JINJER's Essential Massage Oil Is the Self-Care Kit Necessity You Didn't Know You Needed
There's a good reason people are willing to pay top dollar for a professional massage. Masseuses know exactly what they're doing, and the stress-busting results speak for themselves.
Of course, a lot of us don't really have the budget—or the time—to regularly be booking massages. Self-massage can be the next best thing, and JINJER is a brand that makes a ginger essential oil massage oil to make that at-home experience as perfect as possible.
Not only was the brand generous enough to send me some JINJER oil to try for myself, but they also sat with me on a Zoom call to chat with me about what makes JINJER unique, and to get some one-on-one time with breathwork teacher and fitness expert Rebecca Kordecki to learn some awesome and easy massage techniques to try with it. Keep reading to find out everything I learned, and just how much it can benefit you, too.
JINJER is a recently launched company that specializes in a ginger-based essential oil that's great for massages as well as aromatherapy to destress the body and the mind. It comes pre-mixed with jojoba oil and evening primrose oil so that it's ready-to-use and can be applied directly to your skin without irritating it, resulting in a warming oil with a warm, spicy scent that works wonders on muscles.
JINJER is all about encouraging women to redefine what being "strong" and "empowered" looks like in order to promote better mental and physical health. There are societal expectations that women dress, act and speak a certain way, when we should be free to be authentic to ourselves. That also includes the fact that women are pressured to put on a brave face and pretend we're okay, even when we're going through our own personal struggles. Instead, the brand says we should all learn how to say no and how to make time for ourselves and participate in a little self-care when we've been neglecting ourselves for too long. To the team at JINJER, that's another type of strength we should all learn to embrace.
So, when our bodies are telling us something, it makes so much sense to take that 10-minute break to rejuvenate ourselves, solve those aches and pains with a quick massage and to clear our minds with both the feel and scent of JINJER massage oil in order to reset and return better-rejuvenated to the task at hand. In that way, JINJER is very much a product both for the body and the mind.
To do this, the brand picked ginger as its base due to its natural healing properties. The root has been used as an ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years and also contains gingerol, which has natural medicinal properties which have been used to fight the flu, combat inflammation and reduce nausea, as well as to promote blood circulation. Studies also show that ginger can help ease menstrual pain.
These qualities make it great for a massage oil, relieving soreness and inflammation, whether you're sore from sitting at a desk for too long or from an intense workout. JINJER also makes it super easy to practice this form of self-care with a compact bottle that fits in most handbags and a built-in dropper that makes it convenient to use anywhere and get out just the right amount every time.
JINJER is also produced with the environment in mind. While most ginger essential oil is extracted using distillation, JINJER uses a carbon dioxide-based extraction method that results in a purer oil while also being able to recycle the CO2 they use, which reduces the company's carbon footprint. Their unique recyclable packaging is also printed with instructions and the brand's history right on the inside, so there are no extra paper inserts that might just get thrown away anyway. They're also 100% natural, vegan, cruelty-free and non-GMO. A 1 oz. bottle sells on the JINJER website and Amazon for $49.90.
During my demo with breathwork teacher Rebecca Kordecki, I learned a lot about how to give a great massage at home, and though my sample hadn't quite arrived yet, once it did, I quickly put what I learned to the test.
The first thing she asked me during this time was whether the areas I struggle with most are the neck, shoulders and back. She hit the nail right on the head with that one, and assured me all I'd need are my hands, the JINJER oil and 10 minutes to myself to participate in some awesome self-care that would target all of those areas.
First, she instructed me to put a few drops of the orangey oil in my palms to allow the oil to heat up a bit. Once the first drop was released, I took in the first whiff of spicy, slightly sweet ginger and knew I was in for a treat of the senses—not just touch. Then, I used the friction of my hands to heat up the oil further, because heat helps greatly with sore muscle tissue.
She started by sharing how to massage the neck, working her way down.
"I always tell people to imagine stripping or opening the sides of their neck away from their spine," she explained, and so that's precisely what I did. I took three fingers of one hand and started just over the spine before slowly pulling horizontally away from the spine and down toward the shoulder. Depending on the tension (I had quite a bit!) you can push harder or softer, applying pressure to the neck muscles under the scalp. All the while, I took in deep breaths, inhaling as I touched and exhaling as I pulled, with seemed to release extra tension in addition to the movement and the oil. It only took a moment to see that this was really working.
After four or five passes, she explained, I could move down to the trap area doing what she calls a "grab and pull." You reach over and grab the trapezius muscle with your fingers, like a claw, and pull it upward in a pinching motion as you breathe, before pulling it forward toward the front of the chest, repeating that strip several times, which helps with hunched shoulders.
Next, for a tight chest, she recommended opening it by loosening the pectoral muscles there. From the sternum in the center, I again used three or four fingers to "strip away" the muscle tissue, toward the underarm with long, slow strokes and keeping my breathing synced to them. By now, I was feeling really relaxed, the tension totally melting away as I took in the delicious ginger scent.
After that, it was time to move to the arms, doing a grabbing and circling motion around the arm, just beneath the underarm, digging the fingers into the muscle there and dragging the fingers toward the center. I repeated this step, trailing all the way down the arms, and realizing my arms might have been my tightest and sorest area. My JINJER oil really could not have come soon enough!
At the wrist, Rebecca suggested pressing a thumb into the wrist while holding the other fingers above it and massaging from the top while moving the wrist in a circular motion, and then essentially pulling on each finger, shaking away all of that excess energy with the other hand before moving on to the next. She also revealed that the favorite part of many people's massage experience is working on the thick, fleshy pad below the thumb. It's often forgotten about but can hold a ton of tension and soreness from texting and other daily activities. I just pressed hard into it with a sweeping motion and repeated this on the other side below the middle, ring and pinky fingers. She also suggested using both hands together in a kind of wringing motion to use their friction to massage both hands at once, which seemed to be really effective in calming my hands.
Besides these very handy massage exercises (which I adored) she also shared that circular, counter-clockwise motions on the skin can also be used to relieve everything from bloating, indigestion and menstrual cramps to aches and tension in the legs and feet. That's something I'll definitely need to try the next time I experience any of those. She also reminded me a number of times that some people can't take a hard massaging of the body, and that's okay, too. Even if you're not digging in deep, you're still moving energy around the body, and that's great for you, regardless.
And to prevent overdoing any of these motions, Rebecca suggests listening to your body. If you go too hard, you're going to feel soreness that wasn't there before. The body will relax and reset when you've done the right amount of massage, and the right depth in the right areas, and you'll learn what's right for you as you continue practicing massage. It's all about checking in with yourself, which is what JINJER stands for, to begin with.
After my first session repeating everything I learned from Rebecca and the JINJER team, I couldn't believe how much lighter, more relaxed and less tense I felt, and I've since repeated the whole process a couple of times. I love how quick it is (I can go through the whole process in about five minutes) and if I'm wearing loose enough clothing, I can even do it right at my desk. It's quick, easy and relaxing, and I adore the process, especially with JINJER as my massage oil.
With its lovely smell and medicinal properties, I intend to keep using it for my massages until I'm all out, though I do bet that I could get many of the same positive effects using another oil or lotion, even if it wouldn't smell quite as good. At almost $50 for an ounce, this oil doesn't come cheap. However, after trying it, I'm really not looking forward to resorting to something else in its stead.
Want an even easier way to get the massage experience? Click HERE to find out about the facial massager that's like a workout for your face.