Using Aromatherapy in Massage

Aromatherapy massage can be a beneficial tool for individuals of all ages and health concerns. Essential oils used in aromatherapy massage can be comforting or used to release toxins and keep muscles supple.

One useful movement used in aromatherapy is “effleurage“, which is a series of gentle and soothing strokes that allow the essential oils to penetrate the skin, which in turn causes you to relax. In this type of movement the entire hand is used, not just the fingers.

The strokes are long or short, firm or gentle in a rhythmic motion that relaxes the muscles and nerve endings to help sooth stress and tension and also to increase circulation. The hands of the person ding the massage are to be firm.

Scalp Massages

Who doesn’t like a good head massage? Essential oils are used on the fingertips and massaged gently all over the scalp. In cases where an individual suffers from migraines or headaches a massage around the base of the neck working upwards towards the base of the scalp can work wonders. This is another time when effleurage strokes can be applied.

Appropriate essential oils can be used when doing a neck massage using small, firm circular movements from the base of the neck, and on either side of the vertebrae, towards the base of the scalp.

Both sides of the neck are worked and repeated movements are made, gently while working downward again (repeat several times with appropriate essential oils).

Shoulder Tension

Massaging the shoulders can help to relieve tensions of the day using both effleurage and petrissage movements with thumbs and palms for firm strokes to the shoulder towards the neck and back out again.

It is important when giving a back massage not to massage the vertebrae. Start at the lumbar region of the back with both hands and work all the way up to the shoulders, across the shoulders and down the sides of the back.

The massage movements can be repeated as often as the massager likes or the person receiving the massage requests. The longer the back massage continues the more relaxed the person will become.

Effleurage is the best strike to use in circular movements when giving a stomach massage.

Leg Massage

When giving a leg massage always move up the leg using effleurage or combined with petrissage movements on the fatty or muscular areas. Never massage over varicose veins if they are present.

Always use a professional aromatherapist when you are uncertain about using an essential oil in massage. Always follow instructions when using or mixing essential oils and always use a “carrier oil” before applying directly to the skin.

Essential oils can be very soothing and healing when used in massage but like most therapies have to be used with knowledge and quality products.