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Who doesn’t like a massage? If you’re struggling with a gift idea for any occasion, you can’t go wrong with a massage. This form of relaxation and treatment is loved by both men and women, and even little babies. Massage can reduce stress, relieve pain, heal injuries, and prevent and cure illnesses. For beauty; massage decreases lymphatic build-up which helps to prevent cellulite. Massage also increases blood flow which leads to improved skin tone and texture.
There are many different types of massage oils in the market which are available at beauty supply shops, pharmacies, and health shops. I prefer natural oils that are free from additives and synthetic ingredients. Making your own oil is so easy and you can customise it to your needs as follows:
1. Sensual massage oil
Black pepper oil is a warming oil that “heats up” the skin and arouses the senses. Cardamom eases tension while invigorating the mind and body. Cinnamon acts as a stimulant. Jasmine warms the body, stimulates the senses, and promotes deep-lasting affections. Sandalwood adapts to an individual’s aroma bringing out the best in you. Ylang Ylang is calming, cooling and euphoric. It helps in soothing anxiety and promoting relaxation. You may also use ginger, orange, or patchouli oils. For the warming oils such as black pepper, cardamom and cinnamon, use only a few drops.
2. Calming bedtime blend
The best essential oils to enhance sleep are, lavender, valerian, mandarin, and rose, which are all soothing. Mix with a light carrier oil such as grapeseed or olive oil and use to massage the back, neck and head. You could use just one essential oil or all four of them.
3. Pain relief Blend
Chamomile relieves pain and inflammation and aids in healing wounds. Lemon promotes skin regeneration, while neroli has anti-inflammatory properties. Lavender helps to reduce muscle tension, while juniper helps with muscle spasms, joint and muscle pains and strengthens the nerves. Eucalyptus oil helps with sprains and muscular aches and pains. Rosemary and peppermint oil are useful for headaches and migraines.
Store away from heat and direct sunlight. When mixing the oils, take it slow and use your nose diligently. Start with a little at a time as some of these ingredients can be expensive, however, a little goes a long way.
Always perform a skin test on a small area to check for allergies. Wait at least 20 minutes as some allergic reactions can be delayed. Some essential oils are not suitable for pregnant women and young children. Some essential oils also increase your skin’s sensitivity to UV damage, therefore try to avoid the sun after a massage.
An airtight dark glass bottle (essential oils can break down plastic over time)
A Base oil – ½ cup
2 – 4 different essential oils – 6 drops of each
Step 1 - Get a natural oil
Use a natural carrier or base oil. These include but are not limited to olive, sweet almond, almond, jojoba, avocado, macadamia, coconut, and grapeseed oil. Avoid mineral oils such as petroleum jelly or anything with paraffin that cannot be absorbed into the skin. Put one teaspoon of the base oil into a bowl.
Step 2 - Test the blend
Add a drop of the essential oils of your choice and allow your senses to sample the blend.
Step 3 – Combine
Now that you’ve tested your oil, mix the desired amount of carrier oil with the essential oils in a bowl. Take it slow, your nose will let you know when the mixture is right.
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Step 4 – Pour into a bottle
Pour all the ingredients into a dark bottle and leave a little space at the top to allow the oils to breathe. The dark bottle helps to preserve the oils. Be gentle with your mixture by not shaking vigorously.
Step 5 – Apply to clean skin. Your skin should be clean and dry.