The Benefits of Massage
The many systems within the body respond to therapeutic massage. This helps to improve blood flow through the body, and also increase the elimination of built-up toxins and waste materials.
Muscles respond rapidly to massage, and so it is excellent in sporting situations. Massage helps to stretch the muscles and so reduces aches and spasms; it also helps to speed the healing of strains and sprains.
Tension “knots” are smoothed away, leaving a lighter feeling around the shoulder, upper back, and neck area – an area particularly prone to aches and stiffness for many people. All types of work situations can bring stress to this area, and cause spasms, which can lead to headaches and a feeling of tightness or pressure around the head.
Abdominal massage improves digestion and is beneficial for many digestive disorders, such as constipation and flatulence.
To make sure that you, your family, and friends enjoy the wonderful benefits of massage with these aromatherapy recipes, I recommend that you learn the proper techniques. There are a number of excellent books which give step-by-step instructions, and many places offer courses.
Remember, some essential oils are unsuitable to use if certain conditions exist, such as epilepsy or pregnancy. Please note the cautions contained in the individual herbs and oils, and in the recipes themselves.
Using essential oils for massage
There are few more pleasurable or healing experiences than receiving a massage, but this experience is immeasurably enhanced when essential oils are incorporated into the massage oil, cream, or lotion.
The molecules of essential oils are small enough to pass through the skin. There they dissolve readily into body fat, and are absorbed into the bloodstream, and carried to all the systems of the body.
The aroma of the oil is inhaled during a massage, affecting the limbic portion of the brain; it is also absorbed into the body through the lungs.
Problems associated with the skin, such as poor circulation, muscular and joint problems, or problems associated with digestive, genito-urinary, endocrine systems, immune, and nervous systems may all be alleviated or healed through the use of essential oils.
Other uses for massage oils
Massage is probably the best-know way of employing essential oils, and certainly there are few more luxurious and relaxing ways to enjoy the perfume and healing properties of the oils. You don’t have to wait for someone to give you a massage – these oils can be used as an after bath or shower oil, massaged well into the skin over the whole body. Or you can add a few drops to the bath as a bath oil.
The benefits of using the oils externally rather than internally are twofold. Firstly, the stomach is bypassed, and the oils are not diluted or affected by gastric juices. Secondly, it is much safer to sue the oils externally unless prescribed by an experienced person.
Most essential oils have healing properties, but some are more efficacious than others. I would urge you to make lavender oil the first one that you purchase, followed closely by chamomile and geranium oil. Lavender has the advantage of being gentle and safe enough to use for the whole family.