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Massage and aromatherapy

The manipulation of soft tissue is what we refer to when talking about massaging, but with aromatherapy we introduce the power of essential oils into the equation to bring their intrinsic therapeutic properties to the massage.

massage and aromatherapy

Massage is beneficial in more ways than simply being relaxing, and helps with various aspects as discussed on our massage therapy page.

There are various methods of massaging and include the following:

  • Swedish
    • This method of massaging is the most popular type of massage and includes a variety of strokes and was developed by the Swede Professor Ling. This type of massage is beneficial to promote the feeling of well-being and also helps to reduce emotional and physical stress.
  • Neuromuscular massage
    • This way of massaging forms the basis of aromatherapy massage and evolved from the work of Stanley Leif. It is also referred to as "Trigger point" therapy and the overall effect of this massage is to restore the balance of the autonomic nervous system.
  • Lymphatic massage
    • This massage helps to improve the flow of lymph and some techniques developed by Marguerite Maury are incorporated in aromatherapy massage. Lymph drainage massage is particularly useful in detoxifying the body and to boost the immune system.
  • Acupressure massage and Shiatsu
    • This method of massage is focused on the meridians (channels) of the body and to relieve "blockages" through pressure on certain points of the body. It can be performed while the person is fully clothed and requires no needles such as in acupuncture.
  • Reflexology
    • In reflexology the feet (although the rest of the body can also be used) are manipulated and massaged and focus is placed on certain points on the feet that are said to have corresponding body parts or organs. To read more on reflexology, please click here.
  • Rolfing™
    • This technique was developed by Dr. Ida Rolfand focuses on massaging the fascia - the connective tissue enclosing the muscles - to bring the body in alignment again.

Aromatherapy massage Massage aromatherapy using essential oils swedish lymph sports muscular massage video clips showing massage essential oil

Aromatherapy massage has a more holistic approach to the massage and may include some of the principles on the list above, yet will concentrate on more relaxing strokes, but of prime importance is the selection of essential oil/s used during the massage, since they are chosen for their therapeutic effect, and not the fragrance as such.

To have a look at the therapeutic properties of the oils, please click here, and to view our index of essential oil profiles please click here.



To view video clips on how to massage, please click here

 

There are various techniques or strokes and we have listed the most commonly used ones and a short summary of each:

Effleurage (gliding)

Effleurage is the main or principle stroke to warm up the muscles and to prepare the soft tissue for deeper treatment. This free-flowing continuous movement is done with the flat palm of one or both hands with steady pressure.

Fanning

This effleurage motion is used on the back, chest, legs and arms to stretch and manipulate tension away from the muscles.

Feathering

The feathering stroke is an extremely light stroke and is barely perceivable by the person receiving the massage, yet has a profoundly soothing effect.

Petrissage (kneading) massage

With petrissage specific muscle groups are worked where tissue is easily grasped, and can be performed superficially or deep. Deep petrissage is helpful in promoting circulation and to loosen muscle tightness.

Friction and pressure

Friction is mostly used around joints and helps to increase circulation and the masseur's fingers do not slide over the skin and in sports massage it is often referred to as cross-fiber stroking.

Vibrating

Using vibrating strokes uses the muscles of the masseur and can take the form of striking the body (especially bony areas) lightly with the fingertips or jostling the muscles (good for sore muscles) where the masseur places his/her hands on the person's body and shaking his/her hands while moving the hand along the muscle.

Tapotement (percussion)

These alternate drumming movements are normally performed on broad areas of the body, such as the back.

Pummeling

While forming a loose fist strike the body with the outer edge of the hand.

Hacking

Rapid chopping motions are performed with the outer edge of the hand, and the fingers slightly separated so as not to do a karate chop and is used mostly on the fleshy areas like upper shoulders or legs.

Cupping

The hands are cupped and the body is struck with the fingertips and the heels of the palms.

Caution for massage if the person: aromatherapy

  • Recently consumed a large meal, alcohol or addictive substances, do not massage
  • Underwent surgery, do not massage, unless with the permission of his/her medical doctor
  • Suffers from heart attacks or strokes should at most only receive a very gentle massage to help circulation
  • Has cancer, massage should not be performed
  • Has a fever or infectious disease, do not massage
  • Has varicose veins, do not massage directly over the varicose veins and never massage a person with thrombosis or phlebitis
  • Has inflamed joints, gout, arthritic or rheumatoid pain, rather massage above the area and not on the site as it would be too painful
  • If the person is pregnant, first obtain permission from the doctor to massage

 

essential oils massage
Headings of links underneath

 

Use of essential oils

 


Links to essential oils, carrier oils and specialized pre-blended oils
Allspice
Aniseed
Basil
Bay
Benzoin
Bergamot
Black pepper
Cajuput
Calamus
Camomile
Camphor
Caraway
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Cassia
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Cinnamon
Citronella
Clary sage
Clove
Coriander
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Dill
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Fennel
Frankincense
Geranium
Ginger
Grapefruit
Helichrysum
Hyssop
Jasmine
Juniper
Lavandin
Lavender
Lemon
Lemongrass
Lemon verbena
Lime
Mandarin
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Melissa
Myrrh
Neroli
Niaouli
Nutmeg
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Palma rosa
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Peppermint
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Pimento
Pine
Rose
Rose geranium
Rosemary
Rosewood
Sage
Sandalwood
Spearmint
Spikenard
Tagetes
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Thyme
Tea tree
Vetiver
Ylang-ylang
ESSENTIAL OILS
NOT SOLD BY US
Angelica
Baobab oil
Marula oil
Birch
Bitter almond
Boldo
Buchu
Cardamom
Cumin
Elemi
Mugwort
Mustard
Pennyroyal
Rose otto
Rue
Sassafras
Tansy
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Yarrow Muscle & Joint
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OTHER OILS
Rosehip oil
Neem oil Almond oil
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Grape seed oil
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Macadamia oil
Olive oil
Sesame oil
Walnut oil
Wheatgerm oil
CARRIER OILS
NOT SOLD BY US
Pumpkin seed oil
Safflower oil
Sunflower oil

 

Recipes

 

Safety with essential oils

 

Related articles

 

Manufacture of essential oils

 

Holistic and alternative medicine

 

Treatment of ailments with essential oils

  • If you are suffering from any medical condition please contact your licensed medical practitioner.
  • The treatments listed below relies on alternative healing with essential oils, and please note that no clinical trials or results are available and rests heavily on anecdotal proof.
Abdominal pain
Abscess
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Addictions
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Athlete's foot
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Bedsores
Bleeding
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Breathing difficulty
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Circulation
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Conjunctivitis
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Ear infections
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Frostbite
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Grazes
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Hiccups
High blood pressure
Influenza
Insect bites
Insomnia
Jetlag
Laryngitis
Leg cramps
Lumbago
Mouth ulcers
Nausea
Neuralgia
Nosebleed
Pneumonia
Shock
Sinusitis
Sore throat
Splinter
Sty
Swollen ankles
Toothache
Varicose veins
Wounds

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