I find that one of the best ways to relax and ease stiff, tired muscles is to receive an aromatherapy massage.
What is an “aromatherapy” massage?
Well, basically, it's a combination of the therapeutic benefits of a calming massage with the therapeutic benefits of aromatherapy essential oils.
Aromatherapy is a technique that uses your body’s sense of smell to help boost your mood, relieve stress, energize and encourage better health.
It also works by absorbing essential oils into your skin and blood stream. This is where the “massage” comes in!
The massage itself consists primarily of slow, gentle, rhythmic, flowing connective strokes called effleurage.
This helps to increase the nourishment and oxygen to the tissues easing muscular aches and pains and helping with fatigue.
Massage with aromatherapy also stimulates the lymphatic system, which assists your body in naturally releasing toxins. In a nutshell, an aromatherapy massage de-stresses the body, mind and spirit!
Some of the benefits of an aromatherapy massage include:
Relaxed State of Alertness
Reduced Mental Stress
Relief of Muscle Tension & Stiffness
Reduced Muscle Spasms
Greater Joint Flexibility
Reduced Levels of Anxiety
Reduced Blood Pressure
Strengthened Immune System
How does it work?
During your massage, essential oils are rubbed into and absorbed by the skin. Many skin conditions can be improved by the anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties of certain essential oils.
The aromatherapy massage oils you use will depend on what your particular ailment is, or the outcome that you’re trying to achieve.
Essential oil scents are also inhaled through the nose traveling across the olfactory nerves and into the Limbic System. The limbic system is the area of the brain that controls your mood, memories and ability to learn.
When the Limbic System is stimulated, it releases endorphins, neurotransmitters and other ‘feel-good’ chemicals.
Massage therapy has been shown to be highly beneficial in reducing the level of harmful stress hormones in the body. It stimulates blood circulation which increases the supply of oxygen and nutrients to your cells.
Certain massage techniques can reduce acute and chronic muscular pain and tension by helping to release and lengthen contracted muscles.