Many massage therapists use aromatherapy—in custom blends or pre-packaged products, during massage sessions. Some types of aromatherapy—which utilizes essential oils from plants and flowers—calms, while others uplift. There are additional healing properties associated with aromatherapy as well.

Researchers in Thailand just finished investigating the effect of aromatherapy massage with jasmine oil.

Human autonomic parameters—blood pressure, pulse rate, blood oxygen saturation, breathing rate, and skin temperature—were recorded as indicators of the arousal level of the autonomic nervous system, according to an abstract published on www.pubmed.gov. In addition, subjects had to rate their emotional condition in terms of relaxation, vigor, calmness, attentiveness, mood and alertness in order to assess subjective behavioral arousal.

Forty healthy volunteers participated in the experiments. Jasmine oil was applied topically to the skin of the abdomen of each subject.

Compared with placebo, jasmine oil caused significant increases of breathing rate, blood oxygen saturation, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure, which indicated an increase of autonomic arousal. At the emotional level, subjects in the jasmine oil group rated themselves as more alert, more vigorous and less relaxed than subjects in the control group.

This finding suggests an increase of subjective behavioral arousal, the researchers noted. “In conclusion,” they wrote, “Our results demonstrated the stimulating/activating effect of jasmine oil and provide evidence for its use in aromatherapy for the relief of depression and uplifting mood in humans.”

The results of “Stimulating effect of aromatherapy massage with jasmine oil” were published recently in the journal Natural Products Communications.

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