There’s no doubt that getting a massage is relaxing and great for your muscles, but a personal massage can be made even more serene by adding aromatherapy into the mix.
What is aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy uses essential oils taken from plants, leaves and seeds to promote healing, reduce stress and boost one’s mood. According to a study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, patients who underwent aromatherapy showed reduced levels of stress. Participants of the study used inhalers that contained either rose water, which was the placebo, or essential oils. People who breathed in the rose water saw no benefits, while those who inhaled the oils experienced a reduction in burnout symptoms like fatigue, aches and pains.
Effects of different scents
The various essential oils used in aromatherapy have different effects on the body. Here’s how you can help the following issues:
Reduce anxiety: A little bit of stress can be a good thing, as it boosts brain power, can temporarily boost your immune system and motivates you to succeed in whatever you may be doing. Too much stress, however, can have negative effects that are linked to health issues like heart attacks and weight gain. Help yourself slip into a relaxing state by opting for scents such as lavender, chamomile or vanilla. These particular smells help to reduce anxiety and have a calming effect when inhaled.
Boost your mood: Exercise is a great way to lift your mood, as it releases feel-good endorphins. However, when you’re massaging your muscles post workout, opt for a candle or diffuser that emits citrus scents. Lime, lemon and orange have been linked to a reduction in depression.
Relieve muscle aches: Whether you have a headache you can’t get rid of or you’re sore from a workout, rely on lemongrass, eucalyptus, rosemary or chamomile to alleviate those painful symptoms. Add a few drops of the oil to your bath water or apply to the skin to improve circulation.