Whether you have a solid roster of regular clients or are hoping to build your current client base, most massage therapists and bodyworkers are aiming to get to or maintain a successful bottom line.

What that bottom line looks like typically is different for each individual, depending on his or her goals, lifestyle and choices. However, what it takes to get there usually is the same: a top massage or bodywork session that leaves each client wanting more.

The core of a highly successful massage or bodywork practice is the touch therapist’s hands-on skills. This is the centerpiece and most important part of building a client base, but there are several other details to be considered.

As a practitioner of healthy touch, no matter the exact modality, the details of your daily work can be honed to completely enhance the hands-on work you do, making for the type of memorable session that keeps clients coming back on a regular basis.

From the scent of your session room and type of music spilling from the speakers to the comfortable massage table and cozy linens, every detail counts. One aspect of a massage or bodywork practice that’s closely linked to your hands-on skills and, thereby, quite important to consider is the type of massage cream you choose to use.

Using the best massage cream for your particular modality and your clients, or keeping a variety of high-quality massage creams stocked in the session room, can boost the nature of every hands-on appointment.

Don’t just purchase the first massage cream that fits your budget. Take the time to select the absolute best massage cream or variety of creams for the work you do and the type of clients you have or want to draw to your practice.

For starters, you need to make sure it’s a cream that suits your hands-on style perfectly, with the right blend of glide and friction for the type of massage or bodywork you provide most often.

Once you’ve nailed down the consistency you’re looking for, consider ingredients. For example, you may want to tout the fact that you run an all-natural practice. If so, search for a massage cream that contains organic ingredients manufactured in the most natural way possible.

The ingredients in your massage cream also are important when it comes to the kind of client benefits you hope to provide. If you wish to provide a massage that not only relaxes your clients but also hydrates their skin, you may want to buy a massage cream that contains a powerful moisturizing ingredient, such as shea or cocoa butter.

Scent is another important consideration when it comes to choosing massage creams. It’s usually a good idea to keep at least one unscented bottle of your favorite massage cream in stock for those clients who are sensitive to scent.

For the rest of your client base, you can play with scent, tailoring it for each person via essential oils, or switching it up to match the season.

—Brandi Schlossberg

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