All massage creams are not created equal. This is most likely not news to the majority of professional massage therapists and bodyworkers who currently use one or more massage creams as primary lubricants during hands-on sessions. However, it is important to remember that there are so many different massage creams available, and trying out a few new ones may not be a bad idea.

This can be an especially important concept to grasp if you are a professional touch therapist who has been in the field for quite some time. It is all too easy to get comfortable using one or two “tried and true” massage creams and stop taking notice of new products that hit the market—products that could enhance your daily work.

Of course, no one should chuck a massage cream that has been serving him or her well for years simply in an empty gesture of “out with the old and in with the new.” It is only suggested that massage therapists and bodyworkers make an effort to remain open and stay abreast of advances across the full spectrum of touch therapy, which certainly includes massage creams.

Finding out what the latest massage creams have to offer does not have to be difficult or too time consuming. Start with a visit to the websites of the larger and more well-known manufacturers of massage creams. Typically, it will be easy to tell what the latest products are and the kinds of benefits they are reported to offer.

It may also pay to do a quick online search, using simple keywords such as “massage cream” and any other ingredient or element you’re looking for, such as “rosemary essential oil” or “natural pain relief.” You know what keywords will describe the massage cream of your dreams, so punch them in and explore what comes up.

In this manner, you may stumble across smaller companies that make massage creams, and you may find a gem of a product. The same is true for information that comes your way via word-of-mouth, from other professional massage therapists and bodyworkers. Make it a point to network with your peers and colleagues, talking about what works and what does not, and what kinds of massage creams they prefer to use.

This sharing of information among peers can be taken even further during your own self-care bodywork sessions. Try out an array of different massage therapists and bodyworkers for your own self-care, and don’t be afraid to ask them what kind of massage cream they’re using and why they like it.

Once you’ve gathered the names of several specific massage creams that sound appealing and fitting for you and your practice, then it is time to make a few phone calls or send a few e-mails. Most manufacturers of massage creams should be more than happy to mail you samples of these products, so you can give them a test drive on friends, family members and interested clients.

In the end, you may decide to stick with your longtime favorite massage creams, but occasionally checking out what else the market has to offer is a smart move.

–Brandi Schlossberg