It may take months or even years, but most massage therapists and bodyworkers eventually find one or several massage creams that become their favorites. The process of finding out which of these massage creams best suits one’s practice, style and values typically is one made up mostly of trial and error. Experience, it seems, is one of the top factors in figuring out one’s favorite massage creams.

Quite a few massage therapists and bodyworkers, however, have the benefit of gleaning the knowledge that comes with experience by working with mentors, teachers and colleagues who have been in the field of professional touch therapy for a long time. These people may be able to recommend certain manufacturers or even specific brands of massage creams they believe to be of the highest quality.

In addition to suggesting which companies and labels to look for, more experienced massage therapists and bodyworkers might also be able to share tips about which massage creams work best for specific touch techniques. If they are familiar with the types of modalities you practice, then the information may be that much more valuable.

In the end, it still comes down to experimenting with an array of massage creams in order to find the best fit for one’s daily work. A great way to begin your foray into finding a few of your own favorite massage creams is by making a list of the top attributes you’re looking for in a massage cream, as well as any “deal breakers.”

For example, you may know you don’t want a massage cream with any scent, so that would be a dealbreaker. You also may be set on purchasing a massage cream that contains only natural, organic ingredients raised, processed and manufactured in an eco-friendly manner.

Even with these two guidelines alone, you already will be well on your way to narrowing down the field of prospects for your favorite massage creams. Obviously, the more of these specifics you’re able to come up with, the smaller your pool of choices will be and, in turn, the easier it may be to make a final decision.

With your must-haves and deal breakers in hand, set about contacting manufacturers of massage creams, whether via e-mail or phone, and asking if they offer any products that meet all or most of your specifications. If so, your next step might be to ask them to ship you a few free samples.

Once you have received samples of all the massage cream candidates, you can try working with them, testing them out on friends and family members to see which ones are the best fit for you.

The beauty of taking your time to figure out exactly which massage creams most help enhance your chosen modality is that once you do the initial work, you no longer have to worry about it—unless you change modalities or add a whole new one to your massage menu.

–Brandi Schlossberg