To complement the MASSAGE Magazine article, “Spa News: Extend Clients’ Bliss Between Sessions,” by Cherie Sohnen-Moe, in the July 2011 issue. Article summary: Clients receive massage for many reasons, ranging from stress reduction to injury rehabilitation to pure pampering. Regardless of the reasons clients step into your treatment room, it’s nice when they leave with that “Ahhhhhh” feeling. You can extend that feeling of bliss by sending clients home with spa products.

by Batia Rozgonyi

The secret to return customers and referrals, and the secret to safe essential oil use is the same: primum non nocere. This Latin phrase, which is implicitly contained in the Hippocratic oath, means, First, do no harm.

The use of essential oils and blends in massage therapy sessions is increasing every year, as the $18 billion massage industry grows. Growing with the industry requires continuing education in massage techniques and products that enhance your clients’ experience.

When done correctly, educating your customers about the safe use of essential oils develops your relationship with them and can be a great segue to sales. Since humans retain the first and last thing they hear more than what is said in between, the first five minutes and last five minutes of contact can be used both to educate and to sell.

In the first five minutes, you can introduce your client to the benefits of essential oils by offering her a variety of essential oil-infused massage oils to choose from for her treatment. Once the client makes her choice, you can use her chosen scent as a starting point for discussion of effects and benefits that she is receiving from the application of her chosen oil during her massage.

In the last five minutes, reinforce the benefits and present safety information. Let your customer know about the essential oils you sell. Offer her the choice of buying essential oils in the neat form, which requires dilution, or if she is not comfortable with blending them herself, offer a previously blended mixture containing a carrier such as oil.

Remember this six-point guide (NO HARM) when instructing customers on the safe use of essential oils:

1. No discussions with your clients about ingestion. (It is illegal for a massage therapist to discuss this.)

2. Oils must always be diluted. One-to-2 percent concentration (5 to 10 drops per ounce) is recommended.

3. Health care professionals should be consulted about pre-existing conditions.

4. Application should be tested first on the inside of the elbow. This is the most recommended area for such testing.

5. Refer to the manufacturer instructions on all essential oils.

6. Make money by helping your clients understand the benefits of home use of essential oils.

A customer who uses your essential oils and blends at home safely will be reminded of your business constantly, resulting in more massages and more sales.

Founder of Mixaroma Inc., Batia Rozgonyi is a National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy-certified aromatherapist and blogger. She specializes in certified organic blends and aromatherapy infused oils used in and massages, skin care and holistic treatments. Her signature organic blends are used by top spas, massage therapists and holistic professionals around the world.