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Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Aromatherapy Massage - What Mondays are Made For

Hello everyone (or mum..)

It may seem like I spend my every waking moment in a salon or holistic treatment room, but that's totally not true - it's just that these things have all happened at once this time around. And not before time, too!

Yesterday evening, I had an aromatherapy massage with Fiona Smith... the perfect antidote to the Monday morning, beginning of the week feeling that is the scourge of all 9-5ers.

It's been ages since I've had a massage (8 years for my last back, neck and shoulders and since college for my last full body aromatherapy treatment - so long that I don't even want to think about it), so I've been mega excited since making the appointment last week. And straight after work, I hotfooted it over to her treatment room for my massage.

Aromatherapy is the act of using essential oils extracted from different plants to treat certain ailments. You generally blend about 3 different oils (or can choose to use a pre-blended oil) , chosen for their respective properties, in a carrier oil and then use them as you wish - for example, a few drops in the bath can relax or relieve pain. In aromatherapy massage, the oils are applied by way of massaging (obviously) the body. This can either be carried out as a full body, or as a back, neck and shoulders. I had the full body, just cos ;)

The evening started with Fiona welcoming me into her treatment room (which was nicely dimmed and decorated with artwork and candles, explaining how the treatment would go, and then doing a thorough consultation which included general health questions and medical history to diet and exercise taken, etc. Now, you might think that this is a bit intrusive just so you can have 'a bit of massage' but it's an important step, a one which should always be carried out before a treatment. It not only assures your safety but can influence the oils chosen for the massage - for example, lavendar may be chosen for it's effectiveness at treating insomnia.

Once the consultation had taken place, I was instructed to undress and lie on the bed, face down, with the towel over myself. When Fiona came back into the room, she told me to breathe 3 deep, relaxing breaths and she put pressure on my back to aid the exhilation. She then applied the oil to my back and started with long, slow strokes to spread the oil. Next came the more 'kneading' movements and then she used her forearm along the length of my back, up over my shoulder and then down my arm. Now, I do like a massage with a bit of pressure - none of this back tickling for me - and it was fantastic. If you're not comfortable with the pressure at any time, your therapist would REALLY appreciate knowing about it because, if they don't, they can't fix it and you'll only leave feeling more tense than when you started.

Next was onto the backs of my legs, with the same long, flowing movements and then kneading where it was needed. Then the front and then, finally, my face and scalp.

At the end of the treatment, Fiona left the room to allow me to dress and brought back a glass of water for me to sip. She followed with some aftercare advise for me to adhere to: No alcohol, and to relax for the rest of the evening. The whole thing was wonderfully relaxing, and I'm pleased to say I slept like a baby last night!

I'm booked in next for some reflexology!

If you're in the Ayrshire area, then you can find Fiona on facebook.

Love,
Linzi

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