What Are the Benefits of Olive Oil Massage?

Olive oil has been used by Mediterranean cultures for thousands of years for its health and beauty benefits. While it is well known for its uses in cooking and making salads, many don't know that olive oil is also a common base in homemade massage treatments. You can combine it with many types of essential oils to create an inexpensive, healing and aromatic massage oil.

A glass pitcher of olive oil on a towel with massage stones. (Image: Nasaruddin Bin Abdul Muttalib/iStock/Getty Images)

Dry Skin

Massaging your skin daily with olive oil is an excellent way to combat dry or flaky skin caused by harsh weather. It may help to repair skin damaged from overexposure to the sun. Janice Cox, author of "Natural Beauty at Home," suggests mixing olive oil with vitamin E oil to create a rich, moisturizing skin treatment. Add one capsule of vitamin E to 1/2 cup of olive oil and massage into dry, chapped skin using a circular motion.

Pain Relief

Massage therapy on its own helps to relieve pain, aches and muscle spasms. But you may gain additional benefits when you use olive oil in massage treatments. Olive oil is frequently used in medicinal massage in India. Ayurvedic doctors prescribe olive oil massage for the relief of swelling, gout, arthritis, muscle pains and sprains. You can use 1/2 cup of the regular extra-virgin olive oil available in the grocery store for a full body massage. To reduce the heaviness and improve the aroma, mix in a few drops of an essential oil such as rose or geranium.

Head Massage

Olive oil helps to heal dry, flaky scalp conditions such as dandruff, and scalp massage with olive oil promotes healthier, shinier and more manageable hair. Francesca Gould, author of "Indian Head Massage," says olive oil is commonly used in scalp massages to moisturize and condition the scalp and dry hair. Create a homemade scalp massage treatment by adding 5 drops of lavender or rose essential oil to 1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil. Massage into your scalp with your fingertips, using small, circular motions. Leave this treatment on your hair for 10 minutes and wash thoroughly with your favorite shampoo.

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