Traditionally, massage has been a way for us to relax and get lost in our own thoughts. This is a popular way for us to enjoy some time to ourselves, or maybe even some time with another person.
However, increasingly, massage therapy is being associated with powerful medical benefits. Another trend that has picked up is the use of essential oils in massages. This gives off an aroma that can have both physical and psychological effects on the body. Massage oil can also be mixed in different ways to have varying effects on your body.
A big reason for the increase in this trend is the science that it now being done to investigate the effects of these substances. These studies are showing that essential oils and massage both have positive effects on the human body. When combined, you might be surprised at just how well they work.
The Science behind Massage
The medical benefits of massage are mostly the physical effects from feeling the massage. In addition, they have shown effective at preventing injuries. Building on its preventative qualities, massage has been effective in increasing blood circulation, reducing inflammation, and reducing all types of aches and pains. It has also been shown to lessen the frequency of migraines and speed athletic recovery time.
There are also psychological effects of getting a massage. The massage itself will release hormones in your body that help reduce the stress and improve mood. Another psychological effect has to do with the feeling of pampering yourself. By taking time to do something for yourself, you can achieve personal satisfaction and receive all the benefits of the massage. When combined with a healthy lifestyle and diet, the benefits could be endless.
The Science behind Essential Oils
For all the benefits that enthusiasts boast about essential oils, there is not much scientific research to back up those claims. That is all changing now. Recently, the food, tobacco, and cosmetics industries have been conducting research on essential oils. They are mostly interested in the aroma, taste, mood changing effects, and some safety concerns. Unfortunately, there are some problems with studying the effects of oils.
One problem is that no essential oil is alike. The plants used to make the oils are unique in that their chemistry can vary from plant to plant, and with differences in conditions. Another issue they have is conducting blind tests with aromas. People associate different scents and smells with past experiences, which causes an issue when trying to study the effects of the aroma, because it is difficult to tell what caused the outcome.
Also, because essential oils have been widely used for a long time it can be difficult to obtain funding to study them. Because they didn’t start out in a lab and then got tested on animals, then humans; it is easier to get funding if the produce follows a more conventional path.
Whatever the roadblocks to the research are, we have found that essential oils show positive effects on multiple health and wellness related issues. Those issues include: infections, pain, anxiety, depression, tumors, premenstrual syndrome, nausea, and many others. The reason is the smell receptors in your brain that stimulate the release of hormones, emotions, and memories. There are also positive physical effects of absorbing the oils through your skin.
Mixing Essential Oils
For those that are looking for a specific effect out of their aromatherapy massage, there are ways to pinpoint just what you want to help. Different combinations of oils have different effects on the body. However, all oil used should be diluted with a carrier oil. Some of the oils have very high concentrations and can hurt the skin.
If you are looking for a relaxing massage you may want to try mixing 4 drops of lavender and 2 drops of Roman chamomile, orange, and two tablespoons of carrier oil. Or, for something to lift up your spirits you can mix 1 drop of orange and 3 drops of eucalyptus, thyme, and tea tree, with 3 tablespoons of carrier oil.
If you are looking to relieve general aches and pains a concoction of 2 drops of lavender and rosemary, and 3 tablespoons of carrier oil should do the trick. There are additional mixtures to soothe particular parts of the body, as well as for before and after an exercise session.
While many have known the effects of essential oils, science is just coming around. The recent research has backed up claims that using essential oils in a massage is well worth the affects you experience from them, both physically and mentally.