By massaging your skin with body oils, you can help to improve your overall health by reducing aches and pains and decreasing stress. Jamie East, educator and esthetician at Van Davis Aveda Salon in Winston-Salem, N.C., says that one of her most powerful tools in improving her guests' health is essential body oils.
According to Jamie, in times of stress, the skin is the last tissue to receive nutrients because blood supply is first routed to vital organs such as the heart and brain. Stress can also lead to the increased production of oxidant molecules or "free radicals" on the skin which break down cells leading to premature aging. Skin is especially sensitive because blood vessels dilate, resulting in redness and sensitivity. And as your skin cells shed, they leave your skin with a dull, dry appearance. To combat all these skin care concerns, Jamie pulls from her arsenal of therapeutic massage techniques and essential oils to improve her guests' overall health.
Some body oils contain special blends of ingredients designed to target specific areas of your body. Some can help to relieve upset stomachs; others improve circulation, alleviate pain in sore muscles and relieve stiff joints. For example, oils that contain black pepper (Piper nigrum) or ginger (Zingiber officinale) reduce pain and improve flexibility for those suffering from arthritis while German chamomile helps to treat eczema.