How to do a Great Aromatherapy Massage?

There are certain aromatherapy massage steps that need to be followed to enjoy the best relaxing and therapeutic benefits. A full aromatherapy massage often takes 1-1.15 hours. If it includes the face and scalp, it takes 1 ½ hours. A part body massage lasts around 30-45 minutes depending on the parts that are being treated. Whatever the method of massage technique that is being used, the individual needs of clients have to be met. Adapting the massage to the condition of each client is the hallmark of an excellent aromatherapist.  Hence, follow some basic aromatherapy massage steps that must be performed before a massage session.

Basic steps before an aromatherapy massage session

Understand the reason of massage : Is there a specific reason for the massage? If the client is undergoing an aromatherapy massage for its therapeutic benefits, then you need to identify his or her health problems first. Have they got joint pain, flu, chest congestion etc? The massage technique will be tailored to suit the condition.

Select the oil : Knowing the client’s specific requirements, allergies etc., will help the aromatherapist identify the right oil. Consult the client and get their approval of the selected oils. For example, if they have a cold, flue etc., using peppermint, eucalyptus or tea tree oil will help ease these symptoms. Marjoram provides relief from stiff shoulders.

Check Items : Make sure all necessary working materials for the therapy is kept handy such as towels, and tissues. Keep the couch clean. Some background music can be played to provide a relaxing atmosphere.

Technique : The next step is to choose the appropriate treatment schedule, the massage technique and the time it will take. Most experienced aromatherapists will have a repertoire of 4-5 techniques that provide relief for various conditions. 

Comfort of the client is of prime importance. So, make sure he or she has emptied their bladder before a session, get them to disrobe and cover them with a towel. Ensure they are comfortable and warm before the session starts.

Steps for a Full body massage

Here are some of the aromatherapy massage steps that are usually followed during a full body massage.aromatherapy massage steps

Step 1 : The aromatherapist will conduct a detailed interview with the client to determine all medical conditions and goals to be achieved during the session. The client will be comfortably placed on the massage table with a towel spread over. The session begins with smooth effleurage massage from ankle, knee, to the hip and upwards. This warms the tissues and it is followed by petrissage that will work on specific tight muscles. Both legs will be massage with long, slow strokes.

Step 2 : In this step, massage progresses to the spine and covers the whole back. Fingers, wrists and knuckles are used to work deeply into tissues to relieve tension, lubricate and warm them.

Step 3 : The aromatherapist now moves to the hands and arms of the client. Effleurage, petrissage, compression and friction are used.

Step 4 : The client is moved to a face up position and the remainder of the massage is performed on the neck, head and skull. Care must be taken to ensure the massage is performed without injury to patient or therapist and avoid sensitive areas like the throat.

Step 5 : Massage is performed on the jaw line, behind the ears, temples, bridge of the nose and brow.

Step 6 : The massage can finish with this or end with a foot massage. 

Step 7 : After the session is complete, wash hands of all oil traces, help the client off the couch and offer some water. The client can change into their clothes. Go through some steps to observe to enhance the massage. Get feedback from the client about the session. Make note of any criticisms or suggestions to improve your massage sessions. Fix the next appointment. Complete the client records and store away essential and carrier oils.

Some tips to observe after a session is over

Whether it is a full or partial body massage, the client will be advised to follow some after-care steps.

  • You must not have a bath for at least 8 hours after a session. Essential oils need time to penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream. A bath will eliminate residual oils left on the skin.
  • Do not consume alcohol or light up a cigarette for at least 24 hours for aromatherapy detoxifies the body.
  • Do not expose your skin to strong sunlight especially if phototoxic oils are used.
  • Herbal teas and lots of water provide additional cleansing to aromatherapy.
  • Do not eat heavy, rich food. The body needs time to eliminate toxins. Fresh fruits and vegetables are ideal.
  • An aromatherapy session will leave you tired and relaxed. A good rest after a session will give an added vitality and energy.

Precautions during aromatherapy massage

Following simple safety precautions can help the client enjoy their aromatherapy massage to the maximum. For this, perform a patch test to ascertain any allergies the client may have. Check the client for any cuts or wounds so that these areas can be avoided. Make sure the client has a doctor’s clearance if they are pregnant or have some serious health concerns. 

Make sure clear boundaries are maintained during the session regarding areas of the body that can be accessed especially during a full body massage. Proper boundaries and draping techniques ensure protection to both client and therapist. Always wash hands, equipment, massage table before and after a massage and air the room.


An aromatherapy body massage is effective for it is very advanced. The many psychological responses that we enjoy during such a session makes it an extremely relaxing, enjoyable and soothing experience. It makes use of the sensory organs of the body to affect us physically and mentally. Aromatherapy massage steps can only be effective if the right essential oils are used based on need. So, let go and indulge yourself in a full-body massage that will leave you stress-free and feeling good about yourself.