Massage therapy and various forms of bodywork have recently grown wildly popular, as more clients turn to noninvasive methods of decreasing stress and alleviating pain. A focus on preventing problems, through consistent self-care and sessions that focus on wellness, such as a monthly massage, has become more common than simply tending to issues when they arise.

Along with the huge increase in the number of people choosing to use massage and bodywork on a regular basis comes a huge increase in the products geared toward professional touch practitioners. There now exists a wide variety of nearly every item a massage therapist might need, from massage tables that come in all shapes and sizes to music created specifically for use during bodywork.

There also is an enormous selection of massage and bodywork lubricants, manufactured to meet a variety of client and practitioner goals. Although the massive selection of massage creams might make it a bit more difficult to pick a product, the patient touch practitioner should be able to find the perfect massage cream—or perhaps a few massage creams—to suit his or her purposes.

Among the vast variety of massage creams now on the market are those made specifically for clients and practitioners sensitive to certain commonly used ingredients. For instance, it’s now fairly easy to find a massage cream that is paraben-free.

Although the Food and Drug Administration maintains there is no reason to be concerned about the use of parabens in cosmetic products, certain studies have tied parabens, which are widely used as preservatives in most cosmetic products, to health issues, such as breast cancer and estrogenic activity.

In addition to finding paraben-free massage creams on the well-stocked shelves of the bodywork market, it is also entirely possible to get lubricants free of any fragrances. Furthering the array of massage creams available to sensitive massage therapists and clients are those that are hypoallergenic and free of any nut-based ingredients.

Another perk of the ever-expanding line of products made just for massage is now massage therapists can go organic in nearly every aspect of their business, including the massage cream they choose to use. Many massage creams on the market offer organic appeal, in that the ingredients used to make the product were grown and manufactured organically.

Producers of massage lubricants also have become quite creative in terms of the type of massage creams they create, so there are many fun and intriguing lubricants available these days. For example, you can get massage creams made with herbs ranging from chamomile to sage.

Other great massage creams contain all kinds of fruit derivatives, from apricot and grapeseed oil to citrus extracts and more. You could also go the vegetable route and find plenty of massage creams made with vegetable-based ingredients, such as avocado and carrot oil.

The incredible variety of massage creams on the market doesn’t stop there. There also are lubricants made expressly for skin on certain parts of the body, such as the hands, feet and face.

—Brandi Schlossberg