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What is aromatherapy massage

Aromatherapy massage is an effective way to connect with the body, soothe the nervous system and redress balance. Although essential oils can also be used in diffusers and aromatic baths at home, a very effective way is through aromatherapy massage, because the therapeutic effects of the essential oils are intensified by the application. Muscles are warmed and relaxed, circulation and muscle tone is improved, and toxins are encouraged to disperse via stimulation of the lymphatic system. On an emotional level, stress and tension are replaced by feelings of relaxation and contentment.

The benefits of aromatherapy massage are wide ranging, and these are some of the most common health issues that can be treated;

  • Chronic pain

  • Stress and anxiety

  • Depression

  • Insomnia

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and digestive problems

  • Headaches and sinus issues

  • Grief and bereavement

  • Muscle soreness and stiffness

  • Muscle spasms and cramping

However, you don’t have to have something specifically ‘wrong’ with you to benefit from aromatherapy massage. Combined with a sensible lifestyle, this is a wonderful way to rebalance the body, and help you to cope with the stresses and strains of daily life that can give rise to illness.

Aromatherapy massage in York

Aromatherapy massage combines the therapeutic benefits of essential oils with a variety of massage techniques.

About your treatment

Each treatment is tailored to your needs, so your practitioner will select and blend an aromatherapy massage oil at the start of each session, based on your health concerns and emotional needs that day. Every essential oil has its own therapeutic properties, and can act on the muscular, nervous, circulatary, lymphatic, respiratory, urinary, reproductive and endocrine (hormonal) systems. The essential oils, which are extracted from plants, are massaged into the skin using a variety of deep and light massage techniques and pressures. The effects of the massage are intensified by the use of essential oils, and vice versa. Your therapist will make recommendations for self care after your treatment, and may suggest subtle lifestyle changes to help reach and maintain balanced health.

Aromatherapy practitioners

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Aromatherapy practitioners


Aromatherapy is the use of plant essential oils for therapeutic purposes. Essential oils are extracted from flowers, herbs, bark, shrubs and the skin of citrus fruits, and the main ways to do this are through steam distillation, alcohol extraction and maceration through a base oils such as sunflower. There are a number of ways that we can use the oils, and the most popular are inhalation and application to the skin through compresses, aromatic baths and massage with an aromatherapy oil blend. When we inhale the aromas of essential oils, the compounds enter the body through the olfactory system, which begins in the nose, and reaches the olfactory bulb at the front of the brain. When we apply diluted essential oils to the skin, compounds are able to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin and enter the tissues and bloodstream.

What’s the definition of aromatherapy?

Many people are confused by the variety of massage techniques that exist and think that they need to specify what they want when they book an appointment. However, you don’t need to decide in advance, your therapist is trained to advise you. At the beginning of your first session, you’ll discuss your particular concern or condition, your general emotional and physical health and your medical history, along with any worries or fears that you have. This will inform the techniques and pressure used during your treatment, and you can ask for this to be adjusted at any time.

What massage technique is used?

Aromatherapy massage is a relaxing treatment that takes place in an environment where you feel comfortable and at ease. Full body massage will require you to remove outer clothing, and lay under a towel or blanket on the massage couch, where the therapist will make adjustments to reach treatment areas such as your back or legs. But if you would prefer not to undress for an aromatherapy treatment, simple hand, arm, face and/or foot massages allow the oils to be absorbed into the skin, while providing the therapeutic benefits of touch. Simply the aroma of the essential oils has a profound psychological effect, capable of influencing our emotions and mood.

Will I need to undress?

Essential oils are concentrated, volatile plant extracts that vary in strength and should therefore be diluted before being applied to the skin. Some oils are also contra-indicated for certain conditions and age groups, such as pregnancy, epilepsy and children. Your aromatherapist will be qualified to blend essential oils to the correct dilution, and will know which essential oils to blend for you and which carrier oil to use for the massage treatment. See full recommendations from the International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists (IFPA).

Is aromatherapy massage safe for everyone?

The most obvious difference between these two types of massage, is that an aromatherapist mixes a bespoke blend of oils to suit the clients particular needs. A Swedish massage may use a simple carrier oil or massage wax, or use a pre-blended aromatherapy oil. The techniques are likely to be very similar, and include effleurage, kneading, squeezing and sweeping motions. However, during your consultation for an aromatherapy massage, your practitioner will go further into your emotional wellbeing, because essential oils have been shown to have a positive impact in this area.

What’s the difference aromatherapy vs Swedish massage