What are massage mediums?
A massage medium is a lubricant that enables the therapist’s hands to move freely and smoothly over the client’s skin. The three most common mediums are:
- Massage Oils
- Massage Creams
- Talcum powder
Oil is the most useful as it is smooth and light. They should ideally be vegetable or plant based and not too thick or heavy as heat that is generated during the massage treatments can make them sticky.
Light oils are useful for large areas because they are smooth and easily absorbed into the skin. Use Light oils such as:
- Sweet almond oil (take care and do not use this for anyone who has nut allergies)
- Sunflower oil (you will be surprised to know something i learnt while i was doing a course for infant massage. The best oil to use for infants is not the johnson baby oils, or any other fancy oils you get in the supermarket. Instead, it is the pure ordinary sunflower oil that is the best. You might already have sunflower oil in your house for cooking so there is absolutely no need to buy anything more fancy)
Thicker oils are more useful for smaller areas and/ or to be mixed with cheaper, lighter oil to go further. Use thicker oils such as:
- Evenign primrose
Baby oil as available in markets is usually mineral oil and as such is not suitable as massage oil as it does not absorb and can dry the skin.
To use oil with essential oil:
- Add 8-10 drops of essential oil in 50 ml of carrier oil
- This lasts well for around 6 months only after which if not used it should be discarded
- Olive oil, grapeseed oil and sweet almond oil are good carrier oils
Creams are good for small and delicate areas such as the face or on very dry skin, especially the feet. They tend to be heavier and greasier than oils and absorb faster, therefore more frequent application may be required.
Talc is useful for oily skin, very hairy clients or clients who dislike the oily residue. As talc is dry, hands cannot slide easily over the skin, but this does allow for a deeper pressure to be applied. Some people say that to gain weight you should massage with oil and to loose weight you should massage with talcum powder – but there is no research or proof to support this assumption.
To use talc with an essential oil:
- Put talc in a plastic bag
- Add 4/5 drops essential oil of your choice
- Shake the bag
- Press out any lumps that may have formed
- Useful for feet, using Ti Tree oil