Massage is an integral part of the aromatherapy process. It allows a soothing and therapeutic application of essential oils to heal and reguvenate the body. Massage can work as a stimulant as well as a relaxant. Blending essential oils and massaging them into your body works on the olfactory nerves as well as the limbic system. Aromatherapy skin care products are being increasingly used for their beneficial properties. Aromatherapy bath oils and bath salts can make for an exhilarating experience.
An aromatherapy massage session can involve just a face and head massage or a full body massage. A typical aromatherapy massage can last about 90 minutes and costs around $25 to $45. Those suffering from varicose veins, fractures, bruises, swellings and infection must not go in for the massage. Pregnant women must consult their doctor before resorting to an aromatherapy massage. During the massage, the aromas are detected by the nerve endings in the nose and signals are passed to the limbic system in the brain.
An important part of the limbic system governing the pituitary gland controls release of hormones throughout the body. Many mental and emotional benefits are gained by the neurochemicals that are released. Additionally, the small molecules of essential oils are absorbed throughout the skin. They then dissolve in the natural body fats and fluids. This allows them to flow around the body and aid relaxation, detoxification and regeneration. Aromatherapy massage improves blood circulation, increases the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the cells. The immune system is also stimulated by improved tissue drainage and better lymphatic flow.
Massage therapy has shown benefits for chronic conditions such as stress, insomnia, menstrual problems, menopausal symptoms, hypertension, muscle spasm, joint stiffness, low energy and fatigue. Muscular pain and tension can be relieved with effective massage strokes with the appropriate blend of oils. PMS, migraine and digestive problems can also be alleviated. Muscle toning, weight gain and weight loss are also tackled with the right blend of essential oils.
Benefits of aromatherapy massage
- Aromatherapy massage results in significant decrease of anxiety and respiratory rates, as well as a significant increase in white blood cells and natural killer cell activity.
- Aromatherapy massages decrease the effects of anxiety; tension, depression, pain and itching in burn patients.
- The massage helps abdominal surgery patients in quicker recovery. Premature infants who were given aromatherapy massage gain more weight.
- Aroma massages reduce heart rate, lower blood pressure, increase blood circulation and lymph flow, relax muscles, improve range of motion and increase endorphins (enhancing medical treatment).
- It fosters faster healing of strained muscles and sprained ligaments; reduces pain and swelling and reduces formation of excessive scar tissue.
Massage Oils and Massage Creams
Different massages require different types of massage lubricants. Various blends of essential oils can be prepared to suit individual requirements.
A blend using grape seed oil, sweet almond oil and olive oil - This oil soaks in quickly leaving the skin soft and moisturized without a greasy feel. It is typically used for short massages due to its fast absorption rate.
A blend using avocado, jojoba and sweet almond oil - This oil soaks in slowly and is used for longer massages or sunbathes. Unlike other massage creams, aromatherapy massage creams contain no artificial ingredients or preservatives. They normally constitute a blend of cocoa butter, coconut, avocado, jojoba oil, shea butter and various essential oils.
What better way to gain relief from stress and muscle pains than to soak yourself in a hot bath with aromatherapy oils or grains. The relaxing properties of hot water complement the effects of well-chosen essential oils and provide a wonderfully synergistic combination. Choose 5-7 drops of essential oil to 1-ounce carrier oil. Add this blend to running bath water and mix well before getting into the tub. Be sure to read the safety precautions for the chosen essential oils. You can choose from various bath salts to suit your body requirements.
Aromatherapy Bath Salts
Bath salts are a blend of natural sea salts with premium essential oils. Some are made of solar mineral salts, mixed with pure vegetable glycerin to help soften skin. The skin will noticeably improve and you will feel better too. The salts also keep the bath water hot longer, making it easier to soak for a longer time.
Aromatherapy Skin Care
Aromatic skins care products harness the healing properties of plants to enrich the skin. The vitamins, enzymes, fruit acids and minerals used in aromatherapy skin care products penetrate the skin, balance the internal lymbic system activities and nourish the cells.
Aromatherapy soaps contain the finest ingredients such as essential oils and fragrance oils, skin-nourishing vegetable oils and nut butters. Some women prefer the heady fragrance of rose geranium and patchouli whereas others choose the tingling peppermint.