There is a close relationship between Swedish body massage and aromatherapy massage. All aromatherapists will incorporate some Swedish massage strokes during their massage routines, especially effleurage and some palmar kneading.
Aromatherapy is a holistic massage, working mainly on the nervous system as a whole and including, as part of the same treatment, the head and body.
The Role Of Massage In Aromatherapy
The purpose of aromatherapy massage is to facilitate the absorption of essential oils. It follows that effleurage is an essential part of aromatherapy massage because it warms the skin by increasing the blood supply. It is also relaxing and makes the client more receptive to treatment.
It is a gentle process, with no place for harsh or abrupt movements. Effective aromatherapy massage includes neuromuscular elements, lymphatic drainage and acupressure.
This neuromuscular massage technique is the backbone of aromatherapy massage and uses friction, vibration and pressure point movements to influence nerve pathways and muscles. These can help to release energy blocks by stimulating the nerves and relieving muscular spasms.
Aromatherapy massage uses techniques that stimulate the ganglia (reflex points), and often has a profound effect on the body. Aromatherapy massage draws its healing powers from the plant world, re-establishes harmony and revitalizes the malfunctioning part of the body.
The treatment helps to balance the mind, body and emotions to make people look and feel good.
Aims Of Aromatherapy Massage
An aromatherapy massage uses the fragrant oils from flowers, herbs and fruits is designed to help the client relax, heal, rejuvenate and find a place of balance, depending on their individual needs….
Aromatherapy massage can be used to successfully treat aches and pains, release anxiety, improve flexibility, encourage mental health, treat children, treat elderly citizens and in general for allowing the powerful and natural restorative properties of the chosen essential oils to relax and heal both body and mind…
- To ensure thorough oil penetration by good general effleurage
- Stimulate and/or relax the client as required
- To stimulate the lymph flow and blood circulation, which will in turn speed up the elimination of toxic waste from the body
- To act on the nerve supply
- To give the correct pressure point technique (where used) according to the condition of the client
Fulfilling one or more of these aims — by applying correct massage technique and using the most appropriate blend of essential oils — will help to keep client in good general health, or help to relieve the symptoms caused by the general stress of everyday life. Click here to watch a YouTube Video on how to do an aromatherapy massage
The Aromatherapy Massage Therapist Professional Image
It is essential that a therapist presents a warm, confident and empathetic professional attitude at all times during the clients treatment session. These are a number of factors to consider when giving an aromatherapy massage…
- Maintain a high standard of personal hygiene at all times: to ensure this, keep soap, a towel,
deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste, and clean clothing to hand at work
- Your hair should be clean and well-groomed. If you have long hair, tie it back neatly to prevent it from falling to the client’s face
- Your clothing should look professionally smart and be nonrestrictive and be clean and pressed
- Wear shoes that are comfortable, supportive, low-heeled and closed-in; never work in bare feet
- Your hands should be warm and soft (hard, bony hands, cold hands and very small, thin hands are not the best tools for massaging the body)
- Keep your fingernails short so that they do not disturb the flow of the massage or cause discomfort to the client. They should be unvarnished for reasons of hygiene and in case of client allergy
- Remove jewellery, such as rings, bracelets and watches, from your hands and wrists, as well as dangling earrings or chains
- Maintain a good posture throughout the massage, remembering the correct postural stance for the movements and area of the body being treated. This ensures a beneficial massage is provided for the client and helps to prevent fatigue for the therapist
- Check that the client is comfortable and not too hot or too cold — read the body language
Creating The Right Aromatherapy Massage Environment
Providing a nurturing, peaceful and welcoming environment is a crucial part of the clients experience.
Look at the setting through the eyes of a client, and you will probably instinctively get things right. A peaceful atmosphere contributes to the success of the treatment.
Make sure lighting is soft, using a dimmer switch is a good idea, the color of the massage room should be in soft pastel colors designed in colorways to be relaxing.
Make sure there is adequate ventilation and warm in winter and cool enough in summer. A massage table heating pad, such as the Therapist’s Choice® Deluxe Fleece Massage Table Warmer works brilliantly to offer comforting warmth from the massage table bed. A soft flannelette massage sheet set neatly fits around your table and the top sheet can be draped across your client as well as adding an extra layer of warmth if necessary.
If you can afford the additional luxury, a massage towel warmer cabinet is a great addition to your clinic. Clients love having a hot, toasty warm towel draped over them and the relaxing warmth goes a long way in the relaxation stakes.
An electric aromatherapy oil diffuser gently wafts essential oil scent throughout the room. You can choose from a number of different models, both electric, or the more traditional burners which use a tea light. They are perfect to use in the waiting area for creating a soothing atmosphere.
Your own frame of mind is also very important. Massage is a very communicative treatment and some form of energy is transmitted through your fingers to the body you are working on.
For the massage treatment to be successful, you must be calm, relaxed, reassuring and focused. If you are tired, angry or tense, or preoccupied with personal matters, the massage will be of little benefit to the client.
Focusing On The Client: Make Them Feel Special
Clients should be made to feel special. They must like the blend of oils that is finally selected because it will not benefit them if they find the odor too strong or unpleasant. Clients often enjoy the process of being part of the process of choosing an essential oil blend for their aromatherapy massage session.
Different people have different needs and the massage must be tailored to suit the individual. You-may choose to change the order of treatment depending on your own and the client’s preferences. This could mean performing more effleurage in certain areas, or more work on the shoulders and neck.
Most clients feel wonderful after treatment and any minor discomfort that does occur usually clears up quickly.
Talking To Your Clients
When talking to your clients about aromatherapy, explain the benefits of making a little space in their day to relax with soothing essential oils, away from the stresses and strains of their hectic schedule.
Introduce them gradually to essential oils and tell them about the range of unique aromatherapy essential oils that are available to help. You should be knowledgeable about the subject and be able to explain the properties of essential oils a simple way.
Emotional States And Essential Oils To Use
|Emotional States||Essential Oils|
|Fear||Sandalwood, Frankincense, Cardamom|
|Anger||Linden Blossom, Rose, German Chamomile|
|Depression||Bergamot, Mandarin, Lime, Cardamom|
|Manic Depression||Geranium, Rose, Frankincense|
|Anxiety||Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Vetiver|
|Grief||Benzoin, Rose Sweet Marjoram|
|Apathy||Black Pepper, Ginger, Cardamom, Peppermint, Lemon|
|Trauma||Neroli, Frankincense, Cedarwood|
|Loneliness||Linden Blossom, Rose, Benzoin|
|Panic Attacks||Ylang ylang, Neroli, Frankincense|
|Repression||Jasmine, Patchouli, Cardamom|
|Doubt||Basil, Grapefruit, Frankincense|
|Indecision||Lemon, Grapefruit, Rose|
|Low Self Esteem||Bergamot, Geranium, Neroli, Frankincense, Ylang ylang|
|Letting Go||Yarrow, Patchouli, Rose|
|Self Confidence||Bergamot, Geranium, Frankincense, Sandalwood, Ylang ylang|
|Physical Stress||Lavender, Chamomile, Sweet Marjoram, Geranium|
|Work Stress||Neroli, Basil, Rosemary|
For example, when talking about geranium essential oil (there is no need to use Latin names), you explain that it works mainly as a balancer for the skin the mind, that it is excellent in times of stress, especially hormonal stress, and that it is also a slight diuretic and therefore particularly useful for fluid retention associated with per-menstrual syndrome (PMS), but that it is best not to use it during the first trimester of pregnancy.
When using your chosen blend of essential oils in the carrier blend of oil, use 3 to 6 drops of essential oil per 10 ml of carrier oil as a general guideline. Stronger emotional states, such as anxiety or trauma, will most likely require a stronger concentration.
Some essential oils have a greater power than others, such as Rose and Geranium for example. Experience in using oils and massage comes with practice and over time you will find you develop an intuition and “feel” for what are the most suitable blends and how many essential oil drops to add.
Closing thoughts On Giving An Aromatherapy Massage
A good aromatherapy massage can make your client so relaxed they fall asleep on the massage table and leave your clinic feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, ready to resume their lives. By taking care to follow and keep in mind the above points, you will be able to offer a professional and healing massage for your client.