Incorporating essential oils into your massage can enhance the experience even more based on what your body and mind are desiring.
Essential oils are concentrated hydrophobic liquids that contain the volatile compounds of given plants. In fewer words, they are the oils of the plant.
Generally speaking, essential oils are extracted from plants using distillation methods including steam. Through these processes, they pack a lot of punch into very small quantities – often requiring just a couple drops to reap therapeutic and medicinal benefits.
And those benefits can be quite plentiful when used as a form of aromatherapy. Although there is limited scientific evidence that essential oils can effectively treat certain conditions, they are used around the world – often in diffusers – to promote health and wellbeing at home or in business settings. Diffusing certain oils for certain conditions (i.e. peppermint oil for headaches) definitely seems to have a positive impact for many.
(NOTE: Improper use of essential oils may cause harm including allergic reactions, inflammation and skin irritation. Children may be particularly susceptible to the toxic effects of improper use. Essential oils can be poisonous if ingested or absorbed through the skin.)
Massage is another medium for essential oil-based aromatherapy that is gaining in popularity. Wellness professionals can incorporate certain oils in with lotions and other products used in various forms of massage, including Relaxation, Therapeutic, and Swedish. It can even be used as a great compliment to other bodywork modalities, like Reiki and lymphatic drainage.
At Serendipity Wellness Spa, we offer Young Living essential oils with our aromatherapy massage services. Our licensed massage therapists consult with clients before their service to uncover which oil (or oils) would be best to incorporate (based on any conditions or what’s currently bothering them) and then utilize that oil selectively during the service.
Which essential oil should I use for my next aromatherapy massage?
Again, this question will depend on how you’re currently feeling and if anything in particular is bothering you – but here’s a primer on some of the more popular options out there.
One of the most versatile essential oils, lavender is a great choice for general relaxation and lessening of anxiety during aromatherapy massage. Believed to treat fungal infections and eczema as well, it’s also great as a topical during your massage. It has a wonderful floral smell.
If you’re having trouble sleeping or even just calming down at the end of your day, vetiver might be the option for you as it’s known to soothe. At the same time, a 2016 study showed that it can also decrease mental fatigue and improve alertness. It’s great at adapting depending on where you’re at in your day!
Peppermint is one of the better pain relief options as it’s often used as a topical to reduce joint pain, muscle aches, and headaches. It can even address itching. Plus, it’s been known to do a great job treating coughs and colds if you’re feeling under the weather. Be aware if using at home though – a little goes a long way!
Due to its chemical makeup and being derived from the bitter orange tree, petitgrain essential oil can be helpful in creating a calm, relaxed environment to promote feelings of relaxation. It seems to work great during foot massage, often sending clients into an immediate state of relaxation. Try it if your feet need some attention!
The aroma of Grapefruit is sure to uplift and freshen your senses. It can support the lymphatic and circulatory systems, making it a great option for aromatherapy during lymphatic drainage massage. It also has cleansing properties.