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What You Should Know About Massage Oils

Aromatherapy is a growing field in complementary therapies, and massage oils are just some of the many essential elements of this growing field. Massage oils help enhance the massage experience for the customer through their pleasant fragrance and ability to seamlessly glide over the patient's skin. Many common essential oils are used to improve mood, soothe sore muscles, or simply relax you. The wide variety of massage oils available today should allow you to choose an essential oil that will fit your needs.

Before you purchase your preferred massage oils, it is important to know what they are and how they work. Aromatherapy refers to the process of using essential oils or other natural substances to promote relaxation and relieve stress, improve mood, and/or heal the body. Massage therapy is a broad term used to generally describe the therapeutic manipulation of the body that includes all parts of the body and the application of massage therapy treatments on these parts.

Essential oils are plant-based substances extracted from aromatic plants and used as a scent or flavor in massage therapies. While they come in a wide variety of compositions and levels of concentration, essential oils generally range in consistency from thick to thin, oily to clear and light to even. Most commonly, they are diluted with carrier oils before being applied to the skin. One way to know what to look for in your chosen essential oil(s) is to consult a professional aromatherapist or check out the label for the percentage concentration. However, sometimes the concentration may not be accurate as some are very concentrated while others are very low in concentration.

Massage gels are very similar to massage oils, except for their thinner consistency and lighter feel. They can be applied to any part of the body, using fingertips, rinsed off after use and used again. Massage gels typically contain natural oils like aloe vera, rose, avocado and coconut. Massage gels have a number of applications such as relief of stress, pain, chills, burns, itching, bruises, anxiety and inflammation and the list goes on.

The grape seed extract is another very popular essential oil used for massages and body wraps. This oil has been in existence for centuries and has recently been discovered to have deep tissue healing properties. It also promotes circulation, reduces inflammation, smoothes over dry and rough patches of the skin, and increases moisture retention in the skin which helps to delay the aging process. Its other benefits are improving circulation, speeding up the process of cell recovery, reducing swelling and pain relief. It is said that regular use of grape seed extract improves skin elasticity by improving collagen and elastin production in the body. This makes your skin firmer and more tone.

Sesame Oil is commonly referred to as "china clay" because it resembles the texture and appearance of fine sand and it is very dense and has a very tight molecular structure. It is rich in linoleic acid and is a very good source of antioxidants such as Vitamin E, beta-carotene and vitamin A. It is also a powerful antibacterial agent, strong anti-inflammatory, has a soothing effect on the skin, and acts as an antioxidant. Its fragrance is light, sweet, and spicy and is primarily produced in China, India and Japan. Due to its pungent aroma, the delicate scent of sesame oil is usually combined with a hint of Rosemary or eucalyptus to achieve a better aroma.

There are many types of massage oils that you can use and they are not all safe and effective. Massage therapists must be certified to use these oils, especially oils that have pungent aromas because they are very effective in relieving stress and soothing dry and itchy skin and muscles. The only oils that are recommended for daily use by professional massage therapists are Cayenne and ginger. Allergic reactions to Cayenne and ginger are rare, but a patch test is recommended to determine allergies before using them.

Shea Butter and Capuacu Butter are both plant-based moisturizers and are safe to use. These two plant-based oils are similar to the sebum of the skin and have a somewhat waxy texture. They are easily absorbed and have a low evaporation rate. Because they have a shea butter texture, they are often included in night creams. If you are allergic to shea butter or capuacu butter, make sure that the night cream contains olive oil instead.