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Holly Dunbar, CMT, RH (AGH)
Massage & Aromatherapy
New Moon Body Work and Botanicals
. http://www.newmoonbody.com

Massage & Aromatherapy

Despite the advancements in the massage therapy industry, including massage therapists status as licensed healthcare professionals, massage still retains an aura of luxury. Ask anyone with fibromyalgia, lupus, TMJ disorders, or chronic back pain whom receives massage regularly what they think of that and they will likely defer. Massage therapy, particularly when combined with therapeutic plant oils, or aromatherapy, is nothing short of therapeutic to people with chronic pain; a modality that ensures a more easy life and lessens the need for medication.
Massage detoxifies the body through increased blood circulation and lymphatic flow. The kneading and stroking movements promote an exchange of metabolic waste in the tissues with oxygen-rich blood. Essential oils, when used with massage, further enhance this action. Essential oils are readily accepted and easily absorbed natural substances, and are very oxygenating to the tissues. Furthermore, certain essential oils enhance the circulation through mild vaso-dilation, such as rosemary and marjoram. Other oils have analgesic properties, such as clove, peppermint, and ginger, which further enhances the pain relief offered through massage.
Studies have shown that the effects of a therapeutic massage are more pronounced, and last longer, when used with essential oils. Massage is a natural mate for aromatherapy, as aromatherapy is almost exclusively a topical application. The friction created by the kneading action of the massage helps the oils to penetrate faster and more
efficiently. Massage relieves pain by increasing the circulation, freeing restrictions in the connective tissue, and promoting the release of endorphins. For chronic pain sufferers, massage therapy is another natural option for managing pain, along with exercise, dietary changes, and herbs and supplements.
Adding essential oils to the massage adds a relaxing, more sensual note to the whole experience, which belies their therapeutic action. This can be particularly important to those experiencing their first massage, as they may be nervous, and the oils help them to relax and breathe deep. It also is useful when receiving a deep tissue massage, to help the muscles recover quickly from the manipulation.
As more pain relieving drugs are being denigrated from common to cautious use at best, it is wise to seek alternatives with experienced and skilled practitioners. Massage therapy and aromatherapy may be two options for pain management, acute or chronic, that can spell a lot of relief.

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