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As you probably already know, castor oil is an incredible natural remedy for your hair, eyebrows, nails, etc. But did you also know that castor oil helps relax and relieve achy muscles, increases blood circulation, and soothes your body meanwhile nourishing your skin? Castor oil has anti-inflammatory properties that will soothe sore joints and muscles which is why using castor oil for massages is nothing but beneficial!
With the helping hands from a friend or loved one, you can experience a relaxing castor oil massage without spending a fortune.
Why use castor oil for massaging?
The active ingredient in castor oil is ricinoleic acid, from which its triglycerides make up about 90% of the fatty acid content in castor oil. Ricinoleic acid is known for its natural anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties. Massaging with castor oil therefore helps relieve pain from minor cuts or scrapes as well as soothe sore or tender muscles and joints. Using castor oil for massaging can help with joint and muscle relief from arthritis, stress, overuse, or other factors that cause us to have tense joints and muscles.
A castor oil massage naturally relieves the pain and tenderness from sore muscles or joints, it also helps increase blood flow, and decreases inflamed joints or muscles. When applied and used in a massaging manner, castor oil quickly becomes heated with friction. The heat produced from massaging with castor oil is like a bonus for your sore muscles.
Castor oil may be thick and oily, but your skin won’t be left feeling that way after a castor oil massage. Castor oil penetrates deep into the skin to nourish, detoxify, and soften. If you have “bacne” (acne on your back), a castor oil massage is recommended. Not only do you benefit from a relaxing massage from castor oil, but your skin gets pampered too! What’s not to love.
2 methods to indulge in a castor oil massage
There’s no one way to do a castor oil massage, but here are two methods that you can follow.
Apply castor oil directly
This is the most simple way to do a castor oil massage. Apply directly on the area needing massaged. For best results, rub the castor oil well so it becomes heated.
If you are wanting more heat, you can first heat the oil in the microwave. It is also possible to add a bit of turmeric or cayenne pepper to the castor oil. Make sure to rub the sore muscle or joint area thoroughly so that the castor oil can penetrate deep to help soothe the muscle and connective tissues.
Apply castor oil using hot compresses
Otherwise known as castor oil packs, using castor oil compresses is probably one of the most popular uses of castor oil.
- Heat the castor oil
- Soak the compress in the hot oil
- Place compress directly on the area that is sore/achy/painful (shoulders, back, stomach, legs, knees, etc.)
- Cover or tape and let sit
- Repeat or rinse with soapy water
You can also do it the opposite way.
- Place castor oil on the area + rub in
- Cover with a hot washcloth or flannel and let cool
- Repeat or rinse with soapy water
Personally, whenever my stomach is hurting I use the latter method. I apply castor oil directly, then cover with a very hot washcloth and let cool. Rubbing castor oil between my palms for 20 seconds also heats up the oil pretty well and for in my opinion, remains just as effective. Usually I do a castor oil massage at night and let the oil nourish my skin overnight before showering in the morning. My skin feels softer, cleaner, and healthier for a couple days after. I also started using castor oil on my shoulders for acne breakouts. See how castor oil can help with acne.
Learn how to do an Ayurvedic massage with castor oil
What is an Ayurvedic massage, you ask? Well, I first discovered it a few weeks after arriving in Nepal. Ayurveda is one of the oldest Indian medicines still heavily practiced today both in South Asia and in the Western world. For my birthday last August, Paul took us to get Ayurvedic massages, something we never tried before and would definitely do again without hesitation! This medicinal practice aims to purify your body by stimulating your muscles and liberating your body from toxins and impurities, meanwhile harmonizing your body and mind.
Here, I will briefly describe how to do an Ayurvedic self-massage (Abhyanga). You can either do this full-body massage alone, or by the help of a friend or loved one.
Warm the oil. First warm the oil to a comfortable temperature. You can do this by either microwaving for a few seconds, or by putting the oil in an already hot bowl or cup.
Spread it all over. Dip your fingers in the oil and start spreading it over your body, starting with the scalp and working your way down all the way to the toes. This way the oil has time to soak for a few minutes before you start massaging.
Massage massage massage. Start massaging starting with your scalp. Use firm pressure, especially on nerves, muscles, or joints that need extra attention. Use soft pressure for areas such as your stomach. After you massage the scalp for 2-3 minutes, continue down towards your face and ears. Use circular motions.
Continue using circular strokes around your left shoulder, and use longer strokes for the biceps, forearm, hand and fingers. Repeat with the right arm. Use circular strokes for your chest and light circular strokes for your tummy. When massaging the lower back, it’s easiest to use up/down long strokes. Next, combine circular and long strokes to massage your legs. Repeat with the right leg.
Once your finished, the last step is to give special attention to the feet. First wash them with warm, soapy water. Apply oil all over and then start massaging the little toes first working your way to the big toes. Use circular, squeezing motions and gently tug on each one before moving onto the next. Then work your way down the foot by using circular motions. Use firm pressure and really rub out all the nooks or soreness you feel. Focus on thoroughly massaging the base of the feet and then the ankle joint/bone. Doing so improves your blood circulation, nourishes your feet, and gives the body a boost of energy.
Rinse. Ideally you should do an Ayurvedic self-massage before showering. But before showering though, take a wash cloth and gently wipe off the oil from your body. This will help remove all the impurities first, allowing your shower to properly clean the skin from excess oil.
Final thoughts: Castor Oil Massage
How did your self-massage turn out? We hope that you can benefit from a relaxing castor oil massage every now and then! The antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, curing, softening, nourishing, replenishing properties of castor oil makes it the perfect companion for a massage. Try it and see for yourself! I am sure you will not be disappointed.
Thank you for reading and following Castor Oil guide! Send your thoughts and comments my way, I’d be happy to hear from you!