Updated: Jan 21, 2020
Reflexology, being a pressure technique, can be practiced with minimal glide on the skin or with no glide at all. Whether for a whole session, or just the finishing massage, if you'd like to add a little glide to your practice (or a lot) ... here are some great oils for the job!
1. Castor Oil: Castor oil has a heating quality and feels both heavy and sticky. Also known as the "Palm of Christ," it contains powerful healing properties - both antimicrobial and antifungal. It is also able to increase circulation and break down congestion beneath the skin- this can useful for working on lumps, fibrous tissue, constipation, or any reflexes that are feeling dense.
2. Coconut Oil: Coconut oil has a cooling quality. It’s light, smooth, and can effectively ‘cool' inflammatory heat on the skin. It's a staple around the world for its benefits for skin and hair health, and has antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. (Amazing!)
3. Olive Oil: Olive oil is neither cooling nor heating, but more like an ‘in between.’ Heavy and smooth, it contains three major antioxidants (vitamin E, polyphenols, and phytosterols). It also can protect the skin from premature aging, ultraviolet light, and even free radical damage. Choose extra-virgin whenever possible with olive oil and cold-pressed for better quality.
4. Sesame Oil: Sesame oil is heating. It’s heavy and smooth, which promotes circulation in the blood and lymph, is an antibacterial and antioxidant, and can even have influences on blood pressure (when consumed.)
5. Avocado Oil: Avocado oil is cooling. It’s heavy, smooth, and has emollient (softening) and anti-wrinkle properties. It's good for sensitive skin and skin inflammations like eczema, acne and rashes. It also contains vitamins A, D and E. (Note: It may be expensive, but has a long shelf life, so a little can go a long way! Try using avocado with another oil, such as olive or coconut.) When possible choose a cold-pressed avocado oil for better quality.
Special mention! Sunflower Oil is cooling. Light and smooth, it has a therapeutic strengthening effect on the body. It makes a great oil for the bodywork reflexes, too. But keep in mind - sunflower is a crop that's frequently genetically modified (in order to be a common cooking oil.) Take care in choosing a quality oil when choosing sunflower, making sure it's GMO free.
This article is not meant to replace medical advice. Consult with your health practitioner for what is right for you. This article may be printed or distributed in its entirety in any e-zine, newsletter, blog or website, requiring the inclusion of the author's name and the original website link.
1. Shilhavy, Brian and Marianita. Coconut Oil Offers Hope for Antibiotic-Resistant Germs. http://coconutoil.com/coconut-oil-offers-hope-for-antibiotic-resistant-germs, retrieved Aug 15, 2015.
2. Ruta Ganceviciene, Aikaterini I. Liakou, Athanasios Theodoridis, Evgenia Makrantonaki, and Christos C. Zouboulis. Skin anti-aging strategies. Dermatoendocrinol. Jul 1, 2012; 4(3): 308-319. doi: 10.4161/derm.22804.
3. D’Angelo S, Ingrosso D, Migliardi V, et al. Hydroxytyrosol, a natural antioxidant from olive oil, prevents protein damage induced by long-wave ultraviolet radiation in melanoma cells. Free Radic Biol Med. 2005 Apr 1;38(7):908-18.
4. Joy, T. What Are the Health Benefits of Sesame Oil?http://www.livestrong.com/article/17951-health-benefits-sesame-oil, retrieved Aug 15, 2015.
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