10 Nov What are the best aromatherapy massage techniques?
You have a good selection of essential oils and carrier oils, but now you want to figure out how to mix and apply these. In this blog post we take a closer look at how you can unleash your inner massage therapist and create a professional massage in the comfort of your own home.
What happens in aromatherapy massage?
An aromatherapy massage is a form of Swedish massage therapy, which involves long kneading strokes, tapping and moving joints to relieve muscle tension in the upper layer of the muscles. However, aromatherapy massage combines Swedish massage techniques with the power of aromatherapy, which has the added therapeutic benefits that essential oils deliver to the body and mind. Like most massage techniques, aromatherapy massage can help with increasing blood flow and boosting blood circulation. It helps draining the lymphatic system to support a more balanced body, to strengthen the immune system, to release tension and a create more relaxed state of mind.
What are the benefits of aromatherapy massage?
As mentioned above, all aromatherapy massages help with creating a more balanced body, but based on the selection of essential oils used, there will be an added benefit. You can create your own massage blend by mixing your favourite base oil – such as sweet almond or grapeseed oil – with essential oils that fit what you are aiming for. Opt for calming lavender or chamomile for relaxation, grapefruit to help detoxify the body or bergamot for boosting your mood. To make things easier, we have created sophisticated massage blends that are already mixed and ready to use. Explore our range here which includes the Absolute Aromas De-stress Massage Blend, Mobility blend and Romance Massage Oil Blend.
What are Carrier Oils?
To make your massage smooth and frictionless, it is advised to use carrier oils that helps to not only soften and hydrate the skin, but it also make the hands glide effortlessly over the skin. Popular carrier oils include sweet almond oil, jojoba oil and rosehip oil. In aromatherapy, it is always advised to dilute essential oils in a carrier oil before applying on the skin, so adding essential oils to a carrier oil is a very easy thing to do to supercharge your body massage oil with just a few drops.
Easy massage techniques to do at home
- A great place to begin your stress release massage at home is on the scalp since a lot of tension is held in this area. Spread your fingers on your scalp as if you were going to be washing your hair, and make slow circles all over the scalp area, not forgetting the base of your skull. It may seem tight or a little sore to start with but as you continue to work the technique you will find that your scalp will become more moveable as the tension eases.
- Turn your attention to your neck and shoulders. Put a small amount of your massage oil into the palm of one hand and then put your other hand on top and rub the two together. This will warm the oils up ready for use. Apply gently to the neck and upper part of the shoulders. Using your index fingers together gently make circular movements up the sides of the neck from the top of the upper shoulders towards the base of the skull, paying particular attention to any knots you feel in the soft tissue or any tightness. As you massage you will feel more tension draining away. Stop for a couple of minutes and keeping your chin in a low posture, rotate you head in a small circle to stretch out the muscle. Then massage again using the same technique for a few minutes.
- Next move onto the upper shoulder area. Apply some massage oil to the area and then make a fist with both hands. Then lift your right fist up and move your right arm over left shoulder, using your knuckles make circular movements along the upper part of the back, as far as you can reach. After a few minutes release your knuckle and then using the underside of your thumb apply a gentle pressure to the area and stroke the shoulder form base of neck to the top of the arm. Repeat the same techniques on the other side using your left hand on your right shoulder area.
- A little tip – if you are tight between your shoulder blades and find it difficult to reach that area you can get a soft small ball such as a tennis ball or even a golf ball would do (even harder) and use the floor to roll over the ball which you have placed between your shoulder blades. You can even use this method standing against a wall if you prefer.
- Moving to the feet and legs, it’s best to be in a lying down position. Lie back, apply some of your massage oil and raising one leg at a time massage the entire leg in gently with the whole area of your hand, in slow rhythmic movements from the foot towards the groin area. Repeat on the other leg. You may wish to use essential oils like Lavender and Roman Chamomile to ease aches and pains and improve circulation.
- If you suffer from period pains a great way to help ease the cramps / pain is to do a massage over the abdomen area. This will help to soothe discomfort and cramps. Select oils such a Sweet Marjoram, Geranium and Lavender to help at this time. Lie flat on the bed (or floor) if possible, apply some massage oil and using small circular gentle movements in a clockwise direction massage the abdomen area.
Aromatherapy Massage Oil Recipe
You can make up your own special massage oil with a few of your favourite essential oils and your chosen carrier oils such as sunflower oil or peach kernel oil.
There are so many essential oils to choose from You may like the flowery aromas of Rose, Jasmine, Neroli, Geranium or prefer the woody fragrance of Sandalwood , Cedarwood, or citrus oils like Orange and lemon, or even the earthy type of aroma like Vetiver and Patchouli. You can combine a few therapeutic essential oils to create a mixture to suit your mood and to help to relax and soothe body and mind.
Below you can find 4 effective essential oil recipes for creating a relaxing blend.
Take 10ml of your chosen carrier oil, then add one of the following essential oil combinations:
- 1 drop Ylang ylang, 3 drops Bergamot and 1 drop Juniper Berry
- 1 drop Geranium, 3 drops Lavender and 1 drop Vetiver
- 1 drop Basil, 1 drop Lemon and 3 drops Cedarwood
- 3 drops Rose, 1 drop Sandalwood and 1 drop
Great for a full body aromatherapy massage. Applied to the skin, the essential oils and massage therapy combined will give your body and mind a well deserved pampering session.