Aromatherapy 101: The Benefits of Lavender
Aromatherapy 101: The Benefits of Lavender

Aromatherapy 101: The Benefits of Lavender

By Nyssa Hanger , MA, LMT, RYT
2019-12-17

Aromatherapy 101: The Benefits of Lavender

By Nyssa Hanger , MA, LMT, RYT
2019-12-17

We’re trained to help them manage pain in a variety of ways—including our choice of oil, cream or lotion. But did you know that adding essential oils to your massage session may help you get better results?

Following are some essential oils that have analgesic properties that could benefit your clients who come to you looking for help relieving pain. Plus, assuming the scents used are relaxing to your clients (though you should always check preferences because some of your clients may have allergies or specific aversions to scent that you need to be aware of), you are adding even more to their massage experience.

Although there aren’t many studies on the effectiveness of essential oils, one study indicated how a diluted blend of lavender essential oil in sweet almond oil impacted pain in patients undergoing haemodialysis1. In this study, patients inhaled lavender oil instead of having it applied topically, and results showed the patients in the intervention group had a decrease in pain while pain for patients in the control group increased. These results suggest that just incorporating aromatherapy in your practice through diffusion may actually help your clients feel more relief from their sessions than with massage alone. Of course, topical and local use like using a special “pain blend” on a sore spot can also help. Here is a quick recipe you can use with clients in your practice.

Easy Lavender recipe

A simple, inexpensive blend that I like to use that seems to be universally liked is lavender and pine:

I’d use about 72 drops of lavender and 48 drops of pine in an 8 oz. pump bottle of my favorite carrier oil. This quantity lasts about one week, but if you’d like to make less just follow a ratio of 12 drops lavender and 8 drops of pine for every ounce of carrier oil.

When adapting any essential blend recipe, make sure you’re paying attention to the safety precautions of the individual essential oils. You’ll also want to always dilute your essential oils in a carrier for safest use. The recipe above is about a 2.5 percent dilution (15 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier), which is appropriate for full-body massage.

Did You Know?

The lavender plant is a native species found in the Arabian Peninsula, Russia, and around the Mediterranean. According to the national center for complementary and integrative health (NCCIH), lavender has been used to boost appetite and mood. Ancient Egyptians also used lavender during the embalming process of mummies. But be cautious! Lavender oil is poisonous when taken orally.

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References

1.     Taşan, e., ovayolu, o., & ovayolu, N. (2019). The effect of diluted lavender oil inhalation on pain development during vascular access among patients undergoing haemodialysis. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 35, 177-182. doi: 10.1016/j. ctcp.2019.02.010.