Carrier Oils For Massage

Published on 4th April 2022


The majority of our students studying our ITEC level three anatomy physiology and pathology course do so because they want to become massage therapists. Massage and touch have unique and important benefits in helping stimulate the vagus nerve and the parasympathetic nervous system. However, the therapeutic effects of the oils used must also be considered. 

Carrier oils have nutrients, minerals and vitamins as well as chemical constituents that have therapeutic properties. Carrier oils should be cold pressed and be pure.  Each is unique to itself having its own origins and benefits.  They can be used alone or blended.  They are safe and reliable.  Learn to use them by experience, appreciation, feel,   touch, taste and smell.  Always use the best quality for the purpose in mind.  Have a selection of carrier oils. Keep them in a cool dark place, making sure that there is more oil than air in the bottle, as oils oxidise.

Apricot Kernel Prunus armeniaca:  The Apricot tree is a small fruit tree.  It comes from Iran and Manchuria. It was brought to Europe by the Greeks.  The fruit is small and fleshy, it has a good taste and lots of pulp.  It is readily absorbed into the skin and is an excellent oil to be used on the face.

Avocado Pear Persea americana miller:  The Avocado Pear tree can grow up to 15 metres.  The fruit has great nutritional food value.  The tree is native to the Americas.  Oil is produced from the flesh pulp.  The oils has softening and protecting properties to the skin.  It promotes cell regeneration.  It contains more Vitamin D than eggs! Avocado Pear oil does permeate quite deeply into the skin.

Camellia  Camellia japonica:  Grown in eastern Japan know as the tree of spring.  It is a bushy tree that flowers in the snow!! It can grow up to 8 metres high.  The oil has been used for many centuries for the treatment of the hair, skin and scalp.  It is a very safe oil to use in the likeliness of reactions.  It has an excellent moisturising property, it helps with  nail strengthening.

Hazelnut Corylus avellana :  You will find hazelnut trees growing throughout Europe especially in the Mediterranean.    You will find the tree in many British hedges, providing once food for animals and humans.  It maintains 40% of its oil in the nut.  It contains Vitamin A, B and E.  It has a great ability to penetrate the epidermis without leaving the skin greasy. 

Jojoba  Simmondsia chinensis:    It is a wild evergreen shrub found in the Sonora Desert in the SW America and throughout Mexico.  The jojoba bean yields up to 60% of itself as oil.  It is used traditionally as a healing agent. It is considered a very efficient component in skin care products and has an anti ageing factor.  Jojoba is a liquid wax.

Kukui Aleurites moluccana :  In 1959 the Kukui Nut tree became the official state tree of Hawaii.  It goes well on volcanic soils.  It has light beautifully coloured foliage, having light silver/grey powder on it leaves.  The nuts are high in oil.  It has a great reputation for being excellent for the treatment of superficial burns, chapped skin and some minor skin abrasions.

Macadamia Macadamia ternifolia :   The Macadamia tree is native in Brisbane, Australia.  It is know locally as bush nut.  It penetrates the skin easily and leaves a wonderful film to massage.  The oil is close to human sebum.  It has great therapeutic value to the skin. 

Rasberry Seed Rubus ideaus :  The oil contains Vitamin E and carotenes, and keeps well.  The seeds are crushed before being cold pressed.  Ellagic avid, a phenolic compound is found in the oil and has some importance and potential in the prevention of some cancers eg   prostrate and breast.  It is good for burns and is an astringent and has a softening effect on the skin.

Rose Hip Rosa rubiginosa :  Obtained from the rose hips from wild roses which grow wild in the Andes and Chile.  Rose hips have a high Vitamin E source. There is a process called winterisation which removes the heavy waxes by refrigeration, to allow oil to be more workable and user friendly.  It does not have good keeping qualities.  Great for tissue regeneration, reducing scars.  One of the best anti wrinkle oil. 

Sweet Almond  Prunus amygdalis var Dulcis (sweet):  Comes from Central Asia.  It is cultivated in all Mediterranean countries and California.  The tree grows to 6 to 12 metres and has pink to white flowers. The fruit is pale green and contains the seed – the almond from which the oil is obtained. It is rich in essential fatty acids. It has excellent handling properties and good for massage – long strokes. 

Sesame Sesamum indicum:   Since ancient times the sesame plant has been cultivated by the Egyptians and others.  The nutritious oils are extracted from the seeds.  It yields over 50% of its own weight.  It is excellent for moisturising and makes a fine massage oil.  It has skin restructuring properties and emollient properties.

Walnut Juglans regia:  The walnut tree is a huge tree found throughout all temperatures in Europe.  It is thought to have originated in Persia.  It gives off 50% of its own weight to oil.  It is exceptionally emollient, helping the skin to retain moisture and soften.  Great when used in a blend for nourishing.

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