Basics of Massage with Essential Oils
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils in various ways as therapy for psychological and physical ailments. Essential oils are the distilled essences of various plants. Some of the plants that can be used as essential oils are lavender, chamomile, peppermint, rose, eucalyptus, and jasmine. There are many more plants that are used as well.
These essential oils are too strong to use without diluting them. At our spa, we dilute these essential oils with the oils and lotions used in the therapeutic massage. Diluting the essential oil actually increases its effectiveness, since more of your body can be touched by the oil molecules. Massage using aromatic essential oils feels good in the moment, and it also has many health and wellness benefits for the long term.
Therapy using plant essences has been used for thousands of years by the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and in Europe. Although it had been used for many centuries, the actual term “aromatherapy” was coined in 1937 by a French chemist, René Maurice Gattefossé. He had burned his hand and had used lavender oil to help it feel better, and he was surprised at how quickly it had healed. This inspired him to investigate aromatic oils further and write a book about their uses. Now, essential oils have become a popular element of health and wellness therapy in the United States as well.
How It Works
The essential oils reach your brain in two ways. First, the wonderful aroma of the oils is inhaled through the nose and from there travels to the brain. Second, the essential oils are absorbed into your body through your skin during the massage. Either way, once the molecules have reached your brain, they affect your limbic system which controls emotions such as stress as well as physical systems such as your heart, breathing, hormones, and memory.
Because of this direct effect on your body and mind, massage with essential oils has many health benefits. The different essential oils have different effects on you, so our massage therapist will choose the best essential oil to use for your particular need.
Mental and Health Benefits
This is just a partial list of the many ways that an aromatic oil massage can improve your mental and physical health.
Relief of Stress
If you want to get rid of that stressed, on-edge feeling, there are several aromatic oils that will help. They will calm your nervous system, improve your blood pressure and heart rate, and even change your brain waves to a more relaxed state. The most well known essential oil for stress relief is lavender, but other oils such as chamomile, lemongrass, and jasmine are also helpful.
Calming Anxiety and Depression
Massage with essential oils has been shown to help people who suffer from anxiety, as well as relieving symptoms of pain and depression. A mixture of frankincense, bergamot, and lavender oils applied during a massage was shown to alleviate this condition better than massage without the essential oils. Peppermint, chamomile, and jasmine oils have also been used to combat depression.
The elderly are often affected by short-term or long-term memory loss, but anyone can have periods of poor memory due to stress and anxiety. A massage combined with essential oils can improve memory and other brain functions such as focusing on a task. Sage and basil are great oils for this purpose.
Assisting with Healing
Essential oils can be a great aid to healing injuries or helping with recovery from surgery. The oils are anti-microbial and also work to send more blood and oxygen to the injuries to aid in healing. They also help to decrease pain after surgery or from other physical conditions. Some of the oils used for healing and pain reduction are chamomile, eucalyptus, thyme, ginger, and lavender.
Enhancing Your Immune System
Essential oils can have antiviral and antibacterial effects on the body. They are also anti-inflammatory and can help you to fight off any infections. Good oils for this purpose are oregano, ginger, and peppermint. Many other oils have these infection-fighting properties as well.
Helping With Sleep
Essential oil therapy can help you when you have insomnia or just don’t have very restful sleep. These oils will help your body to get back to its natural sleep schedule. They also have calming and sedative properties. Try a massage with lavender, chamomile, ylang-ylang, or jasmine to improve the quality and quantity of your much-needed sleep.
Improving Your Digestion
Treatment with aromatic oils can help with constipation, bloating, and other digestive upsets. This treatment can also enhance your metabolism to help with how you digest your food. Essential oils such as chamomile, peppermint, fennel, and ginger are often used to help with digestive issues.
Aid for Unbalanced Hormones
Some issues that people experience with their hormone levels are PCOS, infertility, and issues with menopause. These are all caused by faulty levels of estrogen, and oils such as geranium, rose, and thyme are good therapies for these conditions.
Boosting Mood and Energy
Researchers have found that the healthy body vibrates at a certain frequency (62-70 MHz). Once the body’s vibrations become lower, due to stress or disease, the vibrations can be raised again through the use of essential oils. This is because essential oils vibrate at higher frequencies (96-320 MHz), and they can help the body to get back up to a healthy vibration. As another example, good foods such as greens and herbs also have this higher vibratory effect. At a higher vibration, the body will be healthier and more energetic, and mood is improved as well. Rose oil, lavender, and sandalwood have especially high vibrations and would be good therapy for improving general health, mood, and energy.
Experience an Aromatherapy Massage
Schedule an appointment with us today at Lotus 5 Senses Spa to experience this wonderful and healing therapy. Your body and mind will thank you with increased health and wellness.