What is aromatherapy?
An aromatherapy treatment involves the application of essential oils through massage. Essential oils are the concentrated fragrant extracts of plants, and each one can have specific therapeutic properties. Massage therapy in itself can also have a number of benefits including relaxation, stress reduction, pain relief, increased circulation and supporting the body’s own healing mechanisms.
I make a bespoke massage blend for each treatment, depending on your needs, from a range of over 70 essential oils. Each oil has its own unique properties and aroma.
What happens in the session?
In order to select the ideal blend of essential oils for your massage treatment, a detailed, confidential consultation is held at the beginning of the session to explore what you hope to get from the treatment, whether it is for general relaxation and stress relief or to support the body with a specific condition.
This will be followed by your massage treatment. In order for the essential oils to penetrate the skin the massage is performed on bare skin. You will be asked to undress to your underwear (bras need to be removed or undone when working on the back) and to lie on a massage couch, covered with towels. Only the part of the body being worked on is exposed at any time. Part way through a full body massage you’ll be asked to turn over.
Aromatherapy massage is relaxing and you can choose to listen to relaxing music during your treatment to enhance this.
After the treatment you may feel sleepy, and it is best to take your time before sitting up and sip some water before getting to your feet. Once you are dressed we will have a short consultation to assess whether the treatment aims have been reached and to note points for next time. I may also recommend a blend of oils for you to use at home.
How many treatments do I need?
Aromatherapy and massage can have a cumulative effect and many people find that a series of treatments enables them to relax more and more as the chronic patterns of stress are released. It may take about five treatments for effects to be fully realised. Many people choose to have a maintenance treatment once or twice a month.
Aromatherapy is particularly helpful in dealing with the effects of stress, and as stress can impact on most of the body systems, aromatherapy can have wide ranging effects including:
- Relieving and reducing muscular tension, aches and pains
- Balance mood and alleviate depression
- Support during chronic illness
- Relief from overthinking and worry by taking you out of your head and reconnecting you with your body
- Regulate sleep
- Support the digestion
- Reduce the symptoms of PMS / menopause
‘I had got used to having really tight leg muscles – now they feel great and I’ve forgotten how tight they used to be. My shoulders have also been so much better for having regular treatments. I feel energised and more relaxed, and the attention to the knees has been very beneficial. I have not needed my anti-inflammatory medication.’ D.S, Oxford
‘It has left me feeling more balanced, more relaxed, and lighter in my heart.’ F.L, Oxford
Guidelines for before your treatment
- Avoid eating a heavy meal up to two hours before your treatment as this could cause discomfort.
- If possible please shower or bathe before your treatment to maximise absorption of the essential oils.
- Treatments cannot be given to anyone under the influence of alcohol or recreational drugs as this could put too much strain on the body. For the same reason it is not advisable to have a treatment if suffering from fever or an infectious disease.
After your treatment
Your reaction to receiving massage may vary according to your current physical and emotional condition. If there has been a considerable amount of stress it is not unusual for there to be some kind of reaction as the body adjusts itself back into balance, such as a feeling of tiredness (which is often replaced by revitalisation), or aching and soreness in the muscles, which will subside after a day or so.
Following your treatment you should:
- Increase intake of water
- Have a suitable rest period
- Avoid smoking
- Cut down on the use of tea, coffee and alcohol
- If possible, avoid bathing or showering for up 12 hours after an aromatherapy massage in order to allow the oils to fully penetrate through the skin.
- Some essential oils may increase the effects of alcohol, while others can react with sunlight. I will advise you if this is the case.