Spa Pros Shed Light on the Benefits of Using Aromatherapy
How does aromatherapy fit into your professional services?
Sarah Miles, spa director, Spa Roma in Morgantown, West Virginia: Because aromatherapy provides so many benefits to the mind and body, we offer it as an
add-on to massage services to enhance the client’s experience, with prices ranging from $10-$30 depending on the oil blend. We also have body treatments that include Biotone essential oils to target specific body parts, including the Waistline treatment (45 min./$90) to shape and slim the waist; the Legs treatment (45 min./$90) to reduce swelling and improve circulation; the Refine treatment (45 min./$120) to smooth the skin; and the Firmness treatment (45 min./$120) to boost elasticity and tone.
Kerri Nau, account executive and trainer, Aromatherapy Associates, with multiple partner locations: One of our signature treatments, the Ultimate Aromatherapy Experience Massage (90 min./$190-$210), incorporates a proprietary massage oil blend that the therapist chooses after determining the client’s needs. This ‘aroma journey’ features a series of essential oil inhalations throughout the service to gradually draw both the mind and body from a state of relaxation to awakening. Our Intense Nourishment Body Wrap (90 min./$210-$230) uses geranium, ylang ylang and vanilla essential oils to replenish lost moisture, improve skin’s texture and uplift the client’s mood. Additionally, our Aroma Radiance Facial (90 min./$280-$300) uses a significant amount of rose and frankincense essential oils to regenerate the skin.
Katie Haley, owner, CosmicFlower Aromatherapy Inc. and Yoga Fusion Studio in Delray Beach, Florida: I customize all of my oils for each massage service, and educate my clients on what they can use in their daily lives to stay calm and healthy. For example, my Ashiatsu Deep Massage (90 min./$145) features a blend of lavender, peppermint and rosemary essential oils, which helps relieve pain, reduce inflammation and detox the body. Less is more when it comes to finding the right blend: Don’t overdo it and always let the client smell the oil first, using a cotton ball or scent stick. There should be no skin sensitivity issues if the oil is high quality, meaning it’s not diluted with any synthetic ingredients and is blended at the proper ratio (no more than 15 drops per ounce of carrier oil). If you’re using essential oils for a facial massage, stay away from strong scents such as peppermint or lemongrass, and don’t use citrus if the client will be exposed to the sun shortly after the service.
Which scents rank highest with clients?
Miles: Lavender is always the most popular choice, because clients want to relax and let their stress melt away. Plus, it reduces inflammation and improves sleep. Eucalyptus is also ideal for congestion and muscle pain.
Nau: Ylang ylang and petitgrain help clients relax and de-stress, while citrus, pine and rosemary stimulate the senses. For skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, we use chamomile for soothing irritation and apricot kernel base oil for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Haley: When working with men, I choose something earthy or herbal, such as Himalayan cedar or Moroccan rosemary. I also reach for energizing oils like pink grapefruit to stimulate the lymph and circulatory systems.
How do you use aromatherapy to enhance your spa space?
Nau: We’ve incorporated aromatherapy into our reception area, retail boutique, men’s and women’s facilities, relaxation lounges and fitness areas, as well as the spa cafe and pool areas via candles, sprays and diffusers. In our treatment rooms, we select the oils we diffuse based upon the desired effect of the service. For example, we use lavender for relaxation and a blend of eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree and pine to awaken and clarify.
Haley: I make my own cleaning products and yoga mat spray, so when clients walk in the first thing they smell is a refreshing blend of clary sage, lavender, tea tree, lemon and lime. The sage and citrus oils clean the air of stagnant energy, while tea tree oil is antibacterial. The diffuser in my yoga studio is typically filled with our CosmicFlower signature scent—a blend of sandalwood, vanilla, lavender, neroli, combava and sweet orange—to give clients a feeling of euphoria and peace so they can enjoy the present moment.