Ever since I found that lavender essential oil is a much cheaper alternative to talk therapy and anti-aging cream, I've been obsessed with aromatherapy. I use it throughout my daily life...from reducing carpal tunnel symptoms to busting cystic acne to easing my dogs' fireworks-induced-PTSD to alleviating my husbands' athletes' foot. The results are amazing.
I've been inspired to use essential oils in my treatment room in multiple ways. For example, I diffuse eucalyptus, rosemary and grapefruit to purify the air...and for clients who report a history of depression or PTSD, I sometimes use lavender or bergamot and rosewood to give peace of mind. I find that it does add another dimension to the massage, and my clients seem to appreciate it very much. I offer it as an add-on to my massage services for $10.
So how can aromatherapy be used during a session? One way is to add a drop or two to the sheet near the face cradle so they can make their way to your limbic system (via your nose!), where the emotional and psychological benefits happen. I can also add the essential oils to my base massage oil (organic olive) and apply it directly to your skin. I may also infuse the hot towels by adding a drop or two into the heating cabinet, and then apply the towels to your back, feet or neck. As an added bonus, the oils permeate the air every time I open the cabinet. It makes the room smell oh so heavenly without being overwhelming.
With the aromatherapy add-on, you may select up to 2 essential oils or blends from my collection and choose which of those three applications you'd like: a) direct application via massage, b) direct inhalation or c) with hot towel treatment. My inventory of essential oils includes various blends by Eden's Garden and singles notes such as lavender, eucalyptus, pettigrain (one of my absolute favorites), sage, rosemary, bergamot, grapefruit, black pepper (often used with citrus), patchouli, clove, rosewood, and orange. Don't worry, you may sniff them before you choose. If you have any questions about specific oils, feel free to ask! You may also let me know of an issue you'd like to address with aromatherapy, and I could make suggestions.
For a standard session without the aromatherapy add on, I either use unscented organic olive oil or a muscle relief blend (peppermint, wintergreen, clove and helichrysum). Sometimes I crave certain scents and will make a 'house' blend instead. You always have the option of using unscented olive oil if you're not a fan of either the muscle relief or 'house' blend.
For more information about aromatherapy, visit the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy or NAHA at https://www.naha.org.