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Article du mois
Article of the month



by Jocelyn Vincent, translated by ACTMD's team

It was one day while discussing essential oils with one of my co-workers in Massage Therapy that this idea for an article came to mind.  As a matter of fact, during this conversation, she was telling me how tired she was at the end of her day.  This exhaustion had been occurring for the past couple of months and she was even thinking of leaving her work as a Massage Therapist since she was so tired.

After a lengthy discussion with her, I discovered that she had taken a course on Essential Oils a couple of months ago and that she had decided to apply this new knowledge to her massage therapy treatments.  Since then, she had been adding essential oils into her massage oils.  Specialized in relaxation massages, almost all of her clients were

entitled to this new massage oil containing relaxing essential oils.  What she had forgotten was the application of the oils on the skin of her clients involved putting the oil in her hands before applying it and, by that, she was absorbing part of the essential oils herself.

Even if in weaker doses the oils are beneficial, however in stronger doses they can have an impact on one's blood pressure, on blood coagulation, on the mood of the person……  Certain oils can even interact with various medications (increases or decreases the efficiency of the medications).  It was becoming apparent that my friend was being "intoxicated" with these relaxing oils!

How can a Massage Therapist apply the oil without being affected?

There are two solutions:
The first is to simply wear gloves like a Doctor or a Dentist.  Obviously this approach is the most efficient one but certain therapists feel that it cuts the quality of the touch.

The second solution is an efficient compromise.  It consists of applying regular oil in your hands and forearms before applying the essential oils into your hands.  This way, the neutral oil blocks the skin pores.  A barrier is created stopping the absorption of essential oils into your hands.  Obviously this is not perfect as most essential oils are grease soluble and a minimal quantity of essential oil will make its way to the pores of the skin   Thorough hand washing after the massage will permit you to eliminate the essential oils still on the surface of the skin before it can penetrate the therapist's organism.

This was a simple solution that allowed my friend to continue her career.

P.S.:  Never apply pure essential oils on the skin.  You must always dilute them in an oil that is grease soluble or an appropriate thinner for the others.  Before using essential oils, make sure you are well informed on the subject.


Jocelyn Vincent is a massage therapist, hypnotherapist and
president of the ACTMD





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