If you’re a state-licensed chiropractor or massage therapist, you may be thinking about incorporating essential oils or aromatherapy into your practice.
Essential oils extracted from medicinal plants have been used around the world for thousands of years to heal and relieve all manner of physical, mental, and emotional health issues. Today, many massage and chiropractor clients are seeking non-pharmaceutical alternatives to help the body heal itself naturally. Essential oils fulfill this role by making the benefits of medicinal plants accessible and applicable for a variety of health issues and overall well-being.
What are Essential Oils and Aromatherapy?
Essential oils are extracted from the roots, seeds, seeds, stems, bark, fruits, flowers, resin, or leaves of medicinal plants. They are extremely concentrated, often requiring a large volume of raw plant material to produce a single ounce of oil.
Aromatherapy refers to the use of aromatic oils to improve mental and physical health.
The aromatic compounds in specific plant-based oils are believed to harmonize the body’s natural healing systems to restore wellness and balance.
How can Essential Oils Complement Massage and Chiropractic Treatments?
Essential oils make a lot of sense for massage and chiropractic, both for short-term calming effects and symptom relief during a session, and long-term combined benefits over time.
While chiropractic adjustments and massage address the root cause of pain or structural imbalance, essential oils can complement these therapies with additional helpful benefits. The application of carefully selected, high-quality aromatic oils on the skin can assist with spinal adjustments that restore proper biochemical balance, neural function and optimal nerve transmission.
How can I use essential oils within my massage or chiropractic practice, legally?
Many licensed massage therapists and chiropractors find themselves in the difficult position of being licensed in their state, but not for holistic services — such as aromatherapy massage — that fall outside of the scope of their state-licensed practice.
State regulatory boards are on the lookout for practitioners who provide services that are not covered by their existing license. As a massage therapist or chiropractor, if you incorporate essential oils or aromatherapy into your practice without a defendable legal basis, you would be at risk of losing your livelihood and having your state massage therapist or chiropractor license revoked.
Securing a Defendable Legal Basis to USE Essential Oils within Massage and Chiropractor Practice
As a massage therapist or chiropractor, the Professional Wellness Alliance (PWA) can help you provide your clients with the benefits of essential oils and aromatherapy, while protecting you and your livelihood from legal and financial devastation. By joining the PWA Community, you become a part of the movement for holistic health and protect yourself with a defendable legal basis through licensure.
With 20+ years of experience fighting and advocating for the rights of holistic health practitioners, the PWA can help support you as you take your massage therapy and chiropractic offering to the next level with high-quality essential oils. You can incorporate essential oils into your offerings within a safe, legal environment.
Watch this License Education Webinar to learn more about licensure with the PWA and how it can help you incorporate the legal use of essential oils into your massage therapy or chiropractic business.
Training & Certification
Essential oils are extremely concentrated substances that should be used with knowledge and caution. It is important to receive a solid education and training in essential oils with a reputable and accredited aromatherapy school or institute. An aromatherapy certification generally carries more weight and is more comprehensive and rigorous than an essential oil coach certification, although both help educate and inform practitioners about how to use them. Many massage schools are now incorporating the use of essential oils into their curriculum.
In order to provide aromatherapy services in a safe and effective way, the course of study should cover botany, chemistry, human anatomy and physiology, medicinal properties of plants, and the proper methods of application of single oils, blends, and carrier oils.
Before using essential oils in your massage or chiropractic practice, it is important to take into account medical contraindications for various groups including those with pre-existing physical and mental health conditions, infants, children, and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. It is always important to assess your client’s age, skin condition, medications, allergies and other factors that could influence the way their body reacts to the oils. It is always wise to do a small patch test first in case of sensitivities.
Your education in essential oils will help you to make the right choices in terms of source, quality and purity of the oils, the correct dosage and dilution depending on your client’s background, and the appropriate method of application within your massage or chiropractic practice.
Emotional Benefits of Essential Oils
Your clients are likely to request aromatherapy massage, which uses essential oils diluted with carrier oils for both physical and emotional healing. You can customize the oils and blends depending on the needs of your client for a relaxing, immune boosting, or energizing massage.
The theory is that the aromas from the essential oils enter through the nose and stimulate the limbic system, the part of the brain that controls emotions, triggering a conscious or unconscious response. The sense of smell is intimately intertwined with memory. Cinnamon and vanilla oils are often used to inspire feelings of comfort, while citrus, geranium, sage, basil, and citrus oils are known as mood-boosters. Cedarwood, pine, and peppermint are often used to help with focus and clarity. Rose and ylang ylang are known as heart-opening.
Essential Oils for Pain Relief
Many clients of massage therapy and chiropractic experience chronic pain due to injuries and disease. Essential oils present an exciting potential therapy for pain relief.
The proper application of specific essential oils and blends can enhance your massage and chiropractic sessions with the pain relieving properties of medicinal plants like arnica, eucalyptus, and roman chamomile. For tense and sore muscles, take advantage of the antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties of oils such as eucalyptus, ginger and peppermint. These oils are often applied directly to the skin with a carrier such as jojoba, sweet almond, or grapeseed oil.
Essential Oils for Relaxation
As a massage therapist or chiropractor, many of your clients suffer from the physical and emotional effects of stress. Certain oils are believed to calm the nervous system and relieve anxiety. Classic oils for relaxation include lavender, vetiver, clary sage, bergamot, and jasmine.
Essential Oil Air Diffusers
You can enhance your clients’ experience by using essential oils in a diffuser in your space where you provide massage and chiropractic therapy. A diffuser disperses the essential oil into the air where it can be inhaled.
Beyond creating a pleasant, relaxing atmosphere, well-selected essential oils can purify the air due to the anti-bacterial and antifungal properties. This is important as much for the health of the many clients who pass through the space, as well as for you the practitioner. Oils such as rosemary, clove, tea tree and cinnamon are known for combatting bacteria, mold, and fungus.
Join the Movement
As the public becomes more knowledgeable about the physiological and emotional benefits of essential oils and aromatherapy, they will continue to ask for them as a way to support their massage and chiropractic treatments.
The Professional Wellness Alliance supports massage therapists and chiropractors like you to safely and legally incorporate essential oils and aromatherapy into your practice.
Join the movement and become a member of the PWA Community so you can rest easy knowing your services will be protected with a solid, defendable legal basis.