Over the past few years, there has been a rising awareness about the role massages play in treating and managing pain, soreness and other health issues like arthritis. 

This, coupled with the fact that 1 in 5 adults experience or live with pain, further catapulted the body massage oil market, which was valued at $2.6 billion dollars in 2019 alone!

Whether that fact surprised you or not, one thing is for sure: we are all living in an increasingly stressful world and juggling hectic lifestyles. 

This means that the popularity of massages and body massage oils will only continue to grow as we turn to them to manage health conditions, cope with stress and promote a sense of wellbeing.

If you’re new to massages or in the midst of discovering the best massage oil and how it can boost your massage sessions, read on.


Why do we use body massage oils?

The history of body massage oil dates back to 5,000 BC.

Illustration from Ankmahor’s tomb in Saqqara, Egypt. Dated around 2330 BC. Source: Gillanders, 2007

Body massage oils have been around for a very, very long time — possibly since 1000 BC, based on Ayurvedic records to writings by Homer (who spoke of an oily medium being used for massage) and by Plato and Socrates (who wrote of anointing with oil and rubbing to ease pain).

But the motive is pretty simple, adding warm massage oils to the massage experience can benefit both the mind and body thanks to their rejuvenating properties. 

Plus, the added aromatherapy enhances relaxation and helps with the healing process.

Practically speaking, however, massage oils hydrate and treat the skin and simply allows for easier slip and slide.


The benefits of massage oils

A massage therapist administers a heel massage with a body massage oil.

Photo by Shutterstock

There’s not one person who wouldn’t benefit from a good old oil massage, even infants and the elderly.

Using massage oils for a deep tissue massage can:

  • Increase circulation
  • Aid joint health
  • Calm nerves
  • Promote better sleep
  • Increase stamina and mental alertness
  • Improve flexibility
  • Treat pain
  • Tone muscles
  • Nourish tissue
  • Improved mental health

The best oil for body massage

Bottles of different body massage oils.

Photo by Shutterstock

There are so many types of body massage oils (carrier oils) out there that it can be difficult to settle on just one. 

In the world of massage oils, however, coconut oil remains the most popular — especially among massage therapists on Quora and Reddit.

But just so you know the popular options, here they are:

Adding essential oils for body massage

Different types of essential oils which can be added to body massage oils (otherwise known as carrier oils).

Photo by Shutterstock

The next thing to do that would turn your preferred carrier oil into the best body massage oil for you is to mix it with essential oils. 

Even athletes or active individuals can reap the benefits of essential oils mixed with massage oils, especially if they contain the following properties:


  • Antispasmodic: to release tension and reduce muscle spasms
  • Anti-inflammatory: to increase blood circulation to a certain area
  • Analgesic: to relieve pain and ease tired, overworked and aching muscles


As fun as mixing and matching essential oils with carrier oils may sound, it’s important to consider the dilution ratio, recommended daily dosage and duration guidelines.

Here’s a handy guide by the American College of Healthcare Sciences:

A guideline on how to add essential oils to body massage oils (otherwise known as carrier oils).

Photo by ACHS

If you’re thinking of customizing your own body massage oils, here are the different types of essential oils you can experiment with and how you can use them best:

Tips for selecting different types of body massage oil

Some people may experience an allergic reaction when their skin comes into contact with a body massage oil.

Photo by Shutterstock

Now that you have narrowed down your needs and the type of body massage oil that would work best for you, it’s time to consider some very important aspects.

Pre-massage precautions

  • Allergies

Certain oils may trigger an allergic reaction. If you have a nut allergy, it’s best to avoid nut-based oils such as almond oil. 

Run a patch test on your skin before going ahead with a purchase. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Wash your forearm with unscented soap and pat dry.
  2. Rub a few drops of the oil on your forearm. 
  3. Leave it for 24 hours and observe for signs of inflammation, itchiness, swelling or blistering. 

In the event that you do experience any adverse reactions before the 24 hours are up, wash your forearm immediately.

  • Pregnancy

Essential oil maker Aura Cacia specifies that basil, clary sage, clove bud, hyssop, sweet fennel, juniper berry, marjoram, myrrh, rosemary, sage, thyme, and wintergreen should be avoided at all costs during pregnancy.

However, if you’re pregnant and still would like to get a good rub down for those aching calves, feet and lower back, do consult your doctor beforehand.

A man does some light stretches.

Photo by Shutterstock

Post-massage practices

It’s best to avoid any kind of stressful events after a massage — this means no massages during lunch breaks just to jump into an intense work meeting minutes later. 

You’d also want to watch your diet and stick to light and nourishing foods instead of heavy meals. Stay hydrated with water and avoid any strenuous activities too, though it’s recommended that you do light stretches or go for a relaxing walk.

Last but not least, despite being covered in oil, it’s not advisable to take a shower right after your massage. Wait for an hour minimum and shower with lukewarm water — not hot, not cold.

How to get the full body massage experience at home

A man uses the Hydragun on his chest.

Photo by Hydragun

The idea of getting a deep tissue massage whenever you feel like it is anybody’s dream. Unfortunately, current circumstances don’t allow for such a thing. 

Plus, even if massage parlors are open during these strange COVID-19 times, one wouldn’t be able to feel completely relaxed for obvious reasons.

As it turns out, it’s still possible to bring the spa to you instead — with the help of a percussive therapy gun like the Hydragun.

The Hydragun, which comes with six different attachment heads.

Photo by Hydragun

The steel attachment heads would work best with the massage oils and help the massage gun glide smoother. For post-exercise pain and inflammation, we recommend using lavender oil, lemon, basil and rosemary.

The use of a percussive massage gun and massage oils are the perfect combination for at-home or on-the-go massages — especially since you’ll be saving time, money and energy from multiple appointments at the wellness center.

Here’s a simple step-by-step guide on how to give yourself a massage at home:

  1. Apply your preferred oil over the target area and massage it gently into the skin.
  2. Wipe away any excess.
  3. Use the Hydragun set to the lowest setting first before increasing the intensity.
  4. Repeat on different areas of the body for a full body massage.
  5. Enjoy the quietness of the massage gun as well as the massage. 


Massage anytime, anywhere with the Hydragun

When you have a percussive massage gun, a full body massage in the comfort of your own home is no longer a faraway dream. Watch the video below for a full review on the Hydragun, and how it works to relieve muscle pain:


Don’t let muscle pain and soreness get in the way of your daily routine, and enjoy the benefits of massage oils and a massage gun at one go — no appointments necessary. 

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