2018.04.27. - Feels like heaven on Earth /All about massage oils/
Feels like heaven on Earth /All about massage oils/
Massage oils are very popular these days, but as a matter of fact people have always liked to be massaged and have their skin pampered with various oils. Obviously it feels better to have a massage if some kind of lubricant is used than being rubbed ‘dry’. What are the effects of various oils? What should we pay attention to when the masseur in a spa asks which oil type we would like to be used?
Centuries ago people believed that the person whose skin was rubbed with some kind of special ‘fat’ had magical powers. They thought it wasn’t simply a pleasant feeling if someone was massaged with an oily cream, but also gave them extra capabilities. There is a Hungarian expression that calls an experienced, skillful confidence trickster a ‘person rubbed with many oils’. In the Middle Ages it was a recurring element of which trials that witnesses unanimously claimed: the person accused with witchcraft ‘applied some kind of fat – usually dog’s fat – to their skin and exited the room flying through the chimney’.
It isn’t very likely that the massage sections of Hungarian spas offer the service of being rubbed with dog’s fat nowadays. Let’s see what massage oil types professional masseurs are using today. Basically massage oils serve two purposes. On the one hand, they make the skin of the person who is taking a massage oily and slippery, so that they don’t get that unpleasant burning feeling on the skin. Oils also make the job of the masseur easier, their hand movements become more precise and refined. On the other hand, the usage of oils has a physiological effect too. Oils are absorbed by the skin and have a positive influence on both the skin and the muscles; what is more, by entering the circulation of blood they are beneficial for the whole body. Plus they keep the surface of the skin clean as they remove the dead skin cells.
Paraffin oil or vegetable oil?
There are two massage oil types. One is mineral oil (petroleum) based. Most of the time its main component is paraffin. Liquid paraffin is very slippery, so it is ideal for massaging. It isn’t absorbed by the skin, it clears off dirt from the skin and it is relatively easy to wash off. This type of oil seems to be the ideal solution, but we must be careful because it also carries risks as it is often mixed with emulsifiers (material that helps the dissolving process) that make it absorbable. Another risk factor is that if we don’t wash it off properly it remains on the skin. In this case it is likely to irritate the skin or to cause an allergicreaction, blocking the pores as well. If artificial fragrances are used in making the cream, the chance is even bigger to cause some kind of irritation. The artificial-origin oil type described above isn’t used by masseurs who are thinking ecologically – they prefer the other oil type that is of vegetable origin.
Natural vegetable oils work in a completely different way. It is a fundamental characteristic of these that the skin absorbs them, therefore more oil needs to be used during the massage, but on the other hand they supply the body with healing essential oils, nutrients and vitamins, plus they soften and moisturise the skin, too, saving it from dehydration, helping the circulation of lymph and vitalising the cells, by this enhancing the effects of the massage. Each massage oil has a different effect. Let’s talk about what kind of massage oil we should choose, depending on the kind of effect we wish to achieve.
Argan oil’s components nourish and rejuvenate the skin. Coconut oil is the best moisturiser. Daily stress and tension can be relieved the best with the help of lavender scent, and if one needs a bit of refreshing, the best choice for them is massage oil that contains citrus essence. With its sweet fragrance vanilla relaxes you, while we might choose other oils because we simply like their scent.