…And potential benefits of incorporating them into your mobile treatment.
Firstly, what are essential oils?
Essential oils are the aromatic compounds extracted from plants, each unique compound gives each oil its characteristic essence. Essential oils are obtained either through distillation (via steam or water) or mechanical methods such as cold pressing. They have been used for nearly 6,000 years with the aim of improving a person’s health or mood.
The uses of essential oils
Essential oils are commonly used in massage, topical applications and aromatherapy. They are combined with a carrier oil, such as Coconut, Apricot kernel, Grapeseed or Sunflower (to name a few), which is then ready to use externally on the skin.
The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) defines aromatherapy as “the therapeutic application or the medicinal use of aromatic substances for holistic healing”.
The oils can also be inhaled with the use of a difuser container, spray or steam machine/ bath.
Benefits of essential oils
There are many claimed health benefits to using essential oils. Classed as alternative treatment or complementary therapy, this natural approach to aiding the body’s healing response and the benefits against certain ailments, is becoming evermore popular. Many people also report using essential oils as a preventative measure against disease. Although it does not provide a cure for disease or illnesses, it can support conventional treatment of various conditions.
Studies have suggested that around 43% of people who have stress and anxiety use some form of alternative therapy to help with their condition (Molecules. 2015). Many have shown that the smell of some essential oils can work as a complementary therapy to treat anxiety and stress (J Altern Complement Med. 2012 & 2011).
A range of essential oils have been found to have various degrees of anti-microbial activity and are believed to have anti-viral, nematicidal, anti-fungal insecticidal and antioxidant properties. However, users should be aware that although they are natural products, they can still be hazardous if used incorrectly; please follow the advice of a trained professional.
Massage and bath oils are absorbed into the skin which can boost circulation and increase absorption. Inhaling the aromas can provide respiratory disinfection, decongestant and psychological benefits. It can stimulate areas of your limbic system, which is a part of your brain that plays a role in emotions, behaviours and long-term memory. Part of the reason certain smells can trigger past memories or emotions (Indian J Psychiatry. 2007, Rev Neurosci. 2012). The limbic system also plays a role in controlling some unconscious physiological functions, such as heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, and hormone balance. In this way, essential oils can have a subtle, yet holistic effect on the body.
Types of essential oils
There are over 90 essential oils each with their own aroma and potential health benefits. Despite the widespread use there is still limited evidence as to their effectiveness in treating health conditions. Here are a few of the most popular ones and the health claims associated with them:
- Lavender: Used for stress relief.
- Peppermint: Used to boost energy and help with digestion.
- Bergamot: Used to reduce stress and improve skin conditions like eczema.
- Sandalwood: Used to calm nerves and help with focus.
- Ylang Ylang: Used to treat headaches, nausea and skin conditions.
- Rose: Used to improve mood and reduce anxiety.
- Chamomile: Used for improving mood and relaxation.
- Tea Tree: Used to fight infections and boost immunity.
- Lemon: Used to aid digestion, mood, headaches and more.
- Jasmine: Used to help with depression, childbirth and libido.
If you’re looking for an Aromatherapy treatment be sure to find a qualified aromatherapist who will suit the oils to your individual physical and mental needs. It’s a holistic approach, so it aims to treat the whole person.
Here at The Little City Spa we offer a choice of our own wonderfully blended organic oils for use during mobile massage treatments (Richmond, London, Bristol & Bath). Using either Apricot Kernel, Coconut or Sweet Almond oil as the carrier oil. Depending on your psychological and physiological needs we offer:
“Recovery” which is a blend of Arnica, Frankincense, Bergamot , Black Pepper, Cedarwood & Clary Sage; infused oil to help reduce muscle tension, chronic pain and warm and energise your muscles. “Immunity” a blend of Rosemary, Lemongrass, Cinnamon & Eucalyptus; an uplifting oil good for colds and sinus problems to increase your immune response. “SERENITY” containing Ylang Ylang, Sweet Orange, Geranium, Lavender; can help to reduce low mood, anxiety and chronic pain with this calming and balancing oil. Finally, our “Vitality” oil is a blend of Grapefruit, Clary sage, Lemongrass, Mandarin and Peppermint; to help beat winter blues with a fresh and fruity uplifting scent.
Click here for more information about our home made massage oils.
For the mobile massage treatments we offer see link.
See you soon on the massage couch!