Olive Oil

Olive Oil is one of many popular carrier oils used in massage, aromatherapy, and other body-work treatments - as well as for other purposes.

Olive oil (from Olea europaea) is extracted from the flesh of the fruit rather than the stone or "kernel". The olives are first left to dry in the sun until they begin to ferment. They are then gently crushed, the stones are removed while still whole, not cracked or damaged, then the flesh of the remaining fruits is pressed. The oil extracted in this way is then centrifuged and filtered. This relatively lengthy extraction process means that olive oil is also relatively expensive compared with other similar oils. The other oil with the most comparable extraction process is avocado oil, which is also extracted from the flesh rather than the kernel of the fruit.

Olive oil is described in some texts as having very many benefits for therapeutic external use, such as for use in cases of bruises, burns, insect bites, itching skin, and sprains. However, it is not particularly popular as a massage carrier oil, partly because it is rather fatty and heavy compared with other oils (such as grapeseed oil and sweet almond oil, for example), and partly because it has a sufficiently strong odour that this may be noticed and overwhelm some of the subtler aromas of essential oils.

Some therapists use olive oil blended with other carrier oils, in which case its beneficial properties can be made available while some of its disadvantages for massage are overcome.

Note that this oil must be used with care and by trained personnel because it has some known contraindications.


See also the general page about carrier oils for massage and bodywork therapies and information about massage and aromatherapy.

Note: There are many different carrier oils used for massage and other bodywork therapies. This section includes many popular oils but it is not a complete list.

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