Herbal Massage Melts
Lotion bars are useful for winter moisturizing. They are heavier than lotion. They are generally solid at room temperature if you live in the temperate world. Massage Melts are lotion bars packaged in 1 serving sizes, that are just right for a full back massage.
My recipe includes calendula infused oil and cottonwood bud infused oil for healing-touch. Calendula improves lymph flow, is softening and healing to the skin, and supports the body’s natural wellness. Winter harvested cottonwood buds, or “Balm of Gilead” (not the Middle Eastern Balm of Gilead mentioned in the Bible) infused oil relieves pain and inflammation. Both infused oils can be found at Mountain Rose Herbs, but you can make your own. See my simple instructions for making infused oils here.
The essential oils were chosen for their masculine scent. Vetiver is smoky and resinous. You don’t need much of it. Cinnamon, frankincense, and myrrh are woodsy and calming. You can change the essential oils according to your preferences. To gain a better understanding of the benefits of various essential oils and help you with your choice of essential oils, see my book, The Beginners’ Book of Essential Oils.
Do not use fragrance oils in this recipe. Fragrance oils are created in the laboratory from petrochemicals and are not the same as essential oils. Fragrance oils can cause breathing difficulties in some people and may be carcinogenic. Everything you put on your skin is absorbed by the body. You don’t want fragrance oils.
A gift of Massage
Make these massage melts as a gift or make the massage the gift.
What could be kinder and more loving than a massage that soothes sore muscles, softens and moisturizes the skin, moves lymph fluid, and relaxes both mind and body. Put on some soft music, and prepare your loved one to relax and receive your kindness.
These massage melts dissolve at body temperature. Make them using silicone molds using just 1 1/2 tsp. of massage oil in each mold. This formula makes use of the infused herbal oils you made last summer. Calendula is kind and nourishing to the skin. Balm of Gilead, made from Winter Cottonwood buds, is soothing. And it smells amazing.
Herbal Massage Melts
Yield: 24 – 1 1/2 tsp. servings
2 tbsp. calendula infused oil
1 tbsp. balm of gilead infused oil
3 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
3 tbsp. cocoa butter, melted
4 tbsp. beeswax, melted
1/4 tsp. natural vitamin E oil
5 drops of frankincense essential oil
5 drops of cinnamon essential oil
1 drop of myrrh
1 drop of vetiver
You’ll need a chocolate mold. This is the one I used.
Melt the cocoa butter in a double boiler. Don’t use a microwave to prepare these herbal massage melts. Microwave radiation will harm the herbal actions. If you don’t have a double boiler you can rig one by placing a canning jar ring in a small sauce pan and sitting a pyrex measuring cup in the ring.
Fill the pot with warm water to three quarters of the way up the side of the measuring cup. Simmer the saucepan until your cocoa butter, beeswax and oils melt. You won’t need to boil the water. Steaming is enough. Once the beeswax, cocoa butter, and oils are mixed together and no solid bits remain, remove from the heat.
Add the essential oils. The ones I list are warming. *Use 12 drops in total for an adult. If you are making these for a child, young child, or infant see my note below.
Pour the mixture into prepared silicone molds that hold about 1 1/2 tsp. of the massage melt mixture. Allow to cool at room temperature for several hours or overnight.
Pop out of the molds and package in a pretty red box or wide mouth jar. They will stay solid as chocolate stays solid, at room temperature. If you are in a room that is warm enough for chocolate to melt, you’ll need to place these in a cooler location for storage. They will keep in a cool place away from direct sunlight for up to a year, if stored in an air tight jar or tin.
These will melt at body temperature. To use apply with light pressure against someone’s naked back until the oils begin to liquify. If they feel cold in your hands, melt them in your hands rather than putting them cold on your friend’s back.
Spread it with a warming massage to relax sore muscles. Move the hands in the direction of the heart, to move lymph flow. Communicate with the other person. If there is a sore spot, give it a little more attention to ease sore muscles and work out inflammation.
Massage until the massage oils are fully worked into the body and the hands are dry. The skin will absorb the herbal oils in about 15 minutes of massage, leaving the skin soft and moisturized. You won’t need to wipe off excess oil.
To protect your own hands and joints, move your arms from the shoulder rather than using pressure on your wrists and elbows.
If you are using these lotion bars or massage melts on a baby or child, change the essential oils to more calming essential oils like chamomile, or lavender or just leave them out completely.
For a child older than 12 use 12 drops of essential oil in this recipe. For a child under 6 years of age use only 4 drops in total of essential oils. For infant massage, leave out the essential oils completely. Young infants don’t have the liver maturity to break down concentrated essential oils. More isn’t necessarily better.
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