Benefits of Essential Oils in Massage
by Diana E. Perez
Either as a day of relaxation or when you feel your body needs the boost, a massage with the right essential oils can give you just the right help you need. Sometimes you'll just want a massage with essential oils to feel more relaxed. Sometimes you'll reach different points in your life that can produce enough stress, pain, or discomfort that it can be rightly worrying. Stress can leave you in a state of anxiety, but it can also cause body tension and pain. Pain or discomfort from injury, wounds, surgery or illnesses can be acutely felt or over a long-term period. But one thing to note is that in many situations, you may not be restricted to medication alone for treatment. Massage therapies and use of essential oils may be helpful in reducing stress, pain, and other symptoms of injury, illness or post-surgery conditions.
About Massage Therapies:
There are many kinds of massage therapies available, and your doctor should be able to help you choose which ones you could have done with minimal risk to your health. But what is massage therapy, exactly? Well, massaging involves using the hands (mostly) to rub, put pressure on, or move around parts of the body, skin, and soft tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments, connective tissue) by using different levels of pressure and movements in order to produce beneficial physical outcomes to the areas worked on. What makes it therapeutic is when a massage is done to help relieve symptoms or aid in healing of stress, illness or injury.
This stretching, flexing, and general moving of the body and its soft tissue during massage therapy has some direct effects on the body's physiology, its basic and smallest functions that make it work. This happens by massaging the soft tissue or carefully moving affected joints in order to produce a relaxation response from the body. This means that as the soft tissue is manipulated it begins to stimulate certain electrochemical responses in the muscles and nervous system that will help the body relax at the physiological level, which then has other effects such as lowering the blood pressure or anxiety, reducing nerve compression, decreasing pain, etc.
About Essential Oils During Massage:
There are different essential oils that can be used during a massage, either as a topical application on the skin or as aromatherapy. Their effectiveness varies from oil to oil. Choose wisely what you will be using. Their specific effects will also vary from oil to oil and from person to person. Whether an essential oil is absorbed into the body's blood stream from the skin when applied topically or through the lungs by being inhaled from the air, once it is in the system it can stimulate the intended effects. For example, it has been found that a combination of lavender and bergamot oils can help to decrease autonomic nervous system arousal, which will reduce blood pressure and pulse rate, therefore having a relaxing and calming effect.
Scientific literature on essential oils have shown that when they are carefully and correctly applied, they can have some beneficial effects on a short-term basis. They can be absorbed quickly into the blood stream and start to work, but they remain only a short time in the body, which means they are unlikely to accumulate. Though they are unlikely to build-up in the system, the effects of increased long-term use of these and their potential accumulation have not been studied properly yet. So be cautious.
A Note Of Caution:
It is very important to know your own health before you get a massage with essential oils. This is especially important for persons that have any plant allergies or sensitivities, injuries, wounds, recent surgeries, or medical conditions, specifically if you are taking certain medications. If any of these situations apply to you, the most important thing to do is check with your doctor before trying any massage or essential oil to make sure that it won't make your injury or condition worse, trigger a negative effect with your medication or cause an allergic reaction (for the oils). And when you go to have a massage with oil or aromatherapy done, be sure to inform the therapist of your medical situation.
Trying It Out:
The effects of a massage and use of essential oils are generally short-term and small because of the nature of how each therapy works. For individuals with chronic pain or stress, it may be beneficial to try these multiple times, as long as you are being mindful of the effects and your health. Even with small, temporary effects, massages with essential oils can still offer a little relief on a stressful day.
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