Massage therapists know that their skills and techniques are always going to be developing and evolving. A passionate massage therapist will spend time learning new methods, trying new products, and determining what works best for them and their clients.
One of the most important aspects of a massage session to consider is the lubricant being used. Every client will have different needs and should be approached as a blank canvas. It is very important for a massage therapist to be familiar with a variety of lubricant options so that they can cater to each individual’s requirements. Using different brands, varieties, and combinations can yield very different results.
Massage Oil. This is the most common and traditional choice for standard Swedish massage and any other style that involves long, gliding strokes. Because oil does not get absorbed into the skin quickly, it does not have to be reapplied frequently throughout the session. This enables great time doing bodywork without interruption. Some oils come with pleasant aromas, or unscented varieties are available for those who like to experiment with essential oils and other aromatherapy options.
Massage Lotion. For deep-tissue massage, lotions are ideal because they allow for more grip, allowing for more focus and control. With the aid of lotions, a massage therapist can grasp and manipulate muscles and tissues firmly, without sliding too much and without too much dryness. Lotions also don’t leave a greasy residue, so the person receiving the massage doesn’t have to worry about showering or bringing a change of clothes.
Massage oil and massage lotion are generally the two opposite sides of the gamut, with massage cream sitting right in the middle. Creams provide more grip than oil does, but it offers more glide than lotion. Creams tend to be slightly more versatile, and they are perfect for those times when oils or lotions are just not appropriate.
For clients who require an oil-like glide, but do not want to be left feeling greasy, massage gels can be an excellent choice. Gels absorb cleanly, making them a cleaner alternative to oil. Massage gels offer excellent workability and coverage while still offering similar performance to oil.
Of course, perfecting the art of choosing and using massage lubricants is going to require first-hand experience. What works for one massage therapist may not work for another, so it is important for each person to form their own opinions and techniques based on the products they use. The best way to become more familiar with the various options is to try a variety of massage lubricants and then practice on a willing participant. (They shouldn’t be too hard to find!
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