When it comes to leaving a person feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, few things compare
to a great massage.
Whether shiatsu, Hawaiian lomi-lomi, Swedish or in-a-chair sports massage, hands-on
personal massage therapy is a real stress reliever for many.
One of the nicest things about a great massage is a wonderful oil.
Here are a few of our favorites.
Massage Oils to Know About
Jojoba is technically a liquid wax ester but provides the same splendid slip as a high-quality
Extracted from a southwestern shrub botanically known as Simmondsia chinensis, jojoba oil
boasts antibacterial properties that make it an excellent emollient for use on backs with acne
and for people with certain skin allergies.
Indian verbena – sometimes called lemon grass oil, offers stimulation to the parasympathetic
What this means is that nervous headaches may be better relieved by a temple massage with
this kind of oil.
The essential aromatics in Indian verbena may relieve chest congestion, clear sinuses and
provide other kinds of respiratory relief.
Sprains, cramps and torn muscles may be gently treated with Indian verbena.
Sweet almond oil – Oily and thick, this is a favorite among masseuses and clients alike.
Almond oil absorbs into the skin and doesn’t leave clients feeling as if they need to bathe after
their therapeutic massage.
It does take awhile to be absorbed, however, this makes sweet almond just right for an extended
The oleic and linoleic acids in sweet almond oil are known to relieve muscle aches and tension.
Avo oil – thicker than other massage lubricants, oil of the avocado fruit is typically blended
with lighter oils such as jojoba or almond.
Avo oil delivers a wealth of nutrients, including vitamins A, B1, B and D.
This lustrous green oil also offers pantothenic acid to elasticize the skin, according to
Coconut oil – the lauric acids in this oil are first-class antimicrobial agents that offer protection
to sensitive skin.
Vitamin E, which is plentiful in coconut oil, helps to shield skin from age-accelerating damage
done by free radicals.
If you incorporate herbal medicine into your massage therapy routine, you’ll be glad to know
that coconut oil is an excellent carrier that can deliver nutrients through the skin.
Be sure to use fractionated coconut oil, because is contains medium-chain triglycerides that
keep the oil from hardening at room temperature.
Another plus to moisturizing coconut oil is the layer of fatty acids it lays on skin.
This prevents essential moisture from escaping and is perfect for clients with super-dry dermis.
To Scent or Not to Scent
Scented or not, massage oil increases the effectiveness of massage exponentially.
The slipperiness of a high-quality oil allows the skilled hands of the masseuse or masseur
to glide over skin.
Generally made from sweet almond oil, avocado oil, soy or another type of natural lubricant,
massage oil makes any massage feel better.
Boost the benefits of massage by incorporating aromatherapy oils into your therapy.
Extracts of certain leaves, roots, flowers, stems and other plant parts may enhance the
psychological and physical effects of a good massage.
Arnica oil is made from a kind of daisy and is used in massage oil to reduce swelling, muscle
spasms and to relieve tired muscles.
Arnica should not be used full strength, but diluted in oil it serves its purpose well.
The pink and red flowers of geranium yield an aromatic oil that can be blended into almond
oil for a fragrant, stress-relieving, anxiety eliminating massage.
Lavender oil is a gentle massage additive that offers the ultimate in relaxation.
Use lavender when you want to create feelings of utmost ease leading to sleepiness.
In addition to this lovely benefit, lavender is anti-inflammatory, antifungal, analgesic,
antidepressant, antiseptic, antibacterial and has numerous antimicrobial properties.
Why Massage is Good Medicine
Considered alternative and complementary medicine, massage therapy offers numerous
Sometimes provided as an adjunct to more traditional therapies, massage may reduce
symptoms of anxiety, myofascial pain syndrome, fibromyalgia and migraine headache,
says Mayo Clinic.
Temporomandibular joint pain, sports injuries, and digestive disorders may also be
treated with massage.
Traditionally, massage was done with the client lying prone on a table.
Today, a massage chair for therapists is a nice portable alternative.
Easily taken anywhere, a massage chair is just right for offering after-marathon massage
and at-the-mall neck massage for tired shoppers.
The next time you’re feeling stressed out, don’t reach for a valium.
First, get a great massage and see if you don’t feel a whole lot better in a nicely natural way.
About the Author
Isabella Savage is an aromatherapist who shares her passion, and her knowledge, around the internet through her articles.
What are your favorite massage oils?
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