Aromatic massage is one of the best ways to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy and essential oils. By adding essential oils to the massage oil, or lotion you have the opportunity to simultaneously experience both the soothing and relaxing effects that essential oils can have on tight, sore muscles - but also, be emotionally lifted by the transforming effect of how the aromas can shift your mindset and change your mood.
Essential oils have this amazing ability to affect both our body and our mind at the same time. When applied to our skin via massage oil or lotion, the molecules that make up the essential oils are more easily absorbed into our bodies and can affect physiological changes, like relaxing muscle tightness and reducing inflammation.
And as they are applied and massaged onto the surface of our skin, their aroma lingers on our body, inviting us to bathe in the beauty of their scents, which consequently triggers the relaxation response in our nervous system – which helps our body regain its balance and restore our wellbeing.
Triggering our bodies' relaxation response is one of the most powerful things we can do to manage our stress. In fact, studies have shown that stress can be severely detrimental to our health and wellbeing. So this means, we need to find ways to relax and reduce our stress if we want to maintain our wellbeing. And regular aromatherapy massages are one of the best ways to do this.
What are the best essential oils for massage?
Here is a list of our 5 favorite essential oils to use for an aromatic massage.
Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) is steam distilled from the wood of this very tall and majestic tree that has a long and ancient history of use. The aroma is woody, slightly sweet, with slight notes of creaminess that has been shown to slow down our breathing, and relax our mind. Cedarwood is an aroma that has been used in meditation practices across the world, and it creates an atmosphere of ease and quiet. Its molecules, when absorbed into our bodies, are also very soothing to stiff muscles and soreness.
Frankincense (Boswellia serrata) is steam distilled from the resin of the craggy tree that grows in more arid rocky environments. The aroma is resinous and slightly medicinal, but it has this ability to slow down our breathing, and clear our mind of over thinking and worry. Frankincense is another scent that has been used in meditation for thousands of years. It supports the connection of body and mind, and invites self-reflection and peacefulness. The molecules that compose it are known to be powerful anti-inflammatories, and help support tissue repair.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is steam distilled from the flowering tops of the lavender bush-like herb. Its aroma is grassy, floral and soft and has a wide range of soothing properties that have been shown to be effective for both physical and emotional imbalances. Quieting to the mind, lavender can relax away distracting thoughts and feelings, while making our bodies feel soothed and at ease. Great for muscle tightness, soreness and relieving pain.
Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis) is cold expressed from the peel of the sweet orange. The aroma is fresh, citrusy and clean and makes us feel uplifted and comforted. Oranges have always symbolized great fortune and abundance, and the aroma has the ability to trigger these feelings within us. Having a positive outlook is one of the best ways we can avoid stress, and sweet orange oil can be a great way to help us see the world from a happier perspective. The molecules that make up this oil have been shown to support flow and movement, so when we are feeling physically stuck, and stiff - sweet orange oil is a great essential oil to help loosen us up and make us feel more hopeful.
Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata) is steam distilled from the large strongly fragrant flowers of a tree that is native to Polynesia. The tree loves humid and tropical climates, and today you can find it growing in central america, south florida and the caribbean. The scent is floral, sweet, and jasmine-like and it has an almost intoxicating effect on both the mond and the body. Deeply sedating and quieting, this essential oil has molecules that can ease away muscle spasms, while simultaneously making us feel loved and at peace.
Excited to use these essential oils in your next massage? Check out this simple massage oil recipe below and let us know how it relaxed you!
What you will need:
1 glass or stainless steel measuring cup
1 2 oz empty glass bottle with dropper or a pump
1 stirrer, or spoon
6 TBSP of Jojoba Oil
16 drops of Sweet Orange Essential Oil
7 drops of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
12 drops of Cedarwood Essential Oil
How to make it:
Measure out your Jojoba Oil and at to measuring cup
Add all the drops of essential oil
Mix with your spoon or stirrer
Pour into bottle, cap and gently shake
Use for full body massage.