What is an aromatherapy massage and how it improves wellbeing

Have you heard of an aromatherapy massage but not quite sure what it is or how it can contribute to an improvement in your daily health and wellbeing?

There are numerous positive health benefits of receiving a massage and this is widely known and accepted.  Massage is one of the most valuable alternative therapies that has been practiced for thousands of years. The history of massage therapy dates back to 3000BC where it was considered a sacred system of natural healing.  Massage therapy was practiced by numerous generations to heal injury, relieve pain and prevent and cure illnesses. https://florida-academy.edu/history-of-massage-therapy/

Today it is one of the most popular natural therapy treatments.  Massage can be used as an individual treatment or to complement other treatments.

Massage is simply manipulation by rubbing, pressing, or kneading the muscles and lymph nodes within your body to increase circulation, release muscle tightness and provide overall body recovery and wellness.

There are numerous forms of massage. They are quite different, and each has specific purposes and techniques that are used to target and support different ailments or personal requirements.  

Some popular choices of massage are:

  • Relaxation
  • Deep Tissue
  • Hot Stone Massage

Essential oils can be added to any type of massage for aromatherapy benefits.

zen den hot stone massage

Aromatherapy may be an even older form of treatment and has been used by the ancient Chinese, Indians, and Egyptians to aid in healing the body.

But what exactly is aromatherapy. Aromatherapy, as defined by the Miriam-Webster dictionary is the inhalation or bodily application (as by massage) of fragrant essential oils (as from flowers and fruits) for therapeutic purpose. 

The use of these essential oils in massage, has been scientifically proven to have a beneficial impact on the body and for assisting with a variety of long term and short-term health conditions.  Massage has been confirmed to reduce stress and anxiety, promote sleep and relaxation, and improve pain, muscle fatigue and circulation.  There are many different oils, and all have differing fragrances, and healing properties. In aromatherapy massage it is important to choose a suitable oil or oil blend for the therapy and purpose.

When including essential oils into a massage, add a few drops of the essential oil to your carrier massage oil. Ensure this oil is a high quality such as fractionated coconut, jojoba, or grapeseed. This suitably dilutes the essential oil and allows for the essential oil to be distributed evenly without losing any of its therapeutic qualities. It also helps the essential oil to last longer and to be absorbed more easily and where required onto the body.

It is not just the different fragrances that are positive and beneficial to your health and wellbeing, it is the herbal components that you take in through the skin or breathe in that influence your body and mood.  These healing properties can enhance and improve several different health and wellness issues.

Some of these issues include:

  • Stress, depression, or anxiety
  • Poor sleep
  • Pain and muscle fatigue
  • Inflammation and skin conditions
  • Immune function and respiratory issues

Stress, depression, or anxiety

If you experience stress, depression, or anxiety you know the difficulties and negative feelings associated with these conditions.  If you are affected by these feelings, then you may feel improvement in your mood and symptoms as a result of receiving regular aromatherapy massages. Aromatherapy massage can safely and easily be used as an additional and complementary treatment even if you are having other treatments for these issues. So how does aromatherapy assist with symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety. When understanding the brain, it is recognised that the areas responsible for scent, emotion, and memory are closely related. Certain aromas and fragrances trigger positive memories or feelings, and these have a positive impact on your mental state and wellbeing. Specific aromas increase contentment as well as decrease levels of cortisol, more commonly known as the “stress hormone.” The aromas of the essential oils used during massage helps to lift your mood, so you feel calmer, less worried, and more relaxed and energized.

Poor Sleep

If you suffer from a of lack of quality sleep, insomnia, or associated conditions you know the negative feelings that these situations bring.  You may find it difficult getting to sleep or wake up during the night and not be able to get back to sleep, leaving you feeling frustrated, tired, and fatigued.  Because the use of aromatherapy helps you feel less stressed and worried, this in turn assists in sleep. The use of sleep-inducing essential oils, such as lavender, is greatly beneficial in slowing and calming the body for a good night sleep.  The addition of the positive benefits of massage which releases stress and tension in your body, combined with the benefits of a high quality essential oil provides an effective remedy for unsettled sleep and sleep conditions.

Pain and muscle fatigue

The use of essential oils is widely accepted and is a popular way to promote the healing and management of complaints through the soothing and relaxing of tight and aching muscles.  Quality essential oils are also greatly effective in pain management -whether this be a mild headache or a more serious and ongoing form of pain, such as arthritic pain.  

It is also common for our muscles and joints to become fatigued, stressed, or tired because of a workout, exercise, work or just day to day life. The use of essential oils is a natural and therapeutic way to relieve these symptoms.

Although the oils can be diffused and breathed in through our respiratory system, when treating aches and pains or muscle fatigue the most effective method is the application of these, topically onto the body. For this reason, an aromatherapy massage is the perfect and most beneficial method to effected area.  During an aromatherapy massage, the massage therapist can tailor which essential oils to apply to assist in relieving the specific pain.  Each essential oil has differing healing and therapeutic properties. A single oil or the blending of a number of, oils can be used to target and support specific complaints or conditions. In addition to the essential oils penetrating deep into the muscles to relieve pain, and muscle tightness, but the massage can also help work out knots and quickly release tension.

Inflammation and Skin Conditions

The use of essential oils can greatly assist the body in healing skin health, inflammation, bruising and swelling. The use of essential oils and massage supports an increase in circulation and cellular repair within the body, aiding in muscle repair and restoring inflammation.  The nature of the essential oil can generate anti-inflammatory effects in your body which helps to reduce inflammatory symptoms and related pain within your body.  You may feel a positive change within a short time and these benefits can last for up to several days.

Amy Galper who is an aromatherapist and is the co-founder of the New York Institute on Aromatic Studies states that “Essential oils are a great support tool for relieving the discomfort from inflammation that can occur on the surface of our skin and even internally, like in joints, our upper respiratory area, and our belly”. https://www.wellandgood.com/good-advice/essential-oils-for-inflammation/

The inclusion of a range of essential oils can provide an all over benefit to your skin health and care.  Essential oils can be included in your daily skin care routine or to treat various short or long-term skin problems.  Facial or scalp massage is a wonderful way to have the oils absorbed into your body and provide healing and therapeutic benefits .  Essential oils such as Melaleuca (Tea Tree) are also beneficial in treating skin conditions and irritations such as rashes, insect bites, pimples, and acne.

Immune Function and Respiratory Issues

The inclusion of essential oils in your daily life, can be especially useful in improving your overall health, boosting your immune system, preventing sickness, and fighting off cold, flu and other respiratory issues. 

There are many day to day factors that can have an effect on your immune system and its functioning.  These factors can include positive or negative stress, sleep, exposure to infection, toxins or illness, exercise, food additives and diet.  Change of season and temperature can also influence or impact our immune system.  

Essential oils can be particularly valuable as they possess a wide range of antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties and can be chosen or blended to suit your environment and needs.  The application of these oils through an aromatherapy massage, allows for instant absorption into the bloodstream and body through the skin resulting in the improvement of your immune system straight away.

zen den day spa massage

The use of essential oils in an enjoyable massage makes this treatment a delight to your senses.   When specific essential oils have been selected and used within your treatment the added benefits to your health and wellbeing make aromatherapy massage an exceptional experience and choice.  Zen Den Day Spa in the heart of Mooloolaba offers a variety of massage and aromatherapy treatments as well as a number of other therapies. https://zendendayspa.com.au/ Aromatherapy enhances your massage experience and helps reset your body and mind.