There are lots of different oils that you can use for aromatherapy massage. Massage oils may be used on their own, or combined with essential oils in a blend. However, one of the most important factors in choosing a massage oil is to make sure that it is cold-pressed. Here is more information on why you should choose a cold-pressed oil – and the therapeutic properties that they possess.
Cold Pressed Carrier Oils for Massage
Cold pressed carrier oils are obtained from plants with little to no heat involved in the extraction process. Heat can remove some of the plant’s natural therapeutic properties and, although cold-pressed oils are usually more expensive than hot-pressed oils, they are more pure, natural and beneficial for massage.
Examples of some of the most popular carrier oils for massage are as follows:
Jojoba Oil for Massage
Jojoba oil is not technically an oil, but a liquid wax – it can solidify in colder temperatures. However, it is often used as a massage oil in the United States because of its skincare properties. It is also useful for conditions such as sunburn, psoriasis and eczema.
Jojoba oil is extracted from the jojoba plant, a native to the South Western United States. It has a relatively long shelf life.
Sweet Almond Oil for Massage
Sweet almond oil is similar to apricot kernel oil, both as a massage oil and for its therapeutic properties. You will find that sweet almond oil is usually priced more economically than apricot kernel oil, giving it the edge in affordability.
Sweet almond oil is extracted from the almond tree which grows in California and the Mediterranean region, amongst various other places worldwide. Sweet almond oil is a nourishing oil, making it great for dry or itchy skin. It may also help to relieve the symptoms of psoriasis, dermatitis, sunburn, and eczema.
Apricot Kernel Oil for Massage
Apricot kernel oil is more expensive than some of the other massage oils in use. It is extracted from the kernels of the apricot tree, now found in many parts of the world. Apricot kernel oil is beneficial for dry or mature skin, in addition for sensitive skin. It is a nourishing massage oil that can also treat eczema.
Sunflower Oil for Massage
Sunflower massage oil is sometimes confused with the culinary oil of the same name. Although they share a name, they are not the same in nature; the culinary oil has usually been hot pressed, removing any therapeutic properties. Sunflower oil is extracted from the seeds of the sunflower, found growing throughout the world (including France). Sunflower oil is moisturizing and suitable for all skin types. It is also useful for use with acne and other related skin conditions.
Massage Oils and Essential Oils
Other popular massage (or skincare) oils may include grapeseed oil or argan oil. You can choose to blend one or more massage oils together, use singly, or add in appropriate essential oils, for a truly therapeutic massage. Consult a qualified aromatherapist for further advice on use.
Learn More About Massage Oils
Carrier oils, and how to make massage oil, are introduced in the Sedona Aromatics Foundation Course in Aromatherapy, in addition to some of the other Sedona Aromatics courses. To learn more, visit the courses home study home page – or contact me directly!
Clarke, Sue, Essential Chemistry of Essential Oils (2nd Edition), 2008, UK: Churchill Livingstone
Price, Len, Carrier Oils for Aromatherapy and Massage, 1999, UK:Riverhead
Author’s own experience and training.