These days, choosing a massage cream could be compared to entering the produce section at your local grocery store, both in terms of the sheer variety available all year round and of the natural ingredients used in so many of the massage creams on the market.

When you make a trip to the grocery store, your selections will likely be based on such factors as your personal preferences, meals you have planned for the upcoming week and perhaps specific health and fitness goals, such as eating more leafy greens or trying to drop a few pounds.

When it comes to selecting your massage cream, a few similar factors may play into your selection, such as your personal preferences, the type of sessions you typically perform in your practice and any specific goals you have in terms of the outcome of each session.

We can begin by discussing the part that personal preference may play in the selection of your next massage cream. Scent can play a major role here, as no professional practitioner wants to spend day after day and session after session smelling a scented massage cream that does not suit his or her personal preferences.

This strong personal preference may be part of the reason so many massage therapists and bodyworkers decide on massage creams that are completely free of fragrance. Another key reason practitioners may select an unscented massage cream is because it removes the possibility of offending a client’s personal preferences as well.

However, some professional massage therapists and bodyworkers like to keep a massage cream on hand that does contain one or more all-natural aromas. These could include aromas pulled straight from the produce section, such as cucumber or coconut, or they might be more like the scents one would find among fresh flowers and herbs, such as lavender or rosemary.

Beyond personal preference, the type of session work you perform will often play a fairly large role in the selection of your next massage cream. At the most basic level, those practitioners who tend to perform deep and focused techniques would probably want to look for a massage cream that offers more “stick” than “slick.”

On the other hand, those who usually apply longer, lighter strokes would likely want to find a massage cream with more glide than friction. Massage therapists and bodyworkers who use techniques from both ends of the pressure spectrum might do well to find a massage cream that offers the right amount of both.

As for the specific goals a practitioner might have for the outcome of each session, these will vary based on the individual massage therapist or bodyworker. For example, the main goal for one practitioner might be to provide as much relaxation to each client as possible. In this case, the use of a massage cream that contains lavender essential oil may help enhance the client’s experience.

For another practitioner, alleviating acute aches in both joints and muscles might be the main goal for most sessions. In this instance, a massage cream that contains a pain-relieving ingredient, such as Arnica montana or menthol, may be the best bet.