A massage medium reduces frictional drag and lubricates the surface of the skin. The massage medium I use depends on the skin type of the person being massaged. Skins differ greatly in the amount of oils, lotions and other mediums they absorb.
Body massage lotions are a combination of oil and cream, which is good for massage because it doesn’t absorb too quickly into the skin and can therefore be used sparsely. Lotions are also kind to the therapist’s hands, keeping them well moisturized. Massage lotions differ from normal body lotions, which do not contain oil, so they last longer on the skin and are therefore better for massage.
Excellent for massaging small areas with light contact, creams moisturize. Hand and foot cream and moisturizers containing urea, which doesn’t absorb as quickly as other constituents, are particularly good.
Talc allows a large range of contact with minimal movement and retains a high degree of the natural friction between skin surfaces. It allows for some movement, but also means that the masseur can achieve deeper contact for correctional and friction work. It is a great alternative for people who are allergic to oils, creams and lotions and is more likely to be chosen for deep work on specific areas than for general massage.
These do not absorb into the skin very well, which means they are good for light contact. Oils differ in absorption but are good for a soft, relaxing massage.