Aromatherapy Massage Explained

Have you had a massage lately? If you haven’t, then think about aromatherapy. Like the name suggests, the room will be filled with the scent of oils used to heal the body of a number of ailments.

Aromatherapy is part of the treatments known as alternative medicine. It does not replace traditional medicine but is used to relieve the symptoms of some more common complaints like:

* Headaches
* Back pain
* Digestive complaints

The belief of many ancient medical practices is that the body is constantly trying to reach homeostasis (a state of balance). The use of natural substances like plants, flowers, herbs and fruits can aid in that balanced state. Aromatherapy, like other alternative medicine techniques, stresses natural over chemical to heal the body.

That said, aromatherapy itself uses extracts created from various plants, flowers and herbs. Absorbing these smells through the nose can ease the symptoms of the complaint. Aromatherapy massage takes that one step further and allows the extracts to seep into the skin to affect changes in the body as well.

Here is how it works. If you went to an aromatherapist for a massage, he or she would ask you to fill out paperwork so they can get a profile of you and any complaints you have (stress-related conditions, headaches and such). Depending on what you say, the choice of oils used will be different for each massage.

We mentioned oils. The plant extracts need a carrier to deliver them to the skin. Mild oils like almond are used to deliver the healing herbs to your body. These are not fragrant oils like you would put on your skin as perfume. It is the oil that smells of the extract with no other chemicals added.

Here are a few examples of plants and herbs used as extracts in essential oils for aromatherapy massage:

* Eucalyptus (for tired muscles)
* Lavender (for relaxation)
* Ylang Ylang (for energy)
* Tea tree (a decongestant)
* Spearmint (relaxation)

The oils are blended with the appropriate extracts for your condition. The smell fills the room to relax you and also enters your skin through the skilled hands of the massage therapist. Aromatherapy has the advantage of providing relief for stress-related conditions and digestive complaints without adding chemicals to your body.

There are a few additional things to know before having an aromatherapy massage. Tell the massage therapist if you have any allergies to medicines and plants. Do not eat before going as lying down on a full stomach can be unpleasant. If you are pregnant, consult a doctor before engaging in an aromatherapy massage. Anyone with blood clotting issues should abstain from massage because the pressure could dislodge a forming clot and cause serious if not fatal complications.

Aromatherapy massages mingle the healing touch of massage with the powers of natural plants and herbs.