Massage and Therapy

What Is Aromatherapy Massage

Ricky Kambray
Ricky Kambray

In the world of burnout culture, people hardly get the time to relax. Listening to soothing music or a therapeutic body massage is what we need, after all. But do you know what boosts the amazing feeling of a body massage more? – Aromatherapy! Now, what is aromatherapy massage?

From uplifting your mood to reducing anti-ageing effects, from aiding in digestive problems to even minimising stress, aromatherapy massage does it all.

If you want to know more about aromatherapy massage in detail, you need not worry; you have come to the right place!

So, let’s dive into details right away!

Bottles filled with red and orange essential oils in an aromatherapy centre


Aromatherapy Massage

Aromatherapy, a quite popular type of holistic therapy, involves the use of essential oils such as chamomile, tea tree, jojoba oil etc., and aims to help the body and mind to relax. Oftentimes it is used by therapists as a traditional massage, either in the form of a diffuser or mixed with the oil.

Hence, aromatherapy is just an added benefit to a regular therapeutic massage.

The combination of aromatherapy is not only limited to a traditional massage but also infused with other massage techniques such as deep tissue massage, scalp massage, hot stone massage etc.

Now you might have doubts about whether aromatherapy massage works.

Does Aromatherapy Massage Work?

A research by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) shows that stimulating oils (ex – lemon, tangerine etc) have shown potential benefits in boosting the mood of the client. Some research on chamomile demonstrated a decline in anxiety when infused with normal massage therapy.

Now, let’s show you what happens in an aromatherapy massage. But first, let us know what the perks of it are.

Benefits of Aromatherapy

If you think about the good side of aromatherapy massage, there are tons to add to the list. First of all, it is a stress reliever. Since aromatherapy massage comes with a full body massage, clients are left with a healing effect both physically and emotionally.

A woman is relaxing and enjoying her aromatherapy


According to MedicalNewsToday, it may be used to help with depression. One of the many essential oils, including rose and rosemary, helps the client deal with anxiety and reduce depression.

Also, if you think you have trouble sleeping, therapists might infuse lavender into your treatment, which also helps to deal with insomnia.

However, these are not the only advantages. Aromatherapy comes with many other health benefits also, such as it eases distress from-

  • Arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Chronic lower back pain
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder

Now that we have known about the perks of getting an aromatherapy massage let’s dive into details regarding the therapy session.

What Happens in Aromatherapy Massage? 

Like any other therapy session, at first, you talk about your health problems and your lifestyle to your therapists. After that, based on your case, your therapists will suggest to you a bunch of essential oil options to choose from.

If unsure what to choose, feel free to ask your aromatherapist in detail about their use. Remember, your therapist should be qualified enough to recommend you the best one.

A woman is taking reiki healing therapy in a spa salon


Moreover, during your massage, if you-

  • Face any discomfort; for instance, if the pressure is too much, let your therapist know immediately. Then again, the pressure would actually depend on your condition; for example, for people who are stressed, deep pressure would be more healing.
  • Are allergic to anything, please let your massage therapists know prior to your massage session.

Your therapist will definitely adjust the therapy according to your needs. Hence, feel free to be vocal about your discomforts.

The duration of your therapy sessions depends on the individual’s case, it might be for a short while, or it can also go on for a long time.

If you are concerned about the fees, for the first consultation, therapists might charge a bit high, but need not to worry as the fee is usually less in the follow-up sessions. According to Hollys Holistics an aromatherapist can charge up to £45 for each session.

You should also know what types of oils are used in aromatherapy massage, and the most important thing to know is their capabilities.

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Essential Oils Used in Aromatherapy Massage

Based on the purpose of your massage, you should choose your essential oils. Each oil has its own pros and cons.

For example, peppermint oil helps reduce your headache and gives off a tingling sensation lessening the pain of sore muscles. However, keep in mind that peppermint should always be diluted before applying it to the skin.

In the table below, some of the most used essential oils and their properties are mentioned:


  • Has a calming effect which helps to sleep and relax
  • Known to be balancing by helping with stress
  • Beneficial for pain relief, increasing energy levels and also for better sleep.

aromatherapy massage


  • Known as a pain reliever
  • Has antibacterial properties that help in respiratory congestion (e.g., – cold, sinus blockage, flu, phlegm, throat lozenges)
  • Has the power to lessen pain and swelling for people who have osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Best used for deep tissue massage

aromatherapy massage


  • Gives a soothing effect by treating headache
  • Best for sore muscles as it gives off a tingling effect
  • Should be diluted before use
  • Best used for aromatherapy scalp massage



  • Beneficial for skin toning as often used as an addition for lymphatic massage and in cellulite treatment
  • Good choice for reducing stress
  • Best used for a Swedish massage



  • Helps in uplifting the mood and is a stress reliever due to its aromatic citrus scent.
  • Has antiseptic and antispasmodic properties making it a pain reliever.
  • Known to be helpful for food poisoning
  • Ideal for both Deep tissue massage and aromatherapy scalp massage.

aromatherapy massage

Tea tree

  • Has the best antiseptic and antibacterial capabilities
  • Has many benefits, such as treating acne, head lice, athlete’s foot etc.
  • Should be diluted with carrier oil (coconut or almond,  preferably).

aromatherapy massage


  • Helps with bloating, constipation, cramps and other digestive problems due to its detoxifying properties.
  • Allows better absorption of food by stimulating circulation.
  • Other uses include better hair growth, lessening of pain, and soothing of inflammation.

What is aromatherapy massage

Besides the oils mentioned above, some other notable ingredients used as essential oils include sandalwood, jasmine, coriander, etc.

Keep in mind that you should never apply essential oils directly to the skin. Otherwise it would cause skin irritation.
To solve this issue, essential oils are mixed with carrier oils in aromatherapy massage.

So, what is a carrier oil?

Carrier Oils and Their Properties

Carrier oil is made from the fat extracted from plant seeds or nuts. These oils, like essential oils, also provide health as well as therapeutic advantages.

Some of the widely used carrier oils and their properties are given below:

Jojoba oilIdeal for acne-prone skin

Helps remove the excess oil from the skin as well as the impurities

Ideal for people who use carrier oil periodically
Coconut oilHelps with anti ageing by stimulating collagen production and keeping the skin elasticity

Reduces inflammation and promotes healing

Acts as a sun protector as it contains Vitamin E
Avocado oilRegular use will help to extract impurities and lessen pore size.

Ideal for people with dry skin, such as eczema, as it hydrates the skin.
Grapeseed OilTones and tightens the skin, reducing wrinkles and blemishes.

Helps with acne and minimises acne due to its high anti-inflammatory properties.

Should be stored in the fridge and taken out at least an hour before its use.
Almond OilHelps to hydrate the skin and restore dead skin cells

Ideal for sensitive, dry and irritated skin

Although the job of the therapist is to provide you with the best service and ensure your safety, you should still keep some things in mind before proceeding with your massage session.

Things to Remember For Aromatherapy Massage

Despite the fact that your therapist will be there to guide you with everything, there are still some things to know in advance.

For example, these essential tips might help you before going for an aromatherapy massage or at the time of the session:

  • Do let your therapist know in advance if you have any allergies.
  • Please do not ingest the essential oils.
  • Children aged under five should avoid aromatherapy massage.
  • You should drink water before and after your massage.
  • Try to avoid attending your therapy session on a full stomach to avoid an upset stomach.
  • To help remove the oil from your skin, take a warm shower later but not immediately after. Otherwise, it will wash off the oil.
  • People with breast or ovarian cancer, please make sure not to take any services that have fennel, aniseed or clary sage in it.

Potential Risks Involved 

Despite having such healing benefits, aromatherapy massage also has some probable dangers. For instance, some clients face allergic reactions or skin irritation to Bergamot oil. Many essential oils can cause breathing problems too.

On the other hand, if your therapy involves the use of citrus, try avoiding sun exposure after that.

As discussed before, each essential oil is different; some consists of peppermint, and some may contain grape seed.

If you have no prior knowledge of allergies and during your massage service, if you happen to face any irritation, then please stop your massage and inform your therapist right away.

aromatherapy massage bottle

Although essential oils are often mixed with carrier oils to dilute them to avoid side effects of aromatherapy, such as rashes, nausea, and asthma attack etc., Nevertheless, still try to do a skin patch test before your therapy session.

Pregnant women are advised to consult their gynaecologists first to ensure safe massage therapy and that no mishap occurs.

Although prenatal massage is supposedly harmless, still to ensure that essential oils do not get into the placenta and harm the baby, a doctor’s permission is required.

Moreover, if you have any medical condition, you are advised to talk to your doctor before visiting any therapist for aromatherapy massage.


Aromatherapy has been around for a prolonged period providing fruitful health benefits to people who avail of it.

Now, to sum up, what is aromatherapy massage?

It is just the addition of essential oils on a traditional massage, with more therapeutic benefits due to the ingredients’ properties.

Despite its healing advantages, a few hazards that could be avoided with necessary precautions. Hence, it would be best to mention your health conditions to your therapists during consultation.

Another thing to note is that you can also get aromatherapy at home, but if you try this for the first time, you are advised to go to a professional.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much does an aromatherapist earn?

– Average salary of an aromatherapist is 34,723 GBP. However, it is subject to increase to decrease with experience in the field.

Q: What do you wear for an aromatherapy massage?

Try to wear comfortable or loose clothing when you go for your massage to make it easy for you to dress and undress. However, for your massage, you will be given a robe to wear.

Q: How long do massage benefits last?

Massage benefits may last up to a week, although you might still feel sore for the first couple of days.

Q: Does getting a massage help you lose weight?

– Deep tissue massage usually helps you with lymphatic circulation and thus supports detoxification and losing little weight.
Despite the fact that massage aids in reducing extra fat from the body, getting a massage alone would not drastically help you with weight loss; a proper diet and exercise might be a plus.

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Ricky Kambray

Hey this is Ricky Kambray an award-winning first-aid trainer with over 20 years of healthcare and teaching expertise. Highly certified general nurse regularly appears in the press discussing accident prevention and first aid advice.