Aromatherapy massage is massage therapy enhanced with essential oils (highly concentrated plant oils) added to the massage oil or lotion or inhaling.
Inhaling essential oils through the nose is thought to promote beneficial changes in the mind and body by affecting the limbic system (a region of the brain known to influence the nervous system). Essential oils are also believed to be absorbed through the skin.
After the consultation, essential oils may be selected for you and mixed into the massage oil or lotion. Many massage therapists use pre-blended massage oil or lotion. Diffusing essential oils in a diffuser to inhale the oils is also an option. The subtle aroma of the essential oils fills the air around you during the massage.
In general, it seems to relieve pain, improve mood, and promote a sense of relaxation. In fact, several essential oils — including lavender, rose, orange, bergamot, lemon, sandalwood, and others — have been shown to relieve anxiety, stress, and depression.
CAUTION: Essential oils may cause an allergic skin reaction. Essential oils can be absorbed through skin, so it’s important to avoid excessive use of aromatherapy oils. If you’re sensitive to scents, aromatherapy may not be right for you.