A client recently came to me under recommendation of her CBT therapist. She’d been going through a difficult time in her life and needed to deal with some issues that were causing her emotional and physical pain (muscle tension), anxiety and sleeping disorders. She is currently undergoing treatment to help her deal with all of these. She is not the first one and won’t be the last!
As humans we often bottle up feeling and emotions as we naturally try to protect ourselves and be strong in the face of adversity. I have had a number of clients who regularly experience stress, depression and anxiety and look to aromatherapy as an alternative away to treat the unwanted symptoms of common psychological conditions. Our physical symptoms are a way for our body to tell us that there is something out of balance in need of re-alignment.
The positive effects of massage itself on our physical and mental well-being are widely known but these are increased when combined with the therapeutic effect of essential oils; massage just being one of the mediums of application. These natural concentrated oils are then absorbed by the skin and carried into your blood stream, stimulating your body at different levels and helping release toxins as well as pent-up feelings and emotions.
On her first session I helped this particular client select a bespoke blend consisting of a total of 10 drops of frankincense, eucalyptus and sandalwood diluted in 20 ml of sweet almond oil. This blend certainly worked a treat on her muscle tension and helped her relax. Most importantly, it triggered an additional reaction: she started sobbing less than 5 minutes into the treatment and this was no surprise to me. Without stopping the treatment I reached out for the Kleenex box and offered her a tissue, which she gladly accepted. I then said: ‘don’t worry, it’s a normal reaction, don’t hold back your tears, better out than in’.
Crying can be extremely therapeutic and as a massage therapist having done bit of counselling work I’d very much encourage a good emotional release session whenever needed. We don’t do crying often enough and Aromatherapy can certainly help with this and many clients would be surprised at the whole range of emotions that an aromatherapy treatment can help trigger. Crying is a fantastic emotional outlet and an incredibly healthy way of processing some of these are negative feelings we carry inside that need to be processed.
As a massage therapist it’s very important that you also tune’s to your clients’ mood, whatever this may be at the time and act accordingly. Apart from being able to tune to a client’s body, we need to be sensitive to our client’s emotional needs at the time so that we can help improve their experience and maximise their benefit from the treatment in the privacy of the treatment room.
An aromatherapy massage with essential oils can give you a sense of calm or reinvigorating or give your body an energising boost. I would invite all of you feeling stressed or under the weather to consider this option. After all, humans are emotional creatures with emotional needs and sometimes we experience negative feelings that if not processed can lead to mental health problems and physical illnesses.
Personally I find it extremely rewarding when I help a client expel negative feelings and emotions. Lesson to the aromatherapist: never underestimate the power of your essential oils and always have a box of Kleenex at hand in your treatment room as your clients are likely to need them more often than not!