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Aromatherapy Goes Hardcore

Many mistakenly think of Aromatherapy as a delicate and gentle treatment, but essential oils pack a powerful punch so it’s well worth adding them to your treatment arsenal.

Although the term “aromatherapy” only originated in the 1920’s it is actually an ancient practice. Cultures all over the world have been burning incense and utilising oils extracted from plants, herbs and flowers for thousands of years. Today it is used for relaxation, rejuvenation and healing and, when combined with massage, it creates a super alliance that can address physical, mental and spiritual health.

Our body’s senses are designed to work in conjunction with each other for optimal performance. For example, our sense of taste would not be the same without our sense of smell. The same goes for touch and smell. For this reason many massage therapists are combining the use of essential oils with massage to further nurture the mind, body and spirit.

If a client can benefit from it, why not add it into your treatment? 

It’s interesting that Aromatherapy is always listed as a separate treatment option on therapy menus, when it can be so easily integrated into other modalities to really deliver superior outcomes for your clients and is flexible enough to tailor for each client and their specific needs on any given day.

Aromatherapy is generally utilised by direct application to the skin, inhalation or consumption. When applied to the skin, essential oils are absorbed into the lymphatic system, which then circulate into the blood stream, making their way to the brain. Similarly, when essential oils are inhaled or ingested, they are absorbed into the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract, lungs and/or gastrointestinal system, transferred into the blood stream, and then make their way to the brain. Inhalation of essential oils also utilizes the body’s olfactory system which processes the smell, sending a signal to the limbic system of the brain which controls heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels, the balancing of hormones and the processing of emotions and memories. So it’s evident that aromatherapy can have a very powerful emotional and physiological effect.

There have been numerous studies showing different plant oils’ synergistic effects on body and mind energy facilitating excellence in sports and fitness. With many natural essential oils having antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, pain relieving, antidepressant and even expectorant properties, their application not only helps to prevent and cure sports injuries but also to stimulate and relax the mind and body. Because of these inherent properties there is a growing interest in using them in toning up the body and mind for optimum sports performance as well as post exertion recovery.

8 Ways to Integrate Aromatherapy into your treatments

1.  REFLEXOLOGY: It’s been said that essential oils may best be absorbed through the feet so combining them with a reflexology treatment is a two for one prize!

2.  FOOT SOAK: Introduce an aromatherapy foot soak during consultation, Himilayan Pink Salt mixed with Rose or Lavender essential oil calms and relaxes the client and ensures you have freshly scented feet to work on and around.

3.  DIFFUSERS: Diffuse essential oils in your waiting and/or treatment rooms using electric or tealight oil burners. It’s an easy and lovely way to introduce Aromatherapy to clients and they get the benefit of the oils whilst enjoying their other treatment.

4.  ACUPUNCTURE POINTS: Place drops of essential oils onto acupuncture points. Please note that some essential oils need to be diluted before being applied to skin.

5.  ROOM SPRAY: Make an aromatherapy spray by adding drops of essential oils into a spray bottle filled with spring water. You can choose one essential oil or create your own special blend.

6.  EYE PILLOW: Some eye pillows come filled or infused with lavender, or take the DIY option by lightly spraying essential oils onto a folded facial tissue and placing it over your clients eyes.

7.  COTTON BALL: Place a few drops of an essential oil or blend onto a cotton ball and rest it on your client’s chest, near the face, during a supine treatment. If they are face down, place the cotton ball on a chair under the table so the scent drifts up to their nose. Some client’s become soooo relaxed after a treatment they have trouble getting going again so you can revive them by putting a few drops of an uplifting essential oil like grapefruit onto a cotton ball and have them inhale a few times before leaving, they can take it with them to keep them alert on the trip home.

8.  MASSAGE: Add essential oils into your unscented massage oil to target your clients specific treatment needs. Not sure where to start, try a pre-blended one for Relaxation or Sports massage.

Keeping the Balance

There are hundreds of essential oils available, each with its own powerful properties so it’s important to ensure that their application enhances a treatment rather than compromises it. Some essential oils may have contraindications so research thoroughly before use. Don’t combine too much and lose the balance and benefits that this integrative approach has to offer.

Hopefully these tips have inspired you to find ways to integrate aromatherapy into your treatments and achieve higher levels of efficacy and client satisfaction.



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