Essential Oils: Maximize the Benefits of Massage

Aromatherapy combines beautifully with massage. Easy to add to any oil or cream, essential oils contribute healing properties of their own to enhance massage benefits and prolong positive results. They also provide a wonderful dimension of aroma to the bodywork experience, encouraging deep breathing and setting the stage for relaxation.

What Makes Essential Oils So Special?

Not every plant produces essential oil. A small percentage of medicinal plants contain these highly concentrated aromatic extracts. Within that small percentage, only certain parts of the plant house the essential oil:

  • Flowers
  • Leaves and grasses
  • Needles, twigs, and bark
  • Citrus rind
  • Wood and roots

Steam distillation is the most common method of extraction and once harvested, the essential oil is approximately 70 times stronger than the original plant.

What Can Essential Oils Do?

The potency and variety of natural chemical components within essential oils can pack a powerful healing punch on a number of different levels. Some of the benefits of essential oils include:

  • Reduce pain, spasm and inflammation
  • Produce a sedative or calming effect
  • Stimulate, uplifting and energize

Miraculously, each individual oil contains many therapeutic properties. So, using just one essential oil can produce a spectrum of healing results.

Combining Essential Oils with Massage

Less is more where essential oil use is concerned. Each drop of these potent extracts contains immense healing potential. Just a few drops added to oil or cream and applied topically can produce definitive therapeutic results.

This process of dissolving essential oil into massage lubricants is called dilution and provides a safe way to deliver the essential oils to the skin during the session. Carrier oils and creams also contain healing properties which nourish and hydrate the skin, while the essential oils add their own healing boost.

Combined with therapeutic massage, essential oils can be chosen to enhance bodywork benefits. Based on which essential oils are used, and the healing properties each contains, aromatherapy massage can be tailored to achieve specific therapeutic outcomes. For instance:

  • Pain-relieving essential oils added to massage lubricants enhance relief of sore muscles.
  • Essential oils known to have a calming effect can prompt the relaxation response.
  • Anti-inflammatory essential oils can reduce swelling and water retention.
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