Aromatherapy massage oils are extracted from flowers and plants to provide us with healing and energy.
The different types of oils are used, either individually or in combination with other oils, for treating different ailments.
The word "Aromatherapy" can be divided into two words, "aroma" meaning fragrance and "therapy" meaning treatment. Flowers, plants, and their essences have been used for relaxation, healing, and energy since ancient times.
Aromatherapy is reputed to be at least 6000 years old and was used by the ancient civilizations of India, Egypt, and China. The Egyptians used the method of infusion to extract the oils from aromatic plants that were used for medicinal, cosmetic, and embalming purposes.
It is believed that the Chinese were also using some form of aromatics, at about the same time as the Egyptians. The oldest surviving medical book that dates back to 2700 B.C. contains information on about 300 plants. The Chinese burned aromatic wood and incense to show respect to God.
Ayurveda, the traditional Indian field of medicine, that has been practiced for more than 3000 years, incorporates aromatic massage as one of its main aspects.
Benefits of Aromatherapy
The oils when applied to the body, are believed to aid in health and beauty.
When inhaled correctly into the lungs, they offer psychological and physical benefits. The aroma stimulates the brain to trigger a reaction and the natural constituents provide physical benefits.
Aromatherapy is also used to help cancer patients dealing with chemotherapy, depression, anxiety, tension, and sleep.
It also acts as a natural repellent and pesticide.
Essential Oils and their Uses
This oil is used in clinics to treat depression. Bergamot relaxes the brain when sniffed. It is cooling, refreshing and calming. It helps in treating insomnia, releases stress, and helps to deal with anxiety.
Cardamom is fresh and spicy. It encourages concentration, direction, straightforwardness, confidence, and courage.
Cypress is said to stimulate skin circulation, therefore, it is used in massage blends to tone the muscles of the body.
It is also very useful for cellulite, sore throat, varicose veins, muscle cramps, rheumatism, arthritis, stress, and nervous tension.
A soothing and calming oil with a strong sedative effect, lemon eucalyptus is used for muscle and joint aches; it is anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic. Apart from this, it is also a powerful antiseptic, used for athlete's foot, and fungal infections.
Sweet fennel essential oil has a scent that is warm and slightly sweet. It is used for digestive, nausea, and colic complaints. This oil also helps to keep the body and mind calm, and free of stress and tension.
This is helpful for anxiety and stress relief. It balances female energy and hormones. It is wonderful for skin care, menopause, pre-menstrual syndrome and uplifting.
This is one of the most ancient and valuable oils. It opens the heart, and connects the body and spirit.
Helichrysum is used for healing scar tissue, old or new. It is also very effective for joint pains associated with rheumatoid arthritis. This oil is also anti-inflammatory with analgesic and pain reducing effects.
Jasmine is an antidepressant and aphrodisiac. Romantic and sensual, this oil bolsters confidence and optimism. It is helpful for anxiety, fear, and panic.
Peppermint is used for a host of problems like nausea, indigestion, headaches, liver problems, and inflammation.
Since peppermint is anti-spasmodic, it is used in massage for sports injuries. It is stimulating to the mind, and provides mental concentration and memory. Pregnant women, in their 1st trimester, small children, and those with high blood pressure should avoid peppermint.
Some of the massage oils, for certain treatment methods, need to be diluted with some carrier oils, as they can prove harmful in their concentrated form.