BY: Sunny Jaspal
Aromatherapy / Massge / Reflexology
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How do the use of Aromatherapy oils enhance Massage and Reflexology treatments?
The use of aromatherapy oils at a first glance is perceived as a luxury. However, many would agree that aromatherapy adds a beneficial layer to treatments.
The use of plants for medicine is an ancient tradition. Aromatherapy employs techniques such inhalation and massage. Both of these routes of administration are safe if used in the correct quantities.
Inhalation affects the limbic system, the part of central nervous system which deals with memory and emotion.
Massage treatment (including reflexology) allows the oils to be absorbed into the blood stream, and the massage itself affects the nervous system. Relaxation or stimulation of the nervous system depends upon which aromatherapy oils and massage techniques are used.
The goal of the Aromatherapist is to assess each client and create a bespoke blend. By looking at the properties of essential oils we can create blends for specific conditions for each individual.
Research into the field of Aromatherapy is somewhat scarce, however studies do exist. For example, a systematic review of Lavender oil for poor sleep suggested lavender was of benefit. A more recent study showed a positive link between Lavender and stress reduction. With regards to massage and aromatherapy used together, a study found improvements in knee pain when a blend of orange and ginger were used.
For further reading try:
Encyclopedia of Essential Oils – Julia Lawless
The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy – Salvatore Battaglia
 Fismer, K. L., & Pilkington, K. (2012). Lavender and sleep: A systematic review of the evidence. European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 4(4), e436-e447.
 Kim, S., Kim, H. J., Yeo, J. S., Hong, S. J., Lee, J. M., & Jeon, Y. (2011). The effect of lavender oil on stress, bispectral index values, and needle insertion pain in volunteers. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine,17(9), 823-826.
 Yip, Y. B., & Tam, A. C. Y. (2008). An experimental study on the effectiveness of massage with aromatic ginger and orange essential oil for moderate-to-severe knee pain among the elderly in Hong Kong. Complementary therapies in medicine, 16(3), 131-138.