Everyone deserves a massage, adults and children alike. There are a vast number of therapeutic benefits with getting massages. whether they're for the feet, head, neck, back or full body. Here are some of them: Massages can reduce stress and increase relaxation, ease pain & muscle soreness and tension, improve circulation, energy and alertness, lower heart rate and blood pressure, and they can help improve immune function. For young women, massages (esp. abdominal) can help reduce symptoms of PMS. Dry massages are fine, but including body butter, carrier oils and essential oils can yield the best results from getting them.
Using body butter during a massage can provide the perfect amount of lubrication for you to massage deeply without rubbing the skin raw. It's deeply moisturizing but won't absorb completely into the skin, meaning the lubrication of the butter will last longer through the massage without the need for reapplication. Body butters like Shea, Mango and Cocoa are great for dry, rough, patchy and cracked skin. They have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties for healing and soothing your skin.
Carrier ("base") oils are also great for massages too! There are many to choose from for your personal healing benefits. Carrier oils are said to act as a skin barrier against toxins and germs that cause infection, making it a great choice for irritated skin. They're thought to help soften & moisturize skin and soothe irritation. Some of the best carrier oils to use along with body butter (with their benefits) during massage are: Grapeseed - light, non-greasy, easily absorbed, rich in linoleic acid, vitamins and minerals; Apricot - has essential fatty acids and vitamins A, B and E, light in texture, readily absorbed with a silky feel that makes them a perfect choice for facial massage, more helpful with dry, mature or sensitive skin types; Jojoba - closely resembles the skin’s own sebum (natural oil your body makes to protect the skin), rich in essential fatty acids that moisturize, soften and condition the skin, great for your face and body (when diluted); Avocado - highly nutritious and deeply penetrating, rich in unsaturated fatty acids, lecithin and Vitamins A, C, D and E, great for dry, dehydrated and mature skin and for skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis; Coconut - absorbs easily, moisturizing for dry skin and skin conditions like eczema, promotes wound healing, provides antioxidants, has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties, hydrating, protecting and soothing to the skin.
Essential oils can be included for aromatherapy and healing purposes during a massage. The benefits of blending essential oils to your body butter with carrier oils are: reducing depression symptoms and stress, relieving anxiety, an increase in calming and relaxation, decreasing pain and muscle tension, mood-improving, inflammation control and help with headaches. Some great essential oils to use for massages are lavender, frankincense, peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary and lime.
Physically, mentally and emotionally valuable - from the scalp to the bottom of your feet, massages are extremely beneficial for our overall health, and for all ages. Get a massage as often as you can, it's very good for you. Take care of yourself!