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A woman of colour receives a shoulder massage

What to use for massage oil?

Let's talk massage! (Not Sexy I Just Have Chronic Back Pain)

The practice of massage, and use of massage oils is often sexualized and/or seen as a shameful indulgence. This is ultimately due to the centre of the venn diagram in people's minds: ‘massage’ and ‘sex’ containing aspects of sensuality and physicality. But this limited view stigmatizes massage and massage products. 

Muscular shoulder receiving massage with body oil

Massage is a form of bodywork that has deep rooted tradition. The earliest records of massage date back to ancient civilizations. The development of these medicinal and spiritual practices have evolved over a long history, the first documentation occurring approximately 5000 years ago. 

Massage oils add nurturing ingredients to this historically medicinal and spiritual practice. Adding luxuriously curated elements to the surface of the skin through massage nourishes the body. Ousia Bath & Body Oil introduces entity, essence, and substance into your massage routine. 

When I think of massages, the first setting to arise is the minimalist private room that I often laid in during middle school to help treat my neck and back pain. The masseur would set up a calming playlist and the sound waves would flow between the leaves of her potted plants and her tabletop of Himalayan salt lamps. Frequently receiving these massages significantly improved my posture, reduced my muscle tension, and unlocked pathways and flows within my body that I had not known existed. My sister always made the joke that an inch of my stress-heightened shoulders was transferred to my own height after each appointment. 

 

Relaxed kitten receiving head massage

My only issue with my massage experience was insecurity in the way it left the appearance of my back. The harsh oils that my masseur chose resulted in a strong wave of body acne. In the insecure mindset I had at age 13, I stopped attending my massage therapy sessions due to the spots spreading along my spine and shoulders.

A good massage oil is an essential aspect of the massage. Stoic Beauty’s Ousia Bath & Body Oil is a comfort to me. As someone who has struggled with finding a nourishing massage oil in the past, the clearly defined ingredients of Ousia Bath & Body Oil are a staple. For example, the Macadamia Nut Oil in this product contains Palmitoleic Acid. Palmitoleic Acid occurs naturally in the skin, but decreases over the skin's lifetime. The reintroduction of this superfood to the skin leaves the body nourished, well-hydrated, and fresh. You can view more ingredients and benefits on the Ousia Bath & Body Oil product page.  

At the time of writing this post, here in Toronto, we have just started to make major progress in terms of vaccination. Some of us have been unable to see or touch the people we typically engage in physical intimacy with. With physical touch being a dominant love language, many have had a difficult year of repeated self isolation, and disconnect in location. 

What better way is there to build intimacy than treating those you are close to by mutually engaging in this anti-anxiety practice? This body care that you can both give and receive will: heal tension, assist in good posture, relieve pain and stress, combat anxiety, provide luxury, and promote a healthy lifestyle. It is crucial to connect with those you’re close in mind, body, and spirit. 

Massage has come up in many lives as an intimate stress-relieving practice between friends and family. It’s not uncommon for my peers and I to exchange shoulder rubs during tense and stressful days that require extra relief. 

When my boyfriend and I first started seeing each other, we had several late study nights. My posture would fall in quality and my shoulders raised themselves closer to my ears as I worked away at my assignments. Out of care for my well being, he would then wheel his desk chair behind mine, and abandon his textbook to give attention to my shoulders in a caring act of healing for my body. This pampering had no sexual intent, and feeling this non-sexual body care from my partner on a regular basis has made me deeply appreciate the magic of a massage (not to mention how radiant this magic becomes when adding a massage oil potion of healing!).

Bath & Body Oil ideal for massage is pictured with a white background

To heal and be healed by those you are close to creates a powerful and pure bond. In a platonic or familial setting, the use of massage, and massage oils is a gift to the body. Part of this gift is an act of healing and connecting with your loved ones. Especially during this pandemic, so many of use are hungry for touch and connection. Even with romantic partners, connecting through the body in ways other than sex is an important key to intimacy and to fill the need for quality touch. Massage is a type of accessible bodywork that welcomes, and benefits everyone. 

Once you’ve acquired your Ousia Bath & Body Oil, I encourage you to:

  1. Destigmatize massage as a shameful indulgence. 
  2. Destigmatize massage as sexual foreplay. 

Find power in the ability to physically care and be cared for by others.

Reem

Reem Rizk (She/Her) is an Ontario based creator, and current Creative Writing major at OCAD University. While working towards her BFA, she has acquired many creative industry skills. Reem plays a role on Stoic Beauty’s content team. Her passion for all things self care blends effortlessly with the values of the brand. She aims to encourage self care practices through personal reflection, and information about the luxurious skin care experiences that Stoic Beauty provides.

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