Healing Aromatherapy

shutterstock_362623601-featureWe all know that we should eat more vegetables, but that’s not the only way to get a healthy boost from plants. Consider aromatherapy, which uses the sweet-smelling essences of flowers, bark, roots, leaves, stems and peels of plants to reduce stress, tame muscle pain, boost energy and calm irritated skin, among a variety of other noted benefits.

“When you distill a plant to its purest form, its healing properties are highly concentrated and easily accessible,” says Janet Denyer, director of spa operations at Montage International. “The benefits begin with the aroma, but increase tremendously when the essences are applied to the skin, particularly when combined with massage.”
Take lavender, for example, which is a major component of Spa Montage Palmetto Bluff’s Lavender Dreams treatment. Best known for its relaxing scent, the fragrant herb can also ease migraines, heal blemishes and freshen tired complexions. Other therapeutic oils include frankincense, which has been said to provide anti-aging benefits along with a calming fragrance, and citrus, a detoxifying multitasker that energizes as it works.

At Montage spas, each session begins with inhalation of a therapeutic fragrance unique to that property. “It calms the body, stills the mind and prepares you for your treatment,” Denyer says.

Aromatherapy at Home

Bring the benefits of aromatherapy home with these select products, recommended by Spa Montage professionals and available at most Montage Hotels & Resorts.

  • Spa Montage Kapalua Bay uses the Calm Mind Oil from Kerstin Florian—a blend of lavender, peppermint and cajeput essential oils—to help quiet the mind and put day-to-day stress into perspective, $34.

  • Therapists at Spa Montage Palmetto Bluff recommend applying the soothing Kerstin Florian Lavender Body Spray before bedtime and during air travel, where it can combat dry cabin air, $40.

  • Offered at Spa Montage Beverly Hills, the all-natural Sea Vitamin Boost spray from OSEA features a blend of refreshing extracts and offers quick hydration thanks to gigartina skottsbergii algae, which moisturizes skin and infuses it with vitamins and minerals, $38.

  • After creating a personal aromatherapy formula from a selection of essential oils at the Body Bliss Aroma Design Bar, spa guests at Montage Laguna Beach can transform the scent into a unique massage oil, bath salt, body butter or scrub, various prices.

By Katie McElveen