The continued growth of the entire green marketplace makes it obvious that “all natural” and “planet friendly” are two related trends that both have the substance to keep on trucking. The power behind these concepts seems to be the general desire to conserve resources and prevent further damage to our planet—and our own health.

Massage therapists and bodyworkers from coast to coast may well have been among the first to practice green living, even before it became a marketing technique meant to boost bottom line. The principles behind providing healthy touch can be seen to coincide with many of the ideals that drive the all-natural and planet-friendly trends. For example, massage therapy and bodywork often aim for noninvasive healing, preventive care and less dependence on pharmaceuticals. Green living aims for preventing damage as well, and for a decrease in the amount of chemicals we use in all aspects of daily life.

When it comes to determining what is natural and what is not, these ideals may begin to get a bit muddled. At times, it is hard to decipher whether a product truly is planet friendly and composed only of natural ingredients, or whether that item is marketed in a misleading way.

One easy way to put a product to the test is by questioning whether you could consume the ingredients it contains. It may sound silly, but many of the most benign and authentically planet friendly products are composed of ingredients one might be able to find in his or her own kitchen.

To relate this to the practicing massage therapist or bodyworker, let’s take a closer look at one tool of the trade that typically is used on a daily basis: massage cream. It is especially relevant that we consider what is in a particular massage cream, for this product is rubbed on the skin of both client and bodyworker. Of course, massage cream is not actually being consumed, but the elements it contains are being absorbed by the skin.

Fortunately, there are a large number of high-quality massage creams on the market that contain quite natural and planet friendly ingredients, ones that might readily be found in the kitchen cabinet, fruit basket or vegetable crisper.

For example, an array of massage creams often contain some type of oil, helping to add to the glide a massage cream can provide. Two of the most popular oils found in massage creams include sesame oil and grapeseed oil, both of which are popular oils for cooking and salad dressings, not just massage creams.

Other common elements of massage creams, which are considered edible on their own, include vegetable extracts, such as avocado oil and carrot oil. Fruits weigh in on the ingredient list as well, with such items as apricot oil and citrus bioflavonoids popping up in high-quality massage creams.

Besides being safe enough to eat on their own, each of these ingredients brings with it reported health benefits as well.

Brandi Schlossberg