In Thailand, where traditional Thai massage and countless other types of massage and spa therapies abound, finding one to give you that great rubdown is easy. Just remember, as wonderful as a good massage is, a good massage with the right massage oil, hot compress, hot stones, lotion, cream, gel or powder can make it a thousand times better.
To help you decide which type of medium you want your masseuse/masseur or therapist to use, some of the most common aides they use here are massage oils, creams, lotion and powder. A simple backrub already feels wonderful but using oil does not only make it feel better. Massage oils may offer physical benefits of their own, or simply enhance the experience with scent, sensation and ease.
Massaging with massage oil adds the benefit of moisturizing and toning the skin, as well as making it easier for your therapist’s hands to move and knead over muscles and skin. The scent you choose, the ingredients included and the way that you use the oil all give different benefits – from helping to heal old wounds to just plain making a massage more fun. Massage creams are generally used on people with sore muscles, an injury, or have muscle spasms. Herbal muscle creams with therapeutic properties stimulates healing and is great for a deep muscle massage. These creams contain essential oils and Capsicum which is a heat generating ingredient.
Many people prefer creams because they do not make the body feel greasy. For somebody with a highly sensitive skin, it is best to advise your therapist ahead so they do not use a cream that you will have allergic reaction to. A popular alternative to massage oils is the use of lotion. Massage lotions like oil, work well for deep tissue stimulation and non-slip massage. Most lotions are non-greasy and provide ideal glide protecting the skin from damage due to excessive friction during high-friction massages.
They help relieve muscular tension and stress without too much drag. As it is not quickly absorbed by the skin, lotion has the ability to condition the skin during massage. A very light massage using fingers, hands and arms over your powder-dusted body is like going back to the days when your sensitive baby-skin is caressed by the gentle touch of a mother’s hands. Powder massage is not designed to work your muscles as it is focused on the soft areas of the body like the back of the knee, elbow crooks, calves, palms, small of the back, etc., to stimulate nerve endings.