Banner image for blog about aromatherapy diffusers in massage. An image of a person putting essential oils in an aromatherapy diffuser.

Diffusing essential oils can enhance a massage practice by providing therapeutic benefits to clients through either active or passive diffusers. Active diffusers use ultrasonic vibrations or electricity, while passive diffusers rely on natural evaporation, both offering unique advantages depending on the practice’s needs and client sensitivity to scents.

Key Takeaways

  • Use active (ultrasonic/electric) for strong scents or passive (reed/clay) for subtle aromas, each suiting different practice needs
  • Oils like bergamot, lavender, and peppermint enhance relaxation, mood, and respiratory health, improving the massage experience
  • Monitor client health, rotate oils to avoid desensitization, and ensure safe aromatherapy use in your practice

Diffusion is one of the simplest ways to begin including essential oils in your practice. There are many ways of diffusing essential oils, but the two main methods are through active or passive aromatherapy diffusers.

Essential oils have many valuable therapeutic benefits but determining how to incorporate them into your massage practice can be overwhelming and intimidating. This is where an aromatherapy diffuser comes in.

In this article, you’ll learn the basics of diffusing essential oils in your massage practice and the benefits that you and your clients can gain from it. I will talk about what the difference is between active and passive diffusion, and how to choose which option is best for your practice. So, what are the main two options for diffusing essential oils at your practice?

Top 2 Diffusers

The first category of diffusers are active diffusers. Active diffusers are what most people are used to seeing and may already have in their home. These diffusers use either ultrasonic vibrations or electricity to diffuse essential oils into the air.

There are many different brands and types of active diffusers out there, so you will be able to choose one that fits the feel of your practice.

Passive diffusers disperse the aroma of essential oils without the help of a stimulus (like electricity), which causes the essential oils to evaporate completely into the air. Passive diffusion usually lets off a more subtle scent, so you will benefit from using this method if you have a scent-free practice or clients who are highly sensitive to scent.

An additional benefit to using a passive diffuser is that it does not require electricity to power it, meaning you could place this diffuser pretty much anywhere. Some examples of passive diffusers are reed diffusers, aromatherapy jewelry, and clay diffusers.

Benefits of 5 Essential Oils

While essential oils are highly researched and appear to provide considerable benefits for those who use them, it is important to think of essential oils as a method of support for your body rather than a means of healing. They are simply a tool to help aid and promote various feelings or emotions.

That being said, here are a few of my favorite oils to diffuse and the benefits they are thought to provide.

1. Bergamot essential oil is thought to subdue overwhelming feelings, as well as feelings of hopelessness.” One of bergamot essential oil’s main components, limonene, is part of the chemical family known for offering calming and soothing nervous system support: the monoterpene family.”

Its natural chemical properties, consequently, are shown to promote relaxation through diffusion, giving your client the nudge they need to settle in and enjoy the full benefits of the massage you are giving them. Plus, it has a delicious citrus and spicy scent that you and your client will fall in love with.

2. Lavender is one of the most well-known essential oils. According to one study1, lavender has been said to impact the limbic system, helping to support calming and relaxing feelings. Because of lavender’s high concentration of linalool, a monoterpene alcohol, it makes an excellent addition to your skincare routine as it offers antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory support. Adding this essential oil to your practice is a must.

3. Frankincense essential oil is popular due to its wide array of therapeutic properties. Since this oil is high in monoterpenes (a natural chemical compound found in frankincense essential oil), frankincense is an excellent choice for massages and also can be useful skincare.

It is thought to help calm and relax your clients during their massage, providing the best possible experience for them. Its spicy and resinous aroma also makes this oil popular in a variety of essential oil blends due to its ability to bring an earthy note to any aromatic experience.

4. Ylang Ylang essential oil has been used for decades for its various therapeutic properties. The most beneficial property would be how this essential oil could boost one’s overall mood, as well as happiness. Ylang Ylang essential oil in traditional medicine is considered to be a tonic, meaning this oil is thought to help quiet the mind and relax the body.

Because this oil is high in linalool, it could soothe tight muscles and areas of concern during your client’s massage, making this oil an excellent choice when doing a deep tissue massage.

5. Peppermint essential oil is a lovely choice for diffusing at your practice. This oil has a multitude of refreshing therapeutic benefits because of its chemical properties. Peppermint is known to be an excellent option for diffusing because of its cooling, decongestant, expectorant, and soothing properties for overall respiratory health.

Safety Measures

While essential oils have a vast amount of valuable therapeutic benefits, they do require certain safety measures. Here are a few things to keep in mind when using essential oils in your practice.

• Essential oils affect people in different ways. Make sure you are up to date on your clients’ overall health. Some things to double-check include medication, allergies, and whether or not your client is pregnant. You want to make sure that you are keeping your clients’ safety a top priority, so keeping track of their overall health is essential.

• When diffusing essential oils at your practice, it is recommended that you swap out essential oil scents periodically. If you consistently use one oil for a long period of time, you can become desensitized to it. This means you will need more of the essential oil in order to reap the benefits of that particular oil, which could affect one’s health in the long-term.

• Some people like to have a diffuser running while they are sleeping, which is a great way to benefit from essential oils. Because essential oils are so highly concentrated, it is important to consider investing in a diffuser that intermittently runs or turns off on a timer in order to avoid overuse during a long period of time. Most essential oil diffusers will shut off automatically when they run out of water, however, be mindful as some do not. When using a new diffuser, it is best to do research on whether or not it will turn off on its own.

Which Diffuser is Best for You?

My suggestion would be to start out with an ultrasonic diffuser that you continuously run at your front counter. Again, I recommend considering purchasing a diffuser that has the setting for intermittent diffusion, or a diffuser that has a timer on it. By implementing this, your clients will be greeted with some amazing scents while also receiving the benefits from the essential oils that you are diffusing as soon as they arrive.

Many of these ultrasonic diffusers have lights in them that can be turned on and off. If you’re interested in adding the benefits of light therapy to your practice, purchasing a diffuser that offers light settings would be a simple and easy option for adding light therapy to your practice. However, if you are looking for a diffuser that does not offer lights, you could purchase a diffuser without the light setting, as both are useful.

Another fantastic option is to place a clay or reed diffuser in your treatment room or bathroom, providing the benefits of essential oils to your clients in multiple areas of your business. Plus there are some really neat designs out there that can offer an aesthetic boost to your practice as well.

Additionally, to make your business stand out, you could create your own custom aromatherapy blend to diffuse in your front waiting room, as well as in your treatment room. The special scent could have lingering effects long after your client’s massage, causing them to recall how amazing their experience at your practice was. They may even smell something that reminds them of your custom blend, or the blend itself on themselves or their clothing, causing them to think of you, remember the amazing benefits that you offer, and rebook.

Add Value to Your Practice

As you can see, diffusing essential oils can add so much value to your practice. Essential oils can help your clients fully relax and enter into the right headspace in order to receive the amazing benefits of their massage experience.

Plus, while diffusing, you are not only providing additional benefits for your clients, but also for yourself as you breathe in the wonderful aromas. I encourage you to explore the benefits of essential oils in your practice for yourself.

1. Appleton J. Lavender Oil for Anxiety and Depression: Review of the literature on the safety and efficacy of lavender. 2012 Feb.

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About the Author

As a certified Aromatherapist, Shilah Pagel enjoys working at Simply Earth as the director of sales by interacting with business owner’s to help them gain confidence and clarity in using as well as retailing essential oils in their practice. You can find out more about Simply Earth’s wholesale program here:

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