by Dawn-Mari Yurkovic

Essential oils are powerful tools massage therapists can use in their practices. More than just a pleasant aroma, essential oils can have profound therapeutic effects on the body-mind complex. They can create a rapid shift in a person’s physical and energetic systems, allowing the therapist to work easier and deeper with less effort. Many times a single oil can calm the mind, soothe the emotions and relax the muscles. Lavender and basil are two great examples of multipurpose oils.

Essential oils can be inhaled, applied topically to skin and some can even be taken internally. Why should a massage therapist be interested in therapeutic-grade essential oils? Only therapeutic-grade essential oils should be used to ensure safety and that there are no synthetic or toxic chemicals being introduced to the body. Unfortunately, less that 2 percent of the essential oils found in health-food stores and the like are actually therapeutic grade, even though the label on the bottle might say something like “100-percent pure.”

When essential oils are inhaled they have an immediate physiological response by penetrating directly into the brain via the olfactory system, into the amygdala gland, which is the center of emotions. As a result, they can help release emotional patterning and unexpressed trauma.

Essential oils can be applied to the feet, where they can positively affect all the systems of the body via the foot reflexes. This is a great complement to foot reflexology.

The chemical constituents of many essential oils have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. As a massage therapist, I feel completely protected against colds, flu, common illness and skin infections that a therapist might be exposed to during the course of a workday when I use therapeutic-grade essential oils on my clients and myself.

I also feel confident I can achieve great results with my clients for just about anything that ails them in the body, mind or spirit when I use therapeutic-grade essential oils in my practice.

Dawn-Mari Yurkovic is a massage therapist and co-founder of GRACE Aroma Wellness Trainings. GRACE offers classes that provide a foundation for proper use and application of therapeutic-grade essential oils. For more info go to