Is massage a part of your regular health care routine? Many people have come to recognize the benefits of massage and fully embrace making bodywork a regular part of their health routine. Others, for a wide range of reasons are resistant to this kind of therapy. Perhaps they have had many invasive and unpleasant medical procedures or have sensitivity to touch, like fibromyalgia, or other, more personal reasons. Because of this, I have been working on a technique that we are introducing this month at the spa where I work. It is called "Brush Touch Aromatherapy". It's a mash up of different techniques and basic soothing processes. Our early testing on co-workers has elicited some very positive responses, mostly involving snoring or heavy sighs. While I was giving a training on the therapy this week, we took some photos so that you too can give some intentional, hands on therapy to someone who needs to take a zen moment for themselves.
You may not have the years of education and experience (or for that matter, the specialized equipment) that a massage therapist has, but this technique is relaxing at every level. Use what you have, If you don't have 6 essential oils, okay. If you have to sit on the floor, oh well. Just show someone you care.
First of all - always put a neutral massage lotion or oil on the skin before touching with the essential oils.
What you will need:
A massage table, or comfortable flat surface or reclining chair
6 different pure essential oils
A 10 minute guided meditation (There's an app for that - or check out You Tube)
Calming background music (also on You Tube)
Now - go to your local craft store and look for some nice soft brushes. (Have you ever just touched those things? Some of them are so soft and luscious) You will want:
2 - small fan brushes
2 - 1 inch wide brushes
2 - 2 1/2 to 3 inch wide brushes
With the person you are working on face up, put one drop of essential oil (E.O.) in your hand. Begin the meditation and holding your hands above their nose, have take a few deep breaths in of the E.O.
Lightly rub a little lotion on face and dip the fan brushes into your hand to pick up a bit of the E.O. Now, use the brushes to paint the face, spend time at the temple and jaw line. Think about the areas that hold tension. Make sure to work around the brow, behind the ears and along the hair line. Move down to the shoulders and neck to the areas where we typically hold tension.
When the meditation ends, you will have the calming music still playing in the background. You won't need more than that, the person you are working on should have already begun to relax.
Work your way down the arms and hands in this same way. Lotion first, then the fan brushes. Pick up the 1 in brushes to work into the tense areas of the forearm and wrists. Make sure to brush the fingers and finger tips.
You may work the legs and feet the same way. Lotion, fan brush, 1 in brush. Watch for tender or ticklish areas, Tickling is not relaxing, so a firm brush touch may be needed around the feet.
Now, the really fun part.
Have the person you are caring for lie face down. Admittedly difficult if you don't have a massage table, but with enough pillows, you can get them comfortable.
Put lotion or oil on the back.
With the first E.O. and hand lightly resting on the back, drop one or two drops on to the back. Now take one fan brush and with a circular motion, begin to paint the E.O. onto the back. Take your time, don't work too quickly. Our job here is to help someone relax, right?
When you have worked that E.O. in, use the same technique of the hand resting lightly on the back and drop one or two drops of your next oil. This time use two fan brushes to paint the E.O. on. You can use a zig zag or opposite brushing technique for this one. Work E.O. in.
Pick up your third E.O. and your 1 inch brush. Lightly rest hand, drop one or two drops. With the 1 inch brush, you can work into the areas of tension in the shoulders and neck. Paint the E.O. up and around those trouble spots.
Fourth E.O. and both 1 inch brushes. Same thing, brush in opposite directions, and work up into neck and hair line.
Fifth E.O. and 2 1/2 inch brush. With the wider brushes, you can brush down the rib cage and along the arms to the hands. Be attentive to ticklish areas.
Sixth E.O. and both 2 1/2 in brushes. You should be great at this by now, use whatever brush strokes you feel like. Just make sure it's soothing.
When you are finished, have them take a few more deep breaths.
Next? Let them lie there and sleep. Great job!