Aromatherapy Massage By Using Essential Oils

Touch and smell are both senses we often take for granted. Essential oils penetrate the skin quickly to reach the bloodstream and are therefore a wonderful accessory to Aromatherapy massage and massage treatment.

The pleasure of using the pure essences of fragrant plants has been recognized for centuries. Essential oils are pure concentrated extracts from selected plants. They are revered both for their fragrance and their therapeutic value. It is the use of these essential oils -- in massage oils, room vaporizers and baths, and so on — that is known as the practice of aromatherapy.

Many essential oils are naturally antibiotic, antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal and are safe for both mother and baby if they are used in an appropriate manner.

Quality of essential oils used in Massage Therapy and Massage Treatment

Unfortunately, as the renewed appreciation of essential oils and aromatherapy has grown in recent years, so too has the preponderance of merchandise of inferior quality. Seek out a source of high-quality oils. Price is often an indicator. If you see a range of oils offered all at the same price, beware. Those oils will be synthetic, and while they may smell the same as genuine essential oils, their properties are not known to be reliable and they will not have the same therapeutic values.

Genuine essential oils cannot all be the same price, because different plants offer varying yields of oil. Enormous quantities of tiny flowers are required to produce a sufficient amount of chamomile oil or rose oil for example, while the amount of oil produced from the leaves of the rosemary bush is more generous. "Fragrant oil" is not essential oil - make sure you read the labels carefully

CAUTION Essential oils must never be taken orally and should not be applied in the undiluted form to the skin. Always mix them with a base carrier oil.

Storage of essential oils used in Massage Therapy

Oils react to sunlight; therefore, they should be stored in amber or dark bottles in a cool, dark place. The bottles need to have tightly fitting lids with violators to dispense the required drops. If your essential oil bottles do not have a fitted dripolator use an eyedropper. Keep one dropper for each oil. Oils are volatile and highly flammable, so treat them with care.

Base carrier oils

Use good quality base carrier oils such as sweet almond, grapeseed or extra virgin olive oil, with added jojoba, apricot, evening primrose, wheat germ, or vitamin E oil (tocopherol acetate) to make up 10% of the total blend. To 1 oz (30 ml) of base carrier oil add the number of drops of the essential oil which are recommended depending on whether the massage blend is for use during pregnancy, childbirth, the postnatal period, or for use on a newborn baby or child.

Massage blends used for Massage therapy

For a general adult massage, the usual ratio of essential oil to base oil is 10–15 drops of essential oil to 1 oz (30 ml) of base carrier oil. For facial massage, reduce the drops to 5 for each 1 oz (30 ml) carrier oil. For massage during pregnancy, add 2-5 drops of one of the essential oils recommended for use during pregnancy to 1 oz (30 ml) of base carrier oil.

Should you have any adverse reaction - possibly itching, redness, or a rash developing immediately wipe the blend off with carrier oil. Water is not effective, as oil and water don't mix.. Use of Any oil and treatments should not be considered as total guidance. Consult your medical practitioner and your aromatherapist.

Essential oils for pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time of physical and emotional change, and essential oils can help you cope with the demands that are being made on you. In addition to using essential oils in massage blends, you can add the oils to the bath or room vaporizer to help relieve pain, fatigue, and stress. It is best to consult a professional aromatherapist and always seek the advice of your doctor or midwife before using essential oils.

There are many benefits of aromatherapy during pregnancy and baby birth, especially in dealing with the stresses of pregnancy and labor and with postnatal recuperation. They can also help enhance the joys of this very special time.

There are some essential oils that should be avoided during pregnancy and others which should not be used during the first three or four months. Be cautious; use low doses and consult a qualified aromatherapist.

For the birthing room use essential oils in massage and compresses for pain relief. Cool compresses wiped on the forehead and face between contractions will cool and relax. Hot compresses are occasionally used on the back only. Add your chosen essential oils to hot water in a bowl or in a vaporizer to release soothing fragrances into the room.

To improve the value of essential oils used in the bath dilute the oils first in 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of carrier oil, whole milk, or pure cream. Get yourself wet then add the oil by swishing it through the water.

Edema (fluid retention)

 Adequate rest is important during the latter part of the pregnancy. Swollen feet and legs, especially during the summer months can be very uncomfortable. When sitting always elevate your legs. Several short rests throughout the day are more beneficial than one long one. Try a cool compress with lavender on the feet or massage the legs with a blend containing lavender and geranium


Sandalwood, tangerine, mandarin, lemon, or orange essential oils can be used as an inhalation by putting 2-3 drops of one oil in a basin of hot water and breathing deeply. Otherwise, use 2 drops of one of the oils mixed into 1 oz (30 ml) carrier oil and apply it in a clockwise motion over the abdominal area, circling right up to the ribs.


Mix not more than two drops each of geranium and cypress oils in a non-petroleum lubricating jelly such as KY jelly which can be obtained from any pharmacy. Apply topically to the affected area. Use only once the pregnancy is secure, usually from about five months.


Before bed relaxes in a warm bath with lavender oil (approximately 5 drops for a standard bath), Dilute the oil in a teaspoon of carrier oil and mix well into the water. Place a rubber mat in the bath to avoid slipping. If possible, get your partner to massage your neck and shoulders to soothe away the tiredness.

A few drops of a calming oil like chamomile or lavender used in a burner or diffused from a bowl of boiling water and placed in the bedroom overnight will improve your ability to sleep and to awake refreshed.


Some women find relief by sipping ginger tea. Make this by using fresh root ginger, sliced into coin-sized pieces, and steeped in boiling water for a few minutes. Peppermint or other herbal teas may be of assistance. If it can be arranged, it is beneficial to have these drinks before rising.

A few drops of peppermint or lemon essential oils placed on a handkerchief or tissue or used in a burner overnight diffused from a bowl of boiling water may help prevent or relieve morning sickness.

Varicose veins

Gently stroke with the fingertips - do not massage — working up towards the thighs using a blend of geranium and cypress oils. Although not usually recommended for pregnancy, a weak blend of two drops of geranium and one drop of cypress in 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of carrier oil would be appropriate, provided that your pregnancy is secure.

Geranium oil will encourage circulation and cypress oil acts to tighten the stretched vein walls. If the veins are swollen and painful, consult your practitioner.

Each day elevate your legs to a position in which the feet are higher than your heart.

This action helps to ease pressure on the distended veins and will assist the return of fluids to the heart.

Birthing room fragrances

During the lead-up to the birth, essential oils can be used in massage blends and hot compresses for pain relief. Cool compresses for the face and forehead between contractions will help cool and relax you. Add your chosen essential oils to a bowl of hot water or in a room vaporizer, to release soothing fragrances in the room.

Use about 6-8 drops of your chosen essential oils in a vaporizer to create the atmosphere you prefer for the birthing room. Lavender and tangerine will be calming and relaxing, frankincense will help alleviate any fears and will help slow and relax your breathing, and lemon and tea tree will freshen and disinfect the room.

Childbirth massage blends

These blends are 2 oz (50 ml) of base carrier oil mixed with 15-25 drops total of essential oils. Latent phase ("pre-labor") - frankincense 10 drops. sandalwood 5 drops, orange 5 drops.  First stage -20 drops lavender and 5 drops tangerine. A massage to the lower back with this blend will be calming and balancing to the nervous system.

• Second stage - 5 drops sandalwood and 15 drops lavender; or 15 drops clary sage, 5 drops rose and 5 drops ylang-ylang.

• After the birth - In our view, no massage should be given until after the placenta is expelled.

Postnatal blends

Neroli, rose, chamomile and lavender are useful for a postnatal massage. For healing the perineum, lavender, cypress and juniper are recommended. For soothing the breasts, chamomile and lavender are useful oils.

For the "baby blues" -- caused by the changing hormone levels after the birth have an aromatic bath or massage to lift your spirits and give yourself some time to relax.

Try a blend of one or two of the following oils:

• Uplifting - bergamot, lemon, neroli, orange

• Grounding-frankincense, lavender, sandalwood, ylang-ylang

• Balancing - geranium, rose

If you are breastfeeding, greater care will be needed in the choice of which essential oils you use. Be careful to always thoroughly cleanse the breasts so that the baby never ingests the essential oil:

Aromatherapy for babies and children

Aromatherapy makes bath time enjoyable, calming, and comforting for children. It will help form relaxed sleeping habits and make their nights, and yours, stress-free.

Children respond well to the gentle nature of aromatherapy. The fragrance is appealing, and a child's immune system can be effectively assisted with the appropriate essential oils. A couple of drops of soothing chamomile or lavender in a bath or room vaporizer can calm an overexcited or irritable child, and help treat upset stomachs, rashes, and other childhood illnesses. When bathing or changing a young child it is easy to extend the contact to a gentle aromatherapy massage. See the chapters on baby massage and massaging children.

Although the use of aromatherapy is valuable during pregnancy and postnatally for both mother and baby. worldwide many babies do not have access to this luxury. However, touch is vital to life. Left without touching, babies will not thrive and certainly will not achieve their potential. Thus, the message of this book is to massage your infant. In return, the massage giver gains balance and sensitivity and a greater ability to use both hands in a flowing, caring way.


Following Oils should be avoided during pregnancy

. angelica

• aniseed - arnica

• basil. birch camphor - caraway

• carrot

• cedarwood

• cinnamon

• clary sage


• fennel

• hyssop

• jasmine. juniper

• marjoram

• melissa

• mint

• mugwort

• myrrh

• nutmeg

• oregano

• pennyroyal

• rosemary

• rosewood

•  sage

• sassafras

• tarragon

• thuja

• thyme

• wintergreen

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