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An Athlete’s Guide to Using Massage Oils

Athletes looking for better ways to alleviate sore muscles should always consider the advantages of receiving frequent massages. One of the specific strategies used by masseuses to cater to those who are physically active is sports massage. This is a technique that focuses on the more stressed parts of the body that are used by an athlete for a particular sport, such as feet for runners or upper body for weightlifters. According to the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, the benefits sports massages can provide for athletes range from reducing fatigue, treating muscle tension and swelling as well as boosting overall performance.

However, those who often workout don’t have to begin scheduling weekly sessions with a massage therapist to experience the advantages of this alleviate technique. Using a personal massager every time you get home from the gym or playing a sport is another quality way to provide your muscles with incredible support. An excellent accessory to accompany your personal massage are massage oils, which have a variety of properties designed to help users get the most out of their self-therapeutic sessions. But with so many oil products on the market, knowing which ones best cater to your sore muscle needs can be tricky to assess. Any athlete considering experiencing the benefits of massage oils should take a look at this quick guide to gaining a better understanding of these remedial products.

Why Should I Use Massage Oils?

Essentially the primary reason to apply massage oils is to reduce the overall friction between hands, or a personal massager, and the body. The particular types of oil you use will also produce its own specific beneficial properties. Some are created to focus on alleviating tension, stress or inflammation on the body, while others work to increase the healthiness of your skin, by reducing factors such as cellulite or enhancing hydration. This is why it’s important to know what type of massage oil will work best for your massage, so you’ll be receiving the right types of treatment that best cater to areas of the body you need more attention on.

Here are 4 top recommended massage oils and their main benefits:

Coconut Oil

Moistens skin and keeps it healthy

Sweet Almond Oil

Does not absorb quickly allowing longer use during massage

Olive Oil

Known to repair skin and treat sore muscles; Antioxidants hydrate skin

Sesame Oil

Lubricates joints and increases blood flow; natural anxiety detoxifier

Coconut Oil

One of the more popular options for massage oils is coconut oil, which aside from having a pleasant aroma also does wonders in relation to skin health. Coconut oil has a healthy amount of saturated fat in it, which helps capture more moisture in the skin so that dryness and cracking doesn’t accumulate. For those who are concerned about back acne, coconut oil is also known to prevent the spreading of breakouts, while not blocking off pours in the process.

Sweet almond oil

This product tends to be considered the most popular massage oil on the market, essentially because it’s the most compatible with the art of manipulating muscles. It flows gently and smoothly over the skin, and doesn’t become absorbed too quickly so you’ll have plenty of time to get the most out of usage. Sweet almond oil is a great example of the implementation of aromatherapy with massages, as its distinct scent is known to produce a more tranquil state in users, allowing the muscles to relax.

Olive oil

Commonly reserved for dinner time, olive oil is also regarded as an essential massage oil for a variety of reasons. For starters, using olive oil during massage does wonders for athletes with dry skin, as the abundance of antioxidants work to hydrate and enhance smoothness. Olive oil is rich in vitamin E, polyphenols and phytosterols, which is great for everything from preventing wrinkles to repairing damage caused by the sun. Olive oil has also long been regarded as a resource for alleviating sore muscles, specifically as a means for decreasing instances of swelling or inflammation, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Sesame oil

An oil that’s been widely used as a Hindu traditional medicine, sesame oil has gained notoriety over the years as being a resourceful product to use during massages. This is because sesame oil is an essential product that’s used with abhyanga, an Ayurvedic practice that utilizes self-massage techniques to help with everything from lubricating the joints to increasing blood circulation within the body. It’s also regarded as a beneficial method for detoxifying the body from anxiety, which in turn may help with alleviating tension and anxiety.