What You Need to Know about Aromatherapy
Friday, March 5, 2018
Written by: Cora Tomowich
Well, hello there! Welcome to my little question-and-answer piece about Aromatherapy and Aromatherapy massage. Here with me is Liana, who practices the healing art of Aromatherapy and has been doing so for over 28 years! Since more and more awareness is being given to this therapeutic modality, I thought it might be a good idea to share a few thoughts… read on and enjoy!
Cora: Hi Liana, thanks for sitting down with me to have a chat about the lovely healing art of Aromatherapy. I wanted to share with some of our readers a few basics about Aromatherapy as well as what you offer, specifically. First of all, what is Aromatherapy?
Liana: Well, to put it simply, Aromatherapy is the practice of using volatile or vaporous plant oils, also known as essential oils, for mental, emotional, and physical well-being. There can be different ways of using said oils, such as through diffusion, direct application to the skin, or during a massage.
Cora: Interesting! So how would you know which type of application to use and when?
Liana: That depends on what the client needs or prefers. Sometimes, if I am giving a Reflexology treatment, I will use essential oils in the foot bath that each client has prior to hands-on therapy. Other times I may just have the essential oil diffuser going in my treatment room while clients are sitting and chatting with me. Additionally, I offer Aromatherapy in the form of a full-body massage, which is not something that is offered by all Aromatherapy practitioners.
Cora: Oh really, I did not know that – I would have assumed it was the same across the board. A massage with essential oils sounds like bliss!
Liana: It most certainly is bliss! But hey, I may be biased…
Cora: So do you just apply the essential oils directly to the skin? I’ve heard that sometimes a pure essential oil can cause a rash or other skin irritation for being so potent and potentially drying to the skin.
Liana: Well that may be true of some oils but I always use an essential oil blend that contains an organic carrying oil such as castor oil, coconut oil, or olive oil. This way the essential oil can mix and extend further along a client’s skin without causing dryness or irritation. I’ve actually created a little YouTube tutorial showing how to make your own essential oil blend:
Cora: Wow, that’s great… thanks for sharing! So tell me, what kind of conditions can Aromatherapy treat?
Liana: Aromatherapy can treat any condition! Essential oils that are inhaled into the lungs offer both psychological and physical benefits. While the aromas stimulate a positive reaction in the brain, the naturally-occurring chemicals can supply clinically-proven, therapeutic benefits that extend to all systems of the body. On their own, essential oils are a very powerful healing tool. When coupled with a hands-on massage, you also receive the benefits of therapeutic touch.
Cora: So what is the difference between an Aromatherapy massage and a regular massage?
Liana: The key differences between an Aromatherapy massage and a regular massage include the use of essential oils, the overall touch, and the order in which body areas are treated. Not all registered massage therapists will use essential oils during a treatment, which is standard in an Aromatherapy massage. Also, as an Aromatherapy practitioner I may vary the degree of my hands-on pressure for different body areas. Some clients may ask me to dig in as hard as I can but I often follow the tissue resistance and adjust pressure accordingly. I find that this is the best way for clients to experience a more relaxing effect, which will eventually release the tight tissue and I didn’t have to break my thumbs while doing it! The order of my treatment is also very different from that of a registered massage therapist [RMT]. Where [an RMT] may start the full-body treatment with the back of the body, I always begin with the head, face, neck, and shoulders. I find this provokes a powerful relaxation response in the rest of the body and treatment is then followed by the mid-section, legs, feet, arms, hands, back, posterior, back of legs, and feet once again.
Cora: I’m already relaxed just hearing about this! Now, just in case some of our readers are wondering, does an Aromatherapy massage ever expose or work the breasts or genitalia?
Liana: No. When doing this type of massage, I drape the breasts and genitalia as they are not worked during my treatment. To work the posterior, I will work one side at a time and drape the areas not being treated.
Cora: Good to know! Now, how long is an Aromatherapy full-body massage?
Liana: The minimum time required for an Aromatherapy massage is 60 minutes.
Cora: I see from your video that you use very specific types of essential oils in your treatments. What kind do you use and why does the kind or quality of the oil matter?
Liana: Good question – I get asked this all the time! In my treatments, I use only therapeutic-grade, organic essential oils and blends. The quality of the oil is everything; and my favourite brand is Young Living Essential Oils. The reason the quality of the oil is so important is because aromas have the power to invoke strong emotions, memories, and protective instincts in the brain in a single instant. When an essential oil is not of the highest grade or is not organic, it may contain other chemicals, alcohols, and carrying agents that can trigger a subconscious resistance or allergic reaction, making treatment less effective. So, to maximize the benefit of Aromatherapy, I use only the best of the best – essential oils that are pure, organic, and created conscientiously from seed to seal!
Cora: That makes perfect sense. Personally, I am very sensitive to strong smells and will often get a headache while walking through the perfume section of department stores but your essential oils don’t seem to bother me at all!
Liana: That’s because you are only inhaling pure essences, no harsh chemicals.
Cora: Oh good! I’m glad to hear it! Before I let you go, I would like to ask one final question: since many of my patients are new/expectant mums, is Aromatherapy massage safe to do during pregnancy?
Liana: Absolutely! All that needs to be considered is which essential oil should be avoided during different stages of pregnancy. The hands-on portion of treatment and overall pressure, may also be adjusted according to the stage of pregnancy.
Cora: Well this has been very informative! Thank you so much for sharing your expertise!
Liana: Thank you as well!
So there you have it… a little summary about Aromatherapy from our certified practitioner! If you have any questions or concerns about their specific needs, or would like to learn more about Aromatherapy here at Lumira, please do not hesitate to reach us at (289) 427-0240 or Click Here to book an appointment… until next time!
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