Embrocation – Massage Oil Heaven (for cyclists and others)

Earlier in 2010 one of my friends was telling me about this great embrocation oil she had been using.  Before and after she went cycling.

Embrocation oil?

I had to look it up.  According to the dictionary, an embrocation is a medicinal liquid that is applied to the skin to relive muscle stiffness and pain.  As a verb. embrocation is the act of applying this liquid to the affected area.

Ah – I got it.  Embrocation oil is essentially medicinal massage oil.

Used often in the cycling world, pros embrocate their legs before setting out on colder days (the embrocation heats up the skin thus warming the legs until the rider hits the cool).  They embrocate to get the blood flowing into the muscles before rides, and to flush out toxins and speed recovery post rides.

Fast forward to July.  I was feeling a lot of post ride post run strain in my legs.  My muscles were tired and achy, my legs feeling heavy, and as I was pushing my training to my key A race in 2010 (The London Triathlon) I wanted something to help speed my recovery.

Embrocation oil.

Through friends I found my way to Simon Lamb’s La Gazzetta della Bicci site .

Simon started La Gazzetta della Bicci while hospitalised for depression, as a way to pass time.  Simon is a former chef – and I can how his understanding of smell and of combining ingredients is a natural match with the creation of embrocation oils.

Intrigued, I ordered the Rosa oil .

The Rosa oil contains chamomile, eucalyptus, geranium, lavender, peppermint, tea tree, sweet almond, and arnica oils.  It is designed to assist with rest and recovery.  And also with a woman in mind. 

When I placed my order Simon immediately wrote back, apologising that the labels had not been printed, and also offering me a sample of the Rosso oil .

Rosso is made with lemongrass, marjoram, rosemary, black pepper, bergamot, tea tree, arnica, black cumin, grapeseed and comfrey oils, and is designed to awake and rejuvenate tired aching muscles.

Since receiving the oils in August I have used them both, to great affect. 

I use the Rosa oil in the evening, on my legs as I foam roll post exercise (and before bed).  I really enjoy the smells of lavender and chamomile, and I do think these essential oils are great for putting me in a relaxed frame of mind.  I know some of my friends use the Rosa in their bath water too, but I haven’t done this.

I have used the Rosso oil with Michael at our sports therapy sessions.  He uses the oils, often in conjunction with aqueous creams, as he releases and works on my super tight muscles (tight muscles are one of the associated joys of doing sport while having a disease that leads to muscle atrophy).  Again, the smell of the oils is lively, and the arnica I am sure helps the aches and pains to recede.

Now, I am not sure if the oils themselves are to thank, or just the process of having regular therapy and spending time taking care of oneself with massage and stretching.  But regardless, I like them, I like the smells and I like the frame of mind that using them puts me in.  I highly recommend them – treat yourself and your body well.

Available for purchase on La Gazzetta della Bici – look on the right side of the site – with payment via Paypal it is very easy to click and reap the benefits.

Special thanks to Simon.  And if you want to read more about his inspiring story of learning to manage depression, and using cycling as a means of doing so, please click here .  It is one of the best testaments I have read about the benefits of sport and the resilience of the human spirit.

Note: In adherence with FTC blogging disclosure rules introduced on 1 December 2009, I would like to note that La Gazzetta della Bici sent me one sample free of charge when I ordered one of the oils.  I offered to do this review without any strings attached.  If the oils were awful, I would tell you so.  But they weren’t.  I really like them and would recommend them to anyone – for use in the bath, for self massage, or as a simple treat.  Note that the views I express are mine alone – please use your own judgement and common sense before rushing into any product purchase.

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