Aromatherapy

Enhance the experience of your massage treatment with our aromatherapy blends

Although aromatherapy has increased in popularity in recent years, it has actually been used for centuries by different cultures. The earliest proof found by archaeologists dates back to prehistoric times in the Mesopotamian area (modern-day Iraq). The grave of a Neanderthal man was found with eight herbal plant species, including well-documented medicinal properties (Aromatherapy Associates London, n.d.).

The Egyptians are often credited with first developing methods to extract oils from certain plants (cedarwood, frankincense, myrrh to name a few) for medicinal purposes and embalming dating back to records from 4500 BCE. In fact, Cleopatra is famously known for having fermented milk baths infused with jasmine, myrrh, and rose to maintain her youthful beauty.

Skipping ahead a few centuries, the Chinese wrote texts on the powers of herbs, spices, and plants based on anecdotal traditions dating as far back as 2800 BCE, including records on orange being stimulating and ginger being useful to treat sickness (Aromatherapy Associates London, n.d.).

In ancient Greece and Rome, aromatic oils were used in baths and for cosmetic and aromatic purposes. For example, Magallus (a Greek perfumer) developed a fragrance he called megaleion, which consisted of myrrh; and Hippocrates is said to have included extracted oils to his daily bath and was credited for saving Athens from the plague by ordering considerable quantities of plants to be burned, essentially fumigating the city.

In the 10th Century, the Arabs are attributed to developing distillation techniques, effectively producing purer oil extracts. Even in the Middle Ages, aromatherapy was used medicinally to ward off pests and diseases. Similarly, during the Great Plague of London (1665-1666), “Plague Doctors” wore beak-like masks filled with aromatic herbs and spices to protect them from what was then thought to be an airborne disease.

More recently (1910), René Maurice Gattefosse, a French botanist and chemist, spent many years working in lavender fields, improving and cultivating distillation methods to discover the healing power of lavender oil. The lavender fields in France today continue to be a popular tourist attraction.

Despite the common practice of using natural elements to heal, beautify, and cleanse, it wasn’t until 1937 that the term aromatherapy was defined. Gattefosse (yes, the same French lavender lover mentioned above) introduced the term aromatherapy after a burn incident healed by lavender oil spurred his curiosity about the healing power of essential oils.

Since then, the health benefits of essential oils continue to gain popularity for treating colds, anxiety, depression, and stress. Massage therapy incorporating the use of essential oils promotes beneficial changes in your body by affecting the limbic system and helping you feel more relaxed.

The Greenhouse Spa continues the tradition of holistic wellness through the use of essential oils by having an Aromatherapist on staff. We have specially formulated in-house blends of essential oils to ensure you get the most out of these wonderful oils (Breathe Easy, Uplifting, Repairing, Balancing, and Warming).

Perfect for anxious, stressed, and weary bodies, our aromatherapy massages combine the natural and restorative healing properties of essential oils with traditional Swedish massage. Choose from one of our essential oil blends:

Breathe Easy:

Pine, Lemon, Frankincense

A blend of oils created to improve the health of the respiratory system and boost immunity.  These oils will encourage clear airways and deeper breathing.

*Phototoxic and may cause sensitization in some skin types. Not recommended for highly sensitive skin or pregnancy

Uplifting:

Lime, Bergamot, Grapefruit, Tangerine

This is an uplifting blend of oils designed to lift spirits and brighten the day. This is a perfect blend for those guests new to the aromatherapy experience.

*Phototoxic.  (Avoid direct sunlight)

Repairing:

Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Rosemary

A cooling blend of oils that will assist the body in reducing inflammation and pain while increasing blood flow to sore aching muscles.

*not recommended for highly sensitive skin, epileptics or pregnancy

Balancing:

Lavender, Clary Sage, Frankincense

A balancing blend designed for women, helping to maintain the harmony of mind, body and spirit.

*not recommended for pregnancy or in combination with drinking alcohol

Warming:

Ginger, Black Pepper, Tangerine, Grapefruit

This blend of warming oils is designed to ease the discomfort associated with arthritis and general muscle stiffness while assisting the body in eliminating unwanted waste.                                        

*not recommended for highly sensitive skin or pregnancy

Request an appointment for your aromatherapy massage today!

Add a Few Drops of Essential Oils to Your Beauty Routine

The essential oil craze is ever growing, and for good reason. Essential oils are not only great for enhancing your mood and making you feel more relaxed, but can be used to keep you feeling young and beautiful as well. There are many essential oils that can be incorporated into your daily beauty routine, and here are some scents to get you started.

Before you pick up some new essential oils, though, make sure you become familiar with the safety rules around these products. For example as essential oils are highly concentrated, most essential oils should not be applied to the skin undiluted; therefore, make sure to blend essential oils with proper carrier oils or use them in combination with other ingredients. Knowing your skin type and your skin’s individual needs will allow you to choose the proper oils and ingredients to combine with essential oils. For instance, if you have dry skin, rose hip seed oil may work. Different essential oils, as well, are effective for different skin types and conditions. Below we’ve listed 5 essential oils that could help you stay radiant.

Frankincense

Originally an offering to the gods, frankincense has many beneficial properties. As a skin care product, it’s good for multiple skin types, including preventing wrinkles in aging skin. Therefore, it can be used as part of a moisturizer to improve the appearance of skin. Frankincense is also useful for acne-prone skin, including as a spot treatment, as well as to prevent further blemishes and reduce scarring. With its stress-reducing and skin-improving tendencies, it also could be an ideal essential oil to use in a facial massage, a good addition to your face care routine which removes toxins and stimulates blood flow, among other benefits.

German chamomile

Although some find the scent of German chamomile to be a bit overpowering, it is widely used in combination with other ingredients in the skin care industry. As well as being useful for skin conditions such as eczema, it also works well for dry and sensitive skin. German chamomile is also an effective addition to hair moisturizer or toner.

Lavender

Lavender essential oil is one of the most common oils we hear of, probably because it has so many uses, which range from treating colds to insomnia. In terms of beauty, lavender is useful in hot oil treatments for your hair, as it both treats dandruff and improves alopecia. Simply combine with a heated base oil, massage into your scalp, wrap your hair in plastic wrap and a towel, and leave it on your hair for at least two hours before shampooing twice to wash off. With its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties it’s also good for most skin types, making it an ideal oil for a facial steam.

Tea Tree

With its antiseptic, antiviral, and immune-stimulant properties, tea tree oil is well known for its medicinal uses. Essential oils can also be used in the bath and in massage, and tea tree is especially good for those with weak immune systems. In terms of perfecting your skin, it is especially useful for acne-prone skin as a spot treatment, including in combination with frankincense. Also when taking care of your skin in the summer, tea tree oil is quite effective in treating insect bites.

Jasmine

Useful for minimizing the appearance of scars and for helping dry skin, jasmine can certainly be used in facial treatments as well as body scrubs. With its romantic associations, this scent can make you both look and feel beautiful.

So, are essential oils soon to be an essential part of your beauty routine? Give them a try and see if they work for you! You can also come to Greenhouse Spa and give a few of our treatments a try.

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