From among the many massage lubricants available today, massage cream remains one of the most popular choices for professional massage therapists and bodyworkers. A key reason for the consistent popularity of massage cream may be the fact that this massage lubricant is incredibly versatile.

Most massage creams are blended to bring the best aspects of several different massage lubricants together in one easily accessible product. Specifically, the majority of the massage creams on the market aim to combine the glide of a more slippery massage lubricant, such as an oil, with the friction of a thicker and less slippery massage lubricant, such as a lotion.

Therefore, massage therapists and bodyworkers can find a nice balance of friction and glide when they pick the right massage cream for their practice. Although a large number of massage creams do blend both of these aspects, it is up to the individual massage therapist or bodyworker to find the massage cream that offers him or her the best ratio of friction and glide.

In other words, if you are a massage therapist or bodyworker who does predominantly deep-tissue work with your clients, but you also like to weave in lighter, gliding strokes, then you will need to make sure you find a massage cream that will provide the friction you need for all of that deep-tissue work. However, this massage cream should also be able to give you the glide you need when you are ready to apply those lighter strokes over larger areas of the client’s body.

It may be wise to choose a massage cream that gives you the best lubrication for the techniques you use most often during your daily work as a massage therapist or bodyworker. For instance, if you are that touch therapist who does mostly deep-tissue work, then focus first on finding a massage cream that enhances those techniques with the perfect amount of friction, or stick.

Once you have found the massage cream that best suits your primary modality and techniques, then you can take advantage of the versatility that massage creams have to offer. By using a bit more of the massage cream, you should be able to achieve the glide you need when you are ready to use those lighter, longer strokes.

This versatility works the other way as well—for those massage therapists and bodyworkers who use lighter, gliding strokes during the majority of their sessions. Such touch therapists should aim to find the massage cream that gives them the best lubrication for these strokes. Then, when more friction may be needed during the session, simply use less of the massage cream than usual.

Of course, not all massage therapists and bodyworkers can classify the majority of their work as either deep tissue or light and gliding. There are quite a few practitioners who use a completely mixed bag of touch techniques, picking and choosing which ones based on each client’s needs. Obviously, massage cream is a great choice for these practitioners, too, as they can adjust the friction and glide as needed, on demand.

–Brandi Schlossberg