Aromatherapy involves using essential oils to provide mental and physical well-being. The word aroma means pleasant characteristic odor and therapy means treatment. The aroma rejuvenates the mind and promotes a sense of well-being.
Essential oils are mixed with carrier oil. Essential oils are extracted from plants and flowers. These are highly concentrated and so only a few drops are mixed with carrier oils. Essential oils should not be applied directly to the skin as it may cause irritation and allergy. Carrier oils are generally extracted from nuts or seeds .Some examples of carrier oil are almond oil, calendula oil, sesame oil, etc.
Some Essential Oils & Their Quality
Before choosing an essential oil for a massage, it is important to choose the appropriate one. It should be appropriate for the person whom the massage will be given and the person is not allergic to that essential oil.
Some of the essential oil descriptions are given below:
Eucalyptus essential oil: Eucalyptus has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. Eucalyptus essential oil can be used to treat common cold. It can also clear mucous from the lungs so can treat congestion in the chest.
Lavender essential oil: Lavender has a fresh, sweet aroma that has the potential to refresh and relax. It can help in fighting stress.
Peppermint essential oil: It can cure headache, dental pain and muscle pain. It stimulates the liver and intestine.
Lemongrass essential oil: It has anti-septic properties. It can be used to treat bruised muscles. It provides relaxation. It can fight head-ache, sore throat and fever .It revitalizes the mind
Tea tree essential oil: It is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. It has healing properties and can be used to treat inflammation, burns, sores and skin problems like acne and pimples.
The Aromatherapy Massaging Techniques
Once you know about the essential oils and find out which one is most suitable for your client. Learn about the massage techniques. These Massage movements are not very difficult but you should know correctly about it. These massage movements aim at promoting the blood circulation.
Some of the techniques are:
Gliding or Effleurage: It is the main technique. Apply steady pressure with flat palm .Long even strokes are applied in gliding motion in the direction of heart. This gentle stroke promotes blood circulation.
Kneading: Similar to the motion made while kneading dough. It includes squeezing and twisting. It helps in loosening muscle tightening and to promote blood circulation.
Fanning: Rhythmic effleurage motion applied on the back, chest, legs and arms. It helps in blood circulation. It creates a stretching effect on the muscles of the body.
Feathering: It involves giving light movements of the body. It creates a soothing effect. It also stimulates the nerves.
Tapotement (percussion): It includes hacking, pummeling or pounding, cupping and tapping.
In hacking, the fingers and the wrist are kept relaxed. The hands alternately and rapidly strike the client’s body such that only the outer edge of the hand makes a contact with the body. In pummeling, hands are joined to form a loose fist. Apply strokes so that the little finger area makes contact with the body. In cupping form a cup like shape is formed by slightly bending your hands. Now the hands rhythmically strike the body. Tapping involves light movements made with the finger-tips. It promotes blood circulation and stimulates the nerves.
Vibrations: It involves giving the body vibrating strokes by making trembling movements by the thumb or fingers.
After a stress-full day nothing can be more refreshing than an aromatherapy massage However, certain things should be kept in mind like, massaging should not be after heavy meals and if the client is pregnant or asthma then certain essential oils should be avoided. Make the experience magical by setting up a calming environment before giving massage.