Well Oiled Aromatherapy
A is for Angelica and Aniseed essential oils and Avocado and Arnica carrier oils.
R is for Rosemary and Rapeseed and Rosehip carrier oil.
O is for Orange and Olive carrier oil.
M is for Mandarin,Marjoram,Melissa and Macadamia carrier oil.
A is for Apricot-Kernel and my facial massage therapy time.
T is for Ti Tree,Tangerine and Thyme.
H is for Hyssop and Hemp and Hypericium carrier oils.
E is for Eucalyptus and Evening Primrose Oil.
R is for Ravensara and Rose essential oils and Rapeseed carrier oil.
A is for Sweet Almond carrier oil and Aloe Vera Gel.
P is for Peppermint,Patchouli and Pettigrain(poor mans' Neroli from the Orange Blossom tree)and Peach-Kernel carrier oil.
Y is for Ylang Ylang an oriental favourite of mine.
Oils keep your skin and body well
Being the largest organ in the body your skin is indeed in-need of a bit of tender loving care.
Most people are aware of the benefits of some essential oils i.e. anti-inflammatory,antiseptic antispasmodic,anti-viral,calmative,euphoric etc.
However many people are unaware of the benefits of the carrier oils or vegetable oils that are essential in transporting the properties of the pure essential or aromatherapy oil into the skin.
Carrier oils play a far more significant role in aromatherapy than many people realise, because they offer a wealth of health-giving benefits of their own.
They contain vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, and many of them soften and improve the condition of the skin. Some of them are also highly effective in treating irritated, sensitive conditions such as eczema and psoriasis as well as helping to reduce wrinkles and scar tissue.Carrier oils make up 98% of a typical aromatherapy treatment.
Technically classed as 'fixed' oils because they do not evaporate, carrier oils are also known as base oils and vegetable oils. They are largely derived from nuts and seeds, although there are a few exceptions to this generalisation. For example, coconut oil is extracted by a special process from the white flesh which is known as 'copra', and jojoba oil is extracted from a leathery-leaved shrub and is actually a liquid wax rather than an oil.
All pure essential oils need to be diluted prior to application to the skin and if they are applied neat will cause irratation(exception being lavender directly to burns/spots/insect bites and ti tree locally to spots/warts/veruccas.)A word of caution,any oil may cause an allergic reaction as I once found out, when I was treating a person many years ago to an aromatherapy massage and they requested aniseed.This client loved the aroma;however my arms swelled for a couple of hours and became icthy and I remember feeling relieved at that time that my client hadn't experienced a reaction to it!
Just as olive oil is good for us to ingest because of for example its properties of omega 3 and high content of vitamin E (helping to reduce cholesterol)It is extremely useful for nourishing the skin and so especially suitable for a dry skin too.It is quite heavy in texture and so can be combined with other carrier oils.
Feed your skin nourishing oils
Other beneficial carrier oils for your skin are:
- Aloe Vera: An excellent anti-inflammatory gel which aids in cellular renewal.
- Apricot-Kernel: Luxury facial oil, good for acne/combination and sensitive skins
- Arnica:A herbal oil used for general aching of limbs, bruises and strained muscles.
- Avocado:This oil is a dark green colour and has a very strong odour which is not to every-one's liking, but nonetheless is rich in lecithin.Excellent for dry dehydrated skins, Avocado Oil is a lovely, rich, nourishing oil which is absorbed well. Contains vitamins A, B1, B2 and D.
- Borage:This oil is helpful for aging skin, eczema, multiple sclerosis, menopausal problems, P.M.T. and heart disease. It is good for regeneration of skin cells, too. It contains Gamma Linolenic Acid (G.L.A.), and vitamins and minerals. It is rather rich and is best diluted to 10% of the total blend.
- Calendula: (Marigold petals which are infused in either sunflower or olive oil) helps soothe red, irritated and sensitive skin, or for maintaining joint mobility in later life. Calendula works miracles on dry and chapped hands, and is an effective treatment for facial thread veins.
- Carrot:Gives the skin a wonderful glow and it is rich in carotene(vitamin A) amazing rejuvenating properties.Be careful with this oil as it will cause staining to clothing.
- Coconut:This oil is a light, all purpose oil, easily absorbed and nourishing to the skin. It is an excellent hair oil and is suitable for blending with heavier, thicker base oils such as Olive and Avocado.
- Evening Primrose:
This oil helps to prevent premature aging of the skin and is an excellent base oil for dryness of the skin. It is also helpful in the treatment of P.M.T. ( for the treatment of which, Evening Primrose capsules are recommended). It is valuable for it’s use on psoriasis and dry eczema and it aids wound healing. It contains vitamin E, minerals and linolenic acid. This oil is best diluted to 10% of the total blend, and mixed with a lighter, less expensive oil.
- Grape-seed: good all round body oil beneficial for oily skins and excellent value.
For really healthy hair and nails try Hemp Oil - a new addition to Healing Oils. Because it is rich in Omega 3's and GLA it's really good for heat or perm damaged hair and brittle nails. Simply soak your nails in some warm oil for 10 minutes to soften the cuticles and nourish the nails. For hair use as a conditioning treatment.
- Hypericium:(St.Johns Wort)Natural Anti-depressant(Do not take in pre-pregancy/pregnancy)
This oil has anti-inflammatory properties and is helpful for sprains, burns, and bruises. Other uses are the pain of fibrositis, sciatica and neuralgia. Hypericum is not easily obtainable, so it is perhaps advisable to dilute it with another carrier oil for massage.
Jojoba:A superb oil for massage, excellent for greasy skins as it absorbs really quickly. Ideal for hair conditioning as well, apply to hair and leave in overnight.
Macadamia:This is one of the few plant oils that contains high amounts of palmitoleic acid, which is also normally found in the sebum of man, and this oil therefore has a great affinity to our own skin. Macadamia oil may help in the fight to prevent premature aging of skin.
Peach Kernel:Facial massage, especially recommended for dry, aging or sensitive skin with thread veins.A fine textured, golden oil with a delicate, sweet aroma. It contains minerals and vitamins, especially Vitamin E. It is mainly used in beauty treatments as it is easily absorbed by the skin. Especially recommended for dry, aging skin.
- Rapeseed:An excellent face and body oil.
- Rosehip:The best anti-wrinkle oil ever!
Excellent for stretch marks, scar tissue or problem skin.
- Safflower: This oil has a light odour and texture;useful for circulatory complaints.
- Starflower:Especially useful for eczema, psoriasis and dry flaky scalp conditions. Starflower Oil is good skin care for dry irritated skin. Use alone or add essential oils for extra healing power.
- Sunflower:Penetrates the skin easily.It is light in odour/texture and inexpensive.It is rich in minerals and the vitamins A, B, D and E. It is a beneficial oil in the treatment of bruises, various skin diseases and leg ulcers. It is suitable for use on all skin types and can be used as 100% of the carrier oil .
- Sweet Almond: excellent facial oil and light in texture.(Avoid if you have a nut allergy)
- Wheatgerm: This oil is a dark orange colour with a strong fragrance typical of the cereal; it has a thick viscosity and contains high levels of essential fatty acids and some vitamin B and E.Excellent for stretch marks and scars.Must be diluted at 10% in another light carrier oil.It has excellent anti-oxidant properties due to vitamin E and therefore prolongs the shelf life of an aromatherapy blend(Avoid if you have wheat or gluten allergy)
A well chosen cold pressed carrier oil is essential in a therapeutic aromatherapy massage and a professional aromatherapist will always be able to explain what base they're using in your treatment and why.Skin is our essential protection to the body and deserves to be treated to a good aromatherapy massage treatment.
Go on and give it a try you'll be amazed at the difference it makes to your skins wellness and mental well-being.
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