Aromatherapy massage is Swedish massage therapy using massage oil or lotion that contains essential oils (highly concentrated plant oils).
Essential oils, which are highly aromatic, are readily absorbed into the body via the skin and lungs, and are believed to affect the body on all levels – physically, mentally and even emotionally/spiritually. When combined with massage, which helps to soothe away muscular tension and improve circulation, an aromatherapy treatment can be either deeply relaxing or uplifting, depending on the oils and massage techniques used by the therapist.
The desired effect is relaxation, so you’re probably not going to find essential oils used in an intense deep-tissue massage.
Use of therapeutic essential oils in massage is being explored for the following conditions:
- Dementia symptoms
- Menstrual pain
- Supportive care for people with conditions such as cancer
Aromatherapy with essential oil-scented massage oils and lotions may help to ease stress and anxiety. If you’re considering trying aromatherapy massage, it’s a good idea to talk with your healthcare provider first to discuss whether it’s appropriate for you.