What is aromatherapy?

With every massage given at Moonstone Massage Therapy here in Winston-Salem, we offer aromatherapy. While this is a complimentary addition to each massage, we felt that perhaps some of our readers would be interested in what that truly means. Aromatherapy is something that many take part in during their day to day lives without ever realizing it.


What is aromatherapy?

Smells can stir memories, bring up emotions and can help us feel at ease. Some scents can stimulate the brain and help us focus more while others are much more soothing and can help us relax. This is, in its simplest form, aromatherapy. During a massage, essential oils are used to aid in your experience. It all depends on which scent you choose and your personal preferences as to the effect of your entire experience.


What is an essential oil?

Essential oils are created using aromatic parts of a plant. For some, this may be the bark, for others, it may bearomatherapy Winston-Salem the leaves or even a root. The oil is made in various ways, depending on the plant, but most often by distillation. This is where the plant matter is steamed until it completely breaks down. It is then cooled and separated from the water. What remains is the essential oil.


While most of what we use essential oils for here at Moonstone Massage Therapy involves the scent of the oil and its effects through smell, many are used for much more. Each type of oil has its own unique qualities. Some are antibacterial, others are antimicrobial, or anti-inflammatory, but each has their own unique qualities that make them helpful.


Not just for massage

If you enjoy the feeling aromatherapy gives you, there are a number of ways you can practice it at home. There are plenty of different styles of oil diffusers on the market. Some are fairly simple in design and others are meant to match the decor of your home. Thanks to the increase in popularity you can find them at your local Target or Walmart.


Taking a warm bath with a few drops of your favorite essential oil or putting a few drops on your skin (always diluted by mixing with a carrier oil such as jojoba or almond oil!) is an excellent way to enjoy their scent on your skin. Some prefer to do this rather than wear perfume.


Popular scents

There are a number of great essential oils but some of the more popular ones are:


Patchouli – has mood lifting qualities

Chamomile – popular for its soothing traits

Lavender – one of the most popular for relaxation

Peppermint – energy boosting

Rose – popular with women

Eucalyptus – powerful scent that improves concentration

Rosemary – great memory booster

Sandalwood – a woody and masculine fragrance

Jasmine – sweet scent that is relaxing

Ylang-Ylang – very strong and relaxing scent


While you may be familiar with some of these, others may be new to you. Next time you come in for a massage, why not try a different scent for your complimentary aromatherapy? If you are unsure which to choose, your massage therapist would be happy to help you find your new favorite scent.