Aromatherapy massage is typically a Swedish or Deep Tissue massage where the massage oil has been combined with essential oil such as eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint or geranium to affect your mood or alleviate the pain. Oil can be selected from relaxing, energizing, balancing, stress-reducing and many others. Aromatherapy massage is at its best when the massage therapist uses high quality, therapeutic essential oil blended to address your precise need. A relaxing aromatherapy massage, for example, can have lavender or bergamot, whereas for aching muscles she can use peppermint and eucalyptus. Essential oil can also be poured on the wax of the melted candle for that aromatic effect or you can use an essence burner. This can be done using the Swedish technique using the long, smooth gliding strokes, kneading, tapping and circular motions. It would be nice if massage oil and burner oil are of the same scent. For added relaxation effect, you might wish to play some relaxing and soothing music. Some of our clients who have difficulty sleeping prefer this type of massage.
Aromatherapy Massage Origin
For century's doctors, therapists and healers have tapped into the healing properties of Aromatherapy. Its roots are not easy to track but scientists and doctors trust that Aromatherapy can be dated about 4000 years old. The Egyptians were the first to make famous the use of botanical in a variety of ways. They were renowned for their relaxing massage aided by aromas thru the help of herbs and spices. The Arabs also use aromatherapy by extracting oil from plants through distillation. And there are many other cultures in history who used the healing power of plants in drinks, smell and even jewelry. Today, Aromatherapy is popularly used in massages in the Philippines and many other Asian countries. And researchers have included its study and use in the medical field.
Aromatherapy Massage Involves
Aromatherapy massage is Swedish or deep tissue massage (refer to the definition of Swedish and deep tissue massage) using massage oil that has been blended with essential oil to affect your mood and alleviate pain. Aromatherapy massage can be done for a minimum of 1 hour and also extended to 1 & ½ or 2 hours depending on your need. The massage therapist can use the smooth, gliding strokes of a Swedish massage all over your body or a more focused Deep Tissue massage. On Deep Tissue massage, the massage therapist works on the deeper structure of the muscle and connective tissue to release chronic muscle tension or knots called adhesions. You are usually nude under the towel but only the part that is being massaged is exposed. Others prefer to wear their underwear, which is also perfectly fine.
Aromatherapy Massage Benefits
Aromatherapy massage is mainly suited to disorders involving stress or improving emotionally-related conditions. Examples of these are premenstrual syndrome, insomnia, headache, digestive disorders and back pain. When we inhale essential oil particles, a message is sent to our part of the brain called the limbic system. The limbic system controls emotions and affects the nervous system and hormones, thus influences the heart rate, breathing, stress level, blood pressure and the immune system. Essential oils are also believed to be absorbed through the skin. And each essential oil has its own healing property. Below is a list of the widely used essential oils and their properties:
- Uplifting- rose, neroli, clary sage, ilang-ilang
- Relaxing- lavender, bergamot, chamomile, geranium
- Cleansing & energizing-rosemary
- Decongesting-eucalyptus, tea tree, pine
- Pain relief-peppermint, eucalyptus
The following stories are some of the examples of research done on Aromatherapy massage:
- Two groups of 1st time mothers underwent an experiment. Group A received a 30-minute Aromatherapy massage 2 days after delivery, while group B received standard post-partum care. Group A had significantly less post partum blues and anxiety and had increased stamina and connection to their babies.
- Research shows that patients with cancer, particularly in the relaxing care settings, are progressively using Aromatherapy and massage.
- Massage significantly improved symptoms and well being in people with lymphedema. It also slightly reduced limb volume.
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