One of the reasons massage creams may be among the most popular bodywork lubricants available is because these creams typically offer a combination of both slip and grip. In other words, they can be used in sessions that involve long and gliding strokes, or in sessions that involve deep and targeted work. Even better, perhaps, is many creams can be used in bodywork practices where both gliding and deep work occurs.

This can be a big bonus for the large number of massage therapists and bodyworkers who choose to tailor each of their sessions to meet the specific needs of the client. With a massage cream that allows for all types of touch techniques, switching up strokes may happen more seamlessly.

In the same way a massage therapist or bodyworker can customize the session by picking and choosing which touch techniques will best meet the client’s needs, the specific type of massage cream one chooses to use also can help customize the session and better meet a client’s needs.

This is where the wide array of massage creams on the market can come in so very handy. Of course, few massage therapists or bodyworkers could afford to purchase them all. The point is to find a selection of massage creams to keep on hand that can meet a few of your most common client needs.

For example, quite a few people approach massage therapists and bodyworkers due to aches and pains throughout their bodies. If the pain is particularly acute, it is nice to have a massage cream on the shelf that contains pain-relieving properties, such as Arnica montana or menthol.

Another client issue that tends to be fairly common is high levels of stress due to the pressures of daily life. This stress can manifest in a variety of ways, from headaches and insomnia to general muscle tightness and mental fatigue, among other things. For these clients, it could be helpful to carry a massage cream that contains an essential oil, or a blend of essential oils, known for its relaxing effects.

For those clients who come in with chapped or dry skin, it can be a good idea to have a massage cream known for its moisturizing properties. Even if your clients are not complaining of or showing signs of dry skin, few will likely complain of walking away from the massage table with skin that is well-hydrated.

As you reflect on your client base and begin to think about how various kinds of massage creams might help meet the needs of your clients, there is a good chance you can think of other kinds of specialized massage creams, besides those listed above, you may want to try.

Certainly, the primary factor in providing satisfying sessions is your own hands-on work, so finding a massage cream that allows you to provide the best massage or bodywork session possible remains the integral factor. However, once you have made sure this in place, you can begin to explore the benefits certain massage creams can bring to your clients and your practice.

–Brandi Schlossberg