Aromatherapy massage

How do I book an appointment?
Email or phone (call-back service if you leave a message) or 07419 777 451

How long will my aromatherapy massage last?
Full body massage usually lasts for 60 minutes (areas massaged: back, legs, feet, arms, hands, head, face, neck, shoulders – abdomen optional)

How can aromatherapy massage help me?
There are various styles of massage. Aromatherapy massage tends to incorporate an eclectic range of techniques that are gentle yet also stimulating (these can include Swedish, Acupressure or Shiatsu-like movements). A personalised blend of essential oils is added to a carrier medium, usually vegetable oil, such as grapeseed or olive, but sometimes lotion or cream, depending on the area of the body being massage and the condition of the skin.

Aromatherapy massage generally aims to de-stress the body, aid relaxation, reduce muscle tension, improve circulation, and aid essential oils absorption via surface tissue (skin) and inhalation.

So, aromatherapy is helpful for:

  • Aiding deep relaxation
  • Aiding metabolism and elimination of waste products (detoxifying)
  • Alleviating / positively managing mild anxiety and depression
  • Alleviating feelings of being stressed
  • Alleviating insomnia and improving the quality of sleep
  • Alleviating muscle tension and pain
  • Balancing the nervous system (stimulating parasympathetic response, reducing sympathetic response)
  • Calming restlessness and agitation
  • Feeling energized
  • Feelings of being calm and uplifted
  • Improving clarity of thought
  • Improving skin tone, condition, and healing
  • Improving the circulation
  • Stimulating the release of endorphins (‘feel good’ hormones)
  • Supporting the immune system

Is it ok to receive a massage if I have just eaten?
It is ok if you have just had a snack. However, it is not ok if you have just eaten a large or heavy meal – in this case, it is best to allow 45 to 60 minutes before you receive your massage. Drinking water, herb tea, or fruit juice is fine, in fact, it is desirable, to ensure you are sufficiently hydrated (although you may need to use the loo before you attend for your massage…just in case)

I am pregnant. Can I receive an aromatherapy massage?
As long as there are no complications with your pregnancy, yes, it is fine to receive an aromatherapy massage after the first trimester. Your massage will be adapted accordingly, and essential oil selection will be modified. However, your therapist reserves the right not to provide an aromatherapy massage if it is deemed inappropriate or unsafe for any reason at any given time.

When is it not ok to receive aromatherapy massage?
In most instances aromatherapy massage is extremely beneficial (for all of the above mentioned reasons). However, there are times when massage is counterproductive, undesirable, or may cause harm or exacerbate an underlying condition. For example, you should not receive a massage if you:

  • Are experiencing symptoms such as a fever, headache, and/or aching limbs
  • Are feeling generally unwell
  • Are pregnant – the first trimester
  • Are receiving chemotherapy or radiation therapy
  • Are taking certain prescribed medication(s)
  • Are under the influence of alcohol or recreational drugs
  • Feel nauseous (sick)
  • Have an infectious illness or condition
  • Have an unidentified skin rash
  • Have broken bones
  • Have just eaten a heavy meal
  • Have recently been involved in an accident
  • Have recently undergone surgery

Also, there are certain instances when an essential oil may not be suitable for you.  For example, if you are pregnant, or are taking medication that might be compromised by an essential oil.  For example, if you are pregnant, it is not advisable to use herbaceous oils and oils with strong hormonal stimulating properties; if you are taking codeine (which contains opiates), it is not advisable to use chamomile German or yarrow.

This is why a consultation is always carried out by the therapist before essential oils are selected and an aromatherapy massage is applied.

What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy generally combines the tactile medium of touch, through massage, with the use of essential oils to engender a state of deep relaxation that potentially serves to enhance a sense of peace and wellbeing within the recipient, while at the same time improving their immunological homeostasis.

Employing their antimicrobial, and skin and tissue healing qualities, essential oils may also be applied topically in gels, ointment and compresses to treat local conditions, such as eczema, sprains, insect bites and improve scar tissue.

They are also applied using none-tactile methods of application, such as, for example, vaporisation (room diffuser and/or tissues), aroma sticks (nasal inhalers), ‘therapeutic perfumes’, and steam inhalation – for example, as an ambient scent, to relieve the symptoms of a cold or sore throat, or for their psycho-emotional benefits (uplifting, calming, energising), and so on.

Essential Oils

What are essential oils?
Essential oils comprise of a highly concentrated mixture of various volatile chemical components extracted from plants and their derivatives (leaves, fruits, flowers, bark, roots and so on). Essential oils demonstrate similar qualities to those exhibited by the plant they are extracted from. However, removed from the plant, which contains many other non-volatile and inorganic components that influence the plant or herb’s therapeutic qualities and which also balance, calm, or antidote irritant or toxic components, essential oils must be regarded in a different light, according to the oils unique chemical structure. In isolation from the plant, essential oils are mucus membrane and skin irritants.

When prescribed by a pharmacist or herbalist for internal ingestion, essential oils are applied in small controlled amounts, and are contained in a ‘safe to swallow’ gel-like, preferably vegetable, capsule (composed of hypromellose, a polymer formulated from plant cellulose). The animal version (gelatine) is derived from skin or bone collagen.

Essential oils are hydrophobic, which means they do not dissolve in water; essential oil molecules will cluster together, float on the surface of water, or sink to the bottom of water held in a container. While they are oil-like in their behaviour (i.e. they do not mix with water) they are not ‘greasy’ or ‘oily’ in the way that fat or vegetable oil is; they are not lubricant and are, in fact, extremely drying to the skin. This is why essential oils are always blended in an emollient, such as a vegetable oil, ointment, cream or lotion, when applied to the body. Emollients can also add their own unique qualities to a blend, especially when considering skincare and healing.

Essential oils influence and support the immune system (they are anti-microbial, for example), they are skin healing, and directly influence the Limbic System (the instinctive and emotional centre) within the brain, and have psycho-emotional qualities. They instigate physiological and neural responses (via olfactory receptors found throughout the body). Applied appropriately, essential oils are highly beneficial.

What is an absolute?
Solvent extraction is similar in principle to distillation, but instead of applying water or steam to extract the volatile essential oils from plant material, a chemical substance (for example, acetone, hexane, or toluene) is used to ‘soak out’ the essential oil.  The end product of this process is known as an ‘absolute’.  An absolute is not an ‘essential oil’ in its purest sense.

Solvent extraction is less aggressive and heat intensive than distillation, and is reserved for plants that are destroyed by intense heat, especially delicate flowers and blossoms, such as, for example, rose and jasmine (although both are also distilled).

Absolutes also contain non-volatile, non-water loving, and inorganic components usually left behind during steam distillation.  They are viscous and deeply coloured.  Their perfume is often stronger and more intense than a steam distilled essential oil, and closer to the plants original scent profile; which is why absolutes are preferred by the perfume industry.

Absolutes are more likely to cause skin irritation, sensitisation, and allergic reaction.

What is lavender 40/42?
Lavender 40/42 is a standardised essential oil; it’s chemical composition is always the same.  40/42 relates to the ratio of linalool and linalyl acetate, which are the main chemical ingredients of lavender essential oil.  In order to achieve the standardised ratio, these constituents are either reduced, or added to.

Lavender 40/42 essential oil often comprises of a blend of lavender from more than one source.  Synthetic linalool and linalyl acetate may be added too.

Lavendula Angustifolia ‘Maillette’ is a cloned (cultivar) lavender species produced to replicate the standardised 40/42 linalool/linalyl balance.  This species has a stronger, more intense, and sweet scent and is mostly grown for the perfume industry.