For clients, booking a massage therapy or bodywork appointment is like booking a journey of the senses—especially the sense of touch. Each client is in for a heavy dose of healthy human touch, which often is sorely lacking in our daily experiences.

For professional hands-on healers, it’s important to make that journey of the senses the best possible “mini vacation” for each and every client. Of course, that means practitioners must take care of their own bodies and minds, constantly honing their skills, in order to offer a top-notch session.

Beyond this basic requirement, however, there is much a massage therapist or bodyworker might choose to do in order to make an hour spent in his or her session space truly unforgettable. For instance, extend the luxurious sense of touch by purchasing a high-quality massage table, buttery linens and comforting massage cream.

Another great way to add a new layer to this journey of the senses is by tapping into each client’s sense of smell, by incorporating aromatherapy into your practice. This can begin the minute a client walks into the door of your practice space, perhaps by setting up a subtle diffuser in the waiting area, as well as any changing space and bathroom.

A diffuser allows you to add a few drops of an essential oil, or a combination of several essential oils, to be dispersed evenly and gradually in the air surrounding the diffuser. A massage therapist or bodyworker would likely select an essential oil or blend of essential oils that might begin to induce a sense of relaxation and unwinding in clients as they await their massage.

A diffuser may also be set up inside the actual session room to continue the aromatherapy experience as the client relaxes on the table. However, there are other ways to weave aromatherapy into one’s practice other than using a diffuser.

For example, you could simply spritz a blend of essential oils and water onto any light bulbs in your waiting area, changing space, bathroom and session room a few times throughout the day, to give a very subtle scent to the air.

Another option is to blend essential oils into your massage cream, so the client will be able to inhale the healing aromas throughout the hands-on session. In addition, you may choose to lightly mist your client with a mix of essential oils and water.

This is typically done by holding a misting bottle high above the client and spraying up and down his or her body, so a light cloud of aroma and water droplets falls lightly on the skin. Frequently, this type of aromatherapy occurs at the end of a session and can serve to energize and rejuvenate the client.

Another very simple way to involve scents in your session is by rubbing a few drops of essential oil on your palms, then holding them a few inches above the client’s face and instructing her to take several deep breaths.

Be sure to consult an expert in aromatherapy to find out exactly how to use essential oils in your daily practice.

—Brandi Schlossberg

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