Much like the hair or skin products available to consumers, when it comes to massage cream, the list of potential ingredients seems to go on and on. As time goes by, it seems manufacturers are also getting more creative about the kinds of ingredients they put into these products in order to please the people who purchase and use them.
To understand what goes in to the making of a great massage cream, one need only look to the other kinds of massage lubricants on the market.
In some ways, creams are popular because they tend to bring a blend of the best attributes from all or several different categories of lubricants. Many professional massage therapists and bodyworkers enjoy using massage creams because they allow for both the glide of an oil and the friction of a lotion, for example.
The reason touch therapists often want the best of both worlds — friction and glide — is because they may want to perform a combination of lighter and deeper work all within the same session without having to reach for different lubricants to achieve the right amount of glide. For instance, a massage cream might allow a bodyworker to glide over a large area of a client’s body with a lighter stroke and also to focus on one area of tension with deeper techniques.
To achieve such a balanced consistency, massage creams tend to use ingredients such as oils from nuts, fruits and vegetables of all kinds. However, these oils are used in varying amounts, and combined with other ingredients, so that the massage cream does not become too slick. This way, practitioners can still benefit from the nice glide provided by the oil, while also having the ability to come back to deeper work as necessary throughout a session. If a massage cream does happen to lean toward the slicker side of a spectrum, touch therapists also have the option of using less product when it is time for deeper work.
While these basics make up the foundation of what makes massage creams so popular among professional massage therapists and bodyworkers, other added ingredients can give massage creams a special flair or appeal or bring added benefits to the table for one’s clients. For example, a massage therapist working at a tropical resort might like a massage cream that contains ingredients such as extracts from papaya, mango, pineapple or certain exotic flowers. The same may hold true for the suburban solo practitioner who is looking to create a tropical session on his or her practice menu.
Remember, have fun with all the new and different massage creams on the market today, and play around with how the ingredients in these creams can benefit you, your clients and your overall practice.