Monday, I interviewed a new oil: Apricot Kernel oil. As it happens, I have this oil from two different sources. One vial comes from WellSpring (whom I mentioned here, in my first oil interview post). The other comes from our local whole foods co-op (and no, I don't mean Whole Foods the chain, just a local co-op that sells whole foods).
I tried the local sourced oil first. I found that I liked it much better to work with than the jojoba oil. Much lighter, and yet fully lubricating to the skin. Though it seemed to soak in and be absorbed by my client's skin fairly quickly, I found that it continued to allow sufficient glide for me to give a good massage without any pulling.
I did note that the oil on my client's back had been all but fully absorbed in the time it took me to massage her legs, and have her turn over. It was no longer possible to work under her body (thus revisiting some of the tight shoulder muscles) without applying more oil. This is a good and not so good thing. It means that the oil is being absorbed happily by her skin, and will not leave her feeling greasy; but it means I have to use a bit more for certain techniques. On the whole, I find it a good thing.
Yesterday, I followed up by using the Apricot Kernel Oil I'd gotten from WellSpring. I was particularly interested in comparing these two oils, since the main difference was source, and not substance.
I found the WellSpring oil to be much the same as the oil from the local purveyor. Again, light touch, easy absorption, but good lubrication. I particularly like that it's not so slippery that you can't get any traction, but it's slippery enough for long smooth strokes. The main difference in my experience was in the bottle caps! And that -- is fully controllable by me. After all, once I'm really working, I'll be buying oil by the quart to dispense into whatever working container I choose, not by the 2 oz bottle.
If feels good to make progress. Of the collection of eleven massage oil/lotion options in my massage room (okay, thirteen if we count things for which I have multiple sources for the same single element oil), I've ruled one out completely, found one severely wanting, and liked two (three if you count double sourcing).
Meanwhile, I'm still studying furiously. I'm simultaneously amazed by how much I've learned about anatomy, physiology and pathology -- and stunned by how much we didn't cover thoroughly (or at all), that I'm having to learn for the exam. This week, I'm trying to cram into my full brain the names of each of the bones in our wrists and ankles. Evidently, it is insufficient to just know that they are carpal and tarsal bones. On the other hand, I'm guessing that, exam review book aside, we don't really need to be able to identify all of the tubercles, lines, ridges, crests, condyles, fossas etc. on every bone. But I'm trying to make sure that I'll at least recognize them as such if they show up on the test.