Extending the benefits of massage
Sisters Salon & Day Spa is pleased to provide aromatherapy for all massage treatments. Click here to find out more about specific benefits of aromatherapy.
This article has been reprinted from the August 2012 Massage Today
Most massage therapists interested in using essential oils as part of their sessions can easily relate to the idea of the physical properties of each of the oils and how they can be applied for a client’s specific needs.
Those familiar with the concept of subtle aromatherapy, which I have written about in previous columns, also know that a client can have the specific mental, emotional and spiritual energies that are part of the symptoms being presented directly addressed and assisted by using appropriate essential oils in the massage oil blend. But what happens after the client leaves the office?
On the purely physical level, essential oils can take from 18 to 24 hours to be processed and eliminated by the body. This is one of the reasons it is important to educate yourself and your clients about certain contraindications, such as increased UV impact on skin cells for the expressed citrus oils of lemon (Citrus limon), lime (Citrus aurantifolia) and bergamot (Citrus bergamia). Another example is the heightened intoxicant ability of clary sage (Salvia sclarea) that could easily cause unpleasant affects for a client who might consume alcohol at a dinner or party shortly after their massage. But this long lasting quality of essential oils is also a great benefit when working with clients who have chronic or acute inflammation and pain. It greatly enhances and extends the relief the client gets from the hands-on techniques.
Along with delivering the essential oils to the body through application, simple inhalation of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) has been shown to relieve pain and stress. The question of whether it is the stress relief achieved by inhalation alone that is responsible for the lowered pain experience has not been determined, but that has been suggested as a distinct possibility by research-oriented aromatherapists like Robert Tisserand. Other essential oils with anti-anxiety properties, such as Roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis), geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), sweet marjoram (Origanum majorana), patchouli (Pogostemom cablin), rose (Rosa damascena) and ylang ylang (Cananga odorata) can also demonstrate this stress relieving effect upon inhalation. Certainly, both therapist and client receive these benefits during the use of an aromatic massage oil blend.