Exercise Fatigue

Using Essential Oils In Massage

Whether engaging in activity for improving fitness levels, competing in a sports event or training for a marathon, pressures can mount that are beyond just physical soreness and pain, (Hemmings, 2001). Not achieving goals or suffering from muscle discomfort can be psychologically challenging. A recovery method that improves both the physiological psychological athletes’ state would have a profound synergistic effect. A study in 2009, indicated that there was an improvement in mood sate in post-event massage, (Arroyo-Morales M et al, 2009).

Receiving an Essential Oil massage, may deliver vital nutrients to the bodies muscle tissues and assist with muscle flexibility, and reduce spasm. The chemical constituents of Essential Oils may also help to elevate an athlete’s mood, contributing to motivation to adhere to a workout programme. Fatigue, psychosocial factors, and low mood state, are critical characteristics contributing to sports injuries, (Ahern D. K, and Bethany A. L., 1977).

Essential oil massage has a calming effect on the athlete and can stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, therefor improving the immune system. As importantly, it has been shown to improve the perceived fatigue level of the athlete. Using Essential oils may amplify the effect, by helping the athlete to feel more recovered. Studies have found increased levels of serotonin, after massage therapy, (Yates, 2004). In research carried out by Field, (2000) it was found that massage encouraged restorative sleep, which in turn promoted the release of somastatin (a chemical associated with pain reduction). Accordingly, this study will build upon these existent pieces of literature.

Large groups of essential oils have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiviral, and antibacterial properties while some can be analgesic or stimulating with a tonic effect, (Tisserand R., and Young R., 2013).



Ahern D. K., and Bethany A. L. (1977). “Psychosocial Factors In Sports Injury Rehabilitation” Clinics in Sports Medicine, Volume 16, issue 4. Pages 755-768

Arroyo-Morales M, Olea N, Ruíz C, del Castilo Jde D, Martínez M, Lorenzo C, Díaz-Rodríguez L., (2009). “Massage after exercise–responses of immunologic and endocrine markers: a randomized single-blind placebo-controlled study”. J Strength Cond Res 2009; 23 (2): 638-44.

Field T. (2000) “Touch Therapy”. London: Churchill Livingstone.

Hemmings B. J. (2001) “Physiological, Psychological and Performance Effects of Massage Therapy in Sport: A Review of the Literature”. Physical Therapy in Sport; volume 2, pages 165-170.

Tiserand R., and Young R., (2013). “Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals”, second edition. Churchill and Livingstone, London.

Yates J. (2004) “A Physicians Guide to Therapeutic Massage”, (3rd Ed.) Toronto: Curties-Overzet Publications.





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