Essential oil massage is all about lovingly applying oils to our bodies in gratitude for what we have. Far too often, unless we are sick or criticising our bodies for not being ‘good enough’, we rarely take time to acknowledge this amazing gift we have carrying us forward each and every day.
Massage is one of the most effective ways to enjoy the benefits of essential oils because it combines topical absorption into the body through the skin with aromatic inhalation of the oil as you’re massaging yourself.
Today, SOL expert Pen McKinley-Rodgers is sharing a simple essential oil massage for winter. It doesn’t have to be a long practice and you can choose to do this in the morning or evening (or both!). It is the intention and mindfulness behind the practice that holds the magic. In time, through blending different essential oils, you can quite literally dress for an occasion, but today we’re just going to focus on the king of essential oils – frankincense.
Frankincense is often associated with spirituality, possibly because of the biblical references and its use in religious spaces. It’s also the oil of choice for many yogis and meditation practitioners because the components of frankincense have been shown to help calm and focus the mind, encouraging reflection and introspection.
On a physical level, d-limonene is a component in some frankincense essential oils that has been shown to have considerable anti-inflammatory benefits. There are several other components often found in this oil that demonstrate actions important to our skin’s healing process. In addition to skin care, these anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-microbial properties also offer us strong immune support.
1. First, prepare your oils by diluting 15 drops of essential oil into 30ml of carrier oil. I would recommend jojoba, sesame or almond oil. In winter, it can be an extra luxury to warm your carrier oil first.
2. Pour a little oil into your hands and, starting at your ankles, work upwards in long firm strokes along each leg. Take time to pay attention to how this makes you feel and how your legs are feeling. Repeat quiet affirmations or gratitude for the work they do.
3. Take time over your abdomen, the seat of all our creativity. Rub gently and lovingly in a clockwise motion over your stomach. Listen for what messages it might have for you.
4. Massage over your hips and buttocks, reaching around to the small of your back. Continue paying attention to how your body feels and repeating affirmations and gratitude for their health and wellbeing.
5. Massage your chest, taking care not to oil over your nipples.
6. Take time to work in long strokes up each arm towards the armpits and across to the shoulders. Reach around as far as you can to massage your upper back (sometimes bending forward can help you reach further).
7. Massage your neck, pausing at both ear lobes to massage them gently between your thumbs and index fingers.
8. Depending on whether you use a face cream or not, you can continue with a gentle facial massage, or use your face cream to finish the massage.
Using essential oils is a wonderful way to start the day with intention or end the day in gratitude.
You can find out more about our approach to pampering here.
Love Lizzie xx