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Massage is the most common way of using essential oils and it is the way they are used therapeutically in aromatherapy. This method has instant physical and mental benefits since it combines the two senses of touch and smell. An essential oil is diluted in a carrier oil and rubbed into the body. The warm skin-on-skin friction increases blood circulation, relaxes muscles, lowers the blood pressure and makes you feel better than you could ever imagine. The good news is that you don't have to be an expert to give an aromatherapy massage. The best way to learn how to massage is to practice on yourself. However, massage is much more therapeutic if someone else does it for you. Aromatherapy massage requires lots of long, slow strokes and short fast friction rubs to warm the oils and help move them into the skin. Keep your touch light over bony areas and the abdomen but put more pressure on heavy muscles such as the shoulders, buttocks and back. Below are some basic techniques of massage and once you've learned them, it's quite easy to perform them on someone else.

Stroking
This massage movement is simple. It is done with both palms down and hands flat. There are two ways of doing it - either with one hand following the other or with both hands moving parallell in the same direction.

Raking
When using this technique, pretend that your fingertips are the ends of a rake, keeping them bent but stiff at the joints. As the fingertips touch the skin, make firm movements back towards you. You may choose to use both hands together or one following the other.

Pummelling
The most common way of doing this is to make your hands into a fist and bouncing them one after the other in a fast, drumming movement up and down on the body. It can also be done with your hands flat, sideways or with the palms turned upwards.

Friction Rub
Move one hand up while the other one moves down keeping the palms down. Use short, fast, sawing strokes.

Thumbing
Stroke deeply using the thumb to knead into the flesh. Another method of doing this is to make small, deep circles with the tips of the thumb and pressing them down, then releasing them over the deep muscle tissue.

Kneading
Keep your hands flat with the fingers together and use your thumbs to push and pinch the flesh up towards the fingers. Move them one after the other over the same area.