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Guide To Massage And Aromatherapy

Generally combined to be one complementary therapy treatment, massage and aromatherapy are actually two separate forms of alternative medicine. Here we give you the low down on both individually, and how they can work together:

Massage Practiced in ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt, massage involves using the hands to perform movements on the skin that promote relaxation, healing and wellbeing. The main techniques used in Western massages are stroking, kneading, rubbing or pressing on the body.

There are a number of different types of massages, including:

Craniosacral Therapy - which is a gentle, non-invasive manipulative technique that encourages your body’s own natural healing mechanism;

Deep Tissue Massage - which is used to release chronic muscle tension through slower strokes and direct pressure on the grain of the muscles; and

Esalen Massage - which is a Swedish massage with a philosophical approach.

Through the sensors on the skin that release signals to the brain, massage produces a sense of relaxation, relieves pain and improve your general wellbeing. Massage can also improve blood flow and lymph fluid, help to eliminate waste products from the body, relax the muscles and stimulate the immune system.

It is used for specific problems such as asthma, depression, neck and back pain, insomnia, and immune deficiency disorders, but is also used on healthy people to improve their wellbeing and energy levels.

Aromatherapy

The term aromatherapy is associated with the therapeutic use of essential and aromatic oils – a practice that dates back to ancient times and was hugely popular in ancient Egypt and the Far East. Nowadays, essential oils and aromatherapy treatments are widely available in herbal medicine stores, alternative medicine shops, and even pharmacies or supermarkets.

Essential oils are extracted from the flowers, fruits, stems and roots of flowers, shrubs, and trees. The oils can then be inhaled, which stimulates senses in the nose and sends signals to the brain, or absorbed through the skin, which pass into the bloodstream and influence the nervous system and your emotions.

It is worth noting here that these oils are highly concentrated and should only be used sparingly. If you’re inhaling them place a few drops on a tissue or in a burner, while if you’re using them on the skin, dilute a few drops with carrier oil first.

Research has shown that aromatherapy is effective for relieving stress, insomnia and emotional problems. While combining aromatherapy with massage offers the benefits of both therapies, therefore helping relieve aches and pains, stress and tension, and other problems such as headaches.

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