The Best Essential Oils for Massage
Essential oils are concentrated extracts that come from plants, flowers, and herbs. When these oils are removed from their plant source through distillation or mechanical extraction, they retain the plant’s unique aroma. For thousands of years, these powerful extracts have been used in folk medicine across different cultures. Today, many massage therapists and other wellness practitioners use essential oils as part of their services.
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Here, we highlight some of the most popular essential oils in massage therapy.
Popular Types of Essential Oils
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils for therapeutic purposes. As a massage therapist, you can incorporate many different kinds of essential oils into your practice, whether you use a diffuser to scent your treatment room or mix a few drops directly into the oils or lotions you use on clients. Common essential oils for massage aromatherapy include:
One of the most popular essential oils, many clients will recognize lavender’s soothing scent. It is used in aromatherapy to relieve stress, encourage relaxation, and help people who have trouble sleeping. A massage can be an opportunity for deep relaxation – some clients may even doze off during a session. Incorporating lavender oil, whether it’s in a topical application or an aromatherapy diffuser, can help create a calming environment.
This essential oil – perhaps best known as one of the gifts of the three wise men in the Bible – comes from the resin of frankincense trees. It is believed to help with relaxation and reducing stress. Frankincense may also help boost the immune system, so it can be a good aromatherapy option during winter weather or cold and flu season.
The essential oil of the geranium flower has a sweet and uplifting scent. In aromatherapy applications, it may help reduce feelings of fatigue, stress, or anxiety. It can also help improve concentration and minimize tension, making it a popular choice for massage therapists. As a secondary benefit during massage, geranium essential oil may increase collagen production, improving the skin’s elasticity and softness.
Coriander essential oil, which comes from the seeds of the cilantro plant, has a warm and spicy scent. During a massage, using coriander essential oils can help soothe a client’s sore muscles and release tension. Because it has anti-inflammatory properties, it may also help calm sensitive skin.
This fresh, invigorating scent can help you feel re-energized and focused. It can also help relieve congestion, which is why it is used to help with coughs and colds. Because eucalyptus can help a person feel more alert and present, it may be a good option to use at the end of a relaxing massage session.
Derived from a citrus fruit, bergamot has a bright and refreshing scent. Bergamot oil is perhaps most well-known as an ingredient in Earl Grey tea. Popular in lotions and massage oils, bergamot can help reduce pain and inflammation. It may also work as a stress reliever. Bergamot also blends well with other essential oils, such as patchouli and geranium.
Cedarwood essential oil, derived from the wood of the cedar tree, has several different applications. Cedar helps repel a variety of pests, including moths, which is why it is often used in closets and armoires to protect clothing. In massage therapy, cedarwood essential oil is thought to have relaxing properties. It has a warm, calming scent, as well as anti-inflammatory properties, so it can be useful in treating muscle tension and tightness.
Discover Massage Therapy Courses With HICI Go
If you’re looking for ways to incorporate techniques like aromatherapy into your massage practice, build your skill set with the help of HICI Go. We offer a user-friendly platform where you can find in-person classes, on-demand online courses, and live webinars. Our online massage courses cover a variety of massage therapy techniques, including:
HICI Go is always adding courses, so learners should check back frequently to find new options.
In-person courses are available for students at our partner institutions, Cortiva Institute and Hollywood Institute, with instruction offered in Florida and several other states. Courses are open to licensed massage therapists, massage therapy students, and casual learners alike. For more information, contact us today.