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Very few of us are undeserving of a massage every now and again, and even those unworthy probably wouldn’t turn one down. However, as an OGP reader and a DIY type massage-receiver, you are now going to be in-the-know about kicking those massages up a notch. It’s all about a beautiful blend of essential oils.

We’ve all heard of aromatherapy before. Some of us have been ardent believers, filling our rooms with lavender candles, our bathtubs with rose petals. Others have shouted hooey! and continued on into smellier pastures. Whatever the case, certain scents are known to be soothing, relaxing, stress-relieving and perfect accompaniments to massages.

Here’s what you need to know, as well as how to make your own therapeutic blend of essential oils:

Need to Know Info

  • Essential oils are extracts from plants, so concentrated that they should not be applied to skin (or touched) without being diluted first. This is why they come in little bottles. You don’t need a lot. Whether or not you believe them to be medicine, similar rules apply: Follow directions, use recommended dosages, keep out of reach of children, don’t put them in your eyes (nose or ears) and consult a physician before use if there are concerns like liver disease.
  • Essential oils should be added to other oils, “carriers,” before being applied to the skin, usually at a rate of much more carrier oil (like almond oil) to mere drops of essential oil(s). Before barreling into rubbing the stuff around, test a patch of your skin, such as the inside of the arm. If it itches or goes red, don’t use the product. 
  • Essential oils are flammable, so watch it with the accompanying candles.

What Aromas to Include

For relaxing massage oils, it’s good to know what aromas put you at ease. Each person will have his or her own memories and smells, but there are undoubtedly some crowd favorites and scents with proven relaxation-inducing qualities. As a rule of thumb, go with the smells that please you, and avoid the ones that don’t.

Lavender seems to be the number one soother of all time, dating back to the Egyptians, but some authors are thrown off by the scent for unknown reasons. Said authors instead enjoy a mixture of wood and jasmine for calming moments. And, that’s okay, every author—like every reader (and Bobby Brown)—has his or her own prerogative.

Nonetheless, here’s a quick list of favorite soothing aromas:

  • Lavender—It’s considered the safest plant used in aromatherapy, which is why it is so widely used.
  • Chamomile—Don’t use the oil to make the tea. These are distinctly different chamomile methods, with similar effect.
  • Bergamot—The citrus flavor of Earl Grey tea (same “chamomile rule” applies) keeps you chilled as well.
  • Sandalwood—Not from actual sandals but rather 50 to 80 year old trees and it is said to be the closest fragrance to human pheromone.
  • Vanilla—Works very well if the stomach isn’t too stimulated.

There are lots of other flowers that have relax factors, but you get the point: The smells of relaxation are all over the spectrum.

How to Mix It Up

Seriously, asking for a recipe for a soothing massage oil is like asking how to make the best veggie burger. There are just too many options, too many different occasions and too much personal taste to settle on one. So, why bother trying? Here is one link to a list of relaxing recipes, and here’s another. Check them out or create your own. It’s not worth getting stressed over.

Now, for the last ingredient, you’ll need a masseuse. Getting one of those might be more challenging.

Image source: Christine Matthews/Wikimedia