by Lindsay Wilcox
Soothe sore muscles and give your spouse a relaxing aromatherapy massage after a long work week. With the right massage equipment, including a massage table and massage pad, and aromatherapy products, your home can echo the sanctuary of your favorite spa. Read on for tips on incorporating aromatherapy into a massage.
Decide which oils will work best. Before you buy aromatherapy products for a home massage, you'll want to consider the different scents of essential oils and their therapeutic uses. For example, bergamot and cedar-wood oils are used to combat anxiety, while basil and black pepper treat exhaustion. If you're using essential body oils for the first time, you'll also want to check with a professional who performs spa massages or find a list of essential oils that should never be used for body massages.
Buy pure essential oils for maximum benefits. When you're shopping for therapeutic essential oils to use for couples' massages, check the labels carefully to ensure that the oil has not been diluted. Labels on high-quality essential body oils should include the botanical (Latin) name, country of origin and method of extraction. You should also avoid therapeutic essential oils with the phrases "fragrance oil," "perfume oil" and "nature identical oil," as these indicate that the products are not single, pure oils. Purchase aromatherapy oils in dark-colored glass bottles for couples' massages; essential oils can dissolve plastic bottles, and oil quality can deteriorate rapidly.
Make sure you're healthy enough for a massage. Once you have the right organic essential oils, you'll want to be sure your body can handle an aromatherapy massage. You should not receive one if you have an infectious skin disease or open wounds. Also, you should not have one immediately after surgery or after chemotherapy and radiation, unless your doctor recommends it. Don't let someone massage you if you are prone to blood clots, as they can dislodge with massaging, and ask your doctor before getting body massages if you're pregnant. Even if you're currently unable to have one, you can get the same relaxing scent benefits when you buy aromatherapy oil burners and burn them while you take a long bath. Handheld massagers, which do not work the skin and muscles as much as spa massages do, may also be appropriate if you have any of these conditions.
Find a quiet place. Use a massage table or a long, flat table with a massage pad for a comfortable experience. The master bedroom, if it is large enough, is a great place for a home massage, but you can also make your living room a sanctuary by moving the massage equipment, closing the curtains and lighting aromatherapy candles. Next, apply essential oils to the back and shoulders. If you're unsure of the best techniques, try simply rubbing the oils into the skin and gently massaging the upper back with your fingertips; you'll want to be gentle until you have more experience with massaging and with aromatherapy. Handheld massagers can also be helpful for beginners.