Among the most common allergies are nut allergies. Not only do nut allergies seem to affect many people, but they also seem to cause more severe reactions than other common allergens.

As a massage therapist or bodyworker, you may be wondering why you should ever have to worry about nut allergies in your session room. The reason is many massage creams contain ingredients derived from nuts, such as oils and butters. Although your client is not ingesting the massage cream, some nut allergies may be so strong that the application of a massage cream containing nuts could set off a reaction.

Of course, whether or not this happens depends on several factors, such as how severe a particular client’s nut allergy may be, as well as the amount of ingredients derived from nuts within a particular massage cream.

In addition, there may be certain clients with nut allergies who have no reaction at all to the topical application of a massage cream containing nut-based ingredients. However, it pays to be extra cautious when it comes to nut allergies, especially in a field so focused on health and wellness.

No massage therapist or bodyworker wants his or her client to have even the mildest of irritations upon leaving the session room. Touch therapy is all about comfort, wellness and healing, so it’s important to respect every client’s skin to the fullest.

This often means asking each new client to fill out an intake form that includes one or more questions about allergies. Once you look this over, you will know right away if nut allergies are an issue.

At that point, you can select a massage cream that is free of any ingredients derived from nuts. Your new client should feel well taken care of once you let her know you’re looking out for her best interests, allergies and all.
Although ingredients that come from nuts, such as oils and butters, often add rich moisture and softness to the skin, there are plenty of quality massage creams on the market that are free of nut-based ingredients.

Several top massage cream manufacturers have made it a point to manufacture whole lines of massage lubricants that do not contain any trace of nuts. These companies recognize the prevalence and severity of nut allergies among the population, and they have developed products that will help massage therapists and bodyworkers avoid setting off allergic reactions with the application of massage creams.

Your first step in selecting a massage cream that is nut-free is to check the ingredient label on the bottle or tub. It should list absolutely no nuts. Next, you need to select a cream that suits you and your work, in terms of texture, scent and consistency.

All of this also applies, of course, to any massage therapists or bodyworkers who happen to have nut allergies themselves. These folks would not want a massage cream coating their hands and forearms all day if it contains an ingredient they might cause an allergic reaction, even if it’s an incredibly mild one.

—Brandi Schlossberg