Fixing or curing problems with massage and aromatherapy?

I am often asked whether massage and or aromatherapy can fix or cure a particularl problem. Nearly always, the answer is, “No but it can help.”

Let me explain a little. Sometimes, if someone has put their back out I can help so that the individual is able to say, walk without pain. To some people that is a fix. To me it isn’t a fix unless it cures the underlying weakness or habit that led to the pain in the first place. Fixing, assuming there is no structural damage that is permanent would mean building up the strength in core muscles that allowed the injury to occur in the first place, or training the person in lifting so that they don’t repeat the injury through bad technique.

I have a more modest goal which is to create the conditions in which the body-mind can heal itself.

This when dealing with physical problems might be helping to reduce inflammation using oils such as Chamomile or Lavender, for someone prone to frequent infections it may be reducing stress which is known to compromise the immune system and also use of oils such as Tea Tea, Lemon and other oils that help protect against infection. (most oils have some degree of anti-bacterial and or anti-viral action so regular use of almost any blend of essential oils can help in this regard.)

When it comes to the massage, my aim is to reduce muscle tension primarily but also to increase parasympathetic nervous activity while reducing they activity in the sympathetic nervous system. (This is what happens when we feel relaxed!) This also creates the conditions where healing can take place faster within the body.

I would also encourage mindfulness among my clients (and anyone else for that matter!) as this is a very good way of helping to prevent injuries and reduce stress.