Inspiring massage education and wellness for the body, mind, and spirit

Aromatic Medicine

March 21, 2016 by Ariana Vincent, CEO of the Ariana Institute

The Ariana Institute’s Techniques in the Spa World Manual is part of a series of massage manuals that are designed to help deepen the knowledge of current massage therapists and introduce new massage therapists to the world of massage and bodywork.

The Techniques in the Spa World Manual features topics that are also available as NCBTMB approved online CE courses through the Ariana Institute at www.arianainstitute.com/ce-online/, including:

  • Aromatherapy for Massage and Bodywork
  • Ayurvedic Massage
  • Couples Massage
  • Hot and Cold Stone Massage
  • Spa Techniques: Exfoliations and Body Wraps

Techniques in the Spa World_BookCoverPreview_08-19-15

This manual incorporates detailed protocols, photos, links to online videos, marketing strategies, personal stories, and resources to encourage a comprehensive understanding of spa techniques and modalities beneficial for your massage practice.

Here’s a personal story about aromatherapy featured in the Techniques in the Spa World Manual.

AROMATIC MEDICINE

My informal introduction to aromatherapy was when I visited my grandmother in Kansas City as a child. She had beautiful, expansive gardens in her backyard filled with an abundance of fragrant flowers and plants. I especially remember the scents from the variety of roses that infused my little six-year-old heart with joy. The wonderful experience of playing in the fragrance of grandmother’s garden with my cousins set the stage for my lifelong love of aromas and their therapeutic benefits.

As my attraction towards pleasant aromas persisted, I began my formal training in aromatherapy while attending massage school, I continued in my private practice as I proceeded to expand my knowledge of aromatherapy’s therapeutic effects. I loved collecting aromatherapy products while I practiced and studied, especially my favorite essential oils: rose, lemongrass, sandalwood, tangerine, bergamot, and eucalyptus. I have tested a variety of brands to find the perfect fit for my practice. Clients have even brought essential oils to me as gifts: sandalwood from Mysore, India, and rose oil from Bulgaria and France. It was a delightful experience assessing and collecting essential oils from various parts of the world.

Mixing the essential oils is another aspect that I love about aromatherapy. Having multiple oils offered during the course of a session can elevate the experience for the client.  For example, rose essential oil on the face, lemongrass on the body, and sandalwood on the feet as the feet were wrapped in warm, moist towels can all be performed in one session and provide different types of relief.

Over the years one of my best resources for enhancing my knowledge about essential oils has been Melissa Gonzales, a seasoned massage therapist. She also owns Morning Star Trading Company, a source of quality massage and aromatherapy supplies, located in Austin, Texas. Melissa has provided me with a wealth of information regarding the best brands of aromatherapy essential oils, the benefits of various oils, the proportion of dilution of the oils with a carrier oil, and the storage and shelf life of oils. Morning Star Trading Company also carried a vast library of aromatherapy reference books that proved to be valuable resources as I continued to educate myself in the therapeutic benefits of aromatherapy.

Pursuing my interest in this particular practice became an immense asset as I advanced in my profession.  Every spa that I worked in since the beginning of my career thirty years ago offered aromatherapy for its clients. It seemed that the bigger the spa, the more expansive the aromatherapy menu. Most of the spas focused on offering lavender, peppermint, ylang ylang, orange, and eucalyptus. The aromatherapy essential oils were typically included with a carrier oil or lotion during a massage therapy session, or added to a body wrap or exfoliation during special treatments. Some spas even had signature brands and blends that we used and were sold to clients who wanted to take some of the spa experience home with them. One spa had an aromatherapy diffuser in the reception area so when clients arrived, they would experience a distinctive fragrance that they could associate with that particular environment. Spas were an environment that afforded me the opportunity to continue exploring this medium while practicing aromatherapy professionally outside of school or independent study.

When I made the decision to begin offering aromatherapy continuing education courses for massage therapists, I did more extensive research in order to design and develop my course curriculum. I spent over twenty years gathering information about the benefits and uses of aromatherapy essential oils. I have researched, analyzed, practiced and  experienced aromatherapy; so it was a happy day when I began offering hands-on and online CE courses in aromatherapy for massage therapists. My years of studying and experiencing the efficacy of aromatherapy essential oils were fruitful in myriad ways, and the Ariana Institute’s Aromatherapy continuing education course has become one of the most popular CE courses in our repertoire.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – ARIANA VINCENT, LMT, MTI, BCTMB

Ariana Vincent was awarded the 2015 CE Provider of the Year Award by the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education. She is a Nationally Certified Massage Therapy Instructor whose classes are accepted throughout the United States. Ariana is also a Massage Therapy Hall of Fame Honoree and author of the Ariana Institute’s therapy manual series available on Amazon.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

To read the foreword of the Techniques in the Spa World Manual, visit http://www.arianainstitute.com/the-ariana-institute-proudly-presents-techniques-in-the-spa-world-second-edition/.  

The Ariana Institute’s video introduction to the Aromatherapy, Ayurvedic Massage, Couples Massage, Hot and Cold Stone Massage, as well as other Spa Technique CE courses can be accessed on the Ariana Institute’s YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/user/ArianaInstitute.

To order your copies of the Ariana Institute’s Techniques in the Spa World Manual, visit www.amazon.com/author/arianavincent.   

For additional information about the Ariana Institute and to register for online continuing education and MTI courses visit www.arianainstitute.com/ce-online/.

Ariana Vincent, LMT, MTI, NCTMB

Ariana Vincent, LMT, MTI, NCTMB