a recommendation – it’s entirely your decision.
- You will then be asked to disrobe and move to the massage table. The therapist will usually leave the room to afford you privacy.
- Lie face down and position yourself comfortably.
- The massage will then begin. Do not expect a vigorous massage; the experience is meant to be soothing, so it will usually be slow and gentle.
- Relax during the massage and close your eyes if it is more comfortable.
- You will usually be able to smell the essential oils, but you won’t notice anything different about the oil when it contacts your skin – it will just feel like standard massage oil.
Are aromatherapy massages safe?
Yes, with a few precautions:
- Inform your masseuse of any health conditions you are experiencing, including details of both prescribed and supplementary medication.
- There is a small chance you may be allergic to essential oils. If you feel uncomfortable at any point during the massage, make sure to mention it to the therapist. This is extremely unlikely, as the essential oils are so diluted, but do mention it if you feel your skin is itching, burning, or otherwise uncomfortable.
- Massage should not be conducted on broken skin, bruises, or any other areas of concern. Inform your therapist of any such areas prior to the treatment beginning.
Can you have an aromatherapy massage while pregnant?
It is best to discuss this individually with a medical practitioner, who will be able to advise you further regarding your specific health status. Many pregnant women enjoy aromatherapy massages, but it is always important to double-check with your doctor before booking an appointment.
How can you make the most of your aromatherapy massage?
- Arrive early, so you can relax a little before the massage begins. This also ensures you have ample opportunity to discuss the treatment with the therapist.
- It is usually wise to avoid eating or drinking before the massage, as you will be laid on your stomach for the duration.
- Try to let your mind drift rather than over-focusing on what is happening during the massage.
- If you found the massage particularly enjoyable, ask the therapist which oils were used so you can use them in the future. The therapist may also be able to provide you with a bottle of massage oil for you to use at home, if you wish.
Aromatherapy massage is a suitable choice for most people, providing the appropriate precautions are made. It provides a wonderful experience that can greatly improve your well-being, and may also be beneficial in the management of a number of health conditions.
At Coastal Day Spa, we offer a wide variety of essential oils that you can combine as you please according to your needs. Please consult our staff when having a massage so they can assess you correctly. For more information about this or any other treatment contact us.