Exploring the Best Essential Oils For Massage: A Blissful Treat in Store

A massage must surely be the best gift you can give someone. Dedicated time and care, with beautiful elixirs created by nature to soothe and calm our spirits and to release all those painful muscles at the same time. Massage can be soothing and invigorating, as well as being a vital component of healing from stress, emotional or physically painful conditions. In this post we’ll explore the best essential oils for massage.

What Essential Oils Are Good For A Massage?

    1. Lavender essential oil 
    2. Roman chamomile essential oil
    3. Geranium essential oil 
    4. Cedarwood essential oil 
    5. Clary Sage essential oil 
    6. Palo Santo essential oil
    7. Bergamot essential oil
    8. Frankincense essential oil
    9. Juniper essential oil
    10. Vetiver essential oil

1. Lavender Essential Oil

There is more to just picking something relaxing when you are choosing the best essential oils for massage. Essential oils don’t have side effects, only many main effects. As well as being calming, we need to be sure that the oil will be gentle enough on the skin and to understand what other things the oil might do. 

Lavender is frequently at the top of these lists because it is dependably transparent in its properties. It is relaxing, soothing and calming. Right across the board, that’s what it will do. It soothes the skin. It relaxes tired and aching muscles. It calms the mind. If you suffer from tired and achy feet, or restless legs, it can be one of the best oils to use on the bottom of your feet, combined with clary sage. 

Lavender is a great choice if there is a lot of tension in the muscles, if there are knots or if someone is emotionally tense. It is also very helpful if you are struggling to sleep.

Lavender is easy to use and very safe, however please do not use it in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy. Regular readers of this blog may have identified a possible pitiful for always identifying lavender essential oil for massage though. It communicates with the sebaceous glands that make sebum, the oily substance that moisturizes and protects our skin. Over time, lavender will inevitably dry your skin, so let’s now look at some other oils to mix it up a bit. 

2. Roman Chamomile Essential Oil

The chamomile oils are very good if something is inflamed. In the case of massage we might say that the skin is inflamed (in which case you might be better not doing a massage, actually, especially if the skin is broken.) It also applied to inflamed tempers. Roman Chamomile is one of the best essential oils for massage if there has been a lot of arguing or you feel very angry for some reason. These kinds of emotions really stay in muscles if you are not careful and can hurt us long term. Think how we clench our fists and our shoulders when we are stressed or annoyed. 

Chamomile is a very gentle oil and helps you to let go of things that you are holding too tightly. When you are massaged with chamomile, you tend to sigh deeply and say “Ah well. It is what it is”. It is one of the best essential oils for massage because it makes your mood lighter and more flexible. 

Again, as long as you are not in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy, Roman chamomile is safe and easy to use. 

3. Geranium Essential Oil

If we were only allowed to have one oil left in the world, we would clutch our geranium oil so tightly to make sure no-one could come anywhere near it. Whatever you need it to do, geranium can do it. It is tremendously relaxing and is very good for nurturing the skin while you massage it. 

One of the foremost treatments for stress, geranium is especially good for relationship issues or even more so, money problems. Something about it just makes worries drift away. 

It has a superb effect on hormones too, so if you are tense because you are premenstrual or menopausal, then this is a great oil to use. 

Geranium is one of the best essential oils for massage at the end of a day when you feel washed out. It is relaxing but uplifting. It is also fabulous for facial massage. Because it is nourishing and has a mild lymphatic action, maybe the best oil for Gua Sha when blended with a little carrier oil.

Again, safety is straightforward. Do not use geranium in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

4. Cedarwood Essential Oil

Cedarwood and sandalwood are the best essential oils for massage if you feel like the whole world is against you. If you keep on thinking negative thoughts and scaring yourself about all the things that could go wrong in life.

Both of them are very pacifying, so if you have had a monkey mind that would not be quiet for a few days, this is a great one to add into the blend. We love patchouli for the same reasons. These are some of the best essential oil blends for massage if you cannot switch your brain off. Adding lavender or geranium will help that too.

Again, all of these are safe oils to use as long as you are not in your first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

5. Clary Sage Essential Oil

Clary sage and lavender are the best essential oils for massage if you can’t sleep because you have restless legs syndrome. Clary sage is not only soothing but is also antispasmodic, releasing tension from the muscles. It is a gentle aphrodisiac, so it is lovely if you would like your evening to end in a certain way (You could add ylang ylang, jasmine or rose  to increase those chances if you liked! )

Clary sage along with rose, geranium and ylang ylang are the best essential oils for massage treatments for PMS or hormonal imbalances. It is superb for post menopausal women. 

A couple of notes about clary sage. If you are intending to seduce, alcohol and clary sage do not mix. In days of old, it was used as a cheap alternative to hops in beer. You get incredibly drunk very quickly. You can hallucinate and the next morning you’ll wonder what smashed you in the head! 

Likewise clary sage and peri-menopause are not friends. Perimenopausal symptoms can get worse with clary sage in some women. Lastly, do not use clary sage in the first 37 weeks of pregnancy.

6. Palo Santo Essential Oil

This is a very special essential oil, made from the heartwood of ancient trees that have been long used by Peruvian shaman’s. It is used to clear away negative spirits, energies and entities before they use ayahuasca. 

It is a precious essence, harvested from the deadwood. The tree matures relatively quickly, in tree terms, in around 50 - 60 years. Then the heartwood begins to die and requires 4-10 years on the ground to develop the rich smokiness that is so beloved. 

Palo Santo is a treasure that should be saved for only the most sacred of massages and yet it’s beauty is unparalleled.

We do not advise using this essential oil during pregnancy.

7. Bergamot Essential Oil

We don’t always want to be lulled to sleep. Bergamot and mandarin are the best essential oils for massage if you would like to be relaxed yet lifted. Bergamot and rosemary are invigorating as is bergamot with grapefruit. It is a lovely oil to choose if someone is feeling melancholy or even depressed. In that situation, try blending it with rose essential oil. 

Like all the citruses (bergamot is a green orange from Italy) that have their essential oils extracted from the peel, bergamot can be phototoxic and can cause skin sensitization. To avoid this some people like to opt for Bergamot FCF essential oil (Furanocoumarin free). This can be an excellent plan, but somehow the sunshine seems to live in the furanocoumarins, it is not quite as uplifting without them, but it is of course, safer for the skin. 

Alternatively, you can use bergamot in a very low dilution to avoid the issues with skin sensitivity. It is safe below 0.4% (That’s pretty much one drop in two and a bit teaspoons of carrier oil). In addition, like any other essential oils, avoid using bergamot in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

8. Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense is the most comforting and relaxing oil. It is one of the best essential oils for massage from several different viewpoints. Certainly, the healing power of touch in massage is undisputed, add to that the lovely cozy feeling you get from frankincense too. Frankincense is used in places of worship to consecrate spaces as sacred, which also exists within the collective smell consciousness. This is quiet time, holy and sacred time. 

Frankincense slows the breath, taking you into an even deeper sense of relaxation. In addition, it restores elasticity to the tissues, releasing tension from the muscle fibers, the tendons and cartilages. 

Again, frankincense is a safe and easy essential oil to use as long as it is avoided in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

9. Juniper Essential Oil

Where frankincense restores elasticity to the muscles, letting you stretch more easily, juniper cleans them.

Using our muscles is like any biological process. When something happens, it causes something else to take place. In this case there is an energy interchange that allows the muscles to be powered. As they work, they create a byproduct waste toxin, lactic acid. Ordinarily lactic acid should be moved from our systems by a normal lymphatic process. But unlike the circulatory system that has the heart to drive it, the lymphatic system does not have a pump. Instead it relies on muscle pressure to move it. 

We can see a loop here now, can’t we? If the muscle is not fit enough to drive it, perhaps because it has not worked for a while, the lactic acid remains between the muscle fibers. 

Now, as you read this, gently roll your head one way, then the other. 

Did you feel and hear any crunching? That was lactic acid that has turned to crystals. Consider how these, now solid, crystals would hurt, as the muscle fibers, that should be able to move smoothly against each other scratch over these crystals. 

Incidentally, if you did feel the crunch, you should be massaging your neck and shoulders more! 

Juniper is one of the best essential oils for massage because it dissipates lactic acid (and uric acid that causes arthritis, rheumatism and gout). It cleanses the joints and muscle tissues, making it easier for them to move. Lavender and Juniper best essential oils for relaxing massage if you have aching and tense joints.

Juniper is extremely diuretic, so it should not be used at all during pregnancy or if you have a kidney condition.

10. Vetiver Essential Oil

Vetiver may have the oldest usage as one of the best essential oils for massage in history. Even before we have proof of distillation, there are ayurvedic texts that speak of vegetable oils that have had vetiver roots soaked in them are relaxing and tranquilizing. It is a beautiful peace. Perfect peace.

Vetiver also has an aphrodisiac component too. To enhance that, perhaps blend with jasmine, ylang ylang or sandalwood oils. These are the best essential oils to use for massage if you are looking to be relaxed and then romanced.


Safety is straight forward. Just avoid using it in those first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

DIY Recipes for the Best Essential Oils for Massage

10 Best Essential Oils For Massage

It’s almost impossible to write these because the best essential oil blends for massage will change day to day.

What is influencing you? Is it your hormones? Then even though rose didn’t make it onto this list, you’d certainly want to add that or ylang-ylang to your blend.

Aching muscles? Then we have lavender and juniper here, but you’re also  going to want some black pepper too.

Use these recipes as guidelines. Have some fun. Change it up a little!

Aching Joints

Safety: Not suitable for use during pregnancy. 

(If you are pregnant, substitute jumper for geranium after the first 16 weeks. It’s not perfect, but it will still be relaxing.)


Safety: Not suitable for use during pregnancy.


Safety: Not suitable for use during pregnancy.


The best essential oils for massage are ones that respond to how you feel each day. Arm yourself with lavender, roman chamomile, geranium and juniper as must haves, then build your collection from there. 

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published