Effects of 1 Hour Exposure to Essential Oils

Essential oils have been used for centuries as a stimulant, sedative and treatment for various medical conditions. Many studies have been conducted on essential oils and the effects of the scent on the brain and other systems in the body including stress relief.

A new study from Taiwan reports these oils have a beneficial effect on heart rate and blood pressure after short-term exposure and may result in reducing the risks for cardiovascular disease. This new study examined the effects of essential oil and blood pressure among spa workers.

One hundred young, healthy non-smoking spa workers taking part in the study visited the study centre on three occasions (about once a week), when each volunteer was exposed to vapors of essential oils released from an ultrasonic ionizer for two hours. During this time and on each visit three repeated measurements — resting heart rate, systolic blood pressure (SBP), and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) — were taken from each spa worker in the study room, a small space measuring 4 meters in height by 3.5 m in length and 3.2 m in width. Before each participant entered the study room, 100% pure bergamot essential oil was vaporized for 1 hour.

Essential oils are volatile organic compounds (VOCs) composed of hundreds of aromatic chemicals, and VOC levels in the room were also measured throughout the study period.

After researchers had adjusted for age, gender, BMI and visit order, the results had showed for the times between 15 and 30 minutes after start of exposure the VOC level was significantly associated with reduced 15-min mean BP and HR. These associations were statistically significant. For example, after 45 minutes exposure 15-minute SBP had reduced by a mean of 2.10 mmHg and heart rate by 2.21 beats per minute.

In their conclusion, researchers had written that exposure to essential oil for 1 hour was found to be an effective method of relaxation, as indicated by decreases in the HR and BP.

In another study in 2010, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea, had examined the effectiveness of aromatherapy on blood pressure, heart rate variability, aortic pulse wave velocity and the aortic augmentation index of essential hypertensive patients. Their results revealed that aromatherapy was effective in lowering systolic blood pressure and sympathetic nerve system activity.

With these benefits, it’s no wonder why our Thai Aromatherapy massage is sort after!

Thai Massage Reduces Pain

One of the biggest advantages of Thai massage is that it is extremely useful in strengthening the joints and helps the body fight against chronic joint problems. Moreover, this form of massage is highly effective in treating health troubles such as back pain, neck pain, frozen shoulder, migraines, and knee pain besides slowing down the aging process. On top of that, Thai massage helps in promoting the sense of well-being and vitality. It helps clear and calm the mind so that you can have a positive outlook towards life. Moreover, this kind of massage has the potential of relaxing the soft tissue muscles and help in reducing stress, promoting flexibility and revitalization, and drawing out excess oil and impurities from surface of the skin to promote cell rejuvenation.

A study conducted in Thailand investigates the effects of traditional Thai massage on scapulocostal syndrome (SCS), a musculoskeletal pain syndrome in the posterior shoulder area. It provides evidence that Thai massage reduces pain, muscle tension, and anxiety in patients who had myofascial trigger points in the scapular region.

Twenty patients were chosen aged 18 – 50 who were experiencing “spontaneous scapular pain which lasted 12 weeks” according to the study report.  The researchers were concerned with comparing the effectiveness of Thai massage to physical therapy.  The patients were divided into two groups and their progress was monitored by someone who was not aware of who was receiving which treatment.  Pain scales were used to monitor pain before the study began, during treatment and then long term.

The Thai massage group received 30 minute sessions nine times over the course of three weeks around the scapular area while lying on their side.  The physical therapy group received heat packs and ultrasound treatment for the same amount of time.  Researchers found a significant improvement in the Thai massage group.  Overall, the Thai massage group felt more satisfied. The physical therapy group did, however, notice moderate improvements in their scapular pain.

Aromatherapy and Massage for A Better Sleep

Adults and children can both have problems sleeping, and the inability to sleep can cause havoc at home, on-the-job, and at school. In an attempt to solve the problem, adults often turn towards sleeping pills or other over-the-counter sleep aids. But people don’t realize that sleeping pills don’t allow for that sleep that we need to feel rested. Instead, they just knock you out instead of allowing you to experience true, restful sleep. The better alternatives to put you to sleep are through aromatherapy and massage.

Aromatherapy captures the power of fragrances and makes use of the same in healing the body and the spirit. People are highly wired to scent, and once we smell something, we never forget what that smell is. Just think of how the smell of a fresh pie or bread in the oven can make you feel. Scents can have the same effect on sleep, and have been used for centuries in different cultures for that very purpose. Aromatherapy will promote relaxation and help calm the mind to enhance restfulness. Here are some of the scents that will aid you sleep better:

Lavender: The reputation of lavender as a calming herb is legendary. It is known to soothe frayed nerves and bring about a sense of relaxation. Also, lavender incense is often used during meditation, proof enough of its use as a relaxant.

Jasmine.  Jasmine is a versatile fragrance. It is calming and refreshing at the same time. Additionally, this fragrance is known to possess aphrodisiac properties as well. Studies have noted jasmine to induce deep sleep in people.

Vanilla. There is something special about the fragrance of vanilla. Even a whiff of it takes you directly to a warm bakery with counters stocked with fresh scones and pastries. Yes, vanilla generally evokes happy memories, and is therefore, a favorite fragrance for many. Vanilla acts as an effective antidepressant, and is also known to aid in lowering blood pressure.

Chamomile. These pretty flowers aren’t just eye candy, as connoisseurs of chamomile tea are sure to tell you. Soothing and relaxing, the fragrance of chamomile works well to ease stress, and makes you feel sleepy.

Touch is so powerful that it can soothe the mind almost as much as the body. The bonus of having a massage is that you can treat many of the things for which doctors can only prescribe pills for. These include depression, irritability, tension, tiredness, insomnia, stress and bad moods. A long soak in a very warm bath, followed by a slow, soothing massage is the one thing that usually has a Rip van Winkle effect and it makes you feel a lot better! Most insomniacs are over-stimulated, so it is important to use massage strokes that sweep over large areas of the body to loosen knotted muscles. This, combined with simple stretches to release trapped tension, invariably has the desired effect, and if muscles are relaxed, sleep is possible.

You can now enjoy both a relaxing massage and an aromatherapy treatment at the comfort of our spa centers! Just ask for our Thai Aromatherapy Massage and sleep like a baby tonight.

Foot Reflexology for Back Pains

Your foot is composed of 24 bones that form two crossing arches of the foot. The ankle is formed by the interaction of the foot and your lower leg. The bones of your foot are held together with ligaments. The foot muscles along with a tissue known as planter fascia provide secondary support. There are also fat pads in the foot to help with weight-bearing and absorbing impact. Aside from being a support of your body that makes you stand, walk and run, your feet are full of acupressure and reflexology points.

Reflexology is the exerting of pressure on targeted areas of the feet using the acupressure points found on a reflexology foot chart. The art is originated in the lands of China, Egypt and India and has its basis in the belief that reflex points on the soles of the feet correspond to the various organs and parts of the body. For example, the inner edge of the foot has points relating to the spine and back, while the eyes, ears and sinuses are represented on the pads of the toes. It is possible to restore health to the body by massaging these points.

Many people complain of back pain that ranges from niggling discomfort to chronic conditions. Mostly, this is not the result of injury or trauma. Lack of exercise, hard physical work and a sedentary lifestyle have contributed to the segments of the population who are virtually crippled with back problems. According to the World Health Organization, lower back pain is a leading cause of disability in the world.

A session with a reflexologist or a masseuse to alleviate back pain is a drug-free, non-invasive way of reducing tension. Find a qualified reflexologist who will use specific techniques to exert deep pressure on the foot area corresponding with the specific back problem. This may be painful and several sessions may be required before the condition improves. The positive effect of therapeutic touch is recognized as being fundamental to a balance of mind-body-spirit and a well-being.

Reflexology is not a cure-all and may not help when there are serious underlying medical conditions. But it can reduce symptoms and aid in healing by improving lymphatic drainage and circulation, stimulation to the nerve pathways and muscle relaxation. A visit to our spa center for a foot reflexology will surely be a pleasurable and relaxing experience that could return you your health and vitality!