It’s usual to feel a bit blue at this time of the year, so why not cheer yourself up with a massage to get rid of all those aches and pains before getting stuck in to the festive season.

You don’t have to spend lots to get a relaxing massage - simply invest in some essential oils and carrier oils and rope in a willing partner or friend to get rid of that muscle tension and bring your shoulders back down from where they’ve been living up by your ears.

However, a word of caution: essential oils can cause irritation on bare skin, so they should always be diluted with another substance, such as almond oil, avocado, apricot or grape seed oil.

The difference between the two types is that essential oils are distilled from the aromatic parts of plants, such as the leaves, bark and roots. Carrier oils are derived from the fatty portions of botanicals, like the seeds, nuts and kernels, and do not evaporate as fast or smell as strong as essential oils. The type of carrier you use in your massage oil will depend on the therapeutic benefit you are after - almond oil, for example, is a good emollient and can sooth dry and irritated skin, whereas rosehip oil helps to heal scarring, relieves certain rashes and can reduce the appearance of stretch marks.

And these oils are not just good for your skin - they can also help restore your hair to its natural, glossy state. Herbal oils in particular are said to promote hair growth and can be combined with other aromatherapy oils to give your tresses a boost.

In order to enjoy a really relaxing massage, get your would-be masseuse to warm the oil mix in their hands before applying it in long, firm strokes with their fingertips. Add a few drops of the essential oil of your choice and let your stresses fall away. Bliss…

Posted by Matilda Jones