Aromatherapy massage has been used for centuries to reduce stress, relieve pain and enhance recovery time. An aromatherapy massage is advantageous for both body and mind. It provides healing, and it’s an excellent remedy for therapeutic care.
People across the globe have been using this massage technique to heal their body and trigger positive improvements to their health. Let’s first discuss what aromatherapy massage is, the history of the technique and then the health benefits.
What is aromatherapy massage?
In a summary, aromatherapy massage is a body massage which is coupled with a powerful combination of essential oils.
The combination of relaxing touch and muscle work, along with carefully chosen essential oils provides a range of positive health effects to your body. Benefits of aromatherapy massage include improved digestion, increased blood flow, improved cognitive performance, alleviate headaches and reduced anxiety.
Besides these health benefits, the combination of various oils have been proven to improve memory, relieve nausea and enhance the quality of sleep.
History of aromatherapy massage
As mentioned, aromatherapy massage has been found throughout centuries of history, on many continents. There’s a strong belief that the Ancient Indians, Greek, and Egyptians used this type of alternative medicine.
These ancient civilisations often used various aromatic oils as the replacement for perfumes or during ceremonies. Approximately 200 years ago, aromatherapy massage started to spread through the USA.
Aromatic oils were widely used during World War I due to their scientifically proven health benefits, however they were frequently used to heal infections and wounds on the battlefront.
Nowadays, people in England, US, India, and France, use aromatherapy most frequently, however other countries are not far behind.
According to this recent study, the global aromatherapy market size was estimated at US$1.6 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 11.6% from 2021 to 2028.
What to expect during an aromatherapy massage session
The type of massage you will receive will depend greatly on the training of the aromatherapist and from the assessment of your needs. Never fear though; aromatherapy massage is one of the most gentle and non-invasive types of massage therapy.
Typically, you start your aromatherapy session by having a discussion on your medical history and any personal issues that may be affecting you. It is highly important that you are thorough and specific in disclosing the medical history, which includes illnesses, injuries, and allergies.
If the aromatherapist wishes to do any form of bodywork on you, for example, they will need to know about your problem areas. If your main objective is to get stress relief, treatment for depression or other psychological or emotional difficulty, you should let them know the kind of relief you are asking and whether you are on any current medications or not.
Your aromatherapist will decide on the best form of treatment you will receive based on your initial conversation or from the form you are asked to fill out. They will then discuss with you what treatment they feel is best suited for you. They may also suggest an alternative treatment.
You will then be lead to a room with either quiet, relaxing music or silence, for your massage. Typically the room will be softly lit, and oftentimes oils will be burning from an oil diffuser as well.
You will be asked to undress and wear a towel or robe. If you ever feel uncomfortable for any reason, let your massage therapist know immediately.
The most common oils in aromatherapy massage tend to be eucalyptus, sandalwood, peppermint, and rosemary.
These mentioned essential oils will be combined with a carrier oil. In these oils, you can often find the presence of avocado, sesame oils, almond, and coconut.
Your therapist may spread this mix on your temples, neck, skin, and scalp. They may also combine a combination of different techniques and scents during your massage.
When you are finished, you should feel much more calm and relaxed. You should feel energised, rejuvenated and well-rested when you leave.
A word of warning
Unless you are not treated by a professional, it’s not recommended that you mix oils on your own.
Aromatherapy doesn’t apply only essential oils to achieve its effects. It consists of herbal distillates, carrier oils, and other oils. Hence, pay attention to how your body reacts when you apply certain oils.
First and foremost, before you use any aroma oils, consult with your therapist about the type of oil you should use. Some of them or a dangerous combination can yield allergies and adverse reactions.
It is strongly recommended that you consult your doctor before picking any oil to use. They may provide you with additional information and help you with your treatment.
Health benefits of aromatherapy massage
There are many health benefits to having aromatherapy massage; in fact it affects your body in almost every way.
Every essential oil has its own unique benefits, and your massage therapist needs to choose the right combination for you according to your goals. A number of these oils can treat more than one condition, such as ylang-ylang, bergamot, and lavender.
Your entire system (nervous, lymphatic, circulatory and even musculoskeletal) will experience soothing and therapeutic effects during a massage session.
Specific health benefits include;
- Enhances energy
- Improves circulation
- Reduces migraines
- Improves sleep
- Enhances immune system
- Reduces pain
- Boosts recovery process
- Boosts digestion
- Reduces stress
- Fights depression
- Improves memory
Let’s now explore each of these health benefits in a little more detail.
One of the main health benefits of aromatherapy massage, is that it can help us to increase energy due to both the physical massage, and combination of various essential oils.
Unlike energy drinks, caffeine, etc this massage does not come with disadvantages and side-effects. Massage is an all-natural way to boost your productivity throughout the day.
It would be even more beneficial if you incorporate exercise into your day, along with a healthy diet.
Aromatherapy massage is known to enhance your circulation and stimulate your brain.
The most used oils for this purpose are loaded with cardamom, cinnamon, clove, tea tree, sage, rosemary and black pepper.
A large percentage of our population are prone to bad headaches and migraines, due to various reasons, and aromatherapy is often a solution to this problem.
Before searching for expensive pharmaceuticals, this natural alternative that can help you with migraines. Along with relieving current headaches, this massage technique even prevents these symptoms in the future.
Aromatherapy has a plethora of benefits for people who struggle with sleeping disorders. As we all know, medical evidence shows that lack of sleep can yield less energy and plenty of conditions if it’s not treated.
Therefore, aromatherapy may provide a regulated sleep schedule and tight rest over the night.
Oils that are recommended to use are jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang, neroli, and sandalwood.
Enhances immune system
If you enjoy regular aromatherapy massages, you can get a big range of benefits for your immune system.
Aromatherapy can protect your body from countless diseases and conditions because of antimicrobial and antibacterial effects that essential oils provide.
That way, your body will be safer than usual from any damage that could happen. To boost your immune system, use cinnamon, eucalyptus, oregano, peppermint and lemon essential oils.
Instead of reaching for a Nurofen or Panadol, an aromatherapy massage is a proven solution that comes with no side-effects whatsoever. In fact, pain relief may be one of the biggest reasons people try this type of therapy.
The most beneficial essential oils, in this case, are clary sage, juniper, chamomile, rosemary, peppermint, and lavender.
Boosts recovery process
During a massage session, your body will increase its oxygen, which will naturally result in improved blood flow. Thus, you will heal and recover faster.
It’s useful for wounds, illnesses and its benefits are numerous even for people who recover from surgery. Some of the essential oils contain anti-microbial properties.
They can come in handy when it comes to additional protection of your body during this sensitive period. Oils that speed up the healing process are rosehip, buckthorn, calendula, and lavender.
Aromatherapy massages can really help with your digestion system. It can treat and prevent conditions such as bloating, constipation or indigestion.
In addition to that, aromatherapy can also speed up your metabolism. Therefore, your body will digest quicker the food that you consume.
Lemon and orange essential oils are probably the best types of massage oil, when it comes to treating these conditions. However, oils such as chamomile, fennel, dill, ginger, and lavender are beneficial as well.
Many people often choose aromatherapy due to its benefits for your nervous system. It is a well known remedy for stress, that will relax you and relieve you from anxiety.
Various essential oils are notorious for their effectiveness on your mind and brain. They can calm your mind and bring it to peace.
Some of the most used oils to relieve stress are vetiver, peppermint, lavender, lemon oil and bergamot.
Another one of the major benefits of aromatherapy massage is its ability to fight depression. That’s a common disease amongst people nowadays, and aromatherapy is a natural alternative to pharmaceutical antidepressants.
Good essential oils for massage are lavender, jasmine, peppermint and chamomile.
Aromatherapy massage is often considered one of the suitable ways to prevent or slow-down Alzheimer’s and to reduce the chances of short and long-term memory loss. Therefore, people often use it as an alternative therapy for Alzheimer’s and dementia.
There are also numerous benefits for younger people, such as boosting memory and better function of the brain. Therefore, it’s useful for individuals no matter what age they are.
To enhance their memory, people often use sage oil.
As we have seen in this guide, aromatherapy massage using the right combination of essential oils, can really help us to take care of our entire body.
It’s a practical and natural way to increase oxygen and blood flow. We will be able to heal faster and achieve a full-body relaxation. Even if you are completely healthy, you can provide your body with protection from bacteria and inflammation.