What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the act of using essential oils made from trees, flowers and bark of trees that are believed to possess some healing qualities to rejuvenate and heal the soul through the subtle aroma of these essential oils. Aromatherapy is mainly using the sense of smell to calm the nerves and mind of a person through the limbic system. The limbic system is that part which is responsible for mood elevation and the release of feel-good chemicals such as endorphins and neurotransmitters into the blood.
Uses of Aromatherapy in Massage
This is using essential oils to massage the body. The skin absorbs the vital oils, then travels throughout the body via the bloodstream. This method is very good because of its holistic way of virtual healing the whole body including the vital organs of the body.
Such aromatic massages soothe the body, increases blood circulation, reduces stress and tension and deliver the benefits of the essential oil into the body.
Benefits of Aromatherapy Massages
1. Reduces anxiety, depression, tension and stress
The common symptoms of stress and anxiety include mood swings, fatigue, change in sleep pattern etc. Aromatherapy with essential oils has been proven to change our mental perception towards stress and our physiological response to stressors. Using aromatherapy regularly helps in improving our stress level.
Aromatherapy also acts as a good antidepressant. With the use of essential oils such as lavender, peppermint, chamomile and jasmine, it works perfectly well as antidepressants. It’s still important to seek for proper psychological help or counseling when depression continues.
2. Reducing pains caused by menstrual cramps
Studies have shown that using aromatherapy during the time of a woman’s period can help to reduce pains caused by menstruation. If aromatherapy massages have the ability to reduce menstrual cramps, why not utilize the opportunity of using aromatherapy massages more often and take some time to relax and destress. Of course, this will likely be a partial or half body massage if you are using a therapist for a message in the spa.
3. Stimulates the immune system to help fight infection
The essential oils used in aromatherapy contain a high level of antibiotic and antiseptic contents that are absorbed into the body through the bloodstream through massage. This does a lot of good by helping to fight infections and protecting the body from harmful diseases.
4. Supports mental focus
As humans, we can multi-task. However, sometimes we could have trouble focusing on specific tasks because of a lot of distractions that deviate our minds and thoughts from completing a particular work. Now aromatherapy is indeed a wonder and after a good soothing massage, you will feel much more alert, refreshed and able to mentally focus for a longer time.
6. Supports the healing process of the body
Aromatherapy helps in speeding up the healing process of the body. This process is achieved due to the stimulants contained in most essential oils used in aromatherapy massage sessions. This is as a result of the increment in the flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body and to the injuries in the body, including internal injuries that may have been caused by surgeries or illness. To benefit from the body’s healing processes, the essential oils that would be perfect would be lavender, calendula, rosehip and buckthorn. However, do highlight to the masseur if your surgery wound is still fresh or sensitive so that he/she can make the correct adjustment during the massage.
7. Aromatherapy reduces headaches
A headache happens to everyone once in a while probably after a long day at work, and you are so stressed out. Apart from taking paracetamol and ibuprofen, aromatherapy is an excellent way to reduce or stop a headache. If you happen to have a bad day with headaches and frustrations, it is good to have an aromatherapy massage to reduce the headaches and give yourself a break.
Swedish massage is one of the most common types of massage and basically the foundation of massage in the west. It was first pioneered by Swedish psychologist of the University of Stockholm- Per Henrik Ling. If you are looking for a massage with a lot of relaxation benefits, Swedish massage is the right answer.
Swedish massage basically involves the use of strokes ranging from mild to deeper strokes to massage the back, legs, arms and other parts of the body with targets on the muscles and tissues for the relief of pains and increase relaxation. With the combination of Swedish massage and aromatherapy (i.e. using essential oils ), the result is compelling since Swedish massage is concentrated at masculine relaxation, stress relief, blood circulation etc and the essential oils used in aromatherapy are relaxing, stimulating and contain high healing contents.
Full Body Aromatherapy Massage
Do you know that aromatherapy full body massage has been in existence since ancient times? The ancient Egyptians first used it as a means of relaxation and complete body healing by using aromatic plants oils to treat the whole body of injuries and tension. The main essence of a full body aromatherapy massage is basically to free the body from stress and tension thus increasing healing not just for the whole body but the mind as well.
Full aromatherapy body massage can last up to one to two hours because it basically involves using full routine body massage which first of all begins with a back massage which can take up to an hour, thus increasing therapeutic relaxation. It continues to the face, front and back of the legs, hands, chest and the head.
Aromatherapy Massage and Spa
Most spas give good aromatherapy massages. At the spas, a licensed massage therapist selects appropriate oils and creams that are suitable for you. However, this differs on an individual's needs. Massage in a spa can be a partial or full body massage. A partial aromatherapy involves basically using essential oils to massage the back and could last for about 30 minutes while a full body massage involves massaging the whole body from the face to the legs which could last up t an hour or more.
Find a good spa close to you and ask for an aromatherapy massage especially if you have had stressful days at work, school or business place. Finding a spa closest to you shouldn't be difficult. You can use the help of google to find one closest to you.
Do take note on the essential oils used by the spa and ask questions to make sure that what is used is of good quality so that you can get the full range of benefits from a good grade essential oil.
Aromatherapy Massage Techniques
Various strokes can be used in aromatherapy massage. Listed below are a few strokes used for aromatherapy. Note that this is not how to do a guide but rather a summary of the most prevalent types of aromatherapy strokes.
- Effleurage: It involves sliding the hands gently over the skin. And it is used both at the beginning and end of a massage.
- Cupping: this involves using your palm in a cupped shape to hit the client. The palm has to be cupped so as to avoid slapping the client.
- Beating: the beating stroke involves gently beating the bottom of fists on the body on the client.
- Plucking: this stroke type involves picking a particular spot with your fingers and letting it back.
- Pummeling: this is a more punching like a stroke. This involves punching rhythmically and more intense. Since it is more intense than any other type of massage strokes, it should be performed in an area with very good flesh covering.
- Petrissage: the petrissage stroke involves using light circular strokes to pick up and squeeze the muscle thus increasing the circulation of blood flow to the muscles and eliminating waste products from the tissues.
What Should You Wear For Aromatherapy Massage?
This is an essential question because different massages have their different rules and probably therapists too may have different preferences. Some massage therapists would prefer their clients nude under the towel or sheet while some would prefer you wear at least a small underwear down. Usually, during an aromatherapy massage, you are supposed to be partially nude and covered on only the part of your body the therapist is not working on. The paramount thing is your comfort. If you more comfortable wearing something, you should let the therapist know before the session.
You may have been going through a lot of stress may be from work or business and afraid to use drugs to ease your stress levels. How about trying a more natural method of relaxing your mind, aromatherapy massage is one of the best ways to de-stress and return back to a natural state. Arrange regular aromatherapy massage sessions and you could be sure of better and calm results.