Massage oil has been an integral part of massage therapy throughout history. Plato and Socrates wrote of ” anointing with oil and rubbing to ease pain” while Homer mentioned about an ” oily medium” used for massage as early as 1000 B.C. The main purpose of using oil in a massage is to facilitate ease in gliding over the massage receivers’ skin.
Today there are many types of massage oil with various uses. The various oils contain ingredients for specific or all skin types to purify and nourish the skin. Essential oils (fragrant oils distilled from plants, trees, roots, seeds) are used to enhance the massage treatment more popularly known as Aromatherapy. Research has shown that essential oils possess the medical properties associated with the herbs, are antiseptic and capable of adjusting a person’s mood via the olfactory nerves. Although essential oils are highly concentrated they do not have any side effects if used properly.
The following is a list of the most popular massage oil used in massage treatment and brief information of their key characteristics:
- Sweet Almond Oil is a light, sweet and slightly nutty oil which is anti-inflammatory in nature. It is known to penetrate and nourish the skin. This oil is also known to be one of the most popular carrier oils (Carrier oils are rich, unscented, moisturizing vegetable oils that act as a base for essential oils used in aromatherapy).
- Apricot oil has moisturizing, nourishing and revitalizing properties and is particularly helpful for dehydrated, delicate, mature and sensitive skin. It is also helpful to soothe inflammation.
- Avocado oil is often used for people with dry or mature skin, people suffering from eczema, psoriasis or similar skin complaints. It is also very useful when treating sun or climate damaged skin that is dehydrated and under nourished, as it is said to help with the regenerating of the skin and softening of the tissue.
- Jojoba oil is ideal for all skin types. It can in most cases be used on blemished skin without any problems, as it helps to control acne. Jojoba is also a favorite oil to use as a carrier oil for aromatherapy as it penetrates the skin easily. Jojoba is anti-bacterial and helps breaking down sebum in plugged pores.
- Wheat germ oil has a high vitamin E content and essential fatty acids, thus it is used extensively in aromatherapy massage blends. It is said to promote a smoother, younger-looking skin, assisting in healing scar tissue as well as stretch marks.
- Hazelnut oil is fine in texture, and has great moisturizing qualities. Hazelnut oil helps tone and tighten the skin while strengthening capillaries and assisting in cell regeneration.
- Sesame Oil is good for all skin types, destroys ringworm, scabies and most fungal skin diseases. Considered to be antiseptic and thought to be most stable in terms of spoilage.
- Holy oil is known to be an ideal carrier oil due to its molecular structure. It carries essential oils deep into the skin. An excellent glide, non-greasy, odorless, hypoallergenic oil.