As an ardent user of massage oils, I can’t stress enough how these oils have changed my life. So, when someone asks me, ‘What does massage oil do?’ I sometimes wonder where to start because the benefits are so many. If you’re yet to try these massage oils, one thing is for sure – you’re missing out on a lot! Let’s look at some of the benefits of massage oils so you can benefit as well.
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Why Use Massage Oil?
There are many reasons for using massage oil. First, when it’s applied to your body, it allows the hands of the massage therapist to glide smoothly on your skin. As a result, they can reach all the deep muscle tissues without causing undue friction on your skin. But that’s not all. Different massage oils have unique healing abilities that benefit your body upon inhaling.
Some of the benefits people find in massage oil in general are:
- Reduces stress
- Relieves anxiety
- Eases muscle tension
- Enhances sleep quality
- Helps manage high blood pressure
- Helps reduce symptoms of depression
- Relieves pain from conditions such as lower back pains, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and myofascial pain syndrome.
Benefits of Specific Massage Oils
Now, let’s look at specific massage oils and why you should use them:
1. Almond Oil
Almond oil is highly popular among massage therapists. The oil is pale yellow and has a mild smell. Therapists love this oil because of its light texture, meaning it can smoothly glide on the skin. Almond oil is also absorbed fairly quickly by the skin.
Why this Oil:
- Relaxes the muscles and relieves any pain and soreness
- Has vitamin E, which helps to protect the skin from damage caused by UV rays
- Protects your skin from premature aging
- Beneficial for dry, itchy skin
2. Olive Oil
This oil gets absorbed into the skin at a slow rate; hence, it’s ideal for light massages. If you’re seeking an oil to relax your muscles and lock the moisture in your skin, you cannot go wrong with olive oil.
Why this Oil:
- Has multiple minerals and nutrients that improve your energy levels
- Eases aches, muscle pains, and inflammation
- Flushes out toxins from your body, giving your skin a natural glow
- Reduces stretch marks
- Slow down skin aging
3. Sesame Oil
This is your go-to-go massage oil if you want to strengthen your bones. The oil is extracted from sesame seeds, which are good sources of calcium, copper, magnesium, and omega-3 fats. Incorporating this oil in your massage is sure to benefit you from all these minerals.
Why this Oil:
- Enhances bone strength
- Soothes your brain
- Has vitamin E, which moisturizes your skin and reduces stretch marks
4. Coconut Oil
If you thought coconut oil was only used for cooking purposes, you are about to learn something new. Coconut oil has been used for a long time as massage oil with incredible results. Since pure coconut oil is heavy and solid, it can be mixed with other essential oil and be used for massage purposes. But what makes it exceptional? It doesn’t become rancid even when left on your skin for an extended period.
Why this Oil:
- Moisturizes and cleans your skin
- Has antioxidants that prevent aging and wrinkles on your skin
- Can treat xerosis
- Relaxes muscles
- Improves blood circulation
5. Sunflower Oil
Sunflower oil is light and non-greasy, meaning it won’t leave your skin feeling oily. As the name suggests, the oil is derived from sunflower seeds, and these are known to contain linoleic acid, stearic acid, and palmitic acid. These acids are essential components for having healthy skin.
The only demerit to this oil is that it goes rancid quickly on your skin. Hence, use it in small quantities and store it in a cool place.
If you want to know more about how to care for your massage oils, check out my article ‘Can Massage Oils Expire? How Long Do They Last and How to Store Them.’
Why this Oil:
- Moisturizes your skin and reduces wrinkles and fine lines
- Has barrier regenerative qualities to shield and protect your skin
- Flushes out toxins found on your skin, thus keeping it young and healthy
6. Avocado Oil
If you’re suffering from dry skin, avocado oil is the perfect massage oil for you. In most cases, dry skin is an indication that you lack essential nutrients in your diet. Avocado oil is loaded with all the necessary nutrients needed to keep your skin glowing.
Why this Oil:
- Has moisturizing properties that help to keep your skin nourished
- Helps to cure cracked skin, wrinkles, and patchy textures
- Contains potassium, and vitamin A and D, which may help treat dry patches and eczema
- Promotes skin cell regeneration and enhances skin elasticity
Tips on Using Massage Oils
We’ve already seen the plethora of benefits that accompany different massage oils. But, improper usage or too much aggressiveness when using these oils can be harmful. Take note of the following tips:
- Do not consume: Massage oils are meant to be applied externally on the skin. Ingesting them is risky, as some of their ingredients may be poisonous.
- Store away from children: You know very well that children are curious beings. Therefore, if you store your massage oils in an accessible location, they might ingest it, leading to poisoning. So, keep your oils in a locked or high area where no kid can reach.
- Check if you are allergic to a specific massage oil before usage: You might find that your body is allergic to certain massage oils. Before applying any oil to your body, you should try it on a small body area to see the reaction. If you have skin irritation, rashes, inflammation, or any other unusual reaction, you should avoid that oil and try another one.
- Check the ingredients and properties of massage oil before use: Some massage oils have a sweet fragrance that might tempt you to use them without checking if the oil is right for you. Don’t fall into the trap. Check the properties and ingredients to confirm that the massage will solve your specific needs.
When Should I Use Massage Oil
The best time to use massage oils is in the morning. If you’re doing it yourself without the help of a therapist, take the oil in your hand and massage your body for at least 15 minutes. That will allow the oil to be fully absorbed into your skin for the best results. You can then relax your body for another 30 minutes before taking a full bath.
If you’re using the services of a massage therapist, ensure they’re qualified and licensed to do the job. Also, it’s a good idea to check they’re using the right oils before the massage session.
Massage oils enhance the benefits of massage by allowing your hands or the therapist’s hands to glide smoothly on your skin. And, they also come with immense health benefits on your skin and overall body. However, before selecting the massage oil to use, you should review different brands to ascertain which one best suits your needs.
If you would like to know how to care for your massage oils and get the most benefits from them, you may be interested in my article ‘Can Massage Oils Expire? How Long Do They Last and How to Store Them.’
There are certainly alternatives to massage oils. Check out my article ‘Massage Oil or Massage Lotion? Find Out Which Is Best for You’ to learn which is the best option for your specific goals.