Did you know that your nose can detect more than one trillion different scents?
No doubt you already have a list of your favorites — freshly baked cookies, a bouquet of roses, or your partner’s perfume or cologne. You’ve probably also noticed that certain scents have an instant effect on your mood.
But have you ever stopped to consider the science behind your sense of smell? Would it surprise you to learn that certain scents — like the kind you experience through aromatherapy — can have a positive effect on your health and well-being?
Aromatherapy with essential oils is a popular spa option, but exactly what is aromatherapy massage? We’ll answer all these questions and more, so keep reading below!
Aromatherapy 101: The Science of Smell
While your brain must consciously process your other senses, your sense of smell is unique. The olfactory nerve forms a direct connection from your nose to your brain, which explains why you may have such a strong (and instant) reaction to certain scents.
Although no one used the term “aromatherapy” until the 1930s, humans have been extracting oils from plants for thousands of years. Fragrant oils were (and still are) an essential part of religious ceremonies in India and China, while European physicians experimented with plant oils for different medical conditions.
Modern science confirms that these fragrant “essential oils” do more than just smell pleasant. Different scents can have a positive impact on our immune function, mood, and emotions. They can also be used to ease anxiety, promote relaxation, or reduce pain and inflammation.
What Is Aromatherapy Massage?
As the name suggests, aromatherapy massage is any traditional massage (Swedish, deep tissue, sports, etc.) that includes the use of essential oils. Your therapist will blend your chosen essential oil with massage oil or lotion, which allows you to experience the benefits of aromatherapy in two ways.
First of all, you’ll inhale the fragrant scent of essential oils during the session, which provides direct stimulation to your olfactory nerve and brain. Secondly, you’ll absorb the essential oils through your skin, which promotes natural healing and feelings of relaxation and well-being.
Here are some of the most popular options for aromatherapy massage:
- Peppermint: Cooling sensation, relieves headaches and nausea
- Lavender: Calming sensation, promotes deep relaxation and sleep
- Lemongrass: Balancing sensation, reduces inflammation and anxiety
- Sweet Orange: Uplifting sensation, alleviates depression and promotes happiness
- Eucalyptus: Clarifying sensation, relieves cold symptoms and sinus congestion
These are just a few examples of popular essential oils, but there are many more to choose from (including unique blends). You can pick your favorite scent ahead of time or sample each oil when you arrive and choose the one that resonates with you that day.
Add Essential Oils to Your Next Massage
So then, what is aromatherapy massage?
As we’ve discussed, it could be the perfect enhancement to your next massage session! Whether your goal is to relax, destress, relieve pain, or all of the above, there’s an essential oil that’s perfect for your needs.
Ready to learn more about aromatherapy or our other massage offerings? Read more about our premium add-ons or give us a call at 970-748-1600 to book your massage in Avon or Glenwood Springs.