When your muscles are sore from strains, sprains or over-working, nothing feels better than a massage with oil. Essential oils from plants like arnica have been used for centuries to ease sore muscles and help injuries to muscles or tendons. Other oils like juniper, eucalyptus or rosemary have invigorating scents. Juniper, eucalyptus and rosemary can warm the skin around tight muscles, which helps your body relax and repair itself.
Mixing Essential Oils
Never use pure essential oils undiluted, because some are strong enough to irritate the skin in their pure form. Check the labels on the oils you plan to use. Some essential oils are already mixed with a carrier oil like sweet almond oil or olive oil. If the oil is undiluted, you'll have to mix it yourself. For massage oils, use about an ounce of carrier oil to mix the essential oils. Put the carrier oil in a bottle first, and then add the essential oils you wish to blend. Cap the bottle tightly and shake it well until the oils are mixed.
Oils to Use
Arnica is a favorite essential oil for muscle and joint aches. Use it after strenuous activity to relieve pain. If you use it just after an injury, it can decrease the damage. Oils like wintergreen and cayenne or black pepper contain topical analgesics similar to aspirin, and they stimulate circulation in sore areas. Good circulation is necessary to get rid of the built-up lactic acid causing the sore muscles. Lavender, rosemary, ginger and eucalyptus oils are also able to soothe stiff muscles and increase circulation. Add ingredients like chamomile or sandalwood to your essential oil massage blend to make soothing scents to help relax your mind as well as your body.
How To Use the Oil
You can apply essential massage oil just to the sore area, you can add it to a hot bath or you can rub oils over your whole body. When you massage your body, start with your arms and legs and apply the oil in smooth upward strokes. Rub the oil into your back and stomach next, and then do your shoulder muscles. Always massage towards your heart.
For a soothing bath, pour a half ounce of blended oils into the bathwater and soak for up to half an hour. If you don't have time for a bath, rub your body with the oil before a shower, and plug the drain while you shower.