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Monday, August 27, 2007

Aromatherapy Massage - A Primary Route for Essential Oil Use

Aromatherapy Massage with Essential Oils

Massaging with essential oils transforms the body and soul; it enhances a general well-being and a positive consciousness of the mind. Scents of essential oils have powerful properties that may awaken memories of long ago, remove anxiety, repose the restless mind, loosen tight muscles and offer many benefits that may render persons exposed to them healthier in body and soul.
A massage is beneficial in itself; aromatherapy essential oils heighten the experience of pleasure and relaxation. Essential oils originate from herbs and plants that grow in exotic countries in the Orient, Asia, and India, though some may be found in European tropical terrains. It may be useful to be acquainted with the names and uses of the most recognized essential oils.

Rosemary oil may be effective in increasing circulation in the extremities, open congested respiratory tracts, elevate and heighten awareness while soothing the mind and musculature, and clear up skin.

Lavender oil is best known for repairing sunburn, skin infections and other skin related afflictions. Also, it may have healing powers in rheumatism, abdominal cramps, insomnia, inflammation and insomnia.

Sandalwood is well known as a moisturizer and for its property for skin repair. It warms and calms agitation, and some have found it to be an aphrodisiac.

Eucalyptus oil has been used by therapists for centuries throughout the world to open congested respiratory tracts and inflammation of the same. It has also been used for relaxing tight muscles and other aches and pains.

Sweet Orange may soften the skin and relax stressed muscles. It may relieve constipation, poor circulation, and other stress related ailments.

Patchouli oil has been around for long many years and has been used as the bases for perfumes man?s colognes in the past. It heals insect bites and some infections.

Peppermint oil may heal asthma, colic, fevers, colds, cramps, vertigo, and migraine head-aches. Peppermint oil stimulates the depressed heart, eases apathy.

Frankincense, Geranium, Jasmine, and Rose oils generate healing vapors that may clear the lungs, skin and some infections.

Tea tree oil is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and antiseptic.

Essential oils are highly concentrated and their usage must be with the knowledge and understanding as to when and where their applicable. Avoid using the following oils on pregnant women: Marjoram, Myrrh, Sage, Fennel, Jasmine, Juniper, Basil and Cedar-wood, and others indicated to be harmful to the embryo.

Oils are drawn from plants through most commonly known method of distillation and produce minute quantities that are potent and concentrated. For practical use these drops of potent oils are diluted by so-called ?carrier? or ?base? oils that also function to facilitate the absorption of the oils into the skin.

Benefit of Combining Massage Therapy with Aromatherapy

In the beginning aromatherapy oils were not applied with a massage. In the Egyptian culture approximately six thousand years prior to our time doctors recommended using aromatherapy oils to intensify the effect of the massage. Massage therapy incorporates reflexology and manipulation of the body; a good masseuse will know where and how to concentrate on particular pressure points that will release tension in selected areas such as the lower back, shoulders, etc. Essential oils will create an ambience that intensifies and heightens relaxation; the pleasurable scents brighten the mood.

It is arguable whether essential oils can be as effective without the massage therapy. Of course, essential oils have healing properties; Eucalyptus, for example, opens congestion in the chest and it is used globally by mothers of sick children for generations. However, should you apply the Eucalyptus oil with a massage on a miserable child whose every breath is painful you shall accomplish in a shorter period of time a greater comfort for a sick child.

It is without a doubt more advantageous to combine massage therapy with essential oils.


Tamra Cantar is a freelance writer on topics of interest and has a website dedicated to providing the visitor with useful information and resources for Aromatherapy. Visit AromaOilEssentials to learn more about using essential oils during a massage and find the massage oil that's right for you.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Aromatherapy Massage Basics

Aromatherapy massage is the fusion of aromatherapy and massage. Together these two ancient methods combine to treat the mind, body and soul.

Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of essential oils. It is the ancient science of healing, relaxing and energizing the body by the use of plants and their parts. The word aromatherapy is derived from two words aroma which means smell and therapy which stands for healing.

Essential oils are the basis of aromatherapy the roots, barks, flowers, fruits, seeds and nuts are used for the distillation of oils. Each essential oil is an aromatic essence, distilled from a single botanical source. Essential oils are highly concentrated and should not be used directly. These oils can be blended together and this blend is called synergy. The synergy is more potent than the individual oils. Since these oils are so potent in their concentrated form they are mixed with simple oils called carrier oils like sweet almond, apricot kernel, or grape seed oil.

Essential oils can have many different effects on the body, mind and spirit. They can be sedative or stimulating, analgesic and antispasmodic and antibacterial. They enter through our olfactory system and affect the nervous system, thus improving mood and relaxing or energizing us. This helps is alleviating stress and speeds up healing.

There are many different ways of using essential oils therapeutically - in baths, inhalations, compresses, creams or lotions, massage.

Massage

Massage therapy is also an ancient form of alternative medicine. It can affect the autonomic nervous system, and calms the mind, reducing the stress in the body. Massage stimulates the blood circulation, increasing the supply of nutrients and oxygen to cells. It also stimulates lymphatic flow, improving tissue drainage and in the immune system.

Hippocrates said: "The Physician must be experienced in many things, but assuredly in rubbing . . . for rubbing can bind a joint that is too loose, and loosen a joint that is too rigid.

Depending on your need a synergy blend is created with the carrier oil. There are a lot of combinations that are specially made for specific diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, stress, sports injury, migraines, insomnia etc.

History of Aromatherapy Massage

Aromatherapy Massage is the brain child of Marguerite Maury, née König of Austria. Marguerite trained as a nurse and surgical assistant. Her interest in aromatherapy began with the book of Dr Chabenes, Les Grandes Possibilités par les Matières Odoriferantes. Marguerite met and married a French doctor in the early thirties, and continued her research into essential oils.

She developed her particular method of using the "Individual Prescription" blending several essential oils, for each patient, after an in-depth consultation and examination. She also pioneered the use of massage to administer the essential oils, partly perhaps because she was not a medical doctor, and therefore not qualified to prescribe internal use of the oils.

Maury wrote Le Capital Jeunesse in English, The Secret of Life and Youth based on aromatherapy. She opened clinics in France, Switzerland and England, and continued to teach and practice until her death.

Basic Oils

There are a variety of essential oils that can be blended to create a perfect one for your needs, a few of them are

Lavender

  • most commonly-used of oils
  • relaxation, calming, balancing
  • antibiotic, antiseptic, antidepressant, sedative, detoxifier
  • use on burns
Rosemary
  • stimulant for mental and physical body
  • antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, adrenal stimulant
  • muscular strains and sprains, headaches, fatigue, congestion, prevents scar tissue formation
Bergamot
  • refreshing, uplifting,
  • antiseptic, antidepressant, antispasmodic, analgesic, sedative, expectorant, deodorizer
  • can be slightly irritating to skin
Peppermint
  • digestive aid, headaches, fatigue
  • anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, expectorant, stimulant, vasoconstrictor
  • cooling
Tea Tree
  • antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antiseptic
  • treatment of infections, ringworm, sunburn, acne, athlete's foot, gum disease
  • caution when applying full strength
Geranium
  • eases stress
  • antidepressant, adrenal and hormone balancer, detoxifier, sedative, antiseptic
  • good for PMS and female disorders
Clary Sage
  • antidepressant, antiseptic, astringent, aphrodisiac, sedative, tonic
  • relieves PMS, soothing, relaxing

Eucalyptus

  • antiviral, antiseptic, stimulant, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic
  • cools the body in summer and warms in winter
  • effective treatment for candida, diabetes, sunburn, congestion, cough, neuralgia

Aromatherapy is a potent alternative medical procedure. The perfect place to get an aromatherapy massage is in a spa from expertly trained masseuses.

Ashish Bhattacharya is an exponent of oriental and alternative medicine. Armed with a degree in East Asian Therapies from China, he has worked in an Luxury Spa resorts Mauritius, and is an expert in Relaxing Spa Therapies

Using Lavender Essential Oil in Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils and other natural aromatic compounds from plants to affect one's mental or physical health. Essential oils, are known as hydrophobic i.e. non-water mixing or volatile i.e. air mixing. Essential oils are sometimes referred to as an "oil of" a plant e.g. oil of lavender. Essential oils are referred to as "essential" because they are the perceived "essence" of a plant..

Essential oils and other elements used in aromatherapy are used for relieving a variety of discomfort from indigestion to headaches. Aromatherapy is used to alter mood, inspire confidence, ease depression, and increase energy. In many cultures essential oils are used for their antiseptic value to treat infection. In France, essential oils viewed and considered in a similar way prescription drugs are in the United States. Essential oil treatments can be delivered in many different ways- direct inhalation of vapors, inhalation of steam from a vaporizer, through massage, or through therapeutic baths. It is important to note, however, that essential oils are diluted in carrier oils (neutral, odorless oils) before being used on skin. Essential oils can be used singly or in combinations with other essential oils.

Other products used in Aromatherapy besides essential oils include absolutes, phytoncides, and infusions. Absolutes are essentially purer forms of essential oils that have had their lighter, less dense components extracted with ethanol. Phytoncides are natural antimicrobial liquids used by many plants to protect themselves from rotting or being eaten by insects and animals. Infusions are oils or other liquids that have been infused with herbs, flowers, or berries.

One of the more popular and widely used aromas is lavender. Lavender grows well in rocky environments that have good sunlight. Lavender has woody branches and green leaf-like shoots resembling rods. The grayish green leaves are oblong and in curled spiral patterns. Lavender oil is taken from the flowers of the plant with steam distillation. Lavender oil blends well with many other essential oils including cedarwood, pine, clary sage, geranium, and nutmeg. The flowers of lavender are fragrant in nature and have been used for making potpourris. . Lavender's Latin name Lavare, means "to wash". Lavender essential oil has a calming scent and helps in treating migraines, headaches, anxiety, depression, nervous tension and emotional stress. Lavender aroma eases nervous exhaustion and restlessness and increases mental activity. Lavender essential oil induces sleep and is recommended for insomnia. Lavender essential oil helps ease pains caused by sore muscles, tense muscles, muscular aches, rheumatism, sprains, backache and lumbago. Massage with lavender oil helps relieve pain in the joints. Lavender oil helps in restoring hormonal balance and reduces inflammation of the urinary bladder. Lavender oil is often helpful for respiratory problems including throat infections, flu, cough, cold, asthma, sinus congestion, bronchitis, whooping cough, laryngitis, and tonsillitis. The oil is either used in the form of vapor or applied on the skin of neck, chest and back. It is also added in many vaporizers and inhalers used for cold and coughs.

Lavender oil helps skin because of its antiseptic and antifungal properties. Lavender oil is used for various skin disorders e.g. acne, wrinkles, psoriasis, wounds, cuts, burns, and sunburn.. Lavender oil is added to chamomile to treat eczema. Lavender essential oil is useful on lice and lice eggs or nits in hair. Lavender essential oil is also good for improving blood circulation by lowering blood pressure and hypertension. Lavender oil for digestion increases the mobility of the intestines increases production of gastric juices and bile and so eases indigestion, stomach pain, colic, flatulence, vomiting and diarrhea. Lavender oil also helps improve the immune system. Lavender can be used as an insect repellent for mosquitoes and helps heal insect bites. As with many other essential oils, pregnant and breast feeding women, people with diabetic concerns or people with unusually sensitive skin should avoid using lavender essential oil.

The health benefits of aromatherapy has been underestimated. Aromatherapy has often been considered to be only a way to make "everything smell nice". The health benefits of aromatherapy are much more powerful and effective than is commonly perceived or known by most people. Aromatherapy is a deeply beneficial natural healing modality for enhancing emotional balance and physical health.

About the Author: Jennifer has more than twenty years experience with all natural health care. She provides all natural aromatherapy products through http://www.sweetmedicineessentials.com/aromatherapy-c-7.html


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