Massage Tampa: Essential Oil Massage Now Popular

Posted by on Apr 30, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Massage Tampa: Essential Oil Massage Now Popular

When searching “massage Tampa” one might see advertisements for beauty products and palliative care throughout the Tampa Bay area. These ads have steadily increased in the past few years and often boast the use of essential oils, however, they rarely explain the details of these unique, aromatic substances. What is an “essential oil,” and how does it relate to massage therapy and aromatherapy? This article will help explain the general characteristics of essential oils and their uses in massage therapy, as well as the contemporary scientific understanding of their purported benefits and safety concerns regarding their use.

An essential oil is a distilled liquid that is extracted from plant material and contains a very high concentration of that plant’s aromatic chemical compounds. Essential oils are so called because they contain the “essence” of the plant’s signature scent. These oils are extracted in a number of ways.

In a process called distillation, for example, an apparatus called a still boils water under the collected raw plant material which can be anything from the leaves, the roots, the bark, or the peel of the plant’s fruit. The water vapor passes through and around the plant material, carrying with it the plant’s aromatic compounds, its “essence,” into a condenser that turns the water vapor back into liquid water. This essence-infused water collects into a separate container or flask and is then diluted before being used for therapy.

Other oils are created by manually pressing or squeezing the plant material to extract its aromatic juices. Regardless of method, the aim is to extract and collect the highest concentration of the plant’s aroma. The medicinal use of plant and plant extracts dates back centuries, so it’s not a surprise that there are literally dozens of essential oils in use today. Camphor, chamomile, eucalyptus, lemon, rosemary, lavender, and frankincense are just a few common essential oils out of many that are found in spas, massage centers, and even at the local grocery store.


It is commonly claimed that inhalation of the aroma of essential oils and their topical application during massages and baths have curative effects on the individual. Aromatherapy, a catch-all term that includes any therapeutic practice involving aromatic substances, has been purported to reduce anxiety levels, improve blood circulation, cleanse the body, and even ward off disease.

While such claims are still a matter of scientific debate, it is becoming clear that at the very least massages incorporating essential oils do significantly reduce the level of stress and anxiety of the client. They might also prove to be cost-effective analgesics, or pain-relievers. The inhalation of lavender, for example, has been thought to decrease anxiety, improve mood, and increase sedation because the smell of this essential oil and others induces the release of what are called neurotransmitters, chemicals in the brain that can have numerous alleviating effects on the body.

Such claims are not so surprising since the sense of smell, known scientifically as olfaction, takes place mainly in the limbic system, a complex set of brain structures that modulate memory-formation, emotions, anxiety, and pleasure. The topical application of essential oils onto the skin has also been claimed to be beneficial to the client. The local application of peppermint oil, for example, has been suggested as effective complementary care for individuals suffering from arthritic pain and headaches. Studies of hospice patients who have been treated with essential oil massage report that the patients have an improved feeling of life post-massage. Such results of scientific study suggest that while essential oils might not cure anything on their own, they make the path to wellness much more tolerable.

The Massage Center, with locations throughout Florida and concentrated in Tampa Bay, offers the following two treatments involving essential oils to achieve the palliative effects mentioned above:

  • The “Rainy Day” treatment involves the dripping of essential oils six to twelve inches above the client’s back. The droplets of essential oil are then massaged gently into the skin.
  • The “Aroma Delight” treatment involves very aromatic essential oils meant to refresh and relax the patient.

Note that massage therapy with essential oils is only one form of complementary therapy in which essential oils can be used. Other uses include the direct inhalation of a diluted mixture of an essential oil with a non-volatile substance such as water vapor to soothe symptoms of congestion and stress. Some essential oils are heated so that the aroma can disperse around the room.

While essential oil massages and aromatherapy are generally considered to be low-risk procedures, some precautions must be taken. In high concentrations, many essential oils can irritate the skin, eyes, and nose. Such irritation is uncommon, however, because essential oils are almost always heavily diluted for commercial and therapeutic use. The essential oil extract is usually only one to three percent of the entire solution. If, however, the act of suffering from disease or stress becomes too great, or if traditional massage just seems too conventional, then an essential oil massage just might be the necessary solution.

Expecting women should refrain from receiving any kind of treatment with essential oils, since the effects of absorbing these oils through the skin on the developing baby are still unknown.

The Massage Center has six locations in the Tampa Bay area:

The Massage Center – Tampa
400 E. Palm Ave
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 434-4930
The Massage Center – Carrollwood
3311 West Waters Ave, Suite #C 
Tampa, FL 33614
MM 0008423
(813) 434-4934
The Massage Center – South Tampa
3709 W. McKay Ave.
Tampa, FL 33609
(813) 649-7779
The Massage Center – Brandon
322 S. Falkenburg Rd.
Tampa, FL 33619
License #: MM 20238
(813) 434-4652
The Massage Center – New Tampa
8907 Regents Park Dr., #310
Tampa, FL 33647
License: MM27012
(813) 440-6610
The Massage Center – Apollo Beach
101 Flamingo Dr.
Apollo Beach, FL 33572
License: MM30040
(813) 433-0333


Article submitted by:
Dan Abella
Content Writer
The Massage Center