Aromatherapy massage at home
Before beginning an aromatherapy massage, there are a number of steps that should be taken in order for the subject of the massage to derive full benefit from the treatment,
1. It is important to take a brief history from the patient in order to be able to select the correct oils. This will involve an assessment of his /her emotional state as well as any physical complaints.
2. At least an hour should have elapsed since the last meal prior to receiving or giving a massage.
3. Make sure your clothing is loose and will not obstruct your movements.
4. Ensure that hands are clean and nails short.
5. Have some tissues ready, and make sure your oil is easily accessible.
6. Make sure your hands are warm before touching your subject.
The room should be warm so that your subject will be comfortable even though only partly dressed. Lighting should be subdued, and the telephone should be disconnected to avoid interruption. Perhaps music could be played softly in the background, but this is a matter of preference and convenience. It is a good idea to have a compatible essence evaporating in the room prior to commencement. The massage surface needs to be firm, therefore a normal sprung bed is unsuitable – instead, pad the floor or use a futon or similar firm mattress.
First of all the subject may have a warm bath or shower in order that the pores are open and receptive to the essential oil. This, however, is a matter of personal preference on the part of the therapist. The subject should be positioned comfortably and should be covered with towels, exposing only the area that is to be massaged at any one time in order to avoid embarrassment and cold. Hair should be tied out of the way.
The following constitutes only a very basic guide to massage movements and is no substitute for a comprehensive aromamassage course. However, massage can be used to great benefit at home using the following simple movements and suggestions.
This is the most often used therapy movement, and constitutes a simple, gentle stroking movement. Note that deep pressure should never be used by an untrained person. The strokes may be long or short, gentle or firm, but the whole hand should be used, always pushing the blood towards the heart, thus promoting venous return. This stroke promotes muscle relaxation and soothes the nerve endings.
In petrissage, the flesh is gently rolled between the thumbs and fingers in a movement not unlike kneading dough. This technique is best used on the back and on fatty areas. The idea is to stimulate the circulation and lymphatic flow and thereby increase the rate of toxin expulsion.