How to Self-Massage: The Best Essential Oils for Your Self-Care Routine
Self-massage is one of the most powerful gifts that you can give yourself. From increasing circulation to stimulating the functions of your organs, a self-massage detoxifies your body and improves your sleep—all from the comfort of your own home. How can you make this gift even sweeter? By selecting mindfully from these great oils, you can enhance the quality of your self-massage by serving your body’s individual needs.
What role do essential and carrier oils play in this act of self-care?
Essential oils are loaded with therapeutic benefits and can be added to any type of massage for aromatherapy purposes. We recently launched our own Absolute Essential Self-Massage Oil with a revered combination of arjuna, brahmi, and mustard oils for all your self-massage purposes. Here, we will walk you through the basics of some of these oils and their benefits in order to help you make the most out of your self-massage.
1. Mustard Oil
If you struggle with joint pain and stiffness, warm mustard oil is your friend. Extracted from mustard seeds, mustard oil is often used for health and therapeutic purposes. As a side note, mustard oil is banned for cooking purposes by the FDA, and it should not be consumed due to the potential heart problems it can cause.
While mustard oil has many beneficial properties, one of its main benefits in massages is pain relief. The oil can be directly applied to fungal infections to prevent growth, and it can also help ease arthritis.
When applied to the body during a self-massage, mustard oil will improve blood circulation and flush the skin, causing one’s body temperature to increase. In the case of a scalp massage, the warm oil will prevent hair loss by increasing circulation.
Additionally, when combined with camphor, mustard oil becomes even more effective at reducing pain. A quasi-experimental study published in IOSR Journal of Nursing and Health Science (IOSR-JNHS) revealed that warm mustard oil with camphor massage reduced the pain level more significantly than warm mustard oil massage.
In Ayurvedic tradition, the navel is a center point for balance in the body. To reap the moisturizing and circulatory benefits of mustard oil for your navel, check out our Beauty Boosting Navel Therapy Oil.
2. Coconut Oil
While you may have used coconut oil in the kitchen, it also has medicinal properties that make it an ideal candidate for your next self-massage, especially if you struggle with dental problems, stress, or skin issues. Coconut oil is made of lauric acid and vitamin E, and it is an ideal antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredient.
Coconut oil aids in reducing stress, eliminating fatigue, and preventing tooth decay. It also provides major benefits for the skin. When fractionated coconut oil is massaged into the skin, the deep conditioning and moisturizing effects of massaging help skin relax. The oil also increases skin permeability, reduces stretch marks, and prevents dehydration. Additionally, properties assisting collagen fibers also strengthen skin and prevent aging.
There’s also an added benefit for new mothers: A study by Indian Pediatrics showed that the application of coconut oil led to higher weight gain velocity than did mineral oils amongst preterm neonates.
For the anti-aging and rejuvenating benefits of coconut, check out our Absolute Anti Aging Body Scrub.
3. Arjuna Oil
The ancient physicians of the Indian sub-continent have been using the bark decoction of the indigenous medicinal plant, Terminalia arjuna (also known as Arjuna), for centuries. Known to be beneficial in anginal pain, hypertension, congestive heart failure, and dyslipidemia, Arjuna oil is often referred to as the “king of cures” in self-massage.
Arjuna oil bolsters cardiovascular health by strengthening the heart muscles and increasing blood circulation. As a result, it can help prevent a myriad of diseases, including (but not limited to) hypertension, hemorrhage, inflammation, and skin disorders. Furthermore, a study published in Indian Journal of Horticulture suggests that ailments like eczema, itching, rashes, scars and serious skin conditions like psoriasis can also be treated with the regular use of arjuna oil.
4. Cardamom Oil
Another ingredient you might find in your kitchen, cardamom, is one of the most highly-prized spices in the world. Popular for its antimicrobial property, it acts as a resistor for most common pathogens, reducing the growth of harmful bacteria. Cardamom oil contains natural phytochemicals that augment the levels of glutathione, a natural antioxidant, in the body.
Due to its ability to augment glutathione levels, cardamom oil helps the body fight against cancer. To a certain extent, it can even help prevent cancer. More generally, cardamom oil can also help mediate pain: research in the Encyclopedia of Applied Plant Sciences concludes that when used as a part of a massage, cardamom stimulates sensory fibers in the skin. This stimulation triggers the parasympathetic nervous system, which then induces relaxation and decreases one’s perception of pain.
5. Turmeric Oil
Ayurvedic healers have always regarded turmeric—a plant in the ginger family that is native to India—as a purifier. Like cardamom oil, turmeric contains phytochemicals that make it a natural antioxidant. Known as “the magic oil,” turmeric oil can address a wide variety of needs, including digestive problems, burns, and dental health.
The purifying effects of turmeric oil can aid with digestive problems, anti-carcinogenic activity, and anti-inflammatory needs. As a strong antibacterial agent, turmeric oil is often used to massage burns. It further helps the skin by preventing fine lines and promoting skin elasticity. But that isn’t all—surprisingly enough, one study demonstrated how the magical turmeric oil is also known to have therapeutic effects on dental health.
To prevent aging and moisturize the skin around your neck and chest with the benefits of turmeric, check out our Flawlessly Firming Neck Chest & Décolletage Serum.
6. Guduchi Oil
Guduchi, is a large, deciduous climbing shrub native to India. Guduchi is commonly known as Giloe in Hindi, which is a mythological term referring to a heavenly elixir that prevented celestial beings from aging. Guduchi is referenced in ancient Ayurvedic texts for its ability to safeguard humans from a wide variety of health issues. Its benefits do not only encompass the body’s physical state, but also its mental state—so you can turn to this oil whether you have inflammation or anxiety.
Guduchi is made up of several constituents—including terpenes, glycosides, alkaloids, steroids and flavonoids—that promote its pharmacological functions and medicinal values. The oil extracted from Guduchi contains a multitude of beneficial elements, including antioxidant, anti-hyperglycaemic, anti-hyperlipidemic, hepatoprotective, cardiovascular protective, neuroprotective, osteoprotective, and anti-inflammatory properties. As if that weren’t enough, it also strengthens mental health functions by reducing anxiety and allowing the mind to de-stress. The oil, with its soothing and cooling properties, brings rejuvenating qualities to both the body and the mind.
7. Basil Oil
Basil, called as Rehan in Arabic, is an annual plant usually producing white-purple flowers. It is used both as a culinary herb in the kitchen and as an ornamental plant in traditional medicine. Use basil oil for inflammation, or when you’re just looking for a boost in energy and concentration.
Basil is an adaptable herb—one that has been used to treat a large number of ailments. Numerous reports have associated basil with anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, insecticidal, hypolipidemic, and antioxidant properties.
Additionally, mixtures of basil oil with rosemary oil can help alleviate your mood and increase energy levels. They can also reduce headaches, allowing you to concentrate more thoroughly on the work at hand.
For boosting your energy with the benefits of basil, check out our Pure Energy Wellness Oil.
Thanks to the versatility of these essential and carrier oils, you can customize a self-massage that is best suited to your needs. Come up with the perfect self-care routine simply by pairing these oils with a nice massaging technique and a calm environment.
Self-massage is an ongoing process, and the time you spend with yourself will help you better understand what your body requires. By listening closely to both your mind and body, and by treating them with care, you can harness the benefits of essential oils to transform each day into a healthier one.