A massage is a wonderful, relaxing experience that can ease the tension in your body and lead to greater overall health. The basic motions of massage, though, can create friction that is not always desired on the body. For this reason, some massage techniques include the use of massage oil to help lubricate the skin and allow fingers to glide easily over it. The use of massage oil will make your massage a comfortable experience and can also turn it into a relaxing aromatherapy session as well.
Choosing Your Oil
The right oil is the key to a good massage. Some oils are easily absorbed by the skin, which means you won't feel greasy after your massage, while other massage oils are purchased for a high shelf life. A good massage oil to use is sweet almond oil, which is absorbed effectively by the skin, making it desirable for massage. However, the drawback to almond oil is that it can't be used on people with nut allergies. Jojoba oil is one that has a very long shelf life and absorbs well, but the drawback is that it absorbs so quickly that it will have to be reapplied during the massage.
It may be tempting to use cooking oils that you already have in the house, but it is best to avoid these. While some, such as olive oil and sesame oil, are sometimes used in massage, these oils are very thick and are not easily absorbed by the skin. If these oils are used at all, they will likely be blended with other massage oils.
Massage oils have a shelf life like any other oil, and they can go rancid in time. When buying massage oil, be sure to look for something with a long shelf life, such as jojoba oil. Other oils, such as sunflower oil, can go rancid rather quickly. The best way to prevent any massage oil from going bad too quickly is to purchase it in small bottles, and to store it in a cool, dark place.
Essential oils are concentrated oils from plants with a scent, so the addition of these massage oils can turn your massage into a new experience that adds aroma as well as sensation. However, essential oils on their own are too powerful to be used on the skin; they must be diluted with another oil before use. As little as 12 drops of essential oils added to one ounce of carrier oil, such as almond oil, will be all you need. Keep in mind that these massage oil blends will go rancid faster than the carrier oil on its own, so be sure to mix in small quantities to get the most out of your oil. Proper storage of your massage oils will ensure that you have it when you need it to give a soothing, relaxing massage.