It’s so easy to associate aromatherapy with spa treatments and pampering, but many of the essential oils used in massage therapy can improve your health. They can help you relax or sleep, improve skin, and even stimulate mental alertness!

Read on to learn how you can incorporate essential oils into your life for a positive impact beyond a pleasant smell.

Lavender is the most common and well-known essential oil. It has antibacterial properties that help reduce healing time for cuts, scrapes, and skin irritation and can be applied directly to affected areas. Lavender is calming and is most often used to promote relaxation and a restful sleep. Try adding a few drops to your bath or on your pillow at night to help you unwind and fall asleep more easily.

While lavender is helpful for relaxation, peppermint is a wonderful way to stimulate your senses. It increases mental alertness and stimulates the mind, making it a good choice for a boost to start your day. Simply inhaling peppermint oil has been shown to increase mental capacity. As part of a massage therapy treatment, peppermint and lavender can be combined then applied to the temples to reduce the intensity of headaches and migraines.

Eucalyptus is a powerful essential oil that has antispasmodic, antiviral, and antibacterial benefits. It has also been known to stimulate the immune system. By adding a few drops to a basin of steaming water to inhale, or a vaporizer, eucalyptus help clear the lungs which can support faster healing from a cold or cough. In massage therapy, it relaxes muscles and its potency allows for deep penetration healing, making it perfect for back and shoulder pain. Consider incorporating eucalyptus into your massage treatment to help alleviate muscle and joint pain.

Tea tree is a powerful essential oil found in many skin care products and is one that is safe to be used topically. Mixing a few drops with a carrier oil helps to treat cuts, scrapes, blemishes, insect bites, and even dandruff. Combining tea tree oil with coconut oil or aloe vera creates a natural acne treatment. Similar to eucalyptus, adding tea tree to a vaporizer helps loosen chest congestion.

Frankincense has been used for thousands of years. It is great for relaxation and can also be helpful with small cuts and bug bites. In massage therapy, frankincense aids in reducing inflammation and supports increased immunity. It is often used to deepen breathing, soothe coughs, and as a meditation or relaxation aid.

Lemongrass has anti-inflammatory benefits and is helpful with muscle cramps, muscle relaxation, and fatigue. It is also commonly used to calm nerves and can help alleviate symptoms of nervous system disorders. When used in massage therapy, lemongrass can help ease discomfort from muscle strain injuries. It is also helpful with stress management, anxiety, and insomnia.

Rio Wellness offers aromatherapy treatments with essential oils. Ask your massage therapist which oil – or combination of oils – would be best for you.