Aromatherapy massage is massage therapy enhanced with essential oils (highly concentrated plant oils) added to the massage oil or lotion. Essential oils are absorbed through the skin and through inhalation creating beneficial changes in the mind and body by affecting the limbic system; a region of the brain connected to memory and nervous system. Headache, insomnia, digestive disorders, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and back pain are a few examples of conditions helped with aromatherapy massage. Aromatherapy may help to ease stress and anxiety. If you’re considering trying aromatherapy massage, talk with your massage therapist and healthcare provider about whether it’s appropriate for you. Each essential oil used in aromatherapy is said to have different properties. For example, some calm while others energize. Some widely used essential oils and their purported properties are: Calming – chamomile, lavender, geranium; Uplifting – orange, may change, neroli; Energizing – rosemary, peppermint; and Decongesting – eucalyptus, pine, tea tree.
Tammy Phye, R.A., EOT