Aromatherapy Uses: Massage
Massaging essential oils into the skin is a commonly used aromatherapy technique and one that’ll enable you to reap tremendous therapeutic benefits. If you’ve never had a massage, you don’t know what you’re missing. After a massage session, you’ll feel amazingly relaxed and rejuvenated. Here are some tips on getting the most out of your aromatherapy massage.
You’ll reap the maximum benefit if you have someone else give you a massage. You can massage some areas of your body yourself, such as your feet and your temples, but what you really need to focus on while getting a massage is relaxing. You’ll never be able to fully relax if you’re doing the work, no matter how minimal. While you can enlist the help of just about anybody, you’ll be better off if your massage is performed by a professional.
The person you choose for your massage is just as important as the aromatherapy massage environment. It should be somewhat darkened and very quiet. The only noises you should hear are natural ones such as bubbling brooks, crashing waves, a gentle rain or other similarly soothing sounds. If you can’t listen to the real thing, don’t worry. Pre-recorded sounds work just fine.
You’ll be most comfortable and reap the most benefits if you’re lying on a firm but comfortable surface. You’ll also be more relaxed if you’re warm so be sure you’re partially covered with a soft, luxurious towel. If you’re okay not being covered, then have a towel nearby in case you care to use it later on. A relaxed state will cause the body’s metabolism rate to slow, which will cause the body temperature to lower.
Essential oils are best and are generally what’s used for massage. Essential oils are extracted from plant material and they’re most effective when they’re diluted with carrier oils or hydrosols. Essential oils are highly concentrated oils and they can be too strong for some skin when used alone. Plus essential oils can be expensive so economically it makes sense to mix them with carrier oils.
The essential oils you choose depend on the benefits you desire. Lavender is excellent for relaxing while peppermint is good for soothing sore muscles. Good carrier oils to use for massage include apricot kernel, sweet almond and grapeseed.
As a general rule, you’ll need 1 to 2 ounces of carrier oil to massage the entire body. The only carrier oil that is not recommended for use in massage is mineral oil.
If you’re the one who are giving a massage pour a small amount of oil into your hands first to allow them to warm slightly. Rub into skin using a combination of long strokes, and large and small circular motions. Continually vary both the speed and the motion of the massage. When hand movements begin to ‘drag’ it’s time to use more oil.