you were probably asked if you’d like essential oils as part of your therapy session. Essential
oils have become one of the most widely talked about aspects of health and wellness lately, and
it’s because researchers are finding out just how much of a connection there is between smell
and emotion. Think about the last time you smelled warm cookies baking in the oven – how did
you feel? Hungry? Nostalgic, as if you were suddenly on a blast to the past to when you used to
bake delicious chocolate chip cookies with your grandma as a child? That’s no coincidence that
certain smells can bring up certain thoughts or feelings – but how exactly does it all work?
When we smell something - say, a lemon, citrusy scent - our olfactory nerve sends over signals
to our brain’s limbic system and amygdala, which are both responsible for memory and mood. In
this case, that’s when we might feel a little more awake, or may even want to clean! An article
written by Harvard graduate Cynthia Deng and published in Yale Scientific Magazine explained
that aromatherapy (at least the concept of it) has been around for thousands of years - praised
by the Egyptians for treating diseases, used by Greek physicians for treating side effects of
various conditions, the list goes on. While more research needs to be done on essential oils and
their effect in aiding a number of other health issues, there’s one thing that’s for certain: it’s
always nice to receive a positive mood boost after using them.
With So Many Options, Which One Should You Choose?
If you’ve decided to try out an oil while receiving a massage, you’ll be excited to find that there
are so many different scents to choose from. Many people have found that certain oils help
more than others depending on their mood – so the first step is to identify how you’re currently
Lethargic: You feel like you could fall asleep at any minute – perhaps you’ve just gotten over a
sickness, or maybe stress has been weighing you down. If you’re looking for something
energizing and refreshing, ask for orange, lemon, lime, or grapefruit.
Tense: When you’re this stressed, all of your muscles probably feel tight. Welcome some
deeper breaths into your massage therapy session with peppermint, eucalyptus, or cardamom.
Wired: You haven’t been getting much sleep. It’s hard for you to relax. There are too many
thoughts racing through your mind, and you’re having trouble letting go. For some enhanced
relaxation, give lavender, chamomile, or valerian root a try.
Down: You’re feeling sad, and it almost brings you to tears. Nothing seems to help you find
balance in this pitch-dark tunnel of fog you’re currently in. Break up the gloom with some wild
orange for a happy boost – or, if you’d rather feel grounded, ask for ylang ylang, vetiver, or
It’s important to remember that you’ll get the most out of your Bodies in Balance massage
therapy session if you willingly choose to embrace the process. Sometimes the tension in our body remains even during massage – as your muscles are manipulated, it may feel slightly uncomfortable because your body isn’t used to it. However, if you can take deep breaths and welcome the present moment while breathing in the essential oil of your choice, you’ll find that healing is right around the corner.
Bodies in Balance is an exceptional massage therapy practice based in Flagstaff, AZ,
that aims to help clients relieve pain, improve athletic performance, and reduce stress
with high-quality therapeutic bodywork and outstanding customer service. To schedule
your next much-needed massage, call us today at 928-853-5765. With therapists who
have years of experience - and with an emphasis placed on personalized wellness plans -
you’ll have no problem moving forward with a massage therapy regime that will uplift
your mind, body and spirit to new heights.