Aromatherapy massage, with deep tissue, is a wonderful treatment and many clients book regularly on a four weekly basis, to keep their backs comfortable and supple and shoulders free of tension and knots. Many of my clients are keen athletes and I work the leg muscles thoroughly as well.
Facial massage is particularly relaxing – I always ask if clients would like this or not though as some clients prefer not to have their face massaged. I use pressure points on the face, ears and back of the head. I also include drainage of the sinuses as often people have blocked or partially blocked sinuses (particularly with the dry air we have experienced throughout summer).
Lymphatic drainage is included within the massage. Our bodies ingest toxins during our day to day activities, consciously and unconsciously – via the food and beverages we consume – as well as the air we breathe. This is why it’s a good idea to detox the body from time to time and to have lymphatic drainage. (It’s also a good idea to limit the use of air fresheners etc.)
Following cancer treatment (chemotherapy) – once the consultant has given the all-clear – massage is helpful as a de-stresser and to re-balance the body.
Clients find having a massage in front of the wood-burning stove very atmospheric and relaxing. I have a dedicated client room which ensures a relaxing atmosphere is maintained.
I use thumbs, knuckles and elbows on stubborn knots on the shoulders. The massage is intended to give an overall sense of wellbeing.
The oils can be extremely evocative. I particularly love the scent of lemongrass, myrrh and frankincense. Clients can choose their own oils and I can intuit which oils are the most appropriate to use for them.
I have outlined below some of the benefits of some of the oils. There is a huge variety of oils and they have different properties. Many oils are great for many conditions whereas others offer limited, but powerful, help.
The best oils for stress include jasmine, lavender, clary sage, sandalwood, patchouli (which is also calming), chamomile, rose, frankincense, basil, mandarin, marjoram and neroli.
Citrus oils are energising – lime, lemon and grapefruit. These are also uplifting.
Other oils, such as lavender, rosemary, lemon, marjoram, eucalyptus, chamomile, thyme, ginger, pine spruce and lime, are great for rheumatism. (Also angelica and birch which I do not personally use.)
Ginger warms the emotions, good for tiredness, listlessness and may help feelings of lethargy. It’s also implicated for sharpening the memory. It’s also grounding.
Frankincense is good for congestion and clearing the lungs so excellent for asthmatics.
Massage is excellent for rehydrating dry skin. I tend to use gentle oils so as not to inflame or irritate the areas. Rose, lavender, chamomile, tea-tree, patchouli, myrrh, sandalwood, neroli and geranium are all good for dry or sensitive skin. Jasmine is also excellent (but is pricey!)
Menopausal symptoms can be hard to put up with! Massage is a wonderful way to treat yourself and to feel calm when mood swings are prevalent. Oils which are useful for menopausal symptoms include cypress, lavender, clary sage, geranium, ylang-ylang, chamomile, rose, and peppermint.
Depression can be hard to cope with at times, with the sudden swings to feelings low. Complimentary therapies, including massage, are great for helping with this. Healing is especially good and can re-balance the emotions. Oils for depression are bergamot, frankincense, geranium, jasmine and lavender.
PMT can be helped with massage, gently massaging the abdomen and relaxing the abdominal muscles with healing is wonderfully calming. Oils good for PMT include rose, chamomile, geranium, lavender, cypress, fennel, peppermint, clary sage, sandalwood and bergamot. Clary sage is emotionally uplifting and calming but should be used with caution as it is very relaxing, it is essential to be aware of this if driving. Drinking water and eating a biscuit or chocolate is a good way to ground yourself following a massage. Also taking deep breaths, breathing into the abdominal area.
There are oils which are good for headaches: chamomile, eucalyptus, frankincense, lavender and lemongrass. I have had excellent feedback from clients following healing sessions – their headaches usually disappear within a very short space of time.
Oils good for fatigue include basil, bergamot, eucalyptus, geranium, ginger, lavender, lemongrass and jasmine.
Fluid retention is helped by massage – encouraging draining of the body’s lymph system and oils implicated for this are cypress, fennel, geranium and juniper.
Insomnia can be helped with basil, chamomile, cypress, geranium, jasmine and lavender.
For jet lag, I suggest lavender, cypress and geranium. Healing would also be great for this as it rebalances the system and reduces stress significantly.
I have sourced the information regarding the oils from “Practical Aromatherapy” by Penny Rich, a great source of useful information.