For licensed massage therapist and clinical aromatherapist, Laura Jarrell, using a multi-disciplinary approach with her clients is standard practice.
In practice since 1989, Laura notes that, “Recently, the use of essential oils has exploded in popularity and for good reason—they are wonderful gifts from nature, capable of treating both physical complaints and mental-emotional distress.”
Essential oils are commonly antibacterial/viral, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, sedating, stimulating, etc. Jarrell customizes blends individually to treat a variety of disorders, from anxiety to sore muscles, depression to nerve pain, indigestion to menopausal symptoms and skincare needs for every type. She firmly believes, “Essential oils are a useful tool to address a multitude of needs and are a perfect complement to massage therapy work.”
Since opening Spa Jacksonville in 2000, she’s served thousands of clients who benefit from her passion in both disciplines. “A case in point,” she explains, “is a 43-year-old female hairdresser, who is stressed, mildly depressed and not sleeping well at night. She also has heel pain.”
So how exactly does Jarrell employ both areas of expertise? “First, I look at her primary complaint of heel pain. She works on a concrete floor and likes to go barefoot at home. I learn that she’s not one to work out or stretch, and discover her muscles are chronically contracted and she’s lost conscious control to relax them.”
During the massage therapy session, Laura discovers her clients’ tight calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus) are painfully pulling the Achilles tendon at the insertion on the heel. Massage therapy begins with long Swedish-style, effleurage and gentle kneading petrissage strokes to “prep the tissues and stimulate circulation….as the muscles relax, deep tissue techniques and myofascial release come into play. Trigger points are held at a comfortable pressure until they fade out which allows the client to get instant feedback that the point has released. Also, the nervous system (ANS) receives the feedback to break the contraction cycle (neuromuscular re-education).”
Our hairdresser client receives a homework assignment to achieve faster long-term results which includes using a trigger point ball daily on the points addressed in therapy. This can be done during a stretch for a more effective “active release.” Laura gives an example, “While seated on floor with legs straight, reach for toes as you exhale, all while pointing and flexing feet. This is done with trigger point ball in place on the painful calf points. The client’s trigger points took months or even years to form so releasing them completely requires regular repetition to go deeper and allow them to release completely.” Laura describes the technique in detail before sending the client home.
Massage therapy sessions include an essential oil blend customized for the client’s individual needs. “In essential oil blending, I look at the top three complaints and pull a selection of EO’s that address all three. Of all the oils pulled, the three or four favorites are used in the therapeutic blend.” For her stressed-out hairdresser client, the final selections are basil, bergamot, lavender and German Chamomile EO’s blended in a 60/20/20 jojoba, arnica and comfrey carrier oil at 3% dilution. This calming yet uplifting, anti-inflammatory and analgesic oil was then sent home at a 5% dilution, to be massaged into her legs and heels up to three times per-day to lessen inflammation, thereby easing her discomfort. This formula will also relieve her anxiety, depression and insomnia. For detailed Essential Oil Profiles used in this case, go to Jacksonvillereview.com/Spa-Jacksonville.
“My goal,” Laura concludes, “is working closely with my clients to create a multi-therapeutic strategy to improve quality of life.”
For more information about massage or aromatherapy or to create your own unique therapeutic blend, please contact Laura at email@example.com, call 541-621-5791 or visit http://jacksonvillespa.com/.