The way each session of massage therapy or bodywork unfolds so often depends on the individual client and his or her needs, along with the skill set of the hands on practitioner. A client who presents with incredibly tight and aching muscles may require different touch techniques than a client who presents with tension that is more emotional than physical.

In turn, the massage therapist or bodyworker also may need to use different stances and body mechanics depending on the modality he or she chooses to use for a particular client. So many other variables can come into play as well, mostly depending on the preferences of the person who is on the massage or bodywork table.

For example, one client may like a silent session while another prefers to talk. Music, candles, room temperature, draping and other such details all come into play when a massage therapist or bodyworker is committed to creating the best possible session by meeting each client’s personal needs and requests.

One key detail that can go a long way in making a massage therapy or bodywork session customized for every client is massage cream. This product can be almost on par with the hands-on technique you choose to use, in terms of selecting a massage cream based on the issues your client presents.

Let’s go back to that client who presents with tight and aching muscles. Perhaps he moved a day or two before or spent several hours kayaking, and now he is paying the price in muscles that scream with pain nearly every time he moves. As a massage therapist or bodyworker, you would likely tailor the touch techniques you choose to use on this supremely sore client. Take that tailoring a step further with a massage cream that could enhance those hands-on skills.

To add to the overall value of the session and improve the client’s results, you may wish to reach for a massage cream that contains a pain-relieving ingredient, such as Arnica montana or menthol. Not only could using such a massage cream alleviate the client’s pain in a more timely fashion, it could also help relax him enough that you could actually clock more time doing the deep work necessary to effect healing relief.

We can also look to the client who presents with mental or emotional stress, rather than a body full of knots and tenderness. She may tell you she is going through tough changes at work or at home, and perhaps she is experiencing headaches or having a difficult time falling asleep each night. Again, as the professional massage therapist or bodyworker, you would customize the hands-on methods you choose to use on this client based on her specific needs—and you can do the same when you pick out a massage cream for the session.
In this instance, you may want to select a massage cream that contains soothing elements, such as lavender essential oil or other essential oil combinations known to effect calm and relaxation.

The key is to keep several massage creams on hand in your session room, ones that suit such common client conditions. That way, you will be ready to offer your clients a customized experience.

Brandi Schlossberg