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Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils from plants for therapeutic benefit. The concentrated oil extracts are steamed or pressed from flowers, roots, leaves, fruit, seeds, or bark and are used to promote physical and emotional healing. Both therapies are beneficial separately, but when combined, they create a powerful, multi-sensory experience that can promote relief and relaxation in many forms.

Types of oils

The list of essential oils is lengthy. Each has its own unique properties and benefits, and they can even
be combined to enhance your massage therapy session. Here are some of the most popular oils used
during an aromatherapy massage:

  • Lavender – promotes relaxation, and eases stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • Eucalyptus and tea tree oil – great for aiding decongestion.
  • Peppermint – to manage headaches.
  • Bergamot – to regulate blood pressure.
  • Chamomile and rosemary – may help reduce inflammation.

What do these sessions entail?

What happens in an aromatherapy session will depend on the massage therapist you visit and what you want to get out of the session. An aromatherapy massage may include both topical and inhaled treatment.

Your massage therapist will also want to know if there are any scents that you particularly like or dislike.

Your massage therapist may start the session with you breathing in essential oils or through steam inhalations, vaporizers, or sprays. It is also common practice to diffuse essential oils during an aromatherapy massage.

Mixing the essential oils with a carrier oil, which is used to dilute the essential oils, the massage therapist applies the mixture to your skin. An aromatherapy massage focuses more on the natural properties of the essential oils to help relax your mind and body, and less on the actual style of massage. You could choose a Swedish, Hot stone, or Deep tissue, just to name a few.

Benefits of an Aromatherapy Massage

Studies have shown that aromatherapy may provide the following benefits:

  • Help relieve stress and anxiety.
  • Promote sleep and relaxation.
  • Decrease muscle tension.
  • Alleviate symptoms of depression.
  • Help with tension headaches and migraines.
  • Aid in nasal congestion.
  • Enhance your mood.

Therapeutic massage paired with aromatherapy can promote physical and emotional well-being by improving your mood and relieving aches and pains. As with any form of therapy, when trying it for the first time, you may want to consult with your general healthcare provider to ensure it’s safe and appropriate for you.


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