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  • Writer's picturetinawatson

Oil as a medium for Massage.

Updated: Aug 26, 2019

Massage Oil is like alcohol - fun and relaxing in moderation but too much and you could end up on the floor!!

When it comes to professional massage, one of the main considerations when I choose a medium to work with is its workability - ie how it helps me give the most effective treatment.

There is an abundance of oils, creams, lotions and waxes available on the market, all claiming to give you wonderful skin interaction and sensory engagement.

Depending on the type of treatment I am doing, different mediums have different qualities.

Today I am looking at oil as a medium:

When you think of a massage you normally think of oil - perhaps one with a relaxing smell which will help you unwind. That's all well and good but as the vast majority of my clients come in for Sports Massage; to address injury and muscle tension - they are not particularly coming in for a tranquil moment!

Different oils absorb at different rates, a dense oil is best suited to lighter massage such as Swedish Massage because the absorption rate is slower and enables you to work sweeping, repetitive strokes and you do not have to keep reapplying the oil which would interrupt the massage.

Lighter oils like grape seed are ideal when your massage is likely to be a much heavier one, like deep tissue massage therapy. Such oils are absorbed into the skin much faster; the result of this is that I have more control and can apply the necessary pressure without slipping.

Essential oils can be added to massage oils and whilst some clients like the aromas and benefits associated with massage oils that have essential oils added, this can turn others off completely. We think of essential oils as being harmless extracts of plants but in fact some people can be highly allergic to them and to avoid potential contraindications caused by the incorrect balance of oils, unless you are trained in aromatherapy it is best to use plain oils or pre-blended ones but I always check in the consultation process that these will not cause any problems.

Another very important thing for me is who made the oil; I personally use Naturally Thinking for the vast majority of my oils. They are a family-run firm who seem to be ethically minded, their products are not, and have never been, tested on animals. They use 100% pure oil. No added preservatives, chemicals or dispersants. They contain organic cold pressed ingredients and bases of Argan, Sea Buckthorn, Almond and Sunflower, selected at harvest by them.

I have barely touched on oils and ingredients used but hopefully you will have an idea as to what is used in your treatments with me and that I have your best interests at heart when I chose your lubricant of I mean rapture (chortle!)

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