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SPEAK YOUR MIND Oil or lotion? Why? I use lotion because I can add essential oils to the lotion to give it a great scent and texture without having that greasy feeling. If I ever use oil, it is during hot stone or warm bamboo sessions, and I perform compressions with warm, damp towels after massaging each area to help remove any excess oil. My number one goal is to make my client feel comfortable, and I personally don't like feeling oily and greasy when I leave my massage session. KENZIE KREIDERMACHER KASSON, MINNESOTA For years, I've used oil exclusively because it lasts so much longer on the body. Lately, however, during repeated heat waves and a broken air conditioner in the spa I work at, I've found lotion to be much more cooling for both the client and me. Also, I believe it very slightly humidifies the air here in the semi-desert I live in. During winter, I plan to go back to oil, as a cooling effect is not what I want during the cool season. KIYOKO SOARING-EAGLE SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA When it comes to oil versus cream, it's no contest. I always use oil. I can penetrate the muscles with oil; cream puts the brakes on. There is no glide or penetration. Using cream is a pain. It evaporates quickly, and you waste a lot of time and effort constantly applying it. BERNARD ZEMBLE LAS VEGAS, NEVADA Neither. Gel is my choice these days. Over the past 20 years, I have tried them all. Oil feels wonderful for both client and therapist, but stains everything it touches. Lotions are too watery, which makes them cold and less viscous. The gel I use—sparingly—keeps its glide, never stains, has a temperature feel that is neutral (just right, not cold on the skin), and works well with a small pump bottle. I change product scents with the change of seasons. AGNES SHANLEY KEYPORT, NEW JERSEY My colleagues at the salon like to use a mix of oil and lotion. We have big bottles with pumps—one of them with oil and one of them with lotion—that we use to refill our personal small bottles. It's usually a 50–50 mix, though some therapists prefer to have more lotion in their mix. They shake it vigorously right before they go into a session. The mix provides the right combination of rich moisture and superb glide. OLYA PEDERSEN RAPID CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA I was never happy with all the additions and ingredients in retail lotions or oils. After trying many brands, I've found that my hands and my clients are thrilled with organic coconut oil. Most coconut oils have a very light coconut scent, if any. It gives the right amount of grip and slide for my work. The oil soaks into the skin without leaving clients oily. Now I know there are no allergens in my oil, and I feel confident that my clients are getting the healthiest choice for their skin. Another glorious thing about coconut oil is that it takes on scents very well. I often add a few drops of organic essential oils for specific concerns or for the delight of my clients. Organic expeller-pressed avocado oil is another great oil that I use on clients with eczema and psoriasis, or those with rough heels. It penetrates the skin deeper than most oils and is very healing. JOHNANN JOHNSON GRIDLEY, CALIFORNIA C h e c k o u t A B M P 's l a t e s t n e w s a n d b l o g p o s t s . Av a i l a b l e a t w w w. a b m p . c o m . 13 GEL OIL

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