A Basic Guide To Massage Oils
Choosing the right massage oil is just as important as giving a massage. This film will help you decide on what oils to use when giving a massage. A great introductory video into the therapeutic benefits on choosing the correct oil for a well deserved massage.
Step 1: Purpose of oils
The main purpose of massage oils is to lubricate the skin to reduce friction while doing general massage techniques. This helps give a smooth glide and easy workability to the skins surface. Benefits include nourishing the skin, relieving itchy patches or irritation. it also acts as a base or “carrier oil” for aromatherapy essential oils, which we will talk about later.
Step 2: Massage oil attributes
The different attributes we can compare are how the oil spreads, how easily it is absorbed, its nourishing and moisturizing properties and the smell. Other factors to consider about massage oils are the cost, the ease of cleaning, and the way it is processed. Generally speaking, the best massage oil will be extra virgin cold pressed, as this process maintains the highest level of purity while retaining most of the natural nutrients.
Step 3: Almond oil
Probably the most widely used massage oil is sweet almond oil. It spreads easily, and is very nourishing to the skin. It also serves as an excellent carrier oil because the smell is not too overpowering. It can be found in most health food stores and body shops, and is reasonably priced.
Step 4: Grapeseed oil
Another popular massage oil is grape seed. It is easily absorbed by the skin but does not leave a “greasy” feeling after application. It is not as common as sweet almond and is usually a bit more expensive.
Step 5: Sunflower oil
Sunflower oil is a low cost alternative and can usually be found at your local grocery store. It spreads easily and is a good carrier oil, but can feel a little greasy afterwards. Another thing to consider is that the majority of sunflower oils are heat pressed and have a very short shelf life.
Step 6: Other base oils
Other base oils have certain properties that can help specific conditions like dry skin, premature aging or eczema. These can be added in varying proportions to the primary oil and some examples include olive oil, wheat germ, and jojoba.
Step 7: Aromatherapy essential oils
Aromatherapy essential oils differ from the base massage oils in several ways. These are highly concentrated “essences” derived from various plant and fruit sources which have profound effects on the systems of the body. You almost never directly apply essential oils undiluted to the skin. Normally, you will add 10 to 20 drops of essential oil to every 100 ml/ 4oz of carrier oil. There are many essential massage oils to choose from, each with specific properties that affect the body differently. We will look at some of the most popular oils whose effects are beneficial to massage and relaxation.
Step 8: Lavender oil
Lavender is probably the most well known and widely used of all the essential oils. Not only does it have a calming effect on the mind, it is also an antiseptic and is one of the two oils that you can apply directly to the skin in cases of burns or stings to ease the pain. You can find lavender oil in almost any health food store, as well in many cosmetic shops and other skin care centres.
Step 9: Ylang Ylang
Ylang Ylang might possibly be the most useful essential oil for doing massage. Its properties include a sedating effect on the nervous system which helps with relaxation, while stimulating blood circulation and the production of endorphins, the body's natural pain killers. It is also perfect for all skin types as it helps dry skin conditions as well as oily skin and acne.
Step 10: Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is the only other essential massage oil you can apply undiluted to areas of the skin as an antiseptic as well as an anti-inflammatory. When used in massage, it helps promote healing to damaged skin while supporting healthy functioning of the respiratory system.