Preparing Massage Oils
By Anna Lynn Sibal
The application of oils onto the skin while giving massage is an integral part of the massage itself. The oil makes the skin slippery, which reduces friction when the fingertips of the giver of the massage come in contact with the skin of the receiver. Friction, after all, can cause discomfort for both. But more than that, the massage oil that the giver applies is very beneficial in itself. At the very least, massage oil moisturizes and nourishes the skin. The chemical content of the massage oil is also absorbed by the skin, and whatever they are can affect the body in different ways.
Most massage therapists use principles of aromatherapy in preparing their massage oils. In aromatherapy, it is believed that the kind of scent that a person smells affects his or her mood and the general condition of his or her body. In aromatherapy, it is believed that scents can heal. This belief has no solid scientific evidence yet, but massage therapists use aromatic oils in giving massage anyway because they smell good and they aid in relaxing the receiver of the massage.
It is easy to prepare aromatic massage oils if you know how. Aromatic massage oils consist of a few drops of essential oils diluted in carrier oils. Essential oils are derived from the aromatic plants; they are highly concentrated, and thus it is not recommended to use them as they are because they might irritate the skin. Carrier oils are just that: they function as carriers of the essential oils mixed into them.
To prepare aromatic massage oils, aside from the carrier oil and the essential oil that will be mixed, you will need a small and dark-tinted bottle, a small funnel and a dropper. It is important that you mix only small amounts of oil at a time and to use what you have mixed as soon as you can because aromatic massage oils can spoil and go rancid easily. Two ounces of oil are usually enough for a full body massage.
Applying the funnel to the mouth of the bottle, fill about half of the bottle with the carrier oil. Afterwards, put the essential oil you wish to use in the dropper and drop around 12 to 15 drops of it into the carrier oil. These 12 to 15 drops can be comprised of just one kind of essential oil or three kinds; you can mix up to three kinds of essential oils as long as there are no more than 15 drops for every two ounces of carrier oil. After you are done mixing the oils together, cap the bottle tightly and shake it well. And then, store it in a cool and dry place, away from direct heat and sunlight.
Depending on the kind of essential oil used during the massage, it can induce a feeling of calmness into the receiver of the massage, or it can energize and invigorate him or her. Massage is great, but the right massage oil can make it even better.