Aromatherapy massage can be one of the most effective tools for improving your health and reducing stress. Out of our five senses, did you know that….
- Our sense of smell is more sensitive than any of our other senses.
- The part of the brain responsible for smell— the limbic system— is related to feelings and memory.
- Recent research actually thinks that our sense of smell can detect up to one trillion different stimuli, which means our nose is 150,000 times more sensitive than our eyes and over 2.8 million times more sensitive than your ears.
Why is Smell Important?
Because we know the power of our sense of smell is connected to our feelings and memory, we now know the use of essential oils, which are on the rise more than ever, can be huge in affecting not only our emotional health—inhaling certain essential oils like Lavender or Frankincense can actually calm us emotionally— but also our concentration.
My college professor, a certified aromatherapist, inhaled Basil every single time she studied at home, and then applied it to a cotton ball during her exams so that the smell would provoke her memory and it helped her perform better on her exams.
Why Essential Oils Cost So Much
One thing you must know when purchasing essential oils is: if it’s cheap, don’t buy it.
Essential oils are so much on the rise you can now buy them virtually anywhere— Walmart, Walgreens, Amazon, your local grocery store, you name it. One of the lowest prices I’ve seen for purchasing essential oils was on Amazon— a set of six essential oils for $11.
It’s tempting, but don’t go for it; these oils often have synthetics, or are extremely diluted and have no therapeutic effect. Research the way the oils have been tested, and don’t fall for the cheap brands, no matter the 100% purity level they proclaim to have!
3 Essential Oils You Cannot Do Without:
- Fights against bacteria and funguses
- WHITENS TEETH
- Natural disinfectant (this makes it not only great for cleaning surfaces, but to add to your laundry as well!)
- Stain-remover (it sounds scary, I know, but adding drops of lemon to old stains on your carpet can completely remove them!)
- Relieves nausea
- Rejuvenates energy
- Stimulates the immune system
- Relieves sinus congestion and allergies (rub on your temples, forehead, and bridge of nose)
- Reduces nausea (a great one to inhale, take internally, and rub over your stomach when nauseous)
- Alleviates headaches
- Freshens breath and supports oral health (add it to your toothpaste!)
- Relieves muscle and joint pain
- Relieves pain and menstrual cramps (this is especially true when taken internally)
- Reduces acne
- Improves sleep (try putting some on your feet before bed; I love it!)
- Heals burns and wounds
- Reduces anxiety and emotional stress (another great one for headaches!)
- Reduces inflammation
5 Ways to Use Essential Oils:
1. Diffusing oils
You can be so creative with this! You can diffuse blends of essential oils for allergies— my favorite blend for this being no other than Lemon, Lavender, and Peppermint (the three best oils, I’m telling ya!)— or diffuse blends of essential oils by your bed at night to help you sleep. Lavender, Frankincense, Vetiver, or Roman Chamomile are all great ones for this.
And if you don’t have a diffuser, Amazon has a myriad of options to choose from— some being as low as $15! 🙂
2. Inhaling Oils
There are two ways to do this. The most typical is through the nose, which is best for any type of sinus congestion. I prefer to put one drop of an essential oil in the palm of my hands, rub my hands together, and cup both of my palms to my nose and inhale.
The second way is through the mouth. Again, I put one drop of essential oil in my palm, but this time I make an “o” with my opposite hand, place the “o” over my other palm, and bring the “o” to my mouth, inhaling the essential oil in through my mouth.
This is one of my favorite ways to inhale essential oils. It is the best way to inhale for those with anxiety, asthmatic, or respiratory issues in general, as the oil will be absorbed straight to your lungs.
3. Receiving an aromatherapy massage
Some of the most popular pre-mixed oils used and their benefits in aromatherapy massage are:
- Calming: chamomile, lavender, and geranium oil
- Uplifting: ylang-ylang, clary sage, rose, and neroli oil
- Energizing: rosemary oil
- Decongesting: eucalyptus, pine, and tea tree oil
Fun Tip: If you prefer specific oils, I would suggest bringing your own to your aromatherapy massage and asking your therapist to use them. 🙂
4. Soaking in an oil-infused bath
Whenever you do this, always make sure to pre-mix your essential oil combination with a little soap in a small bowl—otherwise, the oil will sit on top of your bath water (oil and water don’t mix very well!) without being of any real therapeutic benefit to you.
5. Rubbing oils directly onto the skin
I like mixing up my nightly routine of using Lavender, Rose, Frankincense, or Helichrysum directly on my skin before bed at night, Deep Blue on my calves after a morning run, or Serenity on the top of my head for stress headaches.
There are some oils too strong to do this—Oregano, for example! I’ve learned a lot of things the hard way with Oregano. It is an INCREDIBLE oil—super powerful and revolutionary when it comes to fighting bacteria, funguses or viruses— but if you ever come in contact with it, be prepared to wash your hands five times afterwards!
In the end, if you’re questioning whether to dilute or not to dilute your essential oils, always go with the safe route and dilute with roughly 3-4 drops of carrier oil (in the case of really strong oils like oregano, however, I dilute with 6-8)– which could be jojoba, almond, coconut, or even extra virgin olive oil!
I could go on and on about essential oils. To me, they go hand-in-hand with massage, and I love tailoring each individual’s massage with a particular essential oil. When you book an aromatherapy massage with me, please feel free to bring your own essential oils for me to use, or ask what oil(s) I’d suggest implementing into your massage.
The benefits of aromatherapy with essential oils are truly endless, as are the many resources out there today. I encourage you to go experiment and have fun with them! 🙂
“For we are to God the sweet aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.”2 Corinthians 2:15