Massage is a healing therapy involving manipulation of soft tissues of the body. Massage can soothe muscle aches and pains, encourage relaxation, stimulate the circulation of blood and encourage the flow of lymph. Massage also has beneficial effects on the skin as well as calming and uplifting the mind.
There are numerous styles of massage but essential to most forms of massage is the selection of an appropriate massage oil. While used primarily for lubrication, the oil selected can also have benefits for the skin, as well as assisting the massage itself.
Different criteria's which should be kept in consideration while making massage oil are style of massage which is the amount of slip and grip required, skin type whether the skin is dry or oily, purpose of massage etc
The massage oil comprises of two components, carrier oils and essential oils to get therapeutic benefits. One can either choose a single base oil or a few carrier oils, and add up to 3-4 essential oils depending on the benefit one seeks. When making a blend for massage, proportions of 3-4% essential oil to base oil should be used, for instance 6-8 drops of essential oil added to 10 ml of base/carrier oil. Essential oils should not be used directly on the skin.
Base / Carrier Oils for Massage Oil Blends:
- Grapeseed oil is odorles,light and is a good option for oily skin. It can be used on its own or one can blend it with other carrier oils. It contains some vitamin E and linoleic acid.
- Jojoba oil is easily absorbed by the skin which makes it a favorite carrier oil for aromatherapy. It has antibacterial properties that can cure many skin allergies and ailments and is therefore preferred by people who have back problems.
- Sesame Oil is highly used in Ayurveda for its rich medicinal properties. Massaging with sesame everyday is good for muscles as it improves blood circulation in the body. It acts as a good toner too.
- Sweet almond oil suits most skin types, is nearly odorless, and absorbs well into the skin. It contains B vitamins and vitamin A, and it is one of the most popular base oils in body oils and massage oil recipes.
Essential Oils which can be used for Massage Oil Blends:
- Rosemary oil is good for tired, stiff or overworked muscles. It stimulates circulation and relieves pain, and may be helpful in arthritis
- Lavender oil is used for relaxing body and mind. It relieves pain and tension, and is good for muscular aches and pains, headaches and sciatica. It relieves both physical and emotional stress.
- Ginger Oil is a warming oil that boosts circulation. It is often used to releive stiffness in joints and muscles.
- Black Pepper oil is another stimulating oil but should be added a maximum of 1% to a blend. It is also a warming spice oil good for releiving stiffness, aches and pains.
- Tea Tree oil when used in massage, helps promote healing to damaged skin while supporting healthy functioning of the respiratory system. It helps fight skin problems like acne, fungus & excema and Improve skin disorders like sunburn, itching, acne, cuts & wounds.