To complement the MASSAGE Magazine column, “Aromatherapy for Massage Therapists: An Introduction to Blending,” by Dorene Petersen, in the March 2012 issue. Article summary: Before blending your essential oils, it is important to think about your goal. If your goal is natural, aromatic perfumery, selection of your aroma notes will be different than if you are blending therapeutically for clinical aromatherapy purposes. That is not to say the two are mutually exclusive; however, you will likely take a different approach for each.

by Dorene Petersen

1. Rheumatic and Muscular Pains Formula (for external use only):

• Chamomile (chamaemelum nobile) oil (antispasmodic; meaning it relieves nervous irritability and reduces or prevents excessive involuntary muscular contractions and spasms): 12 drops

• Juniper (juniperus communis) oil (diuretic, meaning it increases the secretion and flow of urine): 12 drops

• Marjoram (origanum majorana) oil (antispasmodic): 12 drops

• Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis) oil (circulatory stimulant, rubefacient, meaning it stimulates capillary dilation and causes skin redness; draws blood from deeper tissues and organs, relieves congestion and inflammation): 12 drops

Blend 2 to 4 drops with 1 tablespoon carrier oil, like sweet almond, and apply to painful areas morning and night (more often if necessary).

2. Circulatory System Formula (for external use only):

• Lemon (citrus limonum) oil (general tonic, meaning it stimulates, energizes and strengthens the body): 27 drops

• Lavender (lavandula angustifolia) oil (antiseptic, meaning it prevents, resists and counteracts putrefaction (decay); and anti-inflammatory, meaning it counteracts or suppresses inflammation): 14 drops

• Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis) oil (circulatory stimulant, rubefacient): 9 drops

• Black pepper (piper nigrum) oil (rubefacient): 5 drops

Blend 2 to 4 drops with 1 tablespoon carrier oil, like sweet almond, and apply to painful areas morning and night (more often if necessary). This blend can also be used in the bath. Add 2 to 5 drops after the water is drawn.

Dorene Petersen is president of the American College of Healthcare Sciences (www.achs.edu) and chair of the Aromatherapy Registration Council. She has authored several textbooks used in aromatherapy courses, and her articles have appeared in Alternative Therapies in Clinical Practice, The News Quarterly and Making Scents, among others.

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