Up next in How to Give a Massage (21 videos)
Learn basic massage techniques from massage therapist Renee French with the demonstrations in these Howcast videos.
Hi, my name is Renee French and I'm here at Practical Massage Therapy in Nashville, Tennessee, and I'm going to be talking about massage therapy. So, what I think about when I'm choosing a massage oil or a massage cream is, first off, what the client might like. It's good to just kinda check in and see what that person might be sensitive to. If there are particular scents or oils, maybe they have a nut allergy that you may want to stay away from peanut oils or almond oils. The other thing is scents. A lot of people are really sensitive to scents so, I'm really careful about the essential oils that I choose and make sure maybe, they smell it before you begin massaging them to make sure that they're OK with it and they're going to be comfortable. Otherwise, you can use something unscented. The other thing that I really look for when I'm choosing a massage lotion or a cream is the back of the label. You can just take a minute to read that and find out what's in the product. I like pure essential oils, no perfumes, and that's just my personal preference. I also like to look for oils that are cold pressed and not processed by heat. I also look for the preservatives and make sure that, if there are preservatives, it's something natural like vitamin E. This is just a natural preservative and helps keep the product fresh. So, once I've decided on what I'm going to use, I also think about what I'm going to use it for. Am I going to be doing deeper tissue on the person or just a light, say, foot massage? For a foot massage or a hand massage, you could use something like a really good lotion. The thing with lotions is that they do have water in them so; they will start to absorb into the body and dry up. This is why it's really great. My preference is to use something oil based. When you're using massage cream or lotion, place it in your hands first and warm it up before you put it on the body of the person receiving the massage. It can just be a cold shock to them if you haven't warmed your lotion or cream up first. Then, just go for it, just start using your product and you can change it up. Maybe you have two or three products on hand and, as you're using it, if something isn't working, just switch to the next product.