The astonishing power of fragrance
The combination of fragrant essential oils and gentle massage techniques increases wellness and gives new energy and vitality. It reduces stress and blocked energy begins to flow again. Aromatherapy massages have a holistic effect on body and spirit.
The power of fragrance is an ancient yet new science. Fragrances were already used in ancient, advanced civilizations in Egypt and Mesopotamia – particularly as incense – for healing or for ritual purposes. The healing power of essential oils, however, was only discovered in the early 20th century, which we owe to a laboratory accident of the French chemist René-Maurice Gattefossé, who burned his hands and scalp during that accident.
He applied lavender oil to his wounds, which then healed very quickly. This realization caused him to do further research and was the hour of birth of aromatherapy. His first books on massage with essential oils were published in the late 1930s, and that was the start of the success story of a new therapy.
Aromatherapy massage combines the knowledge of the healing power of fragrances with the gentle, flowing motions of massage. The essential oils unfold their own, specific value, which has been tried and tested chiefly for complaints due to stress and hectic pace, headaches, and tension. Depending on which oil is chosen, an aromatherapy massage can be relaxing, stimulating, or rejuvenating.
A high-quality massage oil (e.g. jojoba or almond) forms the basis of aromatherapy massage and is then enriched with a few drops of fragrant oil. It is then slightly warmed and applied with gentle stroking motions, then worked into the skin with the corresponding massage techniques.
The active substances enter the blood stream through the skin and strengthen the overall organism. A human's sensitive sense of smell absorbs the fragrances, which have a direct effect on the limbic system – the emotional "control centre" of the brain. The fragrances begin to unfold their effect during the massage.
For the most long-lasting and harmonizing effect, the oil should be absorbed for several hours, while the body is given extensive rest.
When used correctly, an aromatherapy massage can be a pleasure and can also achieve therapeutic effects. Lavender, rose, or lemon balm are calming, for example, while citrus fragrances are known for their stimulating features. But eucalyptus, juniper, and sandalwood are also often used, depending on the desired result.