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The massage, Tools

Massage oils blends

LavenderImage by Taunaki via Flickr

I use different massage oils depending on who I massage and what extra effects I want added to my massage. Sometimes I mix oils specifically for one client. Most often though, I use one of my standard blends and from session to session pick the one I feel will be the best in the current situation.

As a rule of thumb, only use about 1 drop of essential oil per 10 ml of carrier oil. This is more than enough to gain the benefits from the essential oils and create a pleasant scent. And by using mild concentrations, there’s less risk of allergic reactions.

My carrier oil is typically safflower oil, as it’s inexpensive and has a good texture which the skin absorbs easily, but not too fast. I find almond oil to be too thick and greasy to use for massage. The best oil, I find, is coconut oil, but has to be refined in order to be liquid at room temperature, making it less attractive. It is a very thin and smooth oil which gives a wonderful experience to the massage.

For normal skin and greasy skin I use coconut or safflower oil. For dry skin safflower mixed with avocado or wheat-germ or almond oil. A times I add some wheat germ oil, e-vitamin oil or avocado oil to nourish the skin. Especially avocado oil is good on very dry skin.

Some of my typical blends could be:

Relaxation and de-stressing for women:

  • 1/2 lavender
  • 1/2 camomile

This oil is also safe for children and people with sensitive skin, if there’s no allergies involved. To make the mix more gentle and compassionate, add a few drops of ylang ylang oil to the mixture.

Relaxation and energy for men:

  • 1/3 lavender
  • 1/3 rosemary
  • 1/3 cedar

Again, the lavender is great for relaxing muscles and mind. Both the cedar and rosemary are refreshing and helps increase the blood-flow and energy. If used on women, the cedar could be replaced by a citrus oil or sandalwood which both ‘gentle’ the blend.

Romantic and sensual:

  • 1/3 rose
  • 1/3 ylang ylang
  • 1/3 jasmine

This is a very feminine and sensual blend. To make it more masculine, replace one of the oils with patchouli or sandalwood.

Generally when mixing a good massage oil, less is better. 2-3 different essential oils are usually the best. If you look less at the therapeutic aspect and more at the scent, employ some of the techniques from perfume production. Use 3-4 oils oils, of which at least one has a top-note, one a heart-note and one a base-note.

As top note various citrus scents are generally good to use. Lemon, lime, orange, neroli and so on. As heart note lavender, geranium or jasmine. Base notes are normally the woody notes like cedar, patchouli and saldalwood.

Mixing a good scent is a time-honoured science and there are plenty of resources available on the net. A good resource is: with profiles of essential oils and other useful information about aromatherapy.

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About Pia Poulsen

Pia Poulsen is educated as a wellness massage therapist at Institut FIGARI in Paris, from where she passed her certification exam in January 2008. Since then she has expanded her skills to become the first Advanced LaStone® practitioner in France as well as a certified LaStone® instructor.


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