Monday, August 25, 2008

Aromatherapy Massage for Good Health

Take a minute to answer this question. Which is the quickest way to relax your tired mind and boost your sagging spirits? If your answer is a massage, then you are dead on target. Undoubtedly, a massage can be a highly soothing and stimulating activity to rejuvenate you. But no ordinary massage will do the trick entirely. What you need is a therapeutic, long and luxuriant aromatherapy massage.

The Massage

An aromatherapy massage using essential oils is a therapeutic treatment for both the mind and body that works mainly on the nervous system. More effective than any other massage, aromatherapy can either relax or stimulate the body and mind. The highly potent essential oils penetrate the body via the skin and are also inhaled as the massage progresses. For the massage, you need to dilute 1 or 2 drops of essential oil in a base oil (coconut, sweet almond and jojoba) of your choice and then gently massage it all over your body. If you have a dry skin, add some avocado or wheatgerm oil to the base oil. Find a friend or your partner and get started on the magic of aromatherapy.

Setting up

Any massage is relaxing but you can enhance the experience by following a few simple steps to help create the right mood. An aromatherapist uses a massage bench, but at home you can work comfortably on a cushioned floor. Prepare the floor or surface with a large cotton sheet covered with a bath towel. You should keep a pillow, a large wraparound towel for the body and a warm blanket by the feet.

Getting your partner ready

Creating the right ambiance is a must before you start the actual massage. You could fragrance the room with incense or spray a whiff of perfume and switch on some soothing background music. Keep the room temperature warm, draw the curtains and dim the lights. It is important that you keep outside noises such as traffic, telephone or even children screaming, at bay. Make sure that your partner is comfortable, so cover parts that are not being worked on if you think your partner may be getting cold. A top to toe aromatherapy massage takes close to an hour so make sure that you are undisturbed for that period.

Tips to give the massage

If performed correctly, a massage can work wonders. Apart from your hands and fingers, your whole being must be totally involved in the process of giving a massage. You also need to remember the following tips:

Try out the movements on parts of your own body to get a sense of how the strokes should feel and how much pressure to use.

Massage movements should be slow and gentle to help relaxation and eliminate tension that tightens the muscles.

Remember that the movements should flow into each other. If you find you have missed out a step or gone on to the wrong part of the body, don't panic. Finish the part you are working on before going back to it, or leave it out altogether, rather than interrupt the flow of the massage.

When you give the massage, make sure you are relaxed and comfortable, or you will transmit your own tensions to your partner and it will not be an effective massage.
Try to maintain contact with your partner's body as much as possible even as you move into a different position.

When massaging different parts of the body keep the areas not being worked on covered with a large towel or blanket. The heat helps the body to absorb the oils.
If the recipient's back is stressed in any way, place a pillow under the knees when lying on the back, and under the pelvis when lying on the stomach.
Wear loose comfortable clothing to give the massage, so your movements are not hampered.

For complete relaxation, avoid chatting during the massage. But do encourage feedback from your partner - you must be told if something doesn't feel good.
Tips to receive the massage
Your masseur may be perfect, but if you are not prepared to receive the massage, then the massage will lose its efficacy. Here's how to make the most of your massage:

Before the massage:

Have a cool shower or wash before a massage. Do not soak in a hot bath or the oils will immediately seep into the skin.
Don't use an underarm deodorant or body spray during the treatment, as this will block the effect of the oils.
Don't have a large meal just before an aromatherapy massage as your system will be too busy digesting to be thoroughly relaxed.
Don't drink alcohol before a treatment.
Don't have a massage if you have flu or a fever or any serious ailment.

After the Massage:

Drink a glass of water immediately after a treatment.
Lie still for at least 5 minutes before getting up.
Don't bathe or shower for at least 12 hours after a treatment, to allow the oils to be absorbed by the skin and begin the all-important work of detoxifying the body.
Drink plenty of water for the rest of the day as the kidneys will he active in eliminating the toxins.
Avoid alcohol for at least 12 hours after the treatment to give the body a chance to detoxify thoroughly.
An aromatherapy massage, especially done with your partner, will leave you feeling relaxed and stimulated at the same time. It will relieve you of your stress and fatigue and give you a new lease of life. What's more, it has no side effects, is natural, safe and the perfect prescription for good health.

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