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hands massaging a legI've indulged, oh yes, I have indulged. Last Friday, I spent the day at the spa. Before you go getting all jealous and resentful, it was my tenth wedding anniversary and the only time that my husband and I have ever done something like this together.

Did we enjoy our day there? Indeed we did, but what struck me the most was my phytotherapy massage. This was basically a Swedish massage using essential oils. Yes, it was a simple concept, but they really targeted mind, body, and spirit naturally during this treatment:
  • the massage itself was all about the body, relaxing the muscles
  • the relaxing music created an atmosphere ripe for calm, stress release, even meditation; just plain mental quiet
  • it was an all-natural treatment, using only essential oils (from plants, hence the phyto-)
  • the essential oils could be focused on what you needed the most; I chose the relaxing blend to help me zone out for the hour
After the break I'll tell you how you can create a phytotherapy massage experience at home.

Phytotherapy massage at home(click thumbnails to view gallery)


You can get all the benefits of a spa phytotherapy massage at home. All you need is a willing partner (or not -- check out this website on self-massage techniques) and some essential oils.

The body
If you aren't a licensed massage therapist and you don't know any, fear not -- you can safely learn to massage at home. Try these books for starters:

Not ready to invest in a book? Easy Vigour's website has instructions on basic back massage techniques.

The mind
Create an atmosphere for your at-home massage by dimming the lights, lighting candles, and selecting music that is relaxing for you. Some recordings you might like to try:
Relax and De-stress: Music for Self-Healing -- These are classical selections (lots of piano) chosen by Andrew Weil, M.D., the super-famous natural health guru.
Relax: A Liquid Mind Experience -- Electronic music, slow and other-worldly, designed for relaxation.
Caribbean Spa -- Guitar, steel drums, and nature sounds -- the ocean, wind, birds -- carry you away to a relaxing tropical paradise.

The spirit
Ready to add the essential oils? You can focus your phytotherapy blend on exactly what your spirit needs to heal. These blends are all to be added to two ounces of carrier oil (fractionated coconut oil doesn't stain clothing or sheets).

  • 10 drops lavender
  • 5 drops sweet orange
  • 5 drops chamomile
  • 5 drops ylang ylang

  • 5 drops juniper
  • 5 drops rosemary
  • 3 drops pine
  • 10 drops grapefruit

  • 6 drops frankincense
  • 6 drops sandalwood
  • 4 drops rose
  • 4 drops sage
Find yourself a comfortable place and let the massage begin!

  • Lauren

    I just love aromatherapy! It is amazing how many massage therapists just don't understand the importance of creating the complete massage environment. But when you find one that gets the big picture, the results are fantastic.


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