Lemongrass: Add lemongrass to a reflexology treatment for a boost to your digestive health. As the massage therapist works on sections of your feet that correspond with the small and large intestines, lungs and other organs, the oil can be applied directly to your feet or diffused in the room. “It is found in a lot of teas and supplements for nausea,” says Kelsey Flowers, a massage therapist at Bella Capelli Sanctuario. “It’s best used for digestive health by diffusing it, diluting it and applying it to your skin or diluting and drinking it.”
Peppermint: Don’t diffuse this energizing, menthol-like oil until the end of a relaxation massage. That way, you can relax during the treatment and then get the ultimate brain boost to get back to your day. “This is the oil you use when you’re experiencing mental fatigue,” she says. “That’s why we sometimes call it ‘pushy peppermint.’ ”
Eucalyptus: Allergy sufferers should pay attention to eucalyptus. This pine-scented oil helps reduce inflammation, so it can help your respiratory system when diffused. Flowers recommends diffusing the oil during chakra-balancing massages, which incorporates deep breathing, so the oil can help clear your system. “In between seasons or right when you feel a cold starting is the best time to diffuse this oil,” Flowers says.
Frankincense: Forget those expensive anti-aging creams. Frankincense, a woody yet sweet-smelling oil, can be used to help prevent fine lines and wrinkles. Flowers would diffuse frankincense during any kind of exfoliation treatment. “You can have a drop put in your facial moisturizer for added benefits,” she says.
Lavender: Known for its ability to calm busy minds, help with sleep and assist people with dementia, lavender is the universal oil for relaxing. The sharp, floral scent works well in deep-tissue massages and foot reflexology for ultimate stress relief. “Lavender can inhibit sympathetic nervous activity, which is like feeling anxious or stressed, while exciting parasympathetic nerve activity, which is associated with feeling calm and relaxed,” says Flowers.