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6 Body Sense Aromatherapy The Perfect Complement to Massage By Vineetha Reddy From the Greeks and Romans to today's modern massage therapist, aromatherapy has long been a tradition in the healing arts. Have you ever had an aromatherapy massage? Has your massage therapist ever invited you to smell certain essential oils during your session or incorporated them into the massage itself? If so, then you are aware of the extra benefits that can be enjoyed with the seemingly simple, but biologically complex add-on that aromatherapy offers to your session. WHAT IS AROMATHERAPY? Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils (extracted from herbs, flowers, resin, woods, and roots) in body and skin care treatments. Used as a healing technique for thousands of years, essential oils aid in relaxation, improve circulation, and the healing of wounds. It's common for aromatherapy diffusers to fill a massage room with the scent of the oils. Specific essential oils are also blended by the aromatherapist and added to carrier oils, such as almond oil, to be used during massage. Each essential oil has its own unique characteristics and benefits. 7 ESSENTIAL OILS TO CONSIDER Some essential oils serve different purposes, like providing energy, so be sure to check with your practitioner and health-care provider before self-applying at home or incorporating any of these into your next massage. Here are seven essential oils that both relax you and address your sore muscles. 1. Aloe Vera Oil Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antioxidant, and astringent properties. It is soothing and works well on sore and aching muscles. 2. Eucalyptus Oil This oil has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that make it one of the best ways to help your aching muscles—and it's easily absorbed by the skin. It works well on rheumatism, sprained ligaments and tendons, nerve pain, and stiff muscles. 3. Ginger Oil Ginger oil contains the highest concentration of gingerol, which makes it medicinal, both when consumed internally and when used externally. It is a potent antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent, which makes it therapeutic. It is aromatic as well. Zingibain, present in ginger, relieves pain and muscle aches. 4. Peppermint Oil Due to its warming properties, this oil is not just great for your health when consumed internally, but also works like magic on your sore muscles. Its warmth helps your blood circulate better, which assists in the elimination of muscular pain. In fact, it's not just meant for pain relief. It can be used before you engage in any activity that could make your muscles sore—like exercise or training sessions—to relieve pain and muscle stiffness.