Aromatherapy massage is a special massage technique that combines the benefits of Swedish massage, shiatsu and effleurage type massages, with individual techniques added by the massage therapist. This massage is often accompanied by music chosen for its calming and relaxing character.

The client is allowed to lie on a massage table while the massage therapist mixes one or more  aromatherapy massage oils in a carrier oil base. The combination will be unique for the individual client.

During the aromatherapy massage, the essential oils are beneficial in several ways. First, the molecules of the oil are inhaled and lodge in the scent receptors at the back of the throat, and in the mucous membranes of the nose. The essential oils trigger positive responses in the brain and changes occur in the blood stream as a result. These changes lead to increased relaxation, slowed breathing rate, changes in pain level due to reduced muscle tension and strain. Since the skin is porous, some constituents of the essential oils are absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream, though they may be altered by skin enzymes. Also, certain essential oils are beneficial to the surface of the skin, reducing chance of infection and promoting cell health.

The actual massage typically takes thirty minutes to an hour and is followed by the preparation of additional essential oils blends that the client can continue to use at home. A regular, frequent aromatherapy massage may be rewarded by better health, reduced insomnia, return of appetite and even a higher level of work performance.

Not all massage therapists are trained in the use of aromatherapy, and not all aromatherapists have learned a full range of massage therapy. In the United States, massage therapists are licensed by the individual states, license requirements varying greatly from state to state. Regulations in other countries also differ from country to country.