With a heightened focus on health and well being, it’s no surprise that treatments such as aromatherapy massage are becoming so popular. Year-on-year, the essential oils global market grey by more than 8% between 2018 and 2019. And, this growth is predicted to continue as our lives become busier and continuously more stressful. In 2018, the Mental Health Foundation found that 74% of people felt so stressed. Moreover, that they have been overwhelmed and unable to cope. Here at Malée, we believe in implementing strategies and activities in our everyday life to minimise this stress. In today’s blog, we’re taking a look at 11 important benefits of aromatherapy massage. As well as why you should prioritise it into your self-care.
As we mentioned above, stress is a significant issue that many of us face in today’s modern world. And, one of the biggest reasons why so many people turn towards aromatherapy practices. Moreover, it is to reduce this is because of the fragrances. During a massage, we breathe in and inhale the potent scents of various essential oils. These have a calming effect on our mind. Helping us to relax and let go of the tension that has built up over the week. When this is paired with the power of touch, our bodies begin to release oxytocin which is also known as the happy hormone. This reduces heightened blood pressure and cortisol levels while having anxiolytic-like effect that increases our pain threshold.
2. Relieve anxiety
With its ability to reduce stress, aromatherapy is also called on to help relieve the symptoms of anxiety. It has been theorised that specific receptors in our noses are triggered by different scents. These then send messages to the nervous system which has an impact on the body’s chemical reactions. Essentially, inhaling these scents is thought to help take us out of the fight-and-flight mode. As well as return us to a state of calm. Popular essential oils such as lavender, jasmine and bergamot are all shown to help those dealing with recurring anxiety.
3. Decreases muscle tension
The essential oils used in aromatherapy massage have the potential to penetrate through the top layers of the dermis. For this purpose, they can be used to relieve tension and stand alongside classic massaging techniques to work out knots. The most recent research into massage therapy is that the post-massage blood and muscle tissue has increased levels of mitochondria. These are needed for cell growth and energy. This abundance means that inflammation can be reduced and damage repaired.
4. Helps with pain relief
There have been several research studies into the benefits of aromatherapy massage for pain relief. In 2015, a study showed that lavender oil was an effective anti-inflammatory. it provided pain relief that was comparable with tramadol. In the same year, another study found that bergamot oil could be used for neuropathic pain. This could not be treated by opioid alternatives. And, in 2012, research was done into the effectiveness of essential oils in reducing the impact of menstrual pain to much benefit.
5. Relieves the symptoms of depression
Research states that essential oils trigger mechanisms in the brain via the olfactory system. This allows signals to be transmitted to the limbic system and the hypothalamus to activate the production of serotonin. Conventional antidepressant medicine regularly relies on Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. It helps to maintain high levels of the hormone in the brain. This stabilises our mood, enabling brain cells to communicate and preventing feelings like anxiety and fight-or-flight. Aromatherapy massage provides the perfect opportunity for these scents to infuse through your senses and the benefits noted above to be felt.
6. Reduce the side effects associated with chemotherapy
Cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, put the body and mind under extreme stress. Many common side effects are explained to and treated with common medicine. Furthermore, many cancer patients look to alternative methods to help alleviate their pain and stress-levels. Complementary therapies, including aromatherapy massage, are used to improve mental resilience, calm the mind and help relieve pain.
7. Helps with insomnia
According to the NHS, some of the most common causes of insomnia are stress, anxiety and depression. And, as you can tell from our list above, aromatherapy massage is ideal for helping to alleviate these feelings. Therefore, it can be effectively used to treat insomnia, when this condition is not related to other medical conditions.
8. Ease labour pains
Hypnobirthing has become a preferred labour route to traditional pain medication. Moreover, pregnant women are seeking out different ways to manage their relative pain. Massage with the right essential oils helps to stimulate the production of endorphins. These ‘happy hormones’ are also a natural form of pain killer and can help to ease contraction pains. Equally, the progression of labour is largely dictated by mood with muscles tensing up under times of stress. The calming aroma released from these essential oils. Also, it helps to ensure the labour environment is calm and relaxing for both mother and baby.
9. Help to treat headaches and migraines
Some essential oils, including lavender, have been shown to alleviate physical stress which can help with tension headaches and migraines. In fact, a study published in 2013 found that migraine sufferers reported a reduction in pain just 15 minutes after inhaling lavender oil. Equally, other research from 2014 discovered that by mixing peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil and ethanol, the muscles that tense up during headaches could be relaxed effectively.
10. Improve digestion
According to holistic medicine experts, the same scent receptors in our brain that help to calm anxiety and depression can also signal the brain to alert them that food is being consumed. Some essential oils can be inhaled to help our brain signal that digestive juices need to be released. Thereby improving the quality of our digestion. Equally, it is thought that by penetrating our skin. These oils can aid with blood circulation to further improve our digestive tract.
Nasal congestion is something we’ve all experienced in our lives. And, seeing as the aromas from essential oils are so powerful. It calls to reason that they should be able to aid with these blockages. A 2006 review found that tea tree oil has many antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Which may help to treat the bacteria associated with sinus congestion. The best way to utilise these is through steam inflation – combining essential oils with hot water and breathing it in.
How to incorporate aromatherapy massage into your week
The beauty of massage is that it can be performed anywhere. Whether you choose to pay a specialist or enlist the help of a loved one. Firstly, find the perfect essential oil, create your own blend or rely on a high-quality pre-blended body oil. The Malée Verdure Moisturising Oil is the perfect example. A intensely luxurious blend of super-concentrated oils. It melts through the skin infusing it with essential vitamins, fatty acids and skin tightening peptides. This oil has our own signature scent, formulated from avocado oil, sweet almond oil, argan oil and rosehip oil. It is perfect for all skin types. And it gives you a truly decadent experience that allows you to benefit from everything aromatherapy massage has to offer.
Using essential oils within your everyday life and incorporating it into your routine can have significant benefits for you. Both physically and mentally. Aromatherapy massage is a technique that can be performed at home or through a professional. Once you have an understanding of the best essential oils for you, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in a truly olfactory experience.
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