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Aromatherapy is the use of extracted aromatic essences of plants, essential oils, for therapeutic purposes. Essential oils can be diffused into the air using a device; externally, directly on the skin or by incorporating them into creams, ointments or massage oil; and internally, mixed with food. However, into the air and externally are the most frequent and safest ways to use them.

An essential oil is the concentrated and aromatic liquid of a plant obtained by steam distillation, mechanical extraction or dry distillation. The quality of distillation plays a very important role in the natural composition of an essential oil. Their composition differs according to their biochemical characteristics, that is to say the time and location of gathering.


Essential oils have different properties depending on the plants from which they come. By integrating them with massage therapy, the effectiveness of the care can be increased, thanks to the synergy between those two. Because of their analgesic, anesthetic, antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory effects, they are used in the physiological field to relieve muscular, articular and rheumatic pains.

Aromatherapy Réseau des massothérapeutes

They are also used in the field of psychology to reduce the effects of stress and anxiety on the body through their soothing and anxiolytic properties. It is also used to treat skin and respiratory diseases, as well as disorders of the vascular, digestive, nervous system, etc.


As part of a massage therapy care, essential oils can be used in a mix with oil or massage gel, diffused in the air or a few drops can be directly applied on the skin. The therapist chooses the essential oil that is appropriate for the care according to the properties of the plants used, as well as the desired outcome. For example, the therapist could promote a lavender, marjoram or chamomile essential oil in order to calm anxiety, stress or agitation by promoting relaxation of muscles and mind. Their analgesic, sedative and antispasmodic properties would be appropriate.


Although natural products are involved, caution should be used. Some essential oils can irritate the skin or cause poisoning and allergies. Thus, essential oils should not be used in pregnant women and young children. Others should be avoided for people with hypotension or hypertension, epilepsy or diabetes.

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