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  • Posts Tagged ‘massage creams’

    Multi-Purpose Massage Cream Face-off

    Monday, April 18th, 2016

    Multi-Purpose Massage Cream Face-off

    by Nathan Nordstrom

    Have you ever gone to work at a different office and found out they do not use your favorite massage cream? With all the massage cream companies out there, it was sure to happen to me. I wanted to know what the differences are between as many creams as I could get my hands on. Here is my attempt.

    I will be playing the role of the pseudo-researcher in this article. I have no scientific backing other than my experience. I hope to give you an idea so you can make the best choice of products for you. I do not sell any of these products and have no vested interest in what you use, so, with that being said: I hope you like what you are using or might be trying as a result of reading on.

    I work in both a spa and a clinical massage therapy office. In my research, I used all four products for a day in each setting. I wanted to figure out what gave me the best results for many different techniques I may use in different settings. I also asked all my co-workers and my family for their insights.

    Product number 1: Biotone Dual-Purpose Massage Crème
    Biotone cream has a light arnica & ivy extracts scent. I have a refillable tube that I really like. It has a flip top that I leave open during each massage. It is easy to sanitize between clients. It is also a quite thick cream and did not leak even with the lid open. It goes for $1.23 per ounce for the 14 fl oz jar. It claims to wash out of sheets and have no residue on skin. I found it has a fast absorption speed and leaves a slight oily feel. I really like this product for myofascial work.

    Product number 2: Lotus Touch Multi-Purpose Massage Cream
    This Lotus Touch cream has a very similar fresh fragrance of arnica and ivy like Biotone’s. I think it is a bit more fragrant, but I also like the smell. The price for a 16 fl oz jar is $0.95 per ounce. It claims to have no nut oils, be water dispersible, and leave no stains. I found it has a slow absorption speed and leaves a slightly oily feel. I really enjoyed using this product in the spa. I found I did not need to use very much because it continued to keep a slight glide. In the clinic, one client stated, “I felt a bit oily at the end of the massage; not bad, but a bit oily.”

    Product number 3: Bon Vital Massage Crème Multi-Purpose with Jojoba
    Bon Vital was the creamiest of the products I tried. It came out more like sour cream than the others. It was almost like a softer butter. This texture was unnoticeable to the clients but noticeable to me as a therapist trying to spread the product. This is the only one of the four that I would call truly “fragrance-free.” This product comes in a jar; however, it also has a pump on the lid. You can also get a holster for these jars if you want to commit to this product. As for price, it was $1.27 per ounce for the 14 fl oz jar. Not bad if you are looking at also getting the pump. They claim to have “no nut oils” and be paraben-free (I have no clue what these are; however, I do not think they are good).
    I find it to have a moderate absorption speed and leaves little to NO oily feel. This was an issue at the spa. I found I needed to use more cream because there was no residual oil left. I felt like this would work best at a sports event or even a community event because people would not feel greasy after its use.

    Product number 4: TheraPro Multi-Purpose Massage Cream infused with Jojoba & Avocado Oils
    TheraPro was also very light to fragrance-free. It stood out in several ways in comparison to the other creams. First thing is that they tell you it has nuts in it, so if you have clients with nut allergies, this is not the product for them. On their label, they claim “Quality ingredients like jojoba and avocado oil separate this cream from all others…” I also liked that the 14 fl. Oz. Jar was a steal at $0.72 per ounce. I noticed it stood in the middle of the pack for absorption speed and leaving an oily feel. The texture of this product was an little bit of an issue because of its thickness – it came out in chunks. I usually like to grab and go with my lubricants; I needed to disperse the cream between both hands before it was spread enough to apply to the client.

    Overall each cream had its own strengths. I would use each one in a different way. I hope to keep all four around so I can choose the right product for the right client. I think that is one of the benefits of being a professional: if your clients don’t know, they should be able to ask you for your expertise. If you have a multi-purpose massage cream you like, please leave its name and why you like it in the comments below. I hope to hear from you about your favorite products.


    At MassageWarehouse.com, massage therapist enjoy a one-stop shop for professional quality massage products at the lowest prices available. Rely on Massage Warehouse for your massage supplies, salon equipment and supplies and spa equipment and supplies needs.

    Seeing the Mess Right in Front of You: A Spring Cleaning Checklist

    Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

    Seeing the Mess Right in Front of You: A Spring Cleaning Checklist

    By Angie Patrick

    We have all done it. When left to our own devices in waiting rooms, exam rooms, massage rooms, gyms and other healthcare-related locations, we all either consciously or subconsciously do a mental sweep for cleanliness. We all want to believe the place in which we visit and choose to place our trust keeps an orderly household and is free from cross contaminating issues. And whether we are aware of it or not, a mis-step here by staff or the proprietor can color your thinking of the practice or facility. We hold these providers to a higher standard of cleanliness than we often do within our own homes. Finding something that goes against your expectations for cleanliness can indeed sour your confidence in the provider a bit. Depending on the offending infraction, it may even result in you leaving the provider in search of cleaner grounds.

    The Waiting Room

    Let’s start with the waiting room. You may be thinking, “How much could possibly go wrong there?” Well, it is more than you think! The waiting room is the very first impression the client gets of what may lay ahead. Consider your clients sitting idly by, waiting for you to be clear of a previous client. What are they doing while they wait? Some are looking at their phones, checking email or web surfing. Some may be looking at magazines you have placed in your waiting area. Others may have nothing else to occupy them besides looking at your room and inspecting the elements within it.

    Have you looked at the corners both high and low? Are there dust bunnies or cobwebs? Sometimes, behind the door can be easily missed by staff and cleaning crews and may well need attention. If you have artwork hanging, have you looked at the glass and frame for accumulated dust? Are your tables, shelves and counter tops free of clutter and dust? Are the plants healthy and watered? Do your retail offerings look tired and old? Does your retail display have gaps or need replenishing? If you have magazines, are they current or are they 6 to 12 months old? Missing these key areas can give your client the mental image of your practice being one that pays little attention to detail. If that is not the impression you would like to leave in the mind of your client, take some time to look at your waiting area with fresh eyes and work to declutter and cleanse the space.

    The Treatment Room

    Next, let’s discuss the treatment room. In this space, your client may disrobe, place personal items someplace within the room, and avail themselves to the comforts of your table. Beginning from the moment they enter the space, what are the first impressions? Does it smell clean or of essential oils, or does it smell like the breakroom with lunchtime leftovers from the previous night’s dinner? If you work in your home, does your cat box or other pet odor greet your clients upon entering? Does your space please the olfactory senses, or are there any faint unpleasant odors? If you cannot tell, ask a friend to check this for you periodically, as you may no longer be able to detect any unpleasant scents.

    Visually, inspect your treatment room for many of the same issue we inspected the waiting room. However, in this case, you are going to go a step or two further. Consider what the client sees in your room from several perspectives, first being standing upright and walking into the room. What do they see at eye level and on the floor? When they look up, are your light bulbs all operable? Is there adequate lighting for them to complete tasks involved in preparing for treatment? Is there a place for them to place their personal effects with care, and not have them simply tossed on a chair? Is the place for their personal items something that can be wiped clean between clients?

    The second place of inspection should be from a table perspective. The client will be spending a great deal of time here, and unless you get on your table and take a look, you may be missing some cleaning issues. Are the shelves, cubbies, counters and table tops seen from this angle free of dust, prints and debris? Are your chair legs free of dust and webs? As you will be able to see the underside of tables and carts, are there cob webs there that need to be removed? Look at the carpeting or flooring directly under the face cradle. Is it clean and debris free, or can the ghosts of salt or sugar granules from previous body scrubs be seen? Look at the waste baskets and specifically under toe kick plates of cabinetry for any gum wrappers, cough drop wrappers, or other trash lurking there.

    Since we are discussing impressions from the table perspective, let’s objectively examine the table additives you use daily. Starting with your table warmer, look at it closely and inspect the wiring to be sure you have no signs of stress. Further, touch it yourself and insure you have no hot or cool spots. Consider your table warmer as a consumable product, because it truly is. Given its use day in, day out, for hours a day, you can rest assured these will eventually need replacing.

    The same will hold true of your linens. With fresh eyes, take a long look at the linens your clients encounter. These linens are likely washed daily, or at a minimum several times weekly. This is as much as three to five times more often than your household bed linens, and with this much use and laundering, these too will begin to show signs of wear. Beyond visual inspection, touch and smell them and determine if they are fresh, soft and comfy, or if they have begun to pill and shed. Sheets are also a consumable product, and should be replaced once they become worn and no longer convey the image you wish to project of your practice. While these linens may no longer have a place in your practice, consider donating them to homeless shelters. If you have no homeless shelter in your area, consider these as a gift to your local animal shelter. They still have life remaining in them, so put them to great use.

    Lastly, take in a visual evaluation of your treatment space from chair level. If the client uses a chair to re-dress following a treatment session, look at what they see from this seated perspective. If you have supplies on counters or carts, are they organized and housed in a sanitary way? If you have plants, again check to be sure they are not dry or dying. If you have chair rails, have they been wiped free of dust? If you have a mirror in the room for the client to use when re-dressing, is it free of smudges and prints? Has your waste basket been emptied prior to each client? If a client sees the same trash twice in separate visits, you may never see the client again and have no reason why they left. Unless you inspect from each and every angle you may not catch it all.

    These suggestions are to coincide with your regular disinfecting and cross contamination prevention. Be sure you utilize the proper cleaners and adhere to all your national, state, county, province or city regulations regarding the sanitation of your space and the spread of germs and pathogens. While you may well be diligent in the disinfecting of your space, some of the items mentioned in this piece are easy to overlook, and can lead to the client having misconceptions about your practice. Taking a little extra time in making sure every item and every space your client encounters is free of any trace of previous clients is paramount to a positive impression being left in the mind of the client. They will feel well cared for, protected, and confident in your ability to provide quality treatment in a clean and well-kept environment.


    At MassageWarehouse.com, massage therapist enjoy a one-stop shop for professional quality massage products at the lowest prices available. Rely on Massage Warehouse massage therapy supply, salon equipment and supplies and spa equipment and supplies needs.

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    NRG Premium Microfiber Massage Sheet Set

    Monday, November 30th, 2015

    Check out the New NRG Premium Microfiber Massage Sheets Set

    Our Premium Microfiber Massage Sheet Set represents the ultimate in quality, comfort and durability. made from 100% double brushed polyester, these light weight, soft as silk sheets are wrinkle resistant right out of the dryer and resist pilling. The perfect addition to your massage or spa table.

    Our massage table sheets will withstand repeated washings with proper care. Pretreat stains before laundering, especially stains resulting from oil-based products. Wash in warm water with mild detergent and tumble dry on low heat. 120 GSM (Grams per Square Meter). Do not bleach.

    Massage Spa Sheets Set Includes:

    1 Fitted Massage Sheet (7″ drop – 36″ x 77″)
    1 Flat Massage Sheet (63″ x 100″)
    1 Crescent Cover (13″ x 13″ x 6″)2290221L

    Massage therapy — from arthritis to migraines, there’s a plan for relief

    Monday, November 10th, 2014

    Massage therapy — from arthritis to migraines, there’s a plan for relief

    By Tribune Content Agency, CareerBuilder

    By Erinn Hutkin

    Jeff Muskovin’s job is most rewarding when a client has a “Eureka!” moment. The licensed massage therapist has watched a musician return to playing without pain, a marathon runner finish a race with a faster time and no injuries, and a couple with fertility challenges report they’re expecting.

    Muskovin, 57, has a private practice in Evanston and also treats clients at Chicago’s Lakeview Athletic Club. He’s trained to understand and help correct pain, tension and circulation issues in the body’s soft tissues, including muscles and tendons.

    He works six days a week, seeing 3-8 clients a day. Patients seek out Muskovin for everything from stress reduction and relaxation to relief from restricted movement. Many clients suffer from headaches and neck pain related to working on a computer. Muskovin sees many amateur athletes who need help with muscle injuries and overall conditioning.

    “I get to meet interesting people every day, and I get to help make a difference in their lives,” said Muskovin, who trained at the Chicago School of Massage (now Cortiva Institute of Chicago). “Sometimes, it’s simply helping someone learn how to stretch properly after their long runs. Sometimes, it’s a more lengthy, complicated process of helping someone rehabilitate after a serious injury. I enjoy physical work, and I get plenty of that in this profession.”

    In fact, said Felicia Tyler, owner of Universal Spa Training Academy, Downers Grove, because the job is so physically demanding, massage therapists can’t — and shouldn’t — work a 40-hour week. Most work 20-30 hours per week.

    Some therapists work on contract for chiropractors, treating a certain number of clients per week. Those at day spas see clients for 60- to 90-minute sessions. Self-employed MTs treat clients in an office, at the client’s home, or in the therapist’s home. Universal Spa Training Academy grads have found jobs in health care facilities, hotels and spas, doctor’s offices, even aboard cruise ships, Tyler said.

    “Massage therapy is a good career for people who like to work for themselves and have flexible hours,” she noted. “Also, all of your clients are happy to see you and so appreciative of your skills.”

    Once licensed, therapists stay current on advancements in the field through continuing education. Reading trade journals and new massage textbooks is also important, as new discoveries are continually being made, Muskovin said.

    “You can learn the basics in (about) a year. You’ll spend the rest of your career trying to master the details.”

    Massage therapy isn’t just a luxury, Tyler said. It can reduce muscle stiffness and inflammation and improve circulation. It’s also good for people with sore muscles, arthritis, high blood pressure, stress and anxiety. Stress is at the root of many illnesses, Muskovin said.

    Therapists can also learn specialized procedures to address fertility issues, digestive problems, breathing restrictions, headaches, tendinitis, joint dislocation and posture issues.

    The job comes with challenges. Massage therapists must make clients feel safe and secure enough to be touched. Clients who have unanswered questions or don’t feel comfortable may not be satisfied with treatment, Muskovin said.

    Because the work is physical, therapists must stay fit to avoid self-injury. They must also manage their time well to accomplish everything agreed upon within each session, and maintain relationship boundaries, with both parties respecting each other’s privacy.

    Nicole Boeger, owner and founder of Radiant Life Massage Therapy, Naperville, said some male therapists have a difficult time starting out. Many men and women are more comfortable with a female therapist. However, some men question the strength of female therapists when it comes to providing effective deep tissue massage, Boeger said.

    Massage therapy can be highly gratifying.

    After a Swedish massage session, an 82-year-old woman once told Boeger she’d been to spas across the country, but that Boeger was by far the best therapist she’d ever had.

    “Nothing can beat the feeling of accomplishment more than that. It’s at that point I know I’m doing something right,” Boeger said. “I live for those moments to help people feel radiant.”

    Demand up as more people learn benefits

    A massage therapist’s job involves using touch to treat clients’ injuries and enhance wellness. Treatment involves working the soft tissues of the body to relieve pain, help rehabilitate patients from injuries, improve circulation, ease stress and promote relaxation.

    On the job, MTs typically talk with clients about their symptoms, medical history and desired results. They evaluate each patient to find painful, tense areas of the body; manipulate muscles or other soft tissues; provide guidance on stretching, strengthening and improving posture; and document clients’ condition and progress.

    MTs can specialize in several different types of massage. Swedish massage — the most commonly thought of massage — uses five stroking styles. Deep-tissue massage is more vigorous and often helpful for those with injuries. Sports massage promotes flexibility, reduces fatigue, improves endurance, helps prevent injuries and prepares the body and mind for optimal performance. The type of massage used depends on a client’s needs and physical condition.

    Educational requirements vary from state to state. Training is available in private or public postsecondary schools. In Illinois, a massage therapist must complete at least 600 hours of training at an approved school. At Tyler’s academy, students can complete the program in about nine months.

    “Most states regulate massage therapy and require massage therapist to have a license or certification,” the BLS notes. Candidates must also undergo a background check, be fingerprinted and pass a national board test.

    Many local schools offer massage training, including Universal Spa Training Academy, Downers Grove, and the Cortiva Institute, Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and the Soma Institute, all in Chicago. For a full list, visit http://www.massageschool.org/search/illinois/chicago.html.

    A high school diploma or equivalent is usually required for admission. Massage therapy programs typically include both classroom training and hands-on practice, covering topics such as anatomy, physiology (the study of organs and tissues), kinesiology (the study of motion and body mechanics), pathology (the study of disease), business management and ethics.

    Most massage therapy schools have a student clinic open to the public at a reduced rate so students can get experience.

    According to the BLS, in 2012, 44 states and Washington, D.C., regulated massage therapy. Not all states license massage therapists, but there may be regulations at the local level. In states with massage therapy regulations, workers must be licensed or certified after completing an approved program.

    In May 2012, the median annual wage for massage therapists was $35,970, the BLS said. Most earn a combination of wages and tips. Most work part-time (only about 1 in 3 worked full-time in 2012). Most work by appointment, so schedules and work hours vary widely.

    Employment is projected to grow 23 percent by 2022, the BLS reports. As more states adopt licensing requirements for therapists, massage is likely to become more accepted as a legitimate therapy to treat pain and improve wellness. Also, as more health care providers understand the benefits of massage, demand likely will increase as massage becomes part of treatment.



    Read more on the Chicago Tribune



    To Be an Employee, a Contractor or Self Employed? That is the Question

    Thursday, October 16th, 2014

    To Be an Employee, a Contractor or Self Employed? That is the Question

    By Angie Patrick

    Our industry has a wide array of opportunity for the newly graduated therapist. It also presents a wealth of opportunity for seasoned therapists who may have been hit hard in the past years of economic uncertainty. Recently, I read a survey from the Day Spa Association sharing that 2013 and 2014 have shown some significant increases. It claims the Spa Industry is indeed in growth mode.

    This news is indeed encouraging. Moreover, I have had a number of conversations with employers within the spa and wellness industry who claim they are on constant lookout for therapists, as the need of the wellness seeking public outnumbers the quantity of therapist applicants. In one case, I learned that the lack of available therapists caused locations to close rooms and turn away clients as a result of not having enough personnel to cover the demand.

    I have spoken to therapists in private practice who also share they could expand their practice, if only there were two of them. They have more need for their services than they have time in the day to assist. This news also sounds encouraging. Could it be that the need for therapists has grown and people understand the importance of massage therapy in their lives, health and well being? It sure sounds like it!

    So what does this mean to you? Well, that vastly depends on what your needs are and whether you want the responsibility of running a business, contracting for a company or being hired. These are three very different roles and each has their own perks. I want to share a bit of high level insight as to the potential benefits of each and provide a bit of information to help you decide if one of these options is for you.


    If your personality seems to show a penchant for understanding the ebb and flow of business, social and print marketing, and the importance of the principles of strong money management, then this venue may be for you. As a self-employed therapist, you need to have a solid understanding of what the reality of profitability looks like and a plan on how to make it happen. You will be your own marketer, buyer, scheduler, workforce, accountant and boss. Being your own boss sounds pretty good, but in order to be successful as a solo practitioner, you should really understand it involves far more than being a competent therapist. The responsibilities of the success or failure of your practice rest solely on your shoulders and the rewards are great if you are willing to do all of the jobs above with as much effort and energy as you put into the role of therapist.


    If taking on the full responsibility of running a business isn’t something that speaks to you, then perhaps you should consider becoming a contractor. In this role, you are still working for yourself, but have contracted your services for a price to another business owner. This provides a bit of autonomy however, you will likely be asked to work a specific schedule which is conducive to the needs of the business owner and not necessarily your need. This may be a good tradeoff for you, as you can leave at any time and are often free to pursue other interests and opportunities at the same time. Additionally, you should be prepared to do the work in the manner the company requires and not necessarily how you would in your own business.

    These parameters should be clearly explained and discussed before you enter into a contract agreement so there are no misunderstandings of the expectations. There are perks to being a contractor, such as tax deductions and other economic benefits. These are better explained to you by your accountant and the opportunities may vary by state. Some of the upside may include the ability to deduct business expenses on your own income tax return. These can include office space, mileage, per diem and more. To learn more about the benefits of being a contract employee, please see your local employment bureau.


    If neither of these options seem suited to you or you really do not want the added responsibility of running a business or keeping records of every expense so as to itemize, then perhaps being an employee may be of greater interest to you. The benefits of being employed by a company as a practicing therapist are numerable. Not the least of which, you will be free to concentrate more of your efforts on client care. The marketing, money management and ordering may well have nothing to do with you. You should be prepared for the reality that you will be doing your job in the manner required by the company you work for and it may include retailing and rebooking of the client. This is generally accepted as being the case and many prefer this to the other methods of ownership or contracting.

    Occasionally, these positions can offer benefits such as healthcare and 401K. Another perk may be a regular income you can rely upon week after week to better manage your personal expenses. There is a wealth of places looking to hire dependable and talented therapists and the growth of need shows no sign of slowing. The industry as a whole seems to be growing. It has seen its share of difficulty in recent years, as all industries have. The economy has had a great impact on discretionary spending. However, while massage was once considered a luxury or splurge by many, it is now becoming more mainstream and accessible to the public. Certainly now more than ever, preventative healthcare and stress management are more forefront and people are seeking alternatives to the high cost of healthcare.

    They are doing this by working to take better care of their body, their mind and spirit in ways they have not done before. They are more inclined to work to stem the causes of long-term illness such as chronic stress, pain and inflammation in ways they would not have considered as little as ten years ago. In doing so, this has created an increased need for properly trained and licensed therapists across the nation. Many larger companies are adopting the philosophy of preventative care, and this too has opened some doors for massage therapists to walk through and build a lucrative career.

    You already know you love caring for others. You have a service heart that wants only to provide a means toward greater wellness. You have learned your craft and continue to hone it to become the best therapist you can be. Now, the decision which lies before you is how to go about the business of using these talents to sustain your livelihood and prepare a home for you and your family. I hope the information here may have sparked your interest to investigate further into the various roles you can fill and helps you in finding the space that is right for you.View more of Angie Patrick’s articles at Massage Today.

    Preparing your Massage Practice for Winter

    Friday, October 25th, 2013

    Preparing for Winter
    With colder weather on the horizon, it’s time to get your practice and your clients ready for the harsh realities of Winter. Follow these tips to protect your clients from the cold both during their treatment as well as at home.

    Preparing your Massage Table
    · Invest in a massage table warmer to provide controlled warmth.
    · Dress your table with thicker sheets such as NRG Deluxe Flannel Massage Sheets.
    · Keep a massage blanket on hand to offer to your client for an additional layer of warmth.

    Preparing your Massage Treatments
    · Use thicker massage lubricants such as massage creams or body butters to provide a stronger barrier for your clients’ skin against cold weather.

    · Offer gentle facial treatments to your clients to combat the dry, dull skin tone that comes with colder climates.
    · Provide paraffin treatments for clients concerned about dry skin

    Preparing your Clients
    Encourage your clients to continue to protect their skin against harsh weather by retailing massage creams and body butters for at-home use. To nourish dry hands and feet, suggest applying a generous coat of cream at night and cover with gloves and socks while they sleep.