Check out my YouTube video about the organic massage oil I use in my treatments, then read on ↓. I will explain a little about massage oil in general, then get into some basic organic chemistry so that you can understand what fatty acids are and how they influence the quality of massage oil.
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Hey guys, Rachel here again, from Rose Tint Your Life. I’m on a roll because I am just loving😍 the new blind behind me. I finally have a backdrop for my videos! So, I thought I would talk to you today about my carrier oil.
Coconut Massage oil
This might seem really boring at first, but natural massage oil actually, makes all the difference in holistic and healing massage. Just behind me, in the video, you can see my little tea light warmer with the ceramic jar on top. I warm the oil because I use pure coconut massage oil 🥥 as my carrier oil. Now, pure coconut oil is only the fat fraction, so that means that it doesn’t have the proteins and it doesn’t smell like coconut.
As coconut massage oil is solid at room temperature, I keep it on a tealight warmer. Heated massage oil is an extra special treat, especially in winter!
Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids
Coconut oil for massage is far and away the best choice. Why? Because it has medium-chain fatty acids. Those are 8, 10-carbon fatty acids. These fats are lubricating but they are not greasy. It is absorbed into the skin and it is really, really nourishing. Coconut oil also contains good amounts of Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol, for the chemistry nerds out there). Vitamin E is the main anti-oxidant for anything fatty. You know that Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant, right? Well Vitamin C protects in a watery medium…Vitamin E protects in a fatty medium.
What are fatty acids?
Fatty acids are the name that chemists give to the long chains of carbon and hydrogen that make up fats. Mostly, fats are found as “triglycerides“. This means that three (tri) fatty acid chains are attached to a backbone of glycerine, which is also a carbon molecule. In fact, it’s pretty much all Carbon! We are talking about some very simple organic chemistry, which is the chemistry of carbon or the chemistry of life!
Medium-chain fatty acids
When I say that coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids, I am saying that you are going to find chains of carbon that contain 8-10 or even 12 carbon atoms attached to that glycerine backbone.
These medium-chain fatty acids are saturated and stable. Stable in chemical terms means that they are not likely to react to things like heat or oxygen. They are chemically inert. Something unstable would be gasoline, which is also a carbon chain, but is liquid at room temperature, has a strong smell (so it is evaporating spontaneously), and is highly combustible, which is why you don’t smoke at the gas station!
Generalizing wildly, animal fats are often saturated and vegetable fats are more often unsaturated. Meat and eggs contain cholesterol, a saturated fat. Because saturated fats are more solid and inert, they are often involved in nasty things like arterio-sclerosis and fatty liver. Hence the recommendation to eat more vegetable-based fats and reduce animal-based foods. But coconut is different. It has saturated fats of vegetable origin.
These, then, are vegetable fats that are similar to animal fats. They are more like the fats that our own skin produced to protect and lubricate itself. Coconut oil really is a wonderful massage oil!
How to Book
Do you like what you have read today? Come on, check it out, come to have a massage and Rose Tint Your Life! My massage studio is open Tuesday-Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings. I only work by appointment, so if you’re interested in bodywork, please do get in touch via my contact page. 📍If you want a home visit, this can also be arranged in the Marina Baixa area (basically Benidorm to Altea la Vella).