Aromatherapy & Massage

Published on 12 January, 2011 | alternative therapies

Aromatherapy and what to expect when you go for a Aromatherapy massage:

The sense of smell is very important – it enables us to tell if food has gone off, one whiff of a certain perfume can transport us back to the heady days of a romance and the smell of food cooking can have your mouth watering in anticipation. A smell can also evoke pleasant memories from the distant past.

The essence of nature’s flowers and plants have been extracted and used in cosmetics, perfumes and in households for many thousands of years. Egyptians in 3000 BC used aromatics for beauty and medicine and to perfume the atmosphere; burning incense for important occasions. Ancient Greeks used plants for many things and found that some were stimulating and some were relaxing; so we can see that the use of plants has been around for many centuries.

Nowadays essential oils are used in perfume, household cleaning items such as fabric conditioner, washing powder and in room fragrances. Some stores use them to persuade you to buy their goods.

Aromatherapists can offer their client a wonderfully relaxing body massage incorporating the whole body or parts of the body, such as the head, back and feet. The Aromatherapist will ask you about your past and present medical history, any medication you are currently taking and the reason, if any, that you have decided to come for Aromatherapy. The Aromatherapist will then blend some essential oils with a carrier oil taking into account your symptoms (if any), your current mood and will avoid certain oils if you have any contra-indications i.e. some essential oils should be avoided in early pregnancy. The essential oil blend chosen by the Aromatherapist will be prepared for you individually, taking your own circumstances into account.

The Aromatherapist will then massage you with the blend whilst you are lying on a couch or sitting on a chair with your arms and head supported by pillows, if this is more comfortable for you, for instance, if you find it hard to get up on the couch or are pregnant.

Gentle music may be played in the background which if it is not to your liking please feel free to tell the Aromatherapist so that she can either change the disc or stop the music altogether.

In general the Aromatherapy massage technique is lighter than the more traditional Swedish massage. The essential oils continue to work after the massage so showering or bathing is best avoided for the remainder of the day. Your Aromatherapist will give you after care advice. You should feel totally relaxed after the session and be able to go about your activities, although you may feel like having a sleep. A monthly Aromatherapy massage is a great way to de-stress and to spend sometime on yourself.

Source: Sue Gunner – BSc (Hons) Psychology – course writer for Luna Holistic Studies


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