Each time a client strolls through the door of your practice space, you should be prepared to meet that client’s needs, based on what he or she presents and requests, to the best of your ability and within your scope of practice. That kind of skilled preparation is part of what it means to be a professional massage therapist or bodyworker.

A big part of being prepared is simply possessing the knowledge you need to apply the proper techniques when the client is on your table. The other key aspect of being prepared is having the right “tools of the trade” on hand, so you can create the optimal session.

One product category that falls beneath the “tools of the trade” umbrella is massage cream. The well-prepared massage therapist or bodyworker often has more than one massage cream ready for use within the session room, or a selection of diverse massage creams that can be tapped to meet specific client conditions.

One example of how having the right massage cream in your session room can help you best meet your clients’ needs is a scenario familiar to most massage therapists and bodyworkers: A client arrives for her appointment, and you ask her about any specific issues or areas of concern she would like to address in the session. The client explains that she experienced extreme physical activity the past week—perhaps she began a new fitness boot camp at the gym or bought a pair of rollerblades and put them to use.

Your client explains that she is incredibly sore, and you know from experience that even the lightest pressure will cause her body to ache. In an example such as this one, the well-prepared massage therapist or bodyworker will have a pain-relieving massage cream in the cabinet. Such massage creams typically contain Arnica montana or menthol, and they act to temporarily “take the edge off” severe muscle aches and pains.

By applying a pain-relieving massage cream to your client, you can offer her immediate relief from the worst of her soreness. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, you can help her muscles to relax much faster, so that your touch can penetrate more deeply for greater healing benefits.

Don’t forget to explain to your client that you will be using a massage cream that contains certain ingredients known to help ease the aching. Knowing this, the client will likely feel even more pampered throughout her session.

The example outlined above is only one of many that could occur in any professional massage therapy or bodywork practice. Working with members of the public, you never know what your next client might present with, and being well prepared will allow you to best serve the majority of your customers.

From massage creams that contain specific essential oils, known to help relieve common conditions, such as headaches or stress, to massage creams that contain absolutely no fragrance or any other potential irritants, there are many massage creams on the market that deserve a spot in your session room.

–Brandi Schlossberg