What’s more relaxing than a massage? A massage with botanical oils!
If you have arthritis, joint pain, or just muscle tension, a soothing massage can be a delightful way to reduce stress and improve your health.
When you combine it with botanical oils, you add a whole new dimension of physical and emotional benefits to your massage.
Read on to find out how massage with botanical oils can take you from blah to blissful.
How massage heals
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), reports that “massage is one of the most popular complementary therapies used by Americans”, and with good reason.
Massage helps improve circulation and boosts the immune system by stimulating the limbic system to release toxins.
It can stimulate muscles, which can improve flexibility and mobility, and can dramatically lower tension and stress, reducing muscle spasms and cramps.
Massage for arthritis
“Regular massage of muscles and joints can lead to a significant reduction in pain for people with arthritis,” according to Tiffany Field, PhD, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine.
A 2011 study, reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine s
howed that massage reduced back pain and that the benefits lasted at least six months.
Botanical oils for massage
Botanical oils are any oils that are extracted from plants. You can use botanical oils therapeutically in many ways, such as in sprays, baths, compresses, therapeutic gel linings
, or by massaging them into your skin.
Here are some types of botanical oils that are beneficial for skin care and massage.
Called “the true essence of the plant,” essential oils are highly concentrated liquids that are distilled from the flowers, leaves, stems, roots, and bark of plants.
Essential oils have been used for medicinal and healing purposes for thousands of years. Despite the word “oil”, essential oils don’t have an oily sensation like a vegetable oil.
They are called "oils" because they contain the oil-soluble chemicals in the plant. This complex chemistry gives essential oils their therapeutic properties, and a little goes a long way.
Essential oils are naturally relaxing and anti-inflammatory. More than 50 different oils are known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Some are better for certain types of conditions than others, and the response varies according to each person’s body chemistry.
You may be confused about the terms “essential oils” and “aromatherapy.” They mean the same thing. “Aromatherapy" implies that you get therapeutic effects from smelling or inhaling essential oils.
But you can use essential oils in a number of ways to promote healing. The three most basic include applying them to the skin, inhaling the oils, or ingesting them.
Each of these pathways provides different benefits and ways to use the oils.
Carrier oils and therapeutic oils
Undiluted essential oils are not usually applied directly to the skin, because they can cause irritation. They are mixed with a carrier oil that carries
the essential oil into the skin.
Carrier oils are therapeutic botanical oils that come from plants or seeds. Many have a sweet aroma. Popular carrier oils include jojoba, avocado, olive, almond, and sesame. They are excellent for massage, either alone or mixed with a few drops of essential oils.
7 Blissful botanical oils for massage
1. Jojoba oil
: One of the most popular oils used by massage therapists, jojoba oil is incredibly moisturizing. This silky, absorbent oil soaks deep into the skin, preventing the skin from becoming dry and cracked. It also helps to refine lines and create smoother looking skin.
This versatile oil is antimicrobial, so a massage with jojoba oil cleans and protects your entire body from bacteria. Because it holds added scents extremely well, jojoba is often combined with essential oils such as lavender, mint, and rose to create a powerfully calming experience that nourishes your mind, as well as your whole body.
2. Grapeseed oil
: With a light texture and pleasant smell, grapeseed oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can alleviate joint pain. It absorbs quickly, making it one of the most popular oils for massage. It is also great for facial treatments and can be beneficial in clearing up acne. You can safely apply it straight from the bottle with a cotton ball. It can make your skin feel and look tighter to slow down aging. Grapeseed oil is a good way to detox your skin and give it a healthy, beautiful glow.
3. Mineral oil:
This lubricating liquid is the primary ingredient in many massage lotions and creams. Because it is highly emollient, it makes your skin feel soft and moisturized, reducing the appearance of fine lines. It is clear, odorless and colorless, and is often used in cosmetics and personal care products.
4. Olive oil:
Warm aromatic olive oil is one of the oldest, most natural ways to calm and sooth your body, often coupled with an aromatherapy scent such as lavender or rose. It hydrates the skin by penetrating deeply to provide long-lasting moisture.
It’s especially popular in the Indian culture, where Indian beliefs are about balancing the body and spirit. Using olive oil during a massage treatment increases the benefits of massage for relieving muscle and joint pain, swelling, gout, and arthritis pain.
5. Avocado oil
: Renowned for its healing, anti-bacterial, and anti-wrinkle properties, avocado oil is ideal for massage because its silky texture makes it easy to absorb. A mix of 10 drops of lavender essential oil to 1 ounce of avocado oil makes a soothing back or foot rub.
Avocado oil penetrates more deeply than other oils to stimulate collagen in the skin. This helps cells regenerate, reducing the visible signs of aging as the oil softens and hydrates the skin.
6. Soybean oil
: Soybean oil is full of fatty acids, which are crucial to maintaining and restoring health and balance to the skin. Soybean oil is also bursting with antioxidants such as Vitamin E that have proven properties to maintain skin health. It also contains Vitamin B complex. These vitamins are instrumental in helping to prevent wrinkles from developing, and helping restore radiance and natural beauty to the skin.
7. Canola oil
: A light oil that penetrates and softens the skin quickly, canola oil is high in linoleic acid, which promotes skin moisture and health. If you're looking for an inexpensive massage oil with excellent glide, try canola oil alone or blended with a few drops of your favorite essential oil, such as lavender or rose. It will help moisturize dry and flaky skin effectively.
If you’re looking for a way to combine all seven of these terrific botanical oils, keep in mind that they are all contained in Natracure’s SmartGel Lining
Enjoy your massage with your favorite oils. You’ll give your body a therapeutic treatment while reducing tension and lifting your spirits –a recipe for healing if there ever was one.