Good Massage Oils

Way back when, in my first year of naturopathic medical studies, I took a class called Massage. That's right: naturopathic doctors are trained in therapeutic massage. Now, we don't necessarily dabble in 60 minute, full body massages (we leave that to Registered Massage Therapists), but if I patient requests or is indicated for one (such as chronic full-body pain, lymphatic drainage issues, some forms of edema, etc), naturopathic doctors are able to provide the patient with a massage. When I took this class, one of the first things I was taught was what consitutes a good massage oil. I was naive, thinking that any form of oil would make a great massage oil, but I was wrong. Many oils that we use when cooking and those that we typically have in our homes are too greasy and not well absorbed by the skin to be used as massage oils. They also can stain clothes and clog pores. Instead, we should be using lighter, absorbable, and nourishing oils that are sold in health food stores or at massage supply stores. They are pricey, but a little goes a long way so one bottle should last a long, long time.

Some specialty oils that work well for massage:

Almond oil
Avocado oil
Jojoba oil
Castor oil
Oils you may have at home that actually works:

Grapeseed oil
Coconut oil

Oils that you likely have at home but should not be used for massage:

Olive oil
Canola oil
Sunflower oil


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