The history of aromatherapy remains a mystery
Aromatherapy is a form of therapeutic medicine that has its origins from ancient Egypt, Greece, and China. The Egyptians were the first to use distillation machines to extract oils from plants for embalming. The Chinese were using infused essential oils for relaxation and mood enhancement. Ancient Greek perfumer, Megallus developed a fragrance from myrrh. And Hippocrates mentioned it in his writings on healing.
Essential oils were used in ancient Persia as early as the 10th century. German literature on essential oils distillation appeared in the 16th century. By the 19th century, French physicians were recording their medicinal properties as well.
The first use of the word ‘aromatherapy’ came from French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse who used it to describe how lavender oils cured his burns. And, in World War II, essential oils were used to heal soldiers’ wounds.
Aromatherapy + Massage = Wellness
Aromatherapy massage relies on the essential oils to heal injuries, improve mood and restore energy levels. Aromatherapy heals the mind, body, and soul. It is ideal for promoting wellness because it enhances both physical and emotional wellbeing.
Aromatherapy Massage – what is it?
When we think of essential oils we think of spas and relaxation. But there is more to aromatherapy than just deep relaxation. Essential oils have been used for centuries to cure ailments and heal wounds.
Essential oils are natural plant extracts that retain the plant’s natural aroma and vital essence. These concentrated oils can help hair growth, improve skin, calm nerves and heal a range of conditions. The most common ways to use essential oils is to infuse the oil into the air through a diffuser or humidifier. Essential oils can also be applied directly to the skin.
Aromatherapy massage is a Swedish massage using a variety of essential oils. It is used to treat a variety of complaints like indigestion, acne, insomnia, sinus, anxiety and stress, muscle aches and pains, headaches, and so forth. It can also use aromatherapy to calm nerves, arouse sensuality, sharpen memory and improve focus.
During aromatherapy massage, essential oils are infused into the air with a diffuser or humidifier. The oils create a sense of calm and serenity which immediately relaxes the customer. The massage therapist applies a combination of rubbing, stroking, pulling, kneading and tapping actions to relax tensed muscles, reduce stress and alleviate pain.
What are the benefits of Aromatherapy massage ?
Our sense of smell is closely linked with our brains. When we inhale a scent, it triggers the part of our brain that handles memory and emotion (the hippocampus and the amygdala). It is not just memories and emotions that are evoked. Particular fragrances can also evoke specific feelings and states of mind.
Here are some specific essential oils properties:
- Chamomile, lavender and geranium oils – Calming, soothing, relaxing, and balancing
- Ylang-ylang, sage and rose oils – Uplifting and reinvigorating
- Rosemary oil – Energising, revitalising, and restoring
- Eucalyptus, geranium, peppermint, pine, tea tree oils – Decongesting, soothing, clarifying and revitalising
- Clove and marjoram – Calming and warming
- Camphor, nutmeg, and basil – Re-energising and restoring.
Aromatherapy massage is effective in treating the following conditions:
- Reduce anxiety and stress
- Reduce depression symptoms
- Alleviate pain
- Improve sleep
- Enhance mood
- Relieve muscle and ligament tension
- Relax the mind and body
- Reduce menstrual pain
- Improve breathing
- Improve blood circulation
- Speed cancer recovery
- Promote postnatal recovery
How frequently do you need aromatherapy massage?
A deeply relaxing and restoring massage, aromatherapy massage is best enjoyed at least once a week. A good aromatherapy massage should be at least an hour long. For total indulgence, spoil yourself with a two-hour session.
Important tips to make the most of your aromatherapy massage
The following tips will help you get the best benefits from your aromatherapy massage:
- Don’t overeat before your massage
- Drink plenty of water
- Book a time that does interfere with other commitments
- If it is your first time, make sure you arrive early to fill up forms, brief the masseurs and choose the right oil.
- Lie back, relax and enjoy it.
Aromatherapy combines the deep relaxation of Swedish massage with the healing and restorative powers of essential oils to deliver complete healing of the mind, body, and spirit.
Book your aromatherapy massage with Retreat Wellness Massage Spa here.