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In the old fairytale, its a hot fudge sundae.
While ice cream can be used as a painkiller of sorts, in the realm of massage therapy treatment we more often turn to externally applied analgesics.
In the textbook definition, an analgesic is a pain reliever that does not cause loss of consciousness. Simply put, these are painkillers that keep working when your hands aren't there. Many RMTs now find a bottle of Biofreeze or mint oil absolutely indispensable for their practice.
There is a whole range of analgesic rubs, sprays and oils now available. Whether you need to warm or cool an area, you can now get everything from magnesium-based gels to the traditional mint oil.
1. Heat, cold, or neither?
Put simply, Biofreeze or Hagina mint oil will hit the cold button, flooding the area with the sensation of cold. Anything with clove will have the action of bringing more blood to the area, making it suitable for jumpstarting treatment on a stiff area. Magnesium-based products are relatively new on the scene, but are reported to assist with calming skin sensitivities, nervous system disorders, and relaxing tight muscles.
2. Delivery system
Are you looking for something that you can smooth on and and leave, or will you need a few minutes of lubrication to work through some tough spots? Alternatively, is it best to use something with as little touch as possible, a spray or a few drops of essential oil?
With the rising number of allergies and sensitivities in the general population, this is key. No matter what the source of the allergy, you must always respect your patients' wishes. That being said, occasionally those who initially tell you they are allergic or sensitive will later reveal that they have no problem with "natural" scents or essential oils. My personal rule? When in doubt, do without. No matter how well their muscles respond, its not worth risking a trip to emergency or three days of migraines for them.
4. Patient preference
Talk to your patients. Educate them, and allow them to choose. Clove? Menthol? Long-lasting or quick to disappear? Sticky or subtle? Ask about skin sensitivities, and be aware of likely triggers in your products.
Come into MTSO, and sample each one for yourself. Get the feel of the lubrication, experience the scent, see how long the effects last.
Is it the hot fudge sundae of analgesics for your practice?
Our analgesics come in various sizes, from larger professional size to smaller personal size. Link through the images to find out more on each of these products.