Aromatic essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. They can be both beautifully and powerfully fragrant. If you have ever enjoyed the gift of a rose, a walk by a field of lavender, or the smell of fresh cut mint, you have experienced the aromatic qualities of essential oils. Essential oils provide plants with protection against predators and disease and play a role in plant pollination. In addition to their intrinsic benefits to plants and being beautifully fragrant to people, essential oils have been used throughout history in many cultures for their medicinal and therapeutic benefits. For example, lavender has a balancing and calming effect, chamomile can be helpful for relieving seasonal allergy symptoms and headaches, and sandalwood soothes stress, anxiety, and can help alleviate insomnia.
The Egyptians were some of the first people to use aromatic essential oils extensively in medical practice, beauty treatment, food preparation, and religious ceremony. Frankincense, sandalwood, myrrh, and cinnamon were considered very valuable cargo along caravan trade routes and were sometimes exchanged for gold. Borrowing from the Egyptians, the Greeks used essential oils in their practices of therapeutic massage and aromatherapy. The Romans also used aromatic oils to promote health and personal hygiene. Influenced by the Greeks and Romans, as well as Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic use of aromatic herbs, the Persians began to refine distillation methods for extracting essential oils from aromatic plants. Essential oil extracts were used throughout the dark ages in Europe for their anti-bacterial and fragrant properties. The modern use of essential oils has continued to grow rapidly as health scientists and medical practitioners continue to research and validate numerous physical and emotional health and wellness benefits of therapeutic-grade essential oils.
Essential oils can be used a single oil at a time or in complex blends depending on the user's desired experience and benefit. For your aromatherapy session you may choose to combine up to 3 individual oils or blends. Your massage therapist can help choose which oils are most appropriate for you if you are unsure.
Aromatherapy may be incorporated into any massage for $5.