An aromatherapy massage provides the most effective way of enjoying the therapeutic and psychological benefits of essential and carrier oils. Essential oils get directly absorbed into the bloodstream during a massage.
An aromatherapist should have undergone the right training to start a massage clinic. Here, therapists will not only learn about massage techniques but also all details about essential and carrier oils, different recipes to blend them etc. Here we will see the various steps involved in preparing for aromatherapy massage that includes the personal appearance and cleanliness of the aromatherapist, the surroundings, and safety and hygiene standards that need to be maintained.
Professional Aromatherapy Massage Tips : Your Personal Appearance
A professional therapist who wants to run a successful clinic must always present a smart and clean appearance. Here are some pointers to follow for the personal hygiene of aromatherapists:
- Avoid stained or crushed clothes as they will not present a professional look. Make sure your clothes are clean and well-ironed. Do not wear casual clothes but have a uniform for all the staff in your clinic just like a hospital. The colors need not be white but soft pastel shades work very well.
- Select sensible footwear that is preferably flat. Closed shoes are a good choice for comfort and hygienic purposes. Maintain a separate set of footwear to use only within the clinic. Rubber soled and padded footwear will prevent the therapist from having aching feet since they have to stand for hours during a massage session.
- Hair should be pinned back or placed in a cap if it is long.
- It is professional not to wear jewelry or watches except for a wedding band, for they may scratch the client.
- Hands are the most important tools for an aromatherapist. Protect your hands from strong chemicals always and keep them soft and supple. Callused palms will irritate the soft skin of clients. Nails must be short with no varnish applied. Always wash hands before and after a session. Do not perform a massage if your hands are cracked as the essential oils can aggravate your skin. If you build up sensitivity to essential oils, consult a doctor.
- Make sure you do not use strong aftershave / lotions or perfumes. An aromatherapy session is meant to soothe and calm with the aroma of essential oils being the prominent odor in the room and not offensive perfume of the aromatherapist. This also means the aromatherapist must bathe often to avoid body odor that can be unpleasant within the closed confines of the room.
Professional Aromatherapy Massage Tips : The Surroundings
The next step in preparing for aromatherapy massage is to ensure that the surroundings meet professional standards.
- The treatment rooms must be always kept spotlessly.
- The right ventilation is an absolute must. Make sure windows are opened and the room aired between sessions. During a session, the room should be both draught-free and well ventilated. An enclosed space with poor ventilation can be overpowering as the aromas of essential oils can keep building up.
- Use soft lights that relax the mind. For this discreet lighting is preferable to harsh overhead lighting.
- The temperature has to be maintained at an even 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Calm soothing music in the background is a good way to enjoy an aromatherapy massage session. Make sure mobile phones are switched off and no one disturbs you when you are performing a massage for privacy is of utmost importance. Aromatherapy clinics should be ideally situated in quiet areas away from noise of traffic.
- Just as wearing soft pastel colors within the clinic provides a soothing look, wall colors must be warm and soft. Color coordinating towels, furniture, clothes of the staff, and wall colors is an excellent way to create a tranquil and relaxing work area.
- Flooring should be such that people will not slip and it should be free of obstacles
- Essential and carrier oils should be stored in a cool dark place under optimum temperature conditions
- Keep all equipment clean and disinfected
- Massage couches should be thoroughly cleaned after every session
- Follow proper fire safety procedures
- Maintain all electrical, heating and ventilation systems properly
- Store rubbish in closed bins and dispose off frequently
Professional Aromatherapy Massage Tips : Hygiene of client
Since aromatherapy involves close interaction between client and therapist, the likelihood of each getting infected is very high. Hence, do not start a massage session if you are suffering from an infection – e.g. cold, fever, flue etc. Similarly, before starting a massage session, check if the client is also free from any infectious illness that can affect you. For pregnant clients or those with any serious illness like cancer, heart disease etc., make sure the right clearance from the doctor is got before a session is commenced. Use disposable tissues and clean towels and sheets for each session.
It is good if you meet the client before a session to assess their health condition and perform a skin test. This way, you can advise them to close all open wounds and sores with a plaster and get a doctor’s clearance if needed before arriving for a session. A patch test needs 24 hours for any sign of allergy to be displayed. Another good option is to have clothes the client can change into at the clinic. Before the session, they can wash to get rid of all perfume and creams – just as they would before entering a swimming pool. Advise them not to wear jewelry or if they do, have a locker where all valuables can be stored during a session.
Preparing for aromatherapy massage requires professionalism. The right training will ensure the aromatheraists learns not only about massage techniques and profiles of essential and carrier oils but also other useful strategies to maintain and run a professional clinic that is popular with clients. An aromatherapy massage is a relaxing experience that if done in the proper way will hugely benefit the client and enhance the reputation of the aromatherapist.