Aromatherapy, on its most basic, involves the use of essential oils for treating all kinds of unpleasant feelings and conditions. The essential oils are noted to have a number of different effects on the body, mind, and spirit that most of them can be stimulating and sedative, while others can be antispasmodic and analgesic.
There are generally a number of ways of using essential oils therapeutically. It could be used in baths, compresses, creams, and lotions, or inhalation, but perhaps one of the most pleasant and relaxing methods of applying essential oils is through an aromatherapy massage.
There is only one person we really owe the introduction and development of aromatherapy massage, that is, Marguerite Maury. Marguerite was trained as a nurse and surgical assistant in Austria following the death of her young child, her first husband, and her father. It was noted that her interest in aromatherapy massage began with a book known by the name of Les Grandes Possibilities par Les Matieres Odoriferantes. It was her who pioneered the use of aromatherapy massage to administer the essential oils, and it was done perhaps because she was not a medical doctor, thus not qualified to prescribe internal use of the oils.
Since its introduction, the aromatherapy massage has long been considered highly beneficial. It has the power to affect the autonomic nervous system and calm and the fight or flight response, thus alleviating the number of harmful stress hormones in the body. Several studies have also found out that aromatherapy massage greatly aids to kindle blood circulation, therefore increasing the supply of essential nutrients and oxygen to the cells. The aromatherapy massage even kindles the lymphatic flow, enhancing the body’s immune system as well as the tissue drainage.
The essential oils commonly used in aromatherapy massage are generally believed by the skin during the application. However, there are opposing opinions as to how much of the elements of the essential oils can go through the skin, and what their effect on the body might be if they do penetrate. Nevertheless, several experts have settled to a certain point claiming that a number of beneficial effects can take place at the surface of the skin after an aromatherapy massage. It is even believed that with an aromatherapy massage, many skin conditions can be enhanced, and this is because of the anti-inflammatory as well as anti-microbial properties of the essential oils.
An aromatherapy massage is now practiced in specific areas, like athletic training. A number of massage therapists, as you may know, are now an integral part of the Olympic Games for many years as they are continually assisting to improve athletic achievement and increase recovery time after a certain performance.