This week was very exciting, the new oil order arrived!
As a bodyworker trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine, my main massage technique (Tui Na - Grasp and Pull) is actually traditionally performed clothed, and through a towel. This prevents visual ques distracting from the hand sensitivity, arguably the far more important sense of the two when work with structures under the skin. However many clients, especially those coming for relaxation to stress relief, prefer a treatment with oil. With the demand for this growing since relocation, and not wanting to disappoint the fans, I decided a bulk order was needed.
After an amount of time (more than I will admit, I may be an oil geek) spent browsing through the oils, of which there are a staggering number, I settled on four main types. Sweet Almond, Coconut, Castor and Lemon Seed. Why not stick to just Sweet Almond? Let's break down the oils and why:
Sweet Almond - The mainstay of any massage therapist. Most people who have been to a massage will have had sweet almond oil used, either alone or as a base for essential oils. With little to no scent, and a nice balance between retention on the skin and absorption, it's ideal for massage.
Coconut Oil - The current super star in the health world, coconut oil is being used for everything from cleaning teeth to strengthening hair, through cooking with and of course, as a massage oil. Mildly antibacterial (the more you know!) and with a subtle coconut smell, which is great for those who aren't trained in essential oil use. Coconut has great dispersal properties and is a light, fairly easily absorbed oil, nourishing skin whilst providing the right balance of movement and grip for most massage techniques. It's also been recommended for adhesion and scar breakdown, and is brilliant for soothing blemishes or scars on the surface. The only drawback is if you hate coconut.
Castor Oil - A much heavier oil, true to the adage quality over quantity. Castor was mostly on my radar for skin cleansing (how to is a whole other blog post if interested!). However it's a highly nourishing oil and ideal for those with dry skin, or conditions such as psoriasis (no there's no reason that should stop you getting a massage).
Lemon Seed - An oil many may not have heard of, at least as a base oil. Lemon seed has all the qualities of sweet almond, with a slight lemon scent. Not stopping there, lemon seed is highly hydrating and moisturising for the skin, a rich oil that adds a touch of indulgence to a treatment. The high omega oil and mineral content also add to its list of benefits. Perfect for sensitive, irritated or perfectly healthy skin, it may yet become the new poster child for massage oils.
With oils arrived, I began to offer the choice to clients, and funnily, bar a few coconut fans, everyone stuck with Sweet Almond. Maybe I'm not selling them well, but no one seems interested in trying out some (in my opinion) pretty awesome alternatives. Are we just programmed to favour what we know? In the meantime I'll be working on the oil pitch. Maybe next week Lemon Seed will get its time to shine.
So. Who wants a Massage?