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Caveats of Essential Oils in Aromatherapy Massages

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Health and safety is of paramount importance when working with the essential oils in the discipline of Aromatherapy because most oils are toxic and volatile. It is imperative that you discuss in detail your medical history with your therapist before you commence any program for your health condition. It is common that you will be given a different oil mix therapy for the same symptoms and/or condition you and your friend might have.

For similar reasons it is essential that the therapist should be in full knowledge of the other forms of mainstream or conventional medications, herbal medications or homeopathic or Ayurvedic program solutions you may be using. This is because in some cases, implementation of aromatherapy advise can counteract the benefits of other therapies, especially in the case of homeopathic programs as they both address the physical and subtle body of the client.

Discretion on the part of the therapist should be practiced and s/he should always be mindful of contraindications for massage and oils. Some contra-indications to aromatherapy massage are:

• Three months after a surgery – though the scar tissue may have seemed to heal, the inner layers may be tender, so massage of only the surrounding area is advised.
• Infectious diseases and those of skin – which may spread on massage.
• Thrombosis or phlebitis are inflammatory conditions of the circulatory system. Here massage can do more harm than good.
• Varicose veins or extensive bruising – massage should be done only in the surrounding area.
• Heart conditions – Massages are beneficial only post-heart attack. However, a doctor’s advice should be sought before proceeding with any regimen.
• Phototoxicity is another condition that can arise after an aromatherapy session. Phototoxicity is defined as having sensitivity to sunlight and ultraviolet rays of the sun, often causing pigmentation of the skin. It is essential that all the oils of the citrus family are not applied to any area of the body that will be exposed directly to sunlight within 4 hours of application. Sun beds should also be avoided in such a case.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.