Aromatherapy massage actually does have a therapeutic effect on those being massaged. The reason behind these effects stems from the relationship of the brain's limbic system to the olfactory system. Smells can influence the human's hormone production, their emotions and the responses of the nervous system. When the essential oils used in aroma therapy are inhaled, the limbic system is stimulated. From there the heart rate, breathing, stress levels, digestion, memory and the immune system are affected.
Massage causes essential oils to be absorbed through the skin. The many therapeutic claims that are made are due to the actual results people receive from aromatherapy massage. Aromatherapy has been known to relieve conditions aggravated by your emotional responses. Conditions that are stress related, such as headaches, premenstrual syndrome, back pain and digestive disorders are often relieved with aromatherapy massage. Studies have even been conducted that showed patients having improved attachment to their newborns and a lack of post-partum depression among first-time mothers who received aromatherapy massage. Cancer patients are also benefitting from aromatherapy massage when they are in palliative care settings.
Aromatherapy uses essential oils to create a calming effect when oils from chamomile, geranium or lavender are used. Ylang ylang, rose, neroli or clary sage provide an uplifting effect, while rosemary energizes and cleanses. Pine, tea tree and eucalyptus are all considered decongesting oils. Essential oils can be used quite effectively for pain relief. Because the brain's limbic region controls the body's survival functions, the sense of smell has a great influence on the whole body. Black pepper, ginger, peppermint and thyme produce heat and increase circulation, thus reducing pain. Lavender and lemongrass reduce pain by making the pain receptors less acutely aware of sharp pain. Chamomile, juniper, and tea tree oil reduce pain caused by inflammation with their anti-inflammatory properties.
All essential oils are harvested from plants through the use of steam distillation from the leaves, stems, bark or root of a plant. They are highly concentrated, so you rarely need to apply more than a few drops of the oil to each application. When the oils molecules are inhaled they enter the body through the nostrils or they may be absorbed by the skin through massage. When used in massage they are often diluted by carrier oils such as grape seed oil, sweet almond oil or apricot kernel oil.
To overcome insomnia oils of sandalwood, bergamot, clary sage or rose can be mixed with a carrier lotion and massaged into the skin or simply inhaled. The benefits of the massage alone plus the essential oils makes it a preferred application method. The benefits of aromatherapy massage are becoming more and more obvious as more people turn to it as a form of therapy for the countless number of ailments suffered by humans. Now aromatherapy massage can help if not eliminate every ailment from headaches to post partum depression, speed up recovery from cancer, relieve pain and lower blood pressure.