Massage is proven to relieve stress, tension, and aches and pains throughout the body. It also releases endorphins, which make you feel good even after your massage has ended. Because of this, it’s no wonder that massage has become one of the most popular types of personal care available today! If you want to offer a truly unique experience to your clients, consider adding aromatherapy oils to your massage services. By choosing the right scents for your business and knowing how to mix them properly, you can offer a new and exciting addition to your list of offerings that your clients are sure to love!
Step 1: Choose the right oil
When choosing an essential oil for your massage, it’s a good idea to go with something soothing and calming. For example, lavender is one of our favorite essential oils because it is relaxing and very lightly scented. Plus, it isn’t necessarily expensive so you don’t have to worry about breaking your budget. It’s also important to remember that some essential oils are not meant for use on skin. These include citrus, cinnamon bark, clove bud, fennel seed, ginger root and wintergreen. If you choose to use these essential oils during your massage session, be sure that they are diluted in a carrier oil first (more on that later). Otherwise, they can cause irritation or even burns on sensitive skin!
Step 2: Creating a blend
Choose your essential oils and combine them in a 10ml glass roller bottle using a dram dropper or pipette. I recommend a 1:2 ratio of base oil to essential oil – so, if you are starting with 15ml (1 tbsp) of base oil, you should use 7.5ml (1/3 tbsp) of essential oils. If you want your blend to smell stronger than that, just add another drop or two! But please be careful – some essential oils can irritate sensitive skin and cause allergic reactions in some people so try a patch test on yourself before applying an aromatherapy massage blend to someone else.
Step 3: Diluting the blend
So you’ve got your base oil and your essential oils, now what? You might want to create a strong blend, or you might want something a little milder. Regardless of your preferences, it’s important to know that not all oils are created equal. Typically, pure essential oils are very potent—especially when added to warm skin (which also makes them more easily absorbed). Over time, you can build up a tolerance for stronger blends. But if you’re just starting out with aromatherapy massage oils and self-massages, it’s always best to start off light and work your way up. That’s why in step three we will dilute our blend in carrier oil: it makes it easy to tweak strength without having an adverse reaction from your body.
Step 4: Choosing Carrier and Base Oils
Using just one oil on its own may be too intense for your partner’s skin and may not get absorbed well. Mixing two or more carrier oils together (recommended ratios range from 1:10 to 1:60) makes for a great massage mix. Some people prefer to use coconut oil as their main carrier oil because it’s inexpensive, safe to use undiluted on your skin, and absorbs quickly. If you do choose to go with coconut oil as your primary carrier, you can add other oils (like lavender or peppermint) to create a unique scent experience. Other popular massage oils include sweet almond, jojoba, apricot kernel, grape seed and avocado oil.
Step 5: Creating Recipes
After you have chosen your essential oils and added them to a carrier oil, it’s time to blend! Each recipe should be created by using at least 4 drops of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil. It is extremely important to note that each batch of oils should only be used for that particular massage and not used again. So choose wisely! Not all essential oils smell or feel good on skin when mixed with a carrier oil. Also, some essential oils such as tea tree, pine, eucalyptus and peppermint can be irritating to sensitive skin types so test any new recipes on yourself first before using on clients/friends. As I previously mentioned, keeping your mind focused when mixing these ingredients together is important because these recipes should not require measurements in ml or teaspoons.
Step 6: Use your recipes
Experiment to find out what kind of massage you like best. You can even make a massage blend that caters to a specific problem, such as achy muscles or stress. Start with two different essential oils and gradually add drops until you have your perfect blend. Or simply mix them all together into one big bottle of bliss! Your concoction will work on its own or you can use it in conjunction with carrier oils (see below). Remember, however, that if you’re going to get any benefits from aromatherapy, you’ll need to use high-quality essential oils.
Step 7. Storing your oils
Keeping your essential oils cool and protected will help them to stay fresh. You can store your oils in a dark place or buy a container from an aromatherapy supplier that will block out UV rays. If you’re going to be storing your oils for long periods of time, make sure you keep an eye on how quickly they’re used up. This is why buying in bulk is sometimes necessary; it allows you to get large quantities of your favorite scent at a much lower price.
Step 8. Safety and Storage Tips
Although essential oils are natural, they can be toxic if misused. As with any product that’s applied to skin, it’s important to read up on proper application and use before trying anything new. Essential oils should always be diluted in a carrier oil before applying directly to skin. When using eucalyptus oil in particular, you should never use it topically or internally without first consulting your doctor and performing a patch test first. Store oils away from sunlight and heat in cool areas of your home; high temperatures can cause them to lose their potency. Read package instructions carefully so you know how long an oil will last once opened and how best to preserve its quality until then.
Step 9. Nurturing Your Oil Infusion with Essential Hydrosols
Every time you add essential oils to your carrier oil, you are effectively diluting and weakening those powerful ingredients. This can become a problem when you want to use your special massage blend for more than one person or have it last longer than 3-4 days. Diluting with water will only provide temporary relief, because even diluted oils evaporate quickly. You need a long-lasting way to preserve and extend your aromatherapy oil massage blends. Luckily there is a simple solution that involves another potent natural component of essential oils: hydrosols! Hydrosols are created during steam distillation of herbal materials just like essential oils, but are typically less concentrated in their healing compounds as they were distilled from larger pieces of plant material and retain more water weight.
An essential part of being a great massage therapist is learning how to use aromatherapy oils during your massage. Not only do these oils smell good and are relaxing for your client, but they are also beneficial for your client’s skin, as well as reducing muscular tension and pain.