Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Massage oils and Aromatherapy

I've been researching and learning about massage lately. Just for the heck of it. It's giving me something to do so that I can distract myself. I'm a little sad lately, you see, I'll be getting a visitor that will be staying for an extended vacation. She'll probably leave sometime in September. And that makes me very sad. Not because I don't like her, but because I'm not in the stage of my life where I want to share my personal space. Between learning Nepali, my research and work I really don't feel like I have any time left the my day. Especially to come home have to cook and deal with all this. Sigh. I'll pray that God gives me better time management skills. lol. Anyways back to massage oils and aromatherapy.

Now many of you probably had a massage or two in your lifetime. Those that have not do not know what they are missing. Imagine all the day's stress soothed away by skillful hands. I've heard some people fall asleep and other cry as they release their tension.

Oil is mainly used to lubricates the skin so that the hands glide over the body in a soothing

manner. Some provide additional nourishing benefits to the skin. Others are used as bases or carrier oils for essential oil or aromatherapy oils. Essential oils are very concentrated herbal extracts that have different properties. Aromatherapy has been used since the time of the ancient Egyptian civilizations for healing and rituals. The word Aromatherapy was coined by the French scientist Rene Maurice Gattefosse, who used lavender oil to treat his burns after a freak accident in his labs and discovered Lavender's healing and conforting powers!

Precautions. Best to use less than more. Typically essential oils are diluted in carrier oil. Usually about fifteen drops of essential oil to one ounce of carrier oil. But that really depends on the manufacturer. Citrus oils need to be kept away from light in storage. When used out of the skin stay out of the sun and tanning beds. Contact your doctor before use if you are pregnant or have allergies. Being in contact with essential oils in a closed environment long term can cause headaches. Also be careful using essential oils in a facial and then doing a chemical peel. The essential oil penetrates the epidermis and can cause you to get a deeper peel than you might want.

Here is a list of my standouts, not exhaustive but a good little beginner's guide none the less.

Popular carrier oils:

Sweet Almond Oil -Spreads easily great carrier oil with little smell. Rich in Vitamins A, B and E as well as fatty acids and proteins.

Grapeseed Oil- is very easily absorbed. And doesn't feel greasy and is usually odorless.

Jojoba Oil- spreads easily is the oil that resembles the sebum of the skin most. It's the least comedogenic.

Safflower Oil- spreads easily, good carrier oil but tends to be greasy.

Olive Oil- is very nourishing for the skin, helps strenghten the skin and soothe fine lines and wrinkles.

Coconut Oil-Lots of glide with this one. Very nourishing for dry/aging skin. But can be too rich for acneic/oily skin types.

Essential oil:

Lavender- Can be applied directly to skin. The most popular one too. Soothing and relaxing. Helps you sleep, relieves stress and clear your mind. It is also an antiseptic and antiviral.

Tea Tree - Can be applied directly to the skin, antibacterial. Great for acne. Reduces inflammation and is an antiseptic.

Ylang Ylang- ideal for relaxation. Helps reduce tension and is an antidepressant. Another good hint is that many consider it an aphrodisiac so use wisely.

Eucalyptus- Helps with respiration by opening nasal cavities. Colds, coughs, sinus infections. Antibacterial and Anti fungal.

Rosemary- Helps increase alertness and concentration. Even helps with hair growth!

Chamomile- is a mild sedative, helps soothe burns and cuts. Even helps with arthritis.

Grapefruit-Helps with cellulitis, stimulates digestive and lymphatic system.

Vertiver- This one is great for stretch marks, also helps dispel anger and irritibility.

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