Not Everyone Should Use Essential Massage

There are many reasons people use massage. When we add essential oils to that massage, we may get even better results. Less pain, improved mood, and more relaxation may all be possible when we combine massage and aromatherapy. Here’s what we know.

What is Essential Massage?

Essential massage, which some also call aromatherapy massage, involves performing standard massage techniques using essential oils. By mixing the two, we get the benefits of massage and the value of aromatherapy at the same time. The purpose of this combination is to improve both mental and physical well-being. 

Standard massage techniques may help with relaxation and pain. They can also improve blood flow and reduce the stress that comes from tight muscles and joints. We've been sold on the benefits of massage for a long time around here. But many seem to believe that when we add aromatherapy those benefits may be enhanced.

How Does Essential Massage Help?

There are mixed opinions and levels of information about the value of essential massage. In short, the scientific evidence on its effectiveness may be lacking. However, a study by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) indicated that patients who had a massage that included chamomile had lower anxiety levels. 

It’s possible to add essential oils to any kind of massage, from hot stone to deep tissue. By manipulating lymph nodes and muscles through rubbing and pressure, massage has the potential to reduce discomfort. If that discomfort comes from a mental health issue, such as depression, using an essential oil designed to diminish depression may add to the massage’s benefits.

What Essential Oils Are Used?

Massage therapists using essential oils base their use on each particular client’s needs. There are oils for anxiety, depression, energy, pain relief and more. Some that are used frequently include:

  • For Calming: Lavender, Chamomile, and Geranium.
  • For Decongesting: Pine, Eucalyptus, and Tea Tree.
  • For Energizing: Rosemary.
  • For Uplifting: Clary Sage, Rose, Ylang-Ylang, and Neroli.

The use of aromatherapy massage has been studied scientifically for issues like menstrual cramps and menopausal symptoms. Studies in patients who had cancer were less promising, although some patients did experience less pain.  But no matter what, be sure to talk to any therapist about their blends in case of allergies.

Are There Risks to Aromatherapy Massage?

There may be some risks to essential massage. In some cases, there may be an allergic skin reaction to the oils used. Neat, undiluted essential oils are very potent, and many may also be absorbed into the body through the skin and can thus be ill-advised or even dangerous. Essential oils need to be appropriately diluted with a carrier oil, tested on a patch of skin before widespread use on the body, and should be used with caution. Those who are sensitive to scents may also struggle with an essential massage.

Anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding should check with a healthcare provider and only work with a licensed massage therapist to reduce risk. Additionally, essential oils shouldn’t be used over damaged skin, and neither should standard massage techniques. If the massage hurts, make sure to speak up.

For many people, getting an essential massage is safe and may effectively lower discomfort and reduce anxiety. Unless there are reasons why it would be unsafe in specific situations, trying an aromatherapy massage may help someone determine if it’s right for them. If it helps, it may make a big difference in the quality of life.  

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6/14/2021 6:30:31 PM
Wellness Editor
Written by Wellness Editor
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