Key takeaways: Incorporating essential oils into your massage offerings could bring a host of benefits ranging from enhanced relaxation to healthier skin. There are many easy and effective ways to add aromatherapy massage, using essential oils, to your repertoire of services, all of which can help your clients (and your massage business) thrive.

As a massage therapist, you’re not only passionate about your work, but you also care deeply about helping your clients leave a session feeling better than when they arrived. Finding ways to expand your services and enhance your client’s experience can elevate your massage business.

Adding essential oils to massage or adding an additional service called “aromatherapy massage” is a great way to introduce a beneficial wellness treatment, provide current and potential clients with a new service and grow your massage business as a whole. It also gives you an opportunity to embrace a fresh skillset and continue improving as a massage therapist.

If you want to add essential oils to your massages, there are a few things you should know. With a little knowledge and a touch of ambition, you’ll be an essential oil massage pro in no time.

Essential oil massages – What to know and how to start

The most common name for essential oil massages is “aromatherapy massage.” You can opt to incorporate essential oils into any of your massages, or you can offer a new service called “aromatherapy massage.” What’s important to know is that the benefit is not only from the aroma and breathing in the essences, but the benefit also comes from the transdermal delivery of the essential oils that are blended into an unscented massage oil base and massaged over and into the skin to be absorbed into the dermal layers, the capillaries and bloodstream.

The benefits of essential oil massage

Essential oils are used in skin care aesthetics, body treatments and other spa services. But the easiest way to incorporate essential oils is through massage.

The specific benefits of using essential oil in massages are determined by the chemistry of each essential oil. Some essential oils have been scientifically proven to be anti-inflammatory, some are stimulating for circulation and some are deeply relaxing and sedating to the nervous system. The following are some of the benefits of various essential oils:

  • Juniper, lemongrass. Reduces inflammation, including in stiff joints and muscles.
  • Rosemary, eucalyptus. Improves circulation, warms the muscle tissue.
  • Orange, ylang ylang, clary sage. Boosts mood and emotions, often called mood enhancers, and helps alleviate stress.
  • Frankincense, patchouli, ylang ylang. Moisturizes and promotes healthier skin. Alleviates certain skin conditions.
  • Lavendar, chamomile, tangerine. Encourages relaxation, deep rest and better sleep.
  • Eucalyptus, tea tree, bay laurel. Supports the immune system and promotes respiratory health and inhalation therapy.

How to include essential oils in massages

Because there are a variety of essential oils, all with unique properties and benefits, knowing how to use them for massage is a must. As a massage therapist, you know that to excel, you have to master a range of techniques. You can think of incorporating essential oils in the same way—there are different methods for different scenarios.

  • Full-body massages. Full-body massages are considered the bread and butter for a massage therapist. When using essential oils for this purpose, it’s best to opt for a blend of oils. This allows your client to experience the benefits of multiple essential oils in one comprehensive session. You can even customize the blend to each client’s individual preferences and needs. For example, you can offer wellness blends, such as relaxing, revive, balance, purify.
  • Head and scalp massages. Head and scalp massages can be deeply relaxing and stress relieving because of the connection of the head and brain with the rest of the body. Relieve tension headaches and help your clients to unwind from the stresses of their day with one drop of lavender, clary sage or a relax blend to use for an opening ritual for your massage with an inhalation and breath exercise. Then follow with head and scalp massage. Some essential oils are very effective for scalp and hair health, including Patchouli for itchy and dry scalp conditions and rosemary to stimulate the scalp and bring luster to the hair.
  • Face massages. As a bonus, essential oils can benefit your clients’ skin. Never use the essential oils undiluted. One drop either lavender, chamomile or rose in organicmassage oil or organic jojoba oil can be used on the face to nourish, sooth and hydrate.
  • Foot massages. Foot massages are an important part of full body massage because the reflexes on the feet relate to vital organs of the body. When combining essential oils into your foot massage, they are absorbed and circulate into the bloodstream. Peppermint and tea tree are wonderful additions here because peppermint is invigorating for tired, weary feet; tea tree is anti-fungal and antiseptic and anti-inflammatory.

The Essential Oils you Should use for Massage

Each essential oil has specific therapeutic properties. Knowing which oils to use for which effect is professional knowledge that you as a massage therapist, should strive to master. There are dozens of essential oils that can be included in your massage oil blends, so be sure to research and become an expert on them and how they affect the body. To get you started, we’ve provided a few examples of oils and how they might be used.

  • Lavender, sweet orange, chamomile and cedarwood. These are the best essential oils for promoting relaxation. Including any combination of these oils to your blend is sure to encourage deep relaxation.
  • Peppermint, eucalyptus, lemongrass or juniper. If pain relief is what you want to focus on for your client, essential oils like these should be the key oils in your blend.
  • Cedarwood, lavender, clary sage and jasmine. Essential oils can be very effective for relieving stress. Incorporating these to your massage blend can help your clients experience this relief.

Remember, every essential oil blend requires a carrier oil or base blend. The general proportion of your blend should be 10-15 drops per ounce of carrier oil. Your carrier oil can be one or a combination of any plant-based oil. Carrier oils include coconut, jojoba, safflower and sunflower oils, avocado or almond oil, among others. Use organic whenever possible, as we must remember oils are absorbed into the skin and the bloodstream so we want the purest formula as possible

Finding the right essential oils for your clients

Aromatherapy massages can work wonders for a variety of ailments and common discomforts, including everything from joint pain to insomnia. By incorporating essential oils into your massages, you can help your clients reach better outcomes and enrich your practice by enhancing the therapeutic benefits of the treatment with pure, organic essential oils. Earthlite is proud to offer a variety of essential oils and organic carrier oils, designed to provide your clients with the serenity and benefits they seek.

Earthlite offers a carefully curated selection of organic single note essential oils that can be used in diffusers or blended into Earthlite unscented base massage oils or lotion. Also available from Earthlite are a holistic range of essential oil blends, pre-blended concentrates each with a wellness focus. These too can be used in diffuser or blended into Earthlite unscented base oils or lotion. Earthlite takes great pride in the sourcing and formulation of these products to support your best work and to help deliver wellness benefits to your clients.