Essential oils (EOs) are very concentrated plant materials that contain many different active compounds that are known to offer many health benefits and be effective in stimulating healing, boosting immunity, inducing relaxation, improving emotional well-being, reducing stress, and improving sleep.
EOs are also commonly used for skin care, beauty, and anti-aging purposes.
These potent plant extracts can come from many different sources like tree bark, tree resin, roots, leaves, flowers, nuts, seeds, and even fruits like lemon, grapefruit, and orange.
The therapeutic use of EOs is called aromatherapy.
Aromatherapists can also use EOs for massages for specific purposes such as stress-relief, pain-relief, and mood management.
What is an aromatherapy massage?
An aromatherapy massage is the mix of both practices – massage therapy and aromatherapy in the same session.
It doesn’t matter what type of massage you’re after – EOs work effectively on all different types from deep tissue to foot massage and reflexology.
Your massage therapist will use a diffuser to infuse the air with EOs during your session or add them to common massage oils like coconut oil.
It’s often recommended to diffuse and use the oils topically to enhance their therapeutic and healing effects.
Because EOs are highly concentrated it is advisable to dilute them with a carrier oil before topical application.
Popular massage oils/ carrier oils are:
- Fractionated coconut oil
- Jojoba oil
- Sweet almond oil
- Sunflower oil (rich in fatty acids)
- Avocado oil
- Grapeseed oil
Here are some of the most popular EOs for enhancing the aromatherapy massage experience:
- Peppermint essential oil
- Lavender essential oil
- Geranium essential oil
- Chamomile oil
- Frankincense oil
- Bergamot oil
- Grapefruit oil
- Ylang Ylang oil
- Sandalwood oil
- Cedarwood oil
- Lemongrass oil
- Tea tree oil
- Clary Sage oil
- Basil oil
- Neroli oil
What is the best essential oil blend for sore muscles?
Certain EOs are known to have pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, which makes them particularly effective at treating muscle pain and tension.
Try this DIY EO massage blend and mix it with ½ cup of your favorite carrier/massage oil to give yourself a massage in any sore area:
- 5 drops lavender
- 5 drops eucalyptus
- 5 drops helichrysum
- 5 drops peppermint
- 5 drops rosemary