Why Use Essential Oils in Massage ?
Also known as aromatherapy massage, a massage using essential oils not only smells wonderful, but has many physiological benefits as well.
There are two main reasons why I may use essential oils in your treatment.
- They smell nice – but aromas are well known to trigger emotions in the part of your brain that deals with memories, which is why certain scents can take us back in time triggering happy memories. Some scents, like citrusy or lavender oils have a very similar effect and just inhaling them as you’re enjoying your massage makes you feel good.
- The essential oils used in massage can have beneficial effects on different areas of your body and health. Some blends like DoTerra’s Aromatouch contain several essential oils known to help reduce muscle pain and promote relaxation
Essential oils and pregnancy
If you’re pregnant, you should always tell your massage therapist before an aromatherapy massage because although essential oils are safe in the vast majority of cases, there are a few specific essential oils that are best avoided in the first trimester of pregnancy.
Essential oils and pain relief
Using essential oils such as wintergreen, peppermint and copaiba in a massage is ideal if you’re experiencing symptoms like inflammation or pain. There are several other essential oils which can give you even more relief than a basic massage.
Essential oils and stress relief
For some people, just breathing in the gorgeously relaxing scent of lavender essential oil can calm you down, while others might find it too strong and stimulating. Lavender essential oil is great for pain relief and widely used in stress-busting massage treatments. Other people may actually prefer lighter scents like citrus or something more invigorating like peppermint.
Aromatherapy is optional and complimentary
It is very important to let me know if you have any allergies or asthma as some oils can trigger an allergic reaction or irritate asthmatic airways. If I know that you have a personal preference or medical reason to avoid aromatherapy, I will schedule your appointment during the part of the day when no essential oils have been used.
As always, I use essential oils to enhance your experience and will use them as requested at no additional charge to you. I just love using aromatherapy and believe in the many benefits they offer and want to share them with you.
I am currently studying aromatherapy in order to learn more about their benefits and uses. Please feel free to ask me questions or let me know if there is an oil that you would prefer that I use during your session and I will order that for your next session.
What’s your favourite aromatherapy oil?
Five Massage Myths Busted
You might think you know all there is to know about massages – but some myths still seem to hang around, and we’ve probably heard them all. Here are a few we hear all the time…busted!
Massage can spread cancer
One of the biggest and possibly most enduring myths puts a lot of people off massage that could really benefit from it. The myth is that having a full body massage can spread cancer because it stimulates your lymphatic system, which produces white blood cells to fight infections.
There is absolutely no evidence that cancer can be spread by massage, of course. Manipulating tissue in the way a massage therapist does won’t make tumor cells move, and not only is having massage therapy non-harmful for cancer patients, it’s actually good for most of them.
Don’t get a massage if you are in your first trimester of pregnancy
Massage is great in pregnancy, and the best thing is that it’s perfectly safe in all trimesters and can be really beneficial. Having a massage absolutely won’t bring on early labor or a miscarriage. Even so, you should always tell your massage therapist if you are pregnant when you attend for your massage so that she can adapt the techniques.
There are some essential oils that aren’t recommended in the first or last trimesters, too, so when you book an aromatherapy massage, let the therapist know in advance. Other than that – lie back and enjoy being spoiled.
Massage removes toxins
Massage therapy has many benefits, but although this myth is still repeated – sometimes even by therapists – it’s not true. Massage doesn’t detoxify your body at all. True toxins are thin. gs like mercury, lead or botulinum toxin which are dangerous to your body, and massage won’t help you if you need to eliminate any of those! The truth is, your body is very efficient at filtering most waste products and unwanted substances out of your body using your lymphatic system, and ultimately by your kidneys and liver.
Massage could possible help your body to expel the by-products of your muscles post-exercise, like lactic acid, but in truth, your body is perfectly capable of doing that all by itself.
Soreness is a sign of a good massage
Soreness is no indication of how good your massage treatment has been. The amount of discomfort you feel the following day isn’t a badge of honor. If it’s your first ever massage (or first in a long time) or you’re not very active, you might be a little bit sore after a session, but although it’s nothing to worry about, it’s not compulsory and if you don’t feel anything at all, that’s great! If you’re used to regular massage therapy you’re unlikely to feel sore afterwards.
You don’t need to drink extra water after a massage
This one is a definite myth! You really do need to drink water after your massage and that’s why we offer it to you. Drinking water after a massage will keep you hydrated, and stop you getting any soreness. Drinking plenty of fluids also helps to get your lymph fluid moving, which is one major plus point of a massage.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could have a massage every day of the week? Sadly, most of us don’t have the time or the money to indulge in quite such a regular massage routine, but we can make the most of massage treatments by taking care of ourselves in between massages.
First rule – drink the water!
There’s a reason why your therapist gives you a refreshing glass of cool water after a treatment; it’s to help hydrate your body and keep your muscles relaxed. Water is great for your skin and your muscles, plus staying hydrated can even help to prevent headaches.
Keep up with the stretching
It’s a very common problem, but there’s a very simple solution…if you are one of the many people who feel achy and tight after a day at work, stretch!If you make a habit of including stretching in your daily routine, it will really help you with any muscle aches and soreness, and will make the effects of your massage last longer. In between sessions, having a good stretch helps support the work that’s been done to relax your muscles on the treatment table. It doesn’t matter when you fit your stretches in, as long as you make a habit of it.
Stretches shouldn’t ever hurt, so don’t overdo it. Easing into stretches gently, and holding them for at least a minute will give you better results than shorter, deeper stretches.
Epsom salt baths are great for keeping any muscle aches and stiff joints at bay – they contain magnesium which is also good for relieving stress. To prevent soreness after a massage, add Epsom salts to your bath as directed and relax.
Heat or Cold
In between massages you might start feeling that tell-tale build-up of tension – nip it in the bud with heat therapy. Applying heat can help to sooth aching muscles and relieve any tightness and tension. Heat can also improve and stimulate blood flow to the area. Try a heat pad, or heat up a damp towel in the microwave using 30 second intervals to check the temperature.
If you injure yourself in between massage sessions, try using cold therapy to numb the pain. Cold therapy is good for strains, sprains and other minor injuries (if you’re unsure, or are in serious pain, see your healthcare provider).
One last and very important tip; make your massage sessions part of your regular self-care routine. If you’re unsure about how often you need a massage, the best person to ask is your therapist. She will know if you need extra sessions or just maintenance care, and will make sure your massage is tailored to your needs.