Add 5-6 drops of the essential oil to a bowl of warm water. Dip a piece of cotton material, flannel material, or a paper towel into the water and then apply to the affected area. Do not use oils that are caustic or sensitizing (ex: Cinnamon, Cassia, Oregano, Thyme, Savory, etc.).
This can be done with hot or cold water. Cold water would best be used for inflamed areas or acute injuries (ex: sprained ankle in the first 48 hours).
A sock filled with uncooked rice can be warmed in the microwave and placed over the warm compress. The use of a heating pad or intense heat should not be combined with the application of essential oils to the body.
The compress method of use has a direct impact on the skin, circulatory function in the area, and is soothing to the nerves.