Most folks who finish a course of study that was designed to prepare them for a new career wind up interviewing for jobs somewhere near the time of their graduation. But that's not what this post is about. (Yes, I have done some interviewing, but that's not the point).
I'm interviewing oils.
Why, you might ask?
Well, I'm looking forward to starting a career that requires me to USE massage oil. Clearly, if I have to use massage oil, I'm going to have to purchase massage oil. I got to avoid that issue throughout the learning process, since our school provided massage oil for us. But now... well, I've got about three massages worth of their oil in my massage oil bottle, and at least five massages lined up to do in the next few weeks.
As with so many things in this world, massage oils are NOT all the same. And, as with so many things in this world, there are more kinds of oils and oil blends suitable for massage than anyone not in the industry is likely to imagine. Having sampled a couple of other oils over the past year, I have realized that as grateful as I am to the school for having provided it all this time, I don't really like their oil (which is more like a gel than an oil). I'm not positive, but I think they use this(Biotone Massage Gel).
So, before I go out ordering a gallon of massage oil, I thought I'd best do a bit of research. Thus: I'm interviewing oils. And lotions - since one can use either as a lubricant for the skin during massage.
The first new oil I tried was one that came free with my table: TheraPro Swedish Effleurage Oil. I like fairly well. It's lighter than the school's gel/oil, which means that it feels less greasy on the skin when you're done. Of course, it is also easier to get too much oil when you're not used to it. One of my clients has specifically indicated that she likes it much better than the school's oil.
I've also had the opportunity to try some oils used by other therapists when I trade massages with them. Among these was a scented lotion that seemed to come in "flavors" I didn't like much. Using the lotion was okay, though it was awkward for me to work with the lotion tube instead of my usual pump. My client was happy with the lotion, but I didn't like the way it felt on my hands afterwards. I'll be unlikely to choose that lotion for my own use.
Currently in my massage room waiting for my personal assessment are ten additional oils -- I was able to order a lovely sampler pack from WellSpring that included three blends A Swedish Blend, a Deep Tissue Blend, and one in the middle that they call Balanced Blend Massage Oil; and six single oil options Golden Jojoba Massage Oil (Conventional), (Sweet Almond Massage Oil, Apricot Kernel Massage Oil, Avocado Massage Oil, Fractionated Coconut Massage Oil, and Grape Seed Massage Oil. I also have some other Apricot Kernel oil that I got last term from the local Health Food Coop, and some Sweet Almond Oil. Also in the house is some Safflower Oil, which I've heard makes a great massage oil.
See... I told you the variety was rather staggering. And you can bet that every company makes at least a few blends. We haven't even begun to entertain the ones with scents.
Today, I tried the Golden Jojoba oil. According to WellSpring's site, Golden Jojoba oil
"(pronounced ho-ho-ba) is actually not oil but is a liquid plant-based wax that is similar in chemical composition to sebum, the oil our sebaceous glands secrete that lubricates our skin and hair. This unique chemical composition means Jojoba Massage Oil seldom causes allergic reactions, making it a great substitute for nut based oils if nut allergies are a concern. Our Organic Jojoba Oil and Non-Organic Jojoba Oil are both rich in nutrients such as vitamin E, B complex vitamins, and the minerals silicon, chromium, copper and zinc, has anti-inflammatory properties, and are suitable for all types of skin. Pure Jojoba Oil also has antimicrobial properties and fights bacterial and fungal infections, which may be due to its high iodine content. It is deeply moisturizing, and absorbs quickly without leaving an oily residue."
I found it thicker than other oils I've used, and yet runnier than the gel from school. My client has fairly dry skin, and this absorbed very quickly, which meant that I had to use quite a bit more than I would have of the gel I've used in the past. It was fine -- but did not make me say "THIS!!! This is the oil of my dreams!" I'll keep trying until I find it (or them).
Of course, how it feels to my hands and to my client's skin, is not the only consideration. Ease of laundering is also a consideration. If it's too hard to get the oil out of the sheets, one has to both use laundry soap that's not hypoallergenic. Even that is not enough ... eventually, the oil that lingers in the sheets after laundering eventually begins to smell bad, and you have to just abandon the sheets altogether.
I anticipate that I'll wind up with a variety of oils, each of which works best with different clients.