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A Great Massage Requires A Good Oil!

June 3, 2009

A Good Oil is a Carrier Oil.            Massages are Good with a Good Oil.

You want to give a massage from home and not sure which oil is a good oil to use?

The main oils used in massages are vegetable oils or as massage therapists call them ‘carrier oils’.  For a massage, cold pressed oils are much preferred over the food grade quality called a ‘hot extraction’.

Cold pressed oils are extracted by squeezing the oil out through giant heavy pressing machines which in turn collects the oil drips and gives you the virgin pressed quality of oil. Exquisite!! This in turn does make them a little bit more expensive although the quality is outstanding for Aromatherapy and Massage use.

Would you believe there are many types of carrier oils and they hold some pretty remarkable properties within them? This is also why cold pressed oils are very useful in massaging.  The hot extraction method is quite a complicated refining process and most of the quality properties are destroyed through the high temperatures required for this process.

You will find that there are many oils out on the market now called Macerated Oils and these are very good for use in Aromatherapy treatments mainly you will find these oils too rich for massaging, not to mention quite expensive for a whole body treatment.  These macerated oils are a blend of plant product soaked in good quality cold pressed carrier oil for weeks then strained.  The end result is very good quality oil with amazing healing benefits.

For massaging carrier oils can be used on their own delivering goodness to ones skin or with added Aromatherapy (essential) oils can deliver some quite sensational massage blends to help with a huge variety of ailments or conditions.  Here are some common carrier oils and their benefits which can be used for massaging.

Sweet Almond Oil: Is the most popular oil used in massage clinics for its great consistency.  It has the ability to provide a great coverage (‘slip’) required for any form of massage and does absorb well into the skin without leaving residue.  It also contains beneficial qualities of Vitamin A, B1, B2 and B6 and also having Vitamin E this helps to preserve the oil.  It is also known for its nourishing and calming effects on the skin.

Apricot Kernel Oil: You will find this is very similar to the Sweet Almond Oil in properties although this oil is found to be more expensive as it requires more product and can only be made in small batches.

Calendula Oil: This is a Macerated Oil       Flowerheads infused with carrier oil.

Useful for applications mainly or you can add more carrier oil to it thus allowing the oil to go further for larger areas like eczema.  This oil has fantastic anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic properties which can help with bed sores and bruises.  Also effective with skin problems, chapped and cracked skin.

Jojoba Oil: (pronounced ‘hohoba’)      This oil is actually a liquid wax and resembles our own body’s sebum.  Jojoba has very good keeping qualities although it is one of the more expensive oils.  This oil is very useful with acne as it has the ability of dissolving excess sebum and also is extremely good for dry skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.  A very balancing oil! This oil is best kept for small areas like the face, or blended with a good quality carrier for larger areas.

Macadamia Oil: This oil is unique in that contains a high palmitoleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid which is found in our sebum.  It is a beautiful soft oil with a smooth feel to it.  Macadamia oil can help to replenish the palmitoleic acid in our sebum which diminishes as we age.  This highly nourishing oil is fantastic to a dry and or mature skin it also holds great anti-aging properties.  A great alternative to a moisturiser add some essential oils and how good is that!

Olive Oil: Is good quality oil although it is very rich / heavy for massage use and with its high aroma, you will find it is best left in the kitchen and its beneficial qualities enjoyed through eating.

When using any of the above carrier oils for your massage you will on average require 40mls.  If your client/person’s skin is dry you will require more as the skin absorbs in all the goodness.  If you wish to added essential oils as well then less is best.  Essential oils are very concentrated.  The average ratio is 1 drop essential oil to 2mls of carrier oil.  What essential oils are best to use?  Well now that’s a whole new topic which will be explored in future newsletters.

The best thing with massages is that it’s enjoyable for both of you.  Just relax and go with it.   Enjoy!!

Written by Sharon Mitchell

Reference help: Aromatherapy Workbook by Shirley Price

8 Comments leave one →
  1. June 4, 2009 10:27 pm

    Your articles are such great references. Would love to have them compiled in book form!

  2. June 5, 2009 2:45 am

    Don’t forget coconut oil – it’s rich, smooth, and smells marvelous! It’s also a solid when it’s cool, but melts in your hand – which makes it less likely you’ll tip the container over and spill oil everywhere.

    The world’s first *soft* massage tool – it feels like a thumb!

  3. June 6, 2009 6:17 am

    Good post. That’s interesting that the different oils can have different effects when giving or getting a massage with them. Do you know if there is a specific kind that they use professionally or does it vary?

    • RealizeBeautyEd permalink
      June 6, 2009 9:14 am

      Hi there,
      Sweet Almond Oil is often used as it has just the right consistency and is cost effective. However, it can leave sheets with grease marks which is why some salons have moved to a blended oil which is water soluble, washing out of towels etc. The consistency of this varies depending on the manufacturer.

  4. Mac permalink
    March 18, 2010 1:00 am

    Angelica Root is another really good massage oil. is a great source to find some really good massage oils.

    • RealizeBeautyEd permalink
      March 18, 2010 10:53 pm

      Sounds interesting! I must have a look


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