Details matter, and this statement certainly holds true in the world of massage therapy and bodywork. Every aspect of each massage and bodywork session blends together to create a client experience that is unforgettable—or not. Pay particular attention to those parts of your practice your clients will come into close contact with during nearly every session.

Among these details are the quality of your massage table and linens, the temperature and lighting in the session room, and even the sound quality and volume of any music that may be playing. Scents in the session room also can have a significant impact on your client’s experience, so make sure any aromas you use are up to par, and that your clients don’t have any sensitivities to scent.

There is another key detail, not listed above, that needs to be in harmony with the rest of your practice: massage cream. In terms of items that come into close contact with your clients, this one typically comes the closest. It is the layer that goes on between your hands and a client’s skin. Your massage cream should be high quality on every level.

To begin examining what kind of massage cream will make the best impression on your clients and also allow you to provide the best possible bodywork, first take a look at the label. Similar to shopping for food, you want to know what your massage cream contains before you spend the day rubbing it on your clients’ skin, as well as your own hands and forearms.

Of course, your own values will play a big role in judging what you find on the labels of various massage creams. Before you can decide what massage cream is the best fit for you and your practice, you have to have a good grasp on these personal and professional values.

For example, if you are an eco-minded massage therapist, you will want to select a massage cream that is in harmony with this mindset. In other words, it is likely you will be looking for a massage cream that contains only organic ingredients, manufactured or processed via planet-friendly methods.

Taking this train of thought a few steps further, you also may wish to find a massage cream with organic ingredients that were grown and harvested using “green” techniques. In addition, these likely wouldn’t be ingredients that are scarce or in danger.

As a massage therapist or bodyworker, high quality in terms of a massage cream may mean not only one that is in line with planet-friendly principles, but also one that can bring specific benefits to you and your clients.

These possible benefits can span the spectrum. Most massage therapists and bodyworkers will first want to find a massage cream that offers the perfect blend of friction and glide for the type of hands-on healing they practice.

From there, you might seek a massage cream that offers top-notch hydration for the skin, or perhaps one that contains a certain essential oil or combination of essential oils that can help your client relax or recharge.

–Brandi Schlossberg