THE BEST ESSENTIAL OILS AND CARRIER OILS FOR A BODY MASSAGE
Once considered a luxurious practice, the health and wellness benefits of a massage are not skin-deep. Ranging from light stroking to deep pressure, there is an array of different types of massages that can treat major health concerns or can be incorporated into a daily wellness routine. While massage therapy has been gaining widespread attention and accessibility over recent years, you can receive a massage from a loved one or massage your own body depending on your needs. Benefits of a good massage includes promoting relaxation, increasing the awareness of the breath, lowering blood pressure, alleviating tension, and reducing bodily pain. Regardless of the type of massage you are planning to have, aromatherapy can elevate the experience and nourish your skin in the process. Essential Oils such as Lavender, Peppermint, and Grapefruit can ease the feelings of stress and improve mood, while Carrier Oils such as Fractionated Coconut and Avocado are rich in nutrients that nourish the skin.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT OIL FOR A MASSAGE
1. Decide if you plan to massage yourself or have assistance.
Depending on what your needs are and what part of the body you want to treat, you can give a massage to yourself. For hard-to-reach areas, it may be beneficial to have someone you trust to give you a massage. Receiving a massage from another person may also help release built up tension in areas such as the shoulders.
2. Determine the purpose of the massage.
Prior to choosing the right Essential and Carrier Oils for your unique massage experience, it is important to know the reason for the massage in the first place. Are you looking to relax and wind down? Or do you want something more invigorating in the middle of the day? Also consider whether you want a full body massage or need to target a specific area. If you are experiencing tension or soreness, certain oils are better for alleviating pain.
3. Consider the mood you wish to achieve.
Some oils, such as Lavender, Chamomile Roman, Frankincense, and Geranium are known for their tranquil, calming properties. Their scent profiles are calming, making them ideal for winding down prior to sleep. Meanwhile, Ylang ylang, Clary Sage, Peppermint, and Rosemary Essential Oils are uplifting and energizing, perfect for a mid-day pick-me-up. Using the wrong oil for the purpose of your massage can achieve the opposite of your desired effect, so be sure to choose your massage oils wisely.
4. Choose your Essential Oil/Carrier Oil combination based on your skin type.
Essential Oils and Carrier Oils can nourish the skin when combined properly. While many are rich in Vitamins, Minerals, Amino Acids, and Essential Fatty Acids that are beneficial for the skin, Essential Oils and Carrier Oils also have specific properties that are suitable for different skin types. For example, Jojoba and Apricot Kernel Oils are non-irritant, soothing, and balance the skin's oil production, which is highly beneficial for acne-prone skin. Meanwhile, Avocado and Fractionated Coconut Oils are rich and have a slightly oilier consistency, ideal for those suffering from dry skin. For sensitive skin types, Sweet Almond Oil is gentle enough for topical use, although a patch test is still recommended.
5. Let your favorite scents be your guide!
Above all else, choose your massage oil based on the aromas you love! If you need to relax but aren't very fond of the smell of Lavender, there are a plethora of other calming oils to choose from. Need an extra pep in your step but aren't a fan of Peppermint? You can find an oil or oils that are equally as invigorating but have a milder scent profile. Don't be afraid to experiment with different oil combinations to find a unique aroma to enhance your massage experience!
ESSENTIAL OILS FOR A MASSAGE
Lavender Essential Oil: Hailed as one of the most popular and versatile Essential Oils in Aromatherapy, Lavender is valued for its adaptogenic and soothing properties and delicately fresh and sweet aroma profile. The adaptogenic and anti-inflammatory qualities helps the body to cope with stress, while its calming, pleasant scent aids in promoting relaxation, perfect for winding down before sleep.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil: Revitalizing and invigorating, Eucalyptus can promote relaxation in the muscles while also awakening the senses. In Aromatherapy, this cooling Essential Oil is believed to support respiratory health, provide analgesic effects, and decongest stressed-out skin.
Peppermint Essential Oil: Peppermint's sharp, minty and sweet scent is refreshing, cooling, and stimulating to the body and the senses. Possessing an abundance of healing properties, Peppermint is known for its ability to treat headaches, soothe sore muscles, and alleviate cramps associated with PMS. This mint oil's versatility allows it to be used in massages all over the body, and not just on the back. Due to its invigorating nature, Peppermint is not recommended for massages intended to promote sleep.
Grapefruit Essential Oil: For a midday pick-me-up, massage this energizing citrus oil to refresh your mind and promote focus. Due to its balancing nature and potential to uplift mood, Grapefruit is believed to aid in reducing stress and lowering blood pressure. This tangy citrus oil's aromatherapeutic benefits can also help promote healthy blood flow and alleviate stiff muscles, making it a brilliant choice as a massage oil.
Clary Sage Essential Oil: Another uplifting Essential Oil, Clary Sage is well-balanced and earthy, contributing to its calming, stress-relieving properties. Clary Sage can also support the immune system and relieve cramps, including those associated with PMS. Dilute Clary Sage Essential Oil with Jojoba Carrier Oil and massage into affected areas to help alleviate pain.
Geranium Essential Oil: Geranium Oil's fresh and floral scent contributes to its relaxing and rejuvenating properties. Traditionally, Geranium Essential Oil has been used to improve circulation, support and stimulate the nervous system, and act as an astringent when applied topically. When used in a massage, Geranium is believed to promote muscle contraction, which firms the appearance of muscles and a toned body composition.
CARRIER OILS FOR A MASSAGE
Fractionated Coconut Oil: Antiaging, anti-inflammatory, and deeply moisturizing, Fractionated Coconut Oil is a powerhouse of skin-healing benefits. Rich in Vitamin E, Fractionated Coconut helps protect the skin from damage caused by the UV rays. This emollient Carrier Oil is also believed to stimulate Collagen production, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Apricot Kernel Oil: Extracted from the seeds of Apricots, the Carrier Oil possesses anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiseptic, and antiaging properties. Apricot Kernel Oil is rich in Essential Fatty Acids, as well as Vitamins A and E, which is beneficial for dry, mature, and sensitive skin. Apricot Kernel also balances oil production in acne-prone skin.
Jojoba Oil: Jojoba Oil's lightweight consistency mimics the consistency of the skin's natural sebum consistency, which detoxes and revitalizes congested skin. Jojoba is a non-comedogenic oil, meaning it won't clog pores, making it beneficial for facial and scalp massages. Rich in Vitamins E and B, Minerals, and Antioxidants, Jojoba is the perfect Carrier Oil for a massage that is relaxing and nourishing to the skin.
Avocado Oil: Essential and Trace Minerals are responsible for this Carrier Oil's hydrating and skin-renewing qualities. When applied topically, Avocado Oil can tighten pores and draw out impurities. Using this emollient oil in a massage allows the anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, and sun-protecting properties to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin. Massaging inflamed areas of the body with Avocado Oil may help alleviate any pain or tension.
Grapeseed Oil: Abundant in Vitamins A, E, B, and D, Amino Acids, and Essential Fatty Acids, Grapeseed Oil has the potential to promote cell regeneration, which helps treat sun damage, dry skin, acne, and minimizes the signs of aging. Grapeseed Oil is moisturizing without being greasy, balancing out natural oil production when in contact with the skin. It is also gentle enough to use on sensitive skin types.
Sweet Almond Oil: Sweet Almond is a fast-absorbing oil, making it a highly effective emollient. Its constituents of Vitamins A and E makes Sweet Almond a versatile massage oil for many different skin types, including dry and acne-prone skin. It also acts as a powerful antifungal agent, so Sweet Almond Oil can be used to massage feet troubled by athlete's foot and other fungus.
DIY MASSAGE OIL RECIPES (Source: Loving Essential Oils)
1. MOISTURIZING MASSAGE OIL
- 12 drops Lavender Essential Oil
- 4 drops Chamomile Roman Essential Oil
- 4 drops Myrrh Essential Oil
- 1/4 cup Grapeseed Carrier Oil
- Place the ingredients into a 2 oz glass bottle and shake to blend.
2. BREATHE EASY MASSAGE OIL
- 12 drops Frankincense Essential Oil
- 4 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
- 4 drops Lavender Essential Oil
- 1/4 cup Fractionated Coconut Carrier Oil
- Place the ingredients into a 2 oz glass bottle and shake to combine. For respiratory support, massage this oil onto the chest and neck.
3. RELAXATION MASSAGE OIL
- 10 drops Cedarwood
- 8 drops Lavender Essential Oil
- 2 drops Ylang ylang Essential Oil
- 1/4 cup Jojoba Oil
- Add all ingredients to a 2 oz glass bottle, shake to combine. This oil blend is recommended for massages on the chest, neck, and shoulders to promote relaxation.
4. SORE MUSCLES MASSAGE OIL
- 8 drops Cardamom Essential Oil
- 8 drops Lavender Essential Oil
- 8 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
- 1/4 cup Jojoba Oil
- Place ingredients into a 2 oz glass bottle and shake to combine. Massage onto sore muscles for temporary relief.
5. HEADACHE HELPER MASSAGE
- 8 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
- 8 drops Lavender Essential Oil
- 8 drops Frankincense Essential Oil
- 1/4 cup Fractionated Coconut Oil
- Place the oils into a 2 oz glass bottle and shake to combine. To alleviate tension and stress-related headaches, massage this oil blend onto shoulders, neck, and temples. Avoid contact with eyes.
6. MENTAL CLARITY MASSAGE OIL
- 8 drops Basil Essential Oil
- 8 drops Lemon Essential Oil
- 8 drops Juniper Berry Essential Oil
- 1/4 cup Grapeseed Carrier Oil
- Add the ingredients to a 2 oz glass bottle and shake to combine. Massage anywhere on the upper body such as shoulders, chest, neck, and arms to alleviate fatigue.
A GUIDE TO DILUTING ESSENTIAL OILS FOR A MASSAGE
For adults and teenagers, a 2% dilution rate is safe enough to use on the skin. If using a 1 oz bottle, add 10-12 drops of Essential Oil of choice. For a 2 oz bottle, 20-24 drops total is the ideal amount.
If the massage blend with Essential Oils is being used on children between the ages of 5-12 years of age, a 1% dilution rate is recommended. Add 5-6 drops of Essential Oil into a 1 oz bottle, or, if using a 2 oz bottle, add 10-12 drops total.
A 1% dilution rate is also recommended for those with sensitive skin, as well as those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR ESSENTIAL AND CARRIER OILS
As with all other New Directions Aromatics products, the Essential Oils and Carrier Oils mentioned are for external use only. They should not be ingested and should not be stored within the reach of children, in case of accidental ingestion. As with Essential and Carrier Oils, a patch test should be conducted on the inner arm or another generally insensitive area of skin, using a dime-size amount of the specified oil to check for sensitivities. An absence of an allergic response within 48 hours suggests that the oil is safe to use.
The topical application of most carrier oils is generally known to be safe with responsible use, but irritations, allergies, rashes, and other side effects are possible. In the chance of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.
Essential or carrier oils must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin.
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