One of the best ways to relieve stress and soothe tired and aching muscles is with a massage. A good masseuse has the ability to not just locate which muscles are bunching up from fatigue or stress, she also knows how to employ her hands to relax those muscles. But a massage is not a very pleasant experience if you don’t use some form of skin lubrication because the friction can become painful. That’s why a good massage oil is part of the equation when it comes to a successful and soothing massage.
There are many kinds of massage oils in the market. There are many commercially produced brands that range from the very affordable to the prohibitively expensive. But a good alternative to commercially produced massage oils is to make your own massage oil. This is a great idea because you can tailor fit the massage oil according to your own personal preferences.
A massage oil is a simple mixture of a both a base oil, which serves as the carrier, and a few drops of essential oils. The essential oils are used sparingly because these are highly concentrated extracts from plants. These are basically the distilled essence of plants and flowers. It is not recommended that these essential oils are used directly on the skin. That’s why it has to be diluted in the carrier oil (except for certain essential oils like tea tree or lavender that can be used directly on the skin).
Base oils are characteristically neutral so it won’t react with the essential oils. They are scentless and and do not react with essential oils. Among the popular base oils are grapeseed oil or apricot kernel oil. But even olive oil and virgin coconut oil can be used as base oils.
When making your own massage oil, first think of your intentions or goals for the massage. If your plan is to be able to relax and relieve your stress then don’t use essential oils that are known as pick-me-ups like grapefruit or peppermint. Use essential oils that are known to have a calming effect like lavender or rosemary.
When preparing your massage oil, put in a couple of tablespoons of the base oil into a shallow bowl. Now add a few drops of essential oils, allowing the oils to swirl around the bowl so that it blends together. In case you made too much, you can still store the massage oil you haven’t used in a bottle. Remember that essential oils are volatile and quickly evaporates so you have to use a bottle that is stoppered or can be closed firmly.
Image from Urban Naturals