Massage & Massage Oil
When topical application of terpenes just isn’t enough, consider using your oils for a massage. Essential oils maximize a massage’s healing potential by increasing the calming, relaxing, or energizing effects of the massage technique performed. The oils penetrate deep below the skin to relieve pain, swelling, and tension, and massage can also help work out knots and immediately release tension, having you feeling loose, relaxed, and revitalized. Make sure to dilute the essential oils before application.
A massage is one of the most tried and true remedies for alleviating stress and relieving tension; adding essential oils to the mix provides even more benefit. Find a local masseuse who uses or is willing to use oils to boost the bodily benefits. Or convince your partner, family member, or friend to give you a massage, it usually helps to offer them a massage beforehand. Scratch their back and they’ll scratch yours. While somewhat expensive, a massage table is a great investment, as you can adjust the height of the table, making it much easier on the back and neck of the masseuse, and allowing them to have leverage to be able to truly press an dig into your shoulder blades and neck to unroot deeply embedded tension. Plus, a massage chair is all the more reason to give and receive massages. Look at it as an investment in yourself and your well-being, as massages are proven to be anti-aging, decrease stress and stress-related health issues, improves circulation, boost your immune system, improve posture, and reduce muscular strain. Plus, you’ll be feeling revitalized, invigorated, and just plain happier. The removal of pressure, tension, rigidity, and stiffness in places where you had grown used to will have a profound effect on your mood and overall happiness.
One of the best spots to self-apply an essential oil, besides a specific area of tension and pain, is the bottom of the feet. Not only because it is an easily reachable place to massage and is commonly a tense and tired body part, but also because the pores on the foot are large, there are less nerve endings, and the skin is usually thicker, so the oils enter the bloodstream quicker and do not have to be diluted. However, it is safer to dilute your oils because some, like cinnamon and oregano oil, can cause a burning sensation.
You can also book an aromatic massage from a certified massage therapist. Having a trained masseuse rub essential oils into the knots and tension all throughout your body, while you breathe in the relaxing scent of eucalyptus or lavender is the epitome of relaxation and pleasure.
A few of the highest regarded oils for a massage are:
Geranium Oil – known for its uplifting and relaxing effects, geranium oil has an inviting floral scent. The oil contains the terpene geraniol, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory and is good for the skin and is used in traditional medicine to promote circulation, revitalize bodily tissues, and boost the nervous system.
Coriander Oil – extracted from cilantro, this oil has a bright and sweet aroma which ushers a relaxing atmosphere when used. Coriander treats spasms and relieves nervous cramps, convulsions, and generally soothes the body and mind.
Hinoki Oil – Extracted from the Japanese cypress tree, the hinoki oil has a spicy yet lemony aroma which brings an energizing tingling to the skin and relaxes the body when applied. Hinoki oil contains myrcene, pinene, and camphene, three terpenes which make it especially useful for a scalp massage as the terpenes stimulate blood circulation to the scalp, ensuring better nutrition and oxygen to hair follicles and stimulating hair growth. This property makes Hinoki oil great to add to shampoo and conditioner to promote hair growth.
Angelica Oil – Angelica oil is perfect for a deep tissue back massage as it is antispasmodic and a relaxant. It is also depurative, meaning it purifies the blood and promotes the removal of toxins like uric acids and excess salts while lowering blood pressure.
Lavender oil – this popular and versatile oil is loaded with linalool and commonly found in skin and beauty products. It has anti-inflammatory properties which help the body relax and adapt to stress.
Ylang-ylang oil -
Reflexology, also known as zone therapy, is an alternative medicine involving the application of pressure to specific zones and reflex areas believed by practitioners to provide medical benefit. Like massage, this therapy is quite ancient, as it has been taken advantage of for thousands of years. However, there is no convincing scientific evidence that reflexology is effective in treating any specific medical conditions.
Around 2600 BC, a Chinese treatise titled, The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine was written. There is a chapter on “Examining Foot Method” and is thought to be the origin of the connection “of life force” and specific points and areas on the feet. It is believed that Marco Polo translated a Chinese massage book into Italian in the late 1300’s, thus introducing massage and reflexology to Europe. In 1582 AD, a book on the integral element of reflexology called Zone Therapy was published by Dr. A’tatis and Dr. Adamus. In the United States, William H. Fitzgerald, an author frequently referred to as “the Father of Reflexology,” wrote about ten vertical zones that extended the length of the body. He found that the application of pressure to a zone that corresponded to the location of an injury could provide relief of pain during minor surgeries.21
Interestingly, your feet, hands, ears, and other parts seem to contain access to your neuro-electrical pathways throughout your body. From head to toe, your body is wired with nerve cells. This energy system runs through your whole body and ends in extremities like the hands and feet. Knowledge of this ancient practice can greatly add to the benefits which applying essential oils topically already provide. You can find reflexology charts which attempt to map points on your feet, hands, and ears with specific body systems or parts. Simply apply a pain-relieving oil and pressure to a reflex point on your foot to affect different areas or systems in your body. Refer to the chart below and experiment. Ask your significant other or friend to apply pressure to these points to see if it actually provides any sort of relief to another issue, or if this practice is malarkey.