Aromatherapy During Pregnancy - by admin@mcb on January 18 2017

Aromatherapy During Pregnancy

Aromatherapy During Pregnancy

Massage therapists performing prenatal massage should use caution with essential oils, as many essential oils are considered contraindicated for pregnancy. As such, therapists should err on the side of caution in using essential oils with their pregnant clients.

Contraindications and Substitutes

When researching various oils, it is not uncommon to see some sources list a particular oil as contraindicated in pregnancy, while other sources consider that same oil safe for prenatal use. If there is any question, you should substitute known safe oils if possible. If there is no suitable substitute, use a very small amount. An alternative is to consider the use of a floral hydrosol. Hydrosols are the water byproduct of the essential oil extraction process. As such, a hydrosol will have a more gentle effect than the essential oil from the same plant.

Points to Keep in Mind When Using Aromatherapy During Pregnancy

Essential oils should be used only if the potential benefits outweigh the possible risks.

The use of aromatherapy should be omitted entirely if the pregnancy is high risk or any contraindications are present.

Your client’s heightened sense of smell and possibility of nausea are to be considered when using essential oils during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester. Allow your pregnant client to sniff the oil to make sure that she finds it pleasant before diffusing it into the room or using it on her body.

A single oil is preferable to a customized blend, especially if the massage therapist has not taken extensive aromatherapy training and learned how to properly blend oils based on both their note (intensity and duration of scent) and type (effects such as balancing or stimulating). An exception to this might be a formula pre-blended by the oil manufacturer.

In general, all oils used in pregnancy should be diluted by 50%. If you typically use 15 – 20 drops of oil per ounce of massage lotion, reduce that to 7 – 10 drops per ounce for your pregnant clients.

Continuing Education

The Institute of Somatic Therapy offers massage therapy continuing education (CE) courses on aromatherapy and prenatal massage, along with many other topics. Institute of Somatic Therapy is approved by the NCBTMB as a continuing education approved provider, #280672-00. Our course are also valid for Florida, Georgia, New York, and most states, as well as for AMTA and ABMP.

Reflexology Benefits Are Numerous - by admin@mcb on January 03 2017

Reflexology Benefits Are Numerous

Reflexology Benefits are Medically Proven

More and more scientific research is showing how reflexology benefits the recipient. It has a positive impact on the brain, circulatory system, and pain and stress levels. By using medical equipment such as MRI, EEG, and ultrasound radar to take a real-time measurements, researchers have found positive changes in brain waves, blood pressure, and pulse during reflexology treatments.

Studies found that even after just one reflexology session, participants experienced reduced perception of pain. In fact, there are nearly 30 studies in a variety of settings that document pain reduction through reflexology. These settings included childbirth, menstrual pain, cancer, surgical, etc.

A megastudy that looked at 169 reflexology studies conducted in 21 countries worldwide showed that reflexology has an effectiveness rate of roughly 80% on 78 different conditions. More importantly, it was achieved with no harmful side effects. (Try getting that result with pharmacology!)

Reflexology Benefits Blood Flow

One of the reasons why reflexology seems to have so many positive results is the impact it has on blood flow. As massage therapists know, when blood flow improves, there is improved oxygen and nutrient delivery to the cells. There is also improved toxin removal from the cells.

With the use of MRIs, researchers were able to prove that when reflexology was applied to specific reflex points on the feet, blood flow to the parts of the brain that linked to those body parts increased.

For example, when the reflex points for the colon were worked, the part of the brain that links to the colon had improved blood flow. Ultrasound equipment also was able to prove that when reflexology was applied to specific reflex points on the feet, the actual body part linked to that reflex zone had improved blood flow. So not only does reflexology benefit the body part being targeted, it also benefits the part of the brain that links to that body part.

For a detailed list of reflexology research studies, visit this link.

Reflexology Continuing Education Courses

The Institute of Somatic Therapy offers two reflexology related courses. We offer an 18 CE course in foot and hand reflexology, and a 3 CE course in research on reflexology. Both courses are valid for NCBTMB CE requirements, as well as for most states. The research course satisfies the NCBTMB 3 CE research requirement.

We also have a 24 CE discount package designed for NCBTMB re-certification that includes the reflexology course, the research reflexology course, and 3 CEs of ethics. Please visit to see all of our massage therapy continuing education courses.