You would not initially expect that massage oil would have such a cult-like following in the beauty and aromatherapy communities around the world – but lo and behold, there are some creative minds out there that are continuously pushing the envelope and creating some truly unique and refreshing products.
Whether it be through sheer imaginative power, or years of trial and error, massage oil has come a long way – and that is truly saying when you consider the practice of muscle manipulation and relaxation has been around for eons and has had quite a lot of studies and brilliant minds focused purely on the practice itself.
While massage oil has had a lot of brilliant minds focused purely on improving all aspects of the product, there is something to be said about the simplicity of experimentation, and the grandiose rewards that can be found when you throw in a little more nature and fewer chemicals. The natural revolution is alive and well in the massage oil community, and there are a number of creative and relaxing concoctions that have really turned heads in the right direction.
This article will go over the basic fundamentals of what makes a good massage oil, and some lovely additions that have made our chakras align, and our muscles melt with delight.
The Practice Itself
The art of the masseuse and massage oil has been around for generations, as far as we could find, 3000 BCE or earlier! It was first noted in ancient Indian cultures as a means of natural healing and spiritual re-alignment for the most part. Hindu culture has always noted Ayurveda medicine (aka life health) to be a vital aspect of everyday life and overall health maintenance. There are countless texts and scriptures that have noted the use of body rubbing and re-alignment to be integral to a happy and long-lasting life.
There are more reports of the practice appearing in rudimentary forms across the continents in this time, with Chinese societies having no end of scriptures and instructions on the proper manipulation of the body’s tissue and muscular system. Using a combination of massage oil, practice techniques, and acupuncture needles, these ancient Chinese societies and experts in the field would target median points of the body, also known as pressure points, and manipulate them in order to achieve a more relaxed state of being.
There are also societies in Greece, Japan, even Ancient Egypt that would utilise massage oil and various techniques to establish a relaxed state of mind and natural form of healing through simple manipulation and pressure in the right places.
While the use of massage oil was not as prevalent in these ancient societies, the amount of time and generational knowledge that had accrued throughout history, the technique was no longer being adjusted, but the lubricant certainly was being updated to better suit the modern conveniences and analysis. Massage oil was the key ingredient to a smooth and relaxing experience – and there was now an opportunity to adjust and craft a more relaxing and beneficial experience.
What Makes A Decadent Massage Oil?
While the practice is slightly adjustable across cultures and landscapes, the principle remains the same when it comes to needing a massage oil that is easy-to-use, pleasantly fragrant, and more importantly, smooth to the touch. You would not think that there is a lot to go with on these simple prerequisites, but thanks to modern extraction techniques, we can now take advantage of some of the most lucrative and beautiful natural ingredients to bring out the very best in our massage oil.
Heavy Vs Light
There are different levels of consistency when you talk about massage oil, from the light and fresh to the heavy and decadent, while there is no wrong answer for which is superior – it’s best to understand why so many consistencies exist.
Some therapists choose to have a heavier and more consistent massage oil when conducting a lighter rubbing experience and lower friction levels, purely for the ointment itself to have its time to sink in and truly make its presence felt on the skin. A lighter massage oil is more suited for the heavier rubs and more intense experiences as there is more friction and therefore more of a chance for the lighter but more complex mixtures to be rubbed deeper into the skin.
The Essential Ingredient
When we think about what makes a ‘good’ massage oil, there are opinions and theories from all camps and creeds. There really isn’t one direct answer or perfect summation of the ‘ideal’ massage oil as there are simply too many cultures and histories associated with the subject to find a common ground.
There are, however, some caveats and commonalities that exist across the spectrum which congregate into foundational aspects that are predominant and integral to a ‘decent’ massage oil.
For instance, the presence of a hearty and skin-friendly carrier is an essential ingredient in the mix. As the prevalence and popularity of essential and natural ingredients are on the steady rise in recent years, there is a renewed necessity to have a good and reliable carrier substance to facilitate the more potent natural ingredients into the realm of skin-friendliness.
Many have opted for the more decadent carriers like Macadamia, Almond, and even Avocado as carriers in a more natural sense due to their natural inclination of vitamin enrichment and skin nourishment, combined with their ease of integration with more potent ingredients.
Consider The Purpose
While it is all well and good to have the thickest possible consistency in a massage oil, you should always be considering the purpose of the final product before you throw everything possible into one mixture. Different mixtures exist for different requirements and necessities, even having a few reserve bottles of a lighter mixture can save you headaches and allow you to adjust and give the best experience possible.
A Few Ideas For Those In Knead
If you’re considering making your mark in the world of body relaxation and aromatherapy, you may want to consider upping your massage oil game. It can be a tall order to reinvent the wheel every time, but there are subtle eccentricities you can incorporate in order to cultivate a massage oil that is intrinsically you and daringly different.
For fragrances, you may want to delve into the tried-and-true essentials like Lavender or Sandalwood, where even a few drops can enhance the entire experience and give your massage oil a natural and beautiful fragrant relaxing profile.
For added skin nourishment, there are simply too many choices to go with, which is why experimentation is a wonderfully enticing proposition. Some professionals we talked to have a lot of good things to say about Jojoba and Hempseed extracts, both of which have an insane amount of nutrients and skin nourishing vitamins naturally existing. Playing around with the various delicate scent and feel profiles is half the fun, and even more so when you’re creating a product that exudes joy and relaxation – so we’re sure you won’t run out of people to test out your newfound concoction.
In the end, it’s all about experimentation, go forth and give it your best shot, experiment with nature and see what magical creations you can cultivate.