- Alternative & Natural Medicine
Massage Oils for Therapy, Relaxation and Healing
Relaxing and Therapeutic Massage
Massage for Health
There are as many massage oils on the market as there are types of massages available. Everything from a sensual, relaxing massage to a healing, physical therapy massage. Some massages don't even use oil, they may just use pressure points or a thin cloth to help with friction.
Romantic Massage Oils
Most oils available at grocery stores are one oil products: Avocado Oil or Sweet Almond Oil. These can be a bit greasy and take a while to actually work into the skin. These oils are perfectly fine for a sensual massage - something one might indulge in on special occasions. Of course, they are good for well-being and relationships..., however, they may not be suitable for working out kinks in the muscle tissue while recovering from an accident.
Spa shops and skin care stores usually sell a blend of at least 2 the following five oils and may combine them with an essential oil that makes it smell really good, such as lavender or lemongrass: Jojoba oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Coconut oil, Sunflower oil and Apricot Kernel Oil.
Each one of these has it's positive effect. Almond oil should not be used on people that have nut allergies. Some of these oils are absorbed quicker than others. They generally are moisturizing for the skin. Vitamin E capsules can be mixed in with these oils and will actually extend the shelf life of the Sunflower oil, which otherwise may turn rancid quickly.
I recommend massage oils from The Body Shop. I like their ethics and the products are high quality. That said, there is no reason why you couldn't purchase your own oils and make your own mixture.
Therapeutic Massage Oils
This is more specialized grouping of oils. These massage oils actually go a bit further to heal what is going on physically beneath the skin. This is not to say that the "Romantic oils" are not beneficial, because they are. However, the following oils are recommended for people with various injuries to help assist in the healing process. These are considered Ayurvedic oils. They are part of the alternative medicine world and are not approved by the FDA as medicinal. However, I can tell you from personal experience, they work.
You do not need to be a physical therapist or a massage therapist to use them. Make sure you are not putting oil onto an open sore, cut or wound without speaking to your doctor first.
If you or a loved one is recovering from surgery, bruising or sports injury and they have already recovered to the point of physical therapy and are ready to break up potential scar tissue, then these oils are perfect. They can also be used as "Romance oils", though they are a much more advanced version of what is listed above in the first section.
Weleda's - Arnica Massage Oil - This is great for bruises, joint pain, swelling, inflammation and sore muscles. It can also relieve swelling and itching from insect bits. There have been studies out of Germany that have identified both helenalin and dihydrohelenalin, subtstances found in this massage oil, produce anti-inflammatory effects. Arnica stimulates the activity of white blood cells which releases trapped fluids from bumped and bruised tissue.
I personally can attest to it's healing benefits since I used it on my ankle after a severe sprain. I have also been using it on a friend while they recover from a broken collarbone sustained during a motorbike accident. It has a slight grainy feel to it which helps with gripping and deep massage. And, it also has a heating element the more you work into it. It is by far the best oil I've worked with.
Nagachampa Massage Oil - If this name sounds familiar, it is the same name on the blue packets of incense. It also has a much stronger smell than the Arnica oil - if you love the smell of incense (which I personally don't...), then you will LOVE this oil. This oil is considered an herbal Ayurvedic medicine which gives relief from joint and knee pain, sports injuries and relaxes stress. It has a list of ingredients that certainly will show that it is not just one oil, like the kind found in the grocery store. This is what it contains:
The ingredients that are used in the oil are one of the best known herbs in the science like Ricinus Communis, Olea Euopae, Piper Nigrum, Myristica Fragrans, Rosmarinus Officnalis, Gaultheria Procubens, Pogostemon Cablin, Cinnamomum Zeylancium, Azadirachta Indica, Cedrus atlantica, Melaleuca Alternofolia, Commiphora Myyrha, Curcuma Longa and Aloe Vera.
Regardless of the oil you choose, any type of massage, so long as it's done with good intent, focus and patience, will create a healthy, relaxing and healing environment. Practice makes perfect!