Confidence plays a big part in being proficient in Aromatherapy. Many Massage Therapists I meet tell me, they know just enough about essential oils to be dangerous. It??s always said in jest with a smile, but they express worry about choosing the right oil and uncertainty about dosage and achieving the proper outcome with the client. Aromatherapy is a complex field but the good news is that you can keep it simple and be extraordinarily effective.
What is Aromatherapy? It is the use of therapeutic grade essential oils, from named botanical species to holistically treat mental, emotional and physical conditions of the body. It is both a science and an art.
The scientific aspect is in learning the Latin names of each plant, the chemical composition of the molecules, memorization of the beneficial properties and any safety considerations. The artistic side is in learning the alchemy of blending each substance with another and creating a harmonious and therapeutic result.
Here are the top 3 reasons why you should integrate Aromatherapy into your massage practice with practical tips on how to begin.
1. Aromatherapy is a way to facilitate healing on a mental and emotional level.
Relaxation and stress relief are often considered complementary to the physical benefits of receiving a massage. Using essential oils will greatly affect the mental and emotional state of your client.
One of the most effective ways to get the client to stop chatting and start letting go, is by showing them a simple deep breathing technique enhanced by essential oils. Any oil with calming properties will be effective, as long as the client finds the scent acceptable.
I start the client in the supine position with one hand placed on the abdomen. I have them inhale through the nose while watching the belly rise. Then exhale the air and watch the belly contract. As they get the feel for the breath, add 2 drops of the essential oil on a cotton pad or tissue and have them inhale at least 5 times. The cotton or tissue may be placed on their chest and left there for the remainder of the treatment.
Try using these popular essential oils to help relieve the following conditions:
- Mental confusion and fatigue: Peppermint and/or Rosemary single notes or try BIOTONE??s Clarity blend.
- Feeling down or depressed: Ylang Ylang, Grapefruit, or Clary Sage single notes or try BIOTONE??s Bliss blend.
- Stress and nervous tension: Lavender, Chamomile, or Ylang Ylang single notes or try BIOTONE??s Stress Remedy Blend.
Try taking a mental/emotional intake along with the client??s physical concerns. Make a list of essential oils and what they are used for and have the client choose from the oils you offer.
2. Aromatherapy is an affordable way to add value to your sessions.
Aromatherapy Massage is currently the most popular Spa Service in the USA.Using just a few drops can transform a regular massage into a spa experience.A typical size essential oil bottle is 1/2 oz or 15ml and contains about 170 drops. Considering that you need only 5-7 drops for a full aromatherapy treatment, each bottle will yield you over 25 treatments.
TIP:Try offering "Aromatherapy Massage" as a special promotion. For instance; with the purchase of a massage package you will receive a free Aromatherapy service. Then put a value on it. Most Spas charge $5 to $10 extra per treatment. You only need 5-7 drops mixed in your favorite unscented oil, lotion or creme for a full body treatment. BIOTONE's Smoothing Massage Butter is my favorite product for this purpose. I warm the butter in the hot towel cabinet and then stir in my essential oils.
3. Aromatherapy is beneficial to the therapist as well as the client.
Since Aromatherapy works by inhalation and skin absorption, you will be getting the same benefits as your clients when you inhale the essential oils during a session. You will also absorb the properties through your hands and arms as you perform the massage.
It's important to use oils you find appealing because you will smell that aroma every time you use it on the client. For example you may not want to use Lavender for all 6 clients in one day, unless you want to go home and fall right to sleep.
TIP: Vary the essential oils you use with each client and never give the client more than 3 oils to smell because it can be overwhelming. If you are new to working with the oils you may want to try essential oil blends as opposed to single notes or blending your own oils. BIOTONE makes "Awake" for energizing, "Harmony" for balance and "Meditation" for peacefulness.Use caution when using essential oils on women who are pregnant, for people with serious health conditions like cancer and for those with severe allergies or asthma. Always keep oils away from heat, light and children.
Aromatherapy is ancient in its use but perfectly suited to our needs in the modern world. With a little enthusiasm, creativity and practice you can turn your massage treatment room into a one of a kind aromatic retreat.
About the Author
Katie Haley has over a decade of experience; as an Esthetician, Spa Specialist and Licensed Massage Therapist. She's earned a B.S. Degree in Holistic Nutrition and Certification as a Medical Aromatherapist in France. Katie is also a published writer,professional speaker and owner of CosmicFlower Aromatherapy Inc. in Orlando, Florida. You can reach her at Katie@cosmicflower.com