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  • by Nicola Boulton September 05, 2022 5 min read

    What Is Aromatherapy Massage

    Benefits of aromatherapy massage include stress reduction, pain relief, and mood enhancement. These are some of the fundamental advantages of massage therapy as well. Such advantages are enhanced by adding essential oils. This article will discuss aromatherapy massage, its application, and its benefits.

    A typical massage session includes aromatherapy as an extra service. During your massage, the therapist may use essential oils to scent the space or mix a few drops of oil with massage oil and apply it straight to your skin. Among aromatherapy's most widely used essential oils are lavender, tea tree, lemon, cedarwood, and peppermint. The use of essential oils in aromatherapy has specific advantages. Essential oils are so concentrated. Therefore, dilute them before using them on the skin, in lotions, or in humidifiers. The overall goal of aromatherapy is to promote your emotional and physical health. More people are experimenting with essential oil goods by diffusing them at home or diluting them for topical application.

    Applications for Aromatherapy Massage

    The actual massage treatment practice involves expert pressing and stroking the muscles and lymph nodes. According to Fayazi, Babashahi & Rezaei (2011), a few different kinds of massages are Swedish, deep tissue hot stone massage, and prenatal. Any style of massage can benefit from the aromatherapy effects of using essential oils. Improved mood and a short-term reduction in physical aches and pains have both been related to massage therapy. The results of an aromatherapy massage may be improved by adding an essential oil. For instance, using a mood-enhancing oil like orange could help you feel better if you suffer aches and pains from depression.

    Is Aromatherapy Effective?

    There is conflicting or limited scientific research on the benefits of aromatherapy for health. Ali et al. (2015) showed that using stimulating oils to elevate mood is useful. Lemon, orange, and tangerine are a few examples. Nevertheless, although being generally regarded as harmless, lavender was found not to affect mood. Another study examined the effectiveness of massage therapy and chamomile for reducing anxiety. Chamomile massages revealed a higher reduction in anxiety symptoms compared to massages without aromatherapy.

    According to Chang & Shen (2011), the following applications of aromatherapy have demonstrated advantages in dealing with depression, insomnia, anxiety, pain, and nausea.

    Hazards of Aromatherapy Massage

    Generally, aromatherapy massage carries few hazards. One thing to consider is possible sensitivity to the crucial oils used during your session. Before administering the oil to the skin, the massage therapist should always dilute it with a carrier oil or massage lotion. Ask the therapist to diffuse the oil in the space rather than apply it directly to your skin if you're unsure about a particular oil. Jung et al. (2022) stated the potential signs of an allergic reaction to essential oils: redness, hives, rash, itchiness, and swelling.

    The absence of regulations regarding the use of essential oils and products in aromatherapy massages is another factor to consider. The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate the safety and efficacy of many essential oils since they are viewed as cosmetics.

    Tips for Aromatherapy Massage

    To get the most out of this or any massage session, keep the following advice in mind before scheduling an aromatherapy massage:

    • Depending on your demands, pick an essential oil. You might decide on a zesty aroma to improve your mood, lavender to unwind, or eucalyptus to relieve discomfort, for instance.
    • Choose whether you want the oil to be diffused or administered topically while receiving a massage. It is advised to avoid using that oil and pick something different if you have any known reactions to it.
    • Avoid eating before getting a massage because doing so could irritate your stomach before and after the session.
    • Do not go without water before or after your massage, and think about having food.
    • After your massage, take a hot shower. This aids in removing any remaining oils from your skin.

    In addition, the best person to ask about an aromatherapy massage is your massage therapist. Based on your demands, they need to be able to suggest particular essential oils and talk about the tools and methods they would employ.

    The therapist may not have much experience incorporating aromatherapy massage into sessions if they don't appear sure about it. According to Prasad, Lawania & Gupta (2009), some essential oils might aggravate respiratory conditions like asthma. Citrus essential oils can increase skin's sensitivity to sunlight when applied topically. After using grapefruit, orange, or another citrus oil on your skin, stay out of the sun. Also, don't be shy about speaking up while getting a massage. Inform the therapist if you sense something is off. Additionally, you can request that they use more or less pressure or add extra oils at any time.

    Remember that this is a private setting, so your therapist won't want to interject with questions; it's up to you to express yourself. Diffusing essential oils at home can let you experience some of the benefits of aromatherapy outside of massage appointments.

    Is Aromatherapy Massage Safe for Pregnant Women

    The act of getting a prenatal massage is generally regarded as safe. Don't receive a massage if you have blood clots or calf pain. Consult your doctor in advance to learn which essential oils might be safe if you want to get an aromatherapy massage while pregnant. According to Bastard & Tiran (2006), essential oils may enter the placenta and harm the fetus.


    Despite the fact that scientific study is still being conducted to evaluate the health advantages of aromatherapy, there is no denying that it sometimes makes people feel better, frequently by momentarily reducing pain or mood problems. Aromatherapy may make you feel even better when combined with the fundamentals of massage therapy. When performed by licensed massage therapists, aromatherapy massages may improve your experience and, as a result, your self-care routine.


    Ali, B., Al-Wabel, N. A., Shams, S., Ahamad, A., Khan, S. A., & Anwar, F. (2015). Essential oils used in aromatherapy: A systemic review. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, 5(8), 601-611.

    Bastard, J., & Tiran, D. (2006). Aromatherapy and massage for antenatal anxiety: its effect on the fetus. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 12(1), 48-54.

    Chang, K. M., & Shen, C. W. (2011). Aromatherapy benefits autonomic nervous system regulation for elementary school faculty in Taiwan. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2011.

    Fayazi, S., Babashahi, M., & Rezaei, M. (2011). The effect of inhalation aromatherapy on anxiety level of the patients in preoperative period. Iranian journal of nursing and midwifery research, 16(4), 278.

    Jung, H. M., Oh, E. J., Sung, H. C., & Kim, M. (2022). Effects of a Spouse's Aromatherapy Hand Massage on Fatigue, Stress, and a Couple's Relationship in Pregnant Women. Journal of the Korean Society of Maternal and Child Health, 26(1), 35-43.

    Prasad, R., Lawania, R., & Gupta, R. (2009). Role of herbs in the management of asthma. Pharmacognosy Reviews, 3(6), 247.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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