From hot stone to deep tissue, there is a massage to suit everyone! But there’s one type of massage that’s gaining a lot of attention recently, and it’s called an aromatherapy massage. If you’re a fan of relieving tension in your back, legs, and arms with soothing lotions but you don’t know much about aromatherapy, this article is for you!
What is aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is a natural, holistic healing solution. For it to work, you must use essential oils derived from plant extracts that help promote good health and a quality well-being. Great essential oils will improve both your emotional and physical state so that you feel your best.
However, despite its advantages, aromatherapy is still considered an alternative treatment. But it’s slowly gaining recognition in medicine and science, especially as more people become curious about how it works.
How does aromatherapy work?
One of the main components of aromatherapy is smell. By stimulating receptors in the nose, messages are sent to the brain’s limbic system, which controls emotions, instinct, and your drive for survival. While more research is necessary, some scientists believe that powerful mood changes can occur in response to certain scents.
One of those mood changes includes a relaxed state of being, making aromatherapy massages a popular way to relieve tension in both the body and the mind.
What is an aromatherapy massage?
Aromatherapy massages are similar to other kinds of massages, such as a deep tissue and Swedish massage. The main difference is that essential oils are added to enhance the benefits of relaxation, improve your mood, and manage pain.
A few of the most popular essential oils used in aromatherapy are the following:
- Tea tree
The great thing about an aromatherapy massage is that it’s so easy to transform your favorite massage into an aromatherapy massage. All you have to do is follow one simple step.
How to enjoy an aromatherapy massage
Turning a massage into an aromatherapy massage only requires you to add essential oils into the process. Some common types of massages that can benefit from the addition of essential oils include the following:
- Swedish massage
- Deep tissue massage
- Hot stone massage
- Prenatal massage
On their own, massages typically lead to a decrease in pain, as well as an improved mood. But essential oils might enhance these effects since different oils have different purposes. For example, if you’re feeling down, a mood-boosting oil such as citrus might help you feel better. And that’s just one possible benefit!
What are the benefits of an aromatherapy massage?
Essential oils have many therapeutic effects. In fact, each one has its own unique properties, meaning the essential oil you choose can really influence the benefits you experience during your aromatherapy massage. For example, some oils help calm you down, while others are better for boosting energy.
Additionally, researchers are studying whether essential oils can also help with dementia, menstrual pain, menopausal symptoms, and insomnia. While more studies need to happen, current research is promising.
According to a 2015 study, an aromatherapy massage may be able to reduce pain associated with menstruation. Participants did a self-massage with either rose essential oil, unscented almond oil, or no oil at all. They did this on the first day of menstruation for two cycles. And by the second cycle, participants who had performed an aromatherapy massage with rose essential oil experienced reduced pain compared to those who massaged with almond oil or without any oil.
In another study conducted in 2012, participants received 30-minute massages twice a week for four weeks. The massages were either an aromatherapy massage or a massage with plain oil. Both massage types helped reduce menopause symptoms, but the aromatherapy massage was the most effective.
What essential oils should you use for an aromatherapy massage?
If you’re interested in trying an aromatherapy massage to reap some of its potential benefits, you might be wondering which essential oil to use. Again, each essential oil has its own unique properties, so you need to choose one that will lead to the feelings you want to experience during your aromatherapy massage. A few recommendations include the following.
Lavender essential oil
Lavender essential oil is soothing and anti-inflammatory. It can help rejuvenate the skin and is a very popular choice, especially amongst people with sensitive skin who enjoy the oil’s dominant terpene, linalool.
Lavender is also great at killing bacteria associated with acne. However, its most well-known property is perhaps its ability to calm you down. Because lavender essential oil helps promote calm and relaxation, it’s a good choice if you want to relieve tension.
Citrus oils like sweet wild orange essential oil can help invigorate, enhance mood, and boost energy. In fact, a study found that citrus scents help restore balance after stressful periods. Additionally, the study found that using citrus smells may help reduce the medication that people with depression have to take.
Lemongrass helps control oil on the skin. It also has antibacterial properties, which help combat acne. Like lavender, lemongrass essential oil is also calming and soothing, and it’s sometimes used to help promote better sleep.
Studies suggest that sandalwood can promote mental clarity and increase cognitive function. In addition, studies indicate that sandalwood also has calming properties.
Clove essential oil is a potent antibacterial and antiseptic agent. It has antimicrobial properties as well, which helps fight acne. A 2017 study also suggests that clove essential oil helps provide relief from chronic itchiness. And another research study reveals that clove can potentially reduce pain more effectively than benzocaine.
Rose essential oil is most popular for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is commonly used in skin care products to combat aging skin because it helps increase skin elasticity, protects against free radicals, and helps reduce redness and puffiness.
What precautions should you take?
Since essential oils are potent and can cause harm to the skin if you purchase a bad product, it’s important to do your research or have a licensed massage therapist perform your aromatherapy massage. The therapist will take your health history into account and have quality massage oils.
But if you’d prefer to give yourself an aromatherapy massage, just make sure you buy a high-quality remedy. If you don’t, the essential oils in the product can cause skin reactions. People with sensitive skin should be especially cautious. Additionally, regardless of whether you have sensitive skin, you should never apply essential oils to skin rashes, wounds, or inflamed skin.
Another thing to consider is whether you have asthma. If you have this condition, there is a chance that essential oils might cause a flare during your massage, so think carefully before getting one. Even more important, if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, consult a doctor before having an aromatherapy massage to determine whether it’s safe.
A helpful way to relieve tension and reduce pain
Aromatherapy massages can be a wonderful way to experience stress relief, relaxation, and decreased pain. However, to get the best experience, please make sure you buy great products like Kat’s Naturals Good Lotion. A good blend of essential oils can benefit your overall health and well-being as long as they are safe remedies and used appropriately.