Emu Oil

Emu Oil

Latin Name: dromiceius novaehol-landiae

Forms Available: oil

Emu Oil – Dromiceius novaehol-landiae – An emu is a flightless, grey-feathered ratite bird of Australia, closely related to the ostrich. Emu oil comes from a thick pad of fat on the back of the bird that was initially provided by nature to protect the animal from the extreme temperatures of its Australian homeland. For centuries, the aborigines of Australia have been applying Emu oil to their wounds with excellent results. Today, more and more it is being added to products worldwide to increase their effectiveness. It is found in foods, muscle pain relievers, skin care products, and natural soaps. Emu oil is an edible oil which is non-irritating. Some of its known properties are: Anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, skin regenerative.Some of its known uses are: Assists with the healing of bed sores. When applied to a new cut, scrape or burn, assists with prevention of scars. Provides sunburn relief. Makes a wonderful massage oil for muscle aches and strains. Very helpful for arthritis pain and inflammation. Provides canker sore relief. Useful for diaper and heat rash. Great as a massage on children who have “growing painsâ€? in their extremities. Assists with prevention of stretch marks; once stretch marks are present, assists with eliminating accompanying dryness and itchiness. Makes tight skin more supple. Good skin lubricant; also useful in sexual applications. Many people use so-called “baby oilâ€? for their babies, for their skin care, and for sexual lubrication but usually the main ingredient in “baby oilâ€? is mineral oil which is derived from petroleum. This is what thousands and thousands of people are using on their babies and on their private parts. Is it any wonder that every day more cancers and unusual diseases are being found in infants, children and adults? In Soapmaking: This almost odorless oil has a color ranging from dark ivory to yellow and is a wonderful addition in soapmaking.

Aromatherapy & Health Uses: A natural anti-inflammatory. Reduces swelling, stiffness in joints, bruising and muscle pain.

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Eucalyptus, Citriodora

Eucalyptus, Citriodora

Latin Name: e. citriodora

Forms Available: essential oil

Lemon Eucalyptus – E. citriodora Athlete’s Foot and other Fungal Infections such as Candida; Cuts; Dandruff; Herpes; Infectious Skin Conditions such as Chicken Pox; Asthma; Laryngitis; Sore Throat; Colds; Fevers; Infectious Diseases; Insect Repellent. Key Qualities: Invigorating; Active; Stimulating

Aromatherapy & Health Uses: Athlete’s Foot and other Fungal Infections such as Candida; Cuts; Dandruff; Herpes; Infectious Skin Conditions such as Chicken Pox; Asthma; Laryngitis; Sore Throat; Colds; Fevers; Infectious Diseases; Insect Repellent. Key Qualities: Invigorating.

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Latin Name: eucalyptus glbulus
Alternative Name: blue gum tree
Forms Available: essential oil, leaf, twig, sap

Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus spp – Perhaps the ultimate healing oil. The most common species, Tasmanian Blue Gum -Eucalyptus globulus- has a blue-gray trunk, blue-green juvenile leaves, green adult leaves, and white flower stamens. Eucalyptus leaves, scented of balsamic camphor, are used by aboriginals to bind wounds; the flower nectar gives honey; and the oil, distilled from the leaves and twigs, is used in medicines, aromatherapy, and perfumes. Eucalyptus oil is antiseptic, expectorant, and anti-viral, treats pulmonary tuberculosis, lowers blood sugar levels, and is useful for burns, catarrh and flu. The roots of Eucalyptus trees secrete a poisonous chemical, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants.

Aromatherapy & Health Uses: Blue Gum: Burns; Blisters; Cuts; Herpes; Insect Bites; Lice; Skin Infections; Wounds; Muscular Aches and Pains; Poor Circulation; Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sprains; Asthma; Bronchitis; Catarrh; Cough; Sinusitis;

Other Uses: Add to all healing blends. Apply, undiluted, to the body to relieve colds. Also used in purification mixtures. For protection, carry the leaves.

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Candle Therapy

Candle Therapy

Using candles as therapy has been around for thousands of years, and has been practiced by nearly every religion. Candle therapy can be used to unite the powers of mind, body, and spirit. From ancient times to the present, Candles have lit our way through every transition! From celebrations and ceremonies to proclamations and processions! The candle’s flame has always been a metaphor for the soul! It possesses a tranquil and almost hypnotic atmosphere to those who allow its power to take them to a very special place.

A candle acts as a “self object”. A self object is an object that is a reflection of our self, a reflection upon which we can act. The candle reflects the spiritual and ethical changes we would like to bring about in ourselves. It burns as a reminder and symbol of our desires. Sometimes we have to hand our dreams over to a force more powerful than we are.

There are many ways to utilize the power of Candle Therapy. Their are Complementary systems of Color Therapy, Aromatherapy, Music Therapy, Energy Medicine and Meditation can and do overlap within the healing process to create a positive and powerful approach to finding the balanced system. These complementary systems with Candle Therapy, are all configured and intertwined within the practice of it’s theory and application.

Aromatherapy Massage

Aromatherapy Massage

Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of essential oils. An essential oil is an aromatic essence, distilled from a single botanical source. True essential oils have nothing added to them, and nothing taken away. Essential oils can have many different effects on the body, mind and spirit. They can be sedative or stimulating, some have an analgesic and antispasmodic effect, most are antibacterial. Essential oils can aid in skin care and wound healing.

There are many different ways of using essential oils therapeutically – in baths, inhalations, compresses, creams or lotions, but perhaps one of the most pleasant, relaxing and therapeutic ways, is through aromatherapy massage. Shirley Price says: “Nevertheless, where stress and depression are a major cause of a health imbalance, then, in my opinion, a full aromatherapy body massage is the best complementary therapy treatment available. It is also an excellent prophylactic treatment to ensure continuation of good health.”

Effects of Massage Therapy

Massage therapy has been shown to be highly beneficial. It can affect the autonomic nervous system, and calm the “fight or flight” response, reducing the level of harmful stress hormones in the body. Massage stimulates the blood circulation, increasing the supply of nutrients and oxygen to cells. Massage stimulates lymphatic flow, improving tissue drainage and improving the immune system. Long, flowing connective strokes, called effleurage, generally have these effects.

Many studies have shown that continued stress can increase the incidence of various diseases, and can reduce recovery time. Stress can cause and exacerbate many chronic problems such as hypertension, migraines, digestive problems, PMS. If stress can be reduced, and relaxation induced more frequently, the progression of many chronic conditions can also be reduced. Massage therapy is an excellent way of reducing stress.

Specific somatic techniques, working on specific areas, can reduce chronic and acute muscular tension and pain, by helping to lengthen and release shortened and contracted muscles. These techniques may include stretching, deep tissue, sports massage, neuromuscular, Rolfing, myofascial release. [links to descriptions of these techniques to come]

Massage therapy has long been recognized as an important part of athletic training. Most serious athletes receive regular somatic work. Massage therapists have been an integral part of the Olympic Games for many years now, helping to improve athletic achievement and increase recovery time after performance.

The Touch Research Institute, at the University of Miami, has carried out many studies on the effects of touch and massage therapy.

History of Aromatherapy Massage

Touch has been used since time immemorial to assist in healing, and general well-being. Hippocrates said: “The Physician must be experienced in many things, but assuredly in rubbing . . . for rubbing can bind a joint that is too loose, and loosen a joint that is too rigid.”

Per Henrick Ling, born in Sweden in 1776, is widely credited as the originator of modern “Swedish massage”. Ling was a fencing master and was fascinated by the human body in movement. He developed a series of exercises, and eventually his system of massage that he called “movement cure”. Massage therapy and somatic practices have developed in many different directions since then, including the Esalen style and many intuitive methods, largely originating in California in the 1960’s, which are often used in Aromatherapy massage.

The person to whom we really owe the development of Aromatherapy Massage, is Marguerite Maury, née König(1895-1968) who was born in Austria. Following the death of her young child, her first husband and her father, Marguerite trained as a nurse and surgical assistant, and moved to France. Her interest in aromatherapy began with a book by Dr Chabenes, published in 1838, called Les Grandes Possibilités par les Matières Odoriferantes. Dr Chabenes later taught René-Maurice Gattefossé. Marguerite met and married a French doctor in the early thirties, and continued her research into essential oils. She developed her particular method of using the “Individual Prescription” blending several essential oils, for each patient, after an in-depth consultation and examination. She also pioneered the use of massage to administer the essential oils, partly perhaps because she was not a medical doctor, and therefore not qualified to prescribe internal use of the oils. In 1961 Mme Maury wrote Le Capital Jeunesse (in English, The Secret of Life and Youth). She opened clinics in France, Switzerland and England, and continued to teach and practice until her death.

What to Expect During Aromatherapy Massage

Massage therapy is beneficial, use of essential oils is beneficial, to combine the two can be synergistically even more beneficial than either therapy separately.

Most massage therapists will request a new client to provide some intake information, relating to their current physical state, and any illnesses or injuries that may affect the massage. Practitioners of aromatherapy massage will generally have a longer list of questions and areas of discussion. A holistic practitioner will consider the client as a “whole”, body, mind and spirit. They will generally help the client to consider what factors in their lives may be affecting them. For example, someone who suffers from insomnia may have family worries, stresses at work, indigestion, or simply a noisy environment, any or all of which could affect their sleep patterns. Rather than only using a relaxing and sedative blend of essential oils, together with a calming massage, a good practitioner will suggest other ways that the client can improve their sleep. They may be able to refer to a family counselor, suggest a change at work, refer to a nutritionist, or suggest earplugs, to address various root causes. This initial consultation may take between 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the situation.

After the client intake and consultation, and when other suggestions and referrals have been made, the aromatherapist will select several essential oils, most suited to the client’s needs at this time, and will blend them into a massage oil or lotion. Sometimes a particular carrier oil will be used. This blend with essential oils will then be used to give the massage.

The massage therapist will leave the room, allowing the client to undress as far as they are comfortable, and lay down on a padded massage table. Often, to aid in relaxation, relaxing music will be playing too. For warmth and modesty, the client will be covered with a sheet or blanket, which the massage therapist will pull back to work on each specific part of the body. If the client feels uncomfortable at any time, or if a specific technique hurts, they should let the practitioner know – clear communication, understanding and consent is most important. Depending on the client’s needs and the practitioner’s individual skills and training, different styles of somatic work may be used. Jeanne Rose says that “The deep thumb pressures of shiatsu; the pressure of deep tissue massage that is intended to reach nerves, ligaments, tendons; the soft tissue work called Swedish massage; and the slow, gentle, rhythmic movements of effleurage massage that are so appropriate for pets, infants and the infirm – all are used in aromatherapy massage. The total effect should be harmonious, and not jar in any way.” The massage usually lasts for an hour, but may be longer or shorter, depending on client needs. At the end of the session, the practitioner will leave the room, allowing the client a few minutes to gently “come back to themselves”, and get dressed.

After the session, many aromatherapists will also suggest the use of a blend that the client can use at home, between sessions, to continue their use of essential oils. The aromatherapist will select the essential oils, and make an appropriate blend, giving instructions for use to the client. A plan for future sessions should also be agreed on. Frequency of sessions will depend on client needs, and financial situation, but many clients find that a weekly or biweekly session is most beneficial, particularly in the beginning. Some clients receive monthly sessions. I believe that aromatherapy massage is an excellent “maintenance tool”, and should not just be used to “fix a problem”, but should be part of every day life if possible. Hippocrates said that “a daily aromatic bath and scented massage are the way to health”. It would be wonderful if we could all follow that suggestion!

How Does it Work?

Many aromatherapists and aromatherapy tutors believe that essential oils are absorbed by the skin. There are however differing opinions as to how much of the components of essential oils can penetrate the skin, and indeed what their effect on the body might be, if they do penetrate. It seems that some components do penetrate, but more studies need to be carried out on this. Nevertheless, many beneficial effects can take place at the level of the skin. Many skin conditions can be improved by the anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties of the essential oils.

During the massage, much of the volatile essential oils will be inhaled and some absorption is likely through the mucosa of the nose and mouth. Additionally the volatile molecules of the essential oils lock onto receptor cells at the back of the nose. An electrochemical message is sent to the limbic system in the brain. The limbic system appears to trigger memory and emotional responses, which cause messages to be sent to other parts of the brain and body. In this way, the production of euphoric, relaxing, sedative or stimulating neurochemicals is stimulated. Many beneficial mental and emotional effects can be seen this way.

Training and Referrals to Aromatherapists

Prospective clients should take the time to find an aromatherapist/massage therapist with appropriate training. A number of massage schools will often briefly talk about the use of essential oils, but frequently this is not adequate or safe training. A personal referral from a friend is always useful. In the United States, The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy or the American Alliance of Aromatherapy may be able to suggest some aromatherapists who practice massage therapy in your area. There is at present no standard in the US for training in aromatherapy, although this is being discussed and developed by the industry. It is therefore important to ask questions: with whom and where did the aromatherapist train, how long was the training, what subjects did it cover, how long have they been in practice. Additionally, the American Massage Therapy Association can provide a referral to a massage therapist in your area. Also, you may wish to receive information on a massage therapist who is certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork. (US only). Since massage therapy is regulated differently in each state of the US, it is impossible to list all local regulations here. Some states require licensing and statutory training, some do not.

In the United Kingdom, there are two main professional associations who can provide referrals to trained aromatherapists. The International Federation of Aromatherapists, phone: +44-181-742-2605, and the International Society of Professional Aromatherapists, phone: +44-1455-637987. Both of these associations require a certain level of training before membership is granted.

Copyright © 1998 Danila Mansfield, MIFA, MISPA, NCTMB


Davis, P., Aromatherapy, an A-Z, C.W. Daniel, 1988

Price, S., Aromatherapy Workbook, Thorsons, 1993

Price, S. & Price, L., Aromatherapy for Health Professionals, Churchill Livingstone, 1995

Rose, J., The Aromatherapy Book, Herbal Studies Course & North Atlantic Books, 1992

Ryman, R., Introduction to The Secret of Life and Youth by Marguerite Maury, C.W. Daniel, 1989

Sheppard-Hanger, S., The Aromatherapy Practitioner Reference Manual, Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy, 1994

What is Aromatherapy Massage?

Aromatherapy uses essential oils from plants to heal, alleviate pain and regulate mood. Essential oils are a volatile, highly concentrated plant extracts, derived from leaves, bark, roots, seeds resins and flowers. Aromatherapy massage uses these essential oils, but they can also be used in hydrotherapy baths, facials and body treatments.
In aromatherapy massage, essential oils are usually mixed with a carrier oil like sweet almond, apricot kernel, or grapeseed oil. The therapist use up to five oils in a mixture, and chooses the oils based on what you need. A relaxing aromatherapy massage, for instance, might have lavender or bergamot, while a massage for sore muscles might include peppermint and eucalyptus.

Aromatherapy should not be confused with fragrances or perfume oils.

Fragrances are often made from chemicals, and lack the therapuetic properties of essential oils. So remember, just because someone lights a scented candle doesn’t make it aromatherapy!

Ethics of Practicing Aromatherapy in Massage Practice

Ethics of Practicing Aromatherapy or
Selling Aromatherapy Products in your massage practice.
Using aromatherapy can enhance our practice and provide another aspect of healing for clients. Before you start each session with a client, it is important to ask them directly if they would like you to use aromatherapy in the session. This is part of the process of Engaging a Client to participate in their healing session and is essential in creating strong boundaries within your practice. It is also necessary to be aware that not everyone likes smells and that if you are storing many different oils in your room, the mixture of scents can be overwhelming and even toxic. You are essentially violating a clients’ boundary with the use of essential oils without having their informed consent. Being aware of the affects we have on clients is important in starting and building a massage practice.

I had a client tell me a story about a bad experience with this situation. The client was referred by her MD for treatment of back pain to a massage therapist. The massage therapist had her room full of essential oils and proceeded to use them in the treatment. The client was led to believe that she was going to this person for a medical treatment and while aromatherapy can be used medically, she had no understanding of it as a client. She was overwhelmed by all the smells in the office and left feeling slightly ill and never went back to say the least.

We also need to be aware of how most people will not tell you the truth about what they need. They often come to us expecting us to know what is best for them and trust us to take care of them. They won’t speak up easily.

Selling Essential Oils to Clients

If you are considering selling aromatherapy products to your clients, please be aware of the ethical issues involved when selling products to clients. Clients will often be easily persuaded by us because they perceive us to have more knowledge than them or may also feel an obligation to us because we have provided a nurturing experience for them. This is called transference. When we try to combine this with selling oils (or any other products) we need to keep in mind whether we are selling this for our benefit or theirs. When we ask clients to purchase something, we are asking them to further trust us.

We can become more aware of how we influence clients and the issues involved with our practices through the process of supervision. You can find out more about supervision and start changing the profession by participating in a peer supervision group. The more conscious you become of yourselves, the more successful you will be in business!

Julie Onofrio, LMP