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We’ve all had those stressful days that have left us spent and full of anxiety. It’s common for our busy lifestyles to leave us with tight shoulders and cramping muscles. While some of us fight these pains of stress with a relaxing massage, most of us don’t know a lot about aromatherapy massages. These massages take relaxing and healing to another level by adding natural oils to the experience, making it even more effective.
The purpose of an aromatherapy massage is to improve mental and physical wellbeing. Such massages are even linked to decreasing short-term physical aches and pains while also improving your overall mood. In this article, we will describe seven of the most amazing benefits of using aromatherapy massages and give a description and history of the most popular oils used for this purpose.
What Is an Aromatherapy Massage?
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An aromatherapy massage is a massage, usually Swedish, that uses essential oils. Depending on the reason for the aromatherapy massage, the licensed masseuse will infuse different essential oils into the rub used for the massage. The benefits come from both inhaling the aromas during the massage and the body absorbing the oils through the skin.
Essential oils are highly concentrated, all-natural oils from plants and trees. These oils affect the limbic system, which is a region of the brain that affects the body’s nervous system. Most people seek an aromatherapy massage to be relaxed or energized, but recent studies show that the benefits of this treatment are far reaching. In this article, we will explore the various benefits of an aromatherapy massage, some specific treatment options, and a few things to watch out for.
Most Popular Benefits of Aromatherapy Massage
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While the ailments and oils most commonly associated with aromatherapy massages will be explored in more detail later in this article, here is a quick list of seven areas that can benefit from the use of aromatherapy massage.
Anxiety is the intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about situations. While it can be normal, anxiety can lead to tight muscles, faster heart rate, and an overall feeling of being tired all the time. Typically, an aromatherapy massage will give you immediate relief from stress and anxiety symptoms.
Great for Your Skin and Hair
Aromatherapy massages using the right essential oils can work wonders for your skin. These oils can help diminish scars, swelling, and even aid in healing wounds. There are even oils that have been proven to promote hair growth in people with specific diseases.
Helps With Coughs, Congestion, and the Common Cold
There are several oils available for an aromatherapy massage that can soothe even the most irritating cough. Breathing in certain oils and having them massaged into the skin will help soothe your airways and break up any mucus build up.
Helps With Headaches
Whether it be a migraine, a sinus headache, or even a headache brought on by stress, no one likes to be in pain. There are several essential oils used in massages that have relieved headaches of any kind for several hours.
Promotes Sleep and Helps With Insomnia
If you are having trouble getting to sleep, an aromatherapy massage might be the answer. There are many essential oils used by massage therapists that will help you get those much needed Zzzs.
Boosts the Immune System
Our immune systems are constantly fighting off the viruses and bacteria that cause us to get sick. To help your body win that fight, you can routinely enlist the help of a licensed massage therapist and some specific essential oils.
Aids in Healthy Digestion
Whether it’s because we ate that greasy funnel cake at the fair, or because we have a nervous stomach, there are several essential oils that can be used in an aromatherapy massage that can help heal an achy belly.
What to Expect During Your First Aromatherapy Massage
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Getting your first massage may seem intimidating, but once you relax on the table and feel your aches, pains, stress melt away, you will wonder why you didn’t get one sooner. The following section will help you prepare for your first aromatherapy massage experience, while also making it more effective and enjoyable.
The most important aspect of your aromatherapy massage is finding a reputable and experienced masseuse. Make sure you choose a licensed masseuse who has extensive experience using essential oils. All essential oils are highly potent and must be used correctly for the best results.
Arrive a little early (15 minutes) and be clear with your masseuse regarding which ailments you want treated during your massage. Most massage therapists have pre-mixed blends of essential oils they use for specific ailments or pains. Communication is important in order for you to reap the benefits desired during your massage.
Once you have spoken to your masseuse regarding the aromatherapy massage you are seeking, he or she will leave the room while you disrobe. Typically, this means stripping down to your underwear, but do whatever makes you feel comfortable. Once disrobed, you will lie face-down on the massage table and cover yourself with a sheet. To have the most enjoyable experience, do not eat a heavy meal before coming in for your massage. Drink plenty of water before and after the massage, but make a trip to the restroom before it starts.
After your massage is complete, it is important to treat yourself to a light snack. Because a massage speeds up the circulatory system and your digestive system you may feel lightheaded or hungry afterwards. It is also important that you take a hot shower after your massage to wash away the excess oils.
Common Essential Oils Used in an Aromatherapy Massage
The following is a list of the most popular oils used in aromatherapy massages. Most reputable massage therapists will have pre-mixed blends of essential oils to use for certain ailments or conditions. It is important that you tell your massage therapist why you are seeking a massage so they can use the right blend to best suit you needs.
- Bergamot: When life feels messy, Bergamot essential oil may help relieve scattered thoughts while promoting focus and clarity. Diffusing
- Bergamot with Lavender before bedtime can lead to sweet dreams and a restful wake. The clean uplifting citrus aroma will brighten your day and enhance feelings of wellbeing. It is also supportive in natural bug protection preparations
- This oil is also available in the following sizes:5 ml, 10 ml, 30 ml, 4 oz, Value Pack
Common Uses: anxiety and calming
Bergamot is a fresh, clean smelling oil that is derived from the rinds of citrus fruits. The aroma may seem familiar to you if you enjoy drinking Earl Grey tea, as it is a main ingredient in this refreshing drink. Originally used in Southeast Asia, bergamot has a soothing scent and has a wide variety of uses, mainly for calming and relieving anxiety.
- ESSENTIAL AROMATHERAPY – Cedarwood is soothing, strengthening and empowering with a warm, woodsy, balsamic scent associated with purification and cleanliness. Reduce negative energy and its influence on your mood with this premium, therapeutic oil
- NATURALLY SOURCED/RESPONSIBLY MADE – This oil is extracted through steam distillation of Virginia Cedarwood trees. Made in state-of-the-art laboratories, naturally derived and subject to purity testing in-house, vegan and never tested on any animal
- 100% PURE/UNDILUTED – Our essential oils are highly concentrated and 100% pure and free of synthetic ingredients, delivering the very best benefit of the source of the plants, fruits, seeds, flowers, bark, stems, roots or leaves from which they come.
Common Uses: hair growth, skin problems, and anxiety
Derived from needles, leaves, bark, and berries of a cedar tree, this oil improves ailments with the scalp, skin, and acne. The medicinal components found in this oil are cedrine, cedrol, and thujopsene. These components are used to relieve inflammation and pain, but they are also used as a natural antiseptic (ointment used on wounds to prevent infection), antispasmodic (stomach cramps), and anti-fungal cream.
The biggest use for cedarwood oils in massages is for the scalp. Cedarwood has been proven to promote hair growth, especially for patients suffering from alopecia areata, which is a condition that causes patchy hair loss. A 1998 study reported by the Archives of Dermatology found that people with alopecia areata who massaged their scalp with cedarwood oil once a day for four weeks saw significant hair growth.
Cedarwood can also be used to treat acne, scars, eczema, and could help diminish scars. Physiology and Behavior magazine noted in a recent study that it also helps soothe users and decreases anxiety.
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Common Uses: cough and congestion, breathing, joint pain, wounds, and blood sugar
First discovered by Australian Aborigines, eucalyptus was originally used to prevent infections in wounds. Since that time, its uses have expanded to asthma and sinus care and being used to help break up mucus in the mucus membranes. This makes it a staple in most cough medicines. Because it helps ease inflammation, eucalyptus is a natural and effective pain reducer. If you suffer from back or joint pain, an aromatherapy massage using eucalyptus might be what you need.
- The most UNIQUE and AMAZING SMELLING Lavender on the market, in our opinion. If you are not ABSOLUTELY amazed, receive a full refund from the manufacturer, Healing Solutions, no questions asked!
- SUPERIOR EXPERIENCE: If you are just trying our Lavender for the first time and you do not switch to it permanently as your new favorite oil the manufacturer, Healing Solutions, will refund your money, guaranteed.
- PURE + RIGOROUS QUALITY TESTING & CONTROLS: Distillation facility is GMP, ISO 9001 and Kosher certified, FDA Registered. Make sure ALL oils you buy have these qualifications
- Healing Solutions is SUPERIOR because it offers over 170 different oils for blending/pairing.
Common Uses: anxiety, insomnia, depression, headaches, hair loss, nausea, acne, toothaches, and skin irritations
For centuries people have used lavender because of its medicinal properties. The oil was first used by Egyptians during the mummification process. Persian, Grecian, and Roman cultures used it as a cleaning agent. There are many health benefits attributed to lavender oils. Inhaling the smoothing scent of lavender can relieve anxiety and help with depression symptoms.
Overall, it promotes calmness and relieves restlessness and nervousness. It can also be used to relieve mild aches and pains including headaches. If applied directly to the skin, such as during an aromatherapy massage, it can help with acne, eczema, and sunburn. Historically, many cultures have used lavender (root word lav means to wash) as a cleaning agent and disinfectant.
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Common Uses: acne, infections, coughs, wound care, and athlete’s foot
Tea tree oil is found in the melaleuca alternifolia tree which is native to Queensland and New South Wales in Australia. The agent terpinen-4 is found in the oil, and this agent is used to help fight bacteria, viruses, and fungus. Tea tree oil was originally used by the Aborigines to help alleviate coughs. They also rubbed the oil on wounds to promote healing.
The Department of Dermatology in Sweden found that tea tree oil is effective in reducing the symptoms of contact dermatitis, which is a rash caused when the skin comes in contact with a certain substance or material. Patients who used tea tree oil on affected areas saw a 40% decrease in symptoms. Overall, it is a good choice for reducing symptoms of inflammation of the skin.
Some Precautions Before Getting an Aromatherapy Massage
For the most part, essential oils and aromatherapy massages are safe. There are some steps you should take before scheduling your massage to ensure this therapy is the right fit for you. Follow the precautions below to make your massage the best experience it can be.
Make sure you give your licensed massage therapist your full health history before getting started. If you have a chronic pain problem or a chronic disease, your masseuse needs to know about it. They also need to know about all allergies you have.
It’s important enough to mention again that you need to find a reputable and experienced massage therapist who has extensive knowledge of aromatherapy. Essential oils are potent products and should not be used in excess. They must be property diluted with a carrier oil to receive the most benefit. A knowledgeable masseuse will know this.
During your aromatherapy massage, immediately alert your therapist of any pain you experience. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you need to consult your OBGYN before scheduling your massage. Make sure he or she knows exactly what type of essential oils your massage therapist will use during your session.
There are studies available that show essential oils help ease some cancer treatment symptoms. While aromatherapy massages can be a great comfort to a lot of cancer patients, it is important to talk with your oncologist before booking your massage appointment.
As you can see, the joys of scheduling an aromatherapy massage are far-reaching and could help virtually anyone. Whether you have stress or run-of-the-mill aches and pains, there is an essential oil that can make your massage experience that much greater. So no matter what your ailment, find some relief by finding a reputable aromatherapy massage therapist and booking your appointment today.