One of the most wonderful aspects of massage cream—and one of the main reasons massage cream is among the most popular massage therapy and bodywork lubricants—is versatility. As compared to the other categories of massage lubricants, such as massage oil, lotion or gel, massage cream typically is the most flexible when it comes to hands-on use within the session room.

Most manufacturers of massage creams know that the versatility of this massage therapy and bodywork lubricant is a top selling point. Therefore, they usually aim to craft a massage cream that combines the best attributes of other massage therapy and bodywork lubricants into one easy-to-use product. Mainly, massage creams blend together both friction and glide, so that a practitioner can easily tailor his or her hands-on techniques to the client on the table.

For example, so many clients seem to present with a mixed bag of conditions and issues. The same client may have extremely tight shoulders and desire deep-tissue work in that area, while his or her legs simply need a soothing, relaxing massage, rather than any deep massage therapy or bodywork.

With a high-quality massage cream in the cupboard, the massage therapist or bodyworker should be able to complete the entire session without pausing to reach for different lubricants. By adding a bit more massage cream to the mix when working on this client’s lower body, the right glide should be well within your reach. By using a bit less massage cream when performing deep-tissue techniques in the shoulder region, the right amount of friction should be readily available as well.

Of course, each practitioner of healthy touch may have a different definition of friction and glide, and what those two words mean to you often depends on the types of techniques you use most in your session room, as well as the kinds of conditions and issues your clients tend to present with on your table. Fortunately, there are plenty of massage creams on the market today, so you should have no problem finding one that fits your own definition of ideal friction and glide.

To find the massage cream that offers the perfect versatility for your massage therapy or bodywork practice, begin by asking around. Talk to your colleagues and peers or consult with your teachers from massage school or continuing education classes. Ask them if they have a favorite massage cream and why this product tops their list. In addition to asking around, do your homework by searching the Internet for descriptions and reviews of various massage creams.

The final step on your quest for the ideal massage cream should be ordering samples for hands-on testing. Most manufacturers of massage cream will be more than happy to ship you several samples, so you can see for yourself exactly what kind of friction and glide the massage cream has to offer.

Once you have tested a nice array of massage creams, then you will be confident in ordering the one that brings the best flexibility of friction and glide for you and your clients.

–Brandi Schlossberg