Massage Creams Target Joint Pain

   For many massage therapists, especially those whose practices thrive on niche populations, a massage cream should be more than a simple lubricant. It does, of course, have to offer the right blend of glide and resistance to suit the bodyworker’s routine, but there are creams on the market that are well suited for special types of clients.
   For instance, therapists who work primarily with athletes or senior citizens may see the most benefit from a massage cream designed specifically to alleviate muscle and joint pain. If you are searching for the product to achieve these aims, try looking for glucosamine on the ingredient label.
   You most likely have heard of glucosamine, as it has been frequently touted for its ability to ease pain and prevent damage within the body’s joints. Glucosamine is typically manufactured from a substance called chitin, which is found in the shells of shrimp, crabs, lobsters and other sea creatures with exoskeletons. The supplement is used in various forms to help augment the body’s natural production of glucosamine, which serves to create and repair joint cartilage. According to medical experts, the body’s natural glucosamine production declines with age.
   Most people are familiar with glucosamine in pill form, taken orally to boost joint health. However, it also has been added to drinks that target joint health, as well as certain cosmetics—and massage creams.
   Applying glucosamine topically to massage clients with joint issues may enhance the analgesic effects of your own hands-on skills, bringing these clients back around to your table time and time again.
   Aside from glucosamine, there are other ingredients in massage creams that target joint and muscle pain, and you might want to look for these as well. Natural ingredients, such as boswellia, lemon bioflavanoids and Devil’s Claw, all have been associated with increased mobility and reduced inflammation.
   Boswellia, for example, is an herbal extract derived from the sappy resin of the boswellia tree, which grows throughout Africa, China and the Middle East. For thousands of years, this natural remedy has been used to alleviate all sorts of inflammation, and it is especially prominent in Ayurvedic medicine.
   The search for a massage cream that offers you and your clients more than just the perfect glide may take a bit of research, but the increased benefits these products offer your practice can make the effort more than worthwhile.

—Brandi Schlossberg

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