Ep 337 – Lubricants: The Goldilocks of Glide with Diana Dapkins

An image of lotions and oils spread across a peach background.

Many bodyworkers could avoid injury or burnout simply by changing their massage lubricants. But, how do we match the lubricant to the client? In this episode of The ABMP Podcast, Kristin and Darren speak with Diana Dapkins about how the lubricants you use affect body mechanics, what led to her “lubricant epiphany,” and how to adapt when working with various client types.

Author Images: 
Darren Buford, Editor-in-Chief for Massage & Bodywork magazine.
Kristin Coverly LMT, Director of Education for ABMP.
Author Bio: 

Dianna is the founder and president of Pure Pro Massage Products, a company that has focused on providing the highest quality products to massage therapists and bodyworkers since 1992.

For more information about Diana, visit purepro.com.

Hosts:

Darren Buford is senior director of communications and editor-in-chief for ABMP. He is editor of Massage & Bodywork magazine and has worked for ABMP for 22 years, and been involved in journalism at the association, trade, and consumer levels for 24 years. He has served as board member and president of the Western Publishing Association, as well as board member for Association Media & Publishing. Contact him at editor@abmp.com.

Kristin Coverly, LMT is a massage therapist, educator, and the director of professional education at ABMP. She loves creating continuing education courses, events, and resources to support massage therapists and bodyworkers as they enhance their lives and practices. Contact her at ce@abmp.com.

Sponsors: 

 

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Anatomy Trains is a global leader in online anatomy education and also provides in-classroom certification programs for structural integration in the US, Canada, Australia, Europe, Japan, and China, as well as fresh-tissue cadaver dissection labs and weekend courses. The work of Anatomy Trains originated with founder Tom Myers, who mapped the human body into 13 myofascial meridians in his original book, currently in its fourth edition and translated into 12 languages. The principles of Anatomy Trains are used by osteopaths, physical therapists, bodyworkers, massage therapists, personal trainers, yoga, Pilates, Gyrotonics, and other body-minded manual therapists and movement professionals. Anatomy Trains inspires these practitioners to work with holistic anatomy in treating system-wide patterns to provide improved client outcomes in terms of structure and function.    

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Pure Pro Massage Products

From the start in 1992, Pure Pro has distinguished itself by adhering to its values of quality, purity, efficacy, and education.

Pure Pro knows that discerning massage therapists deserve high-quality products that perfectly support and enhance healing work. Pure Pro Massage Products are created by massage therapists for massage therapists and bodyworkers who care deeply about the quality of their massage products.

Pure Pro products are nut-free, gluten-free, cruelty-free, and made with natural ingredients in the USA. Pure Pro’s full line of oils, creams, and Arnica lotion has everything you need for your favorite modality and will always leave your clients’ skin feeling clean and fresh after each treatment.

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TouchAmerica is a leading manufacturer of professional grade wellness furniture, bodywork tables, halotherapy suites, hydrotherapy equipment, sound bathing loungers, and other related products. At TouchAmerica, we believe in a future where good health and vitality are common in all aspects of living. Promoting the positive power of conscious touch is at the core of our vision. We hope our products help add a touch of functional elegance to your massage & spa work environment. ABMP members receive 20% off all standard products. Discounts do not apply to salt or special-order SKUs.

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Full Transcript: 

0:00:00.0 Kristin Coverly: Are you interested in upgrading or adding a new treatment table or amenities to your business? Consider purchasing your next piece of equipment from TouchAmerica, a family-owned manufacturer of body work and wellness equipment. Utilize the 20% off code found on ABMP's member discount page abmp.com/discounts by calling us at 800-67-touch or visit touchamerica.com. Reach out today and feel the Touch America difference. 

 

[music] 

 

0:00:43.4 Darren Buford: I'm Darren Buford. 

 

0:00:45.0 KC: And I'm Kristin Coverly. 

 

0:00:46.5 DB: And welcome to the ABMP Podcast, a podcast where we speak with the massage and body work profession. Our guest today is Dianna Dapkins. Dianna is the founder and president of Pure Pro Massage Products, a company that is focused on providing high quality products to massage therapists and body workers since 1992. You can reach her @purepro.com. Hello, Dianna and hello, Kristen. 

 

0:01:08.2 Dianna Dapkins: Oh, thank you for having me. 

 

0:01:09.3 KC: Hi, Dianna. Thanks so much for being with us today. We're excited to talk to you about this topic. 

 

0:01:13.0 DB: Listeners, today we're talking to Dianna about her March-April, 2023 article in Massage and Body Work Magazine titled How Massage Lotion Affects Your Body Mechanics. It got me to thinking that we cover so many topics on this podcast, including technique, anatomy and pathology and the business of running your practice that perhaps we haven't spoken enough about one of the fundamentals of practices and massage therapy in general which is the lubricant you use and why you use it. 

 

0:01:42.8 KC: Absolutely. And Dianna, we're gonna jump in and start with sort of a high level overview, just to make sure that everyone listening we're all on the same page when we're using terms throughout the podcast. Can you give us a brief summary of the difference between a cream, lotion, gel and oil?  

 

0:02:00.2 DD: Sure. Starting with an oil a lot of people in the field think oils have to be greasy, they don't. It has to do with the ingredients whether it's a blended oil or a single origin oil. There are actually a lot of options with oil. The biggest misconception or sort of see failure around oil is that people apply way too much. Any massage lubricant is just to cut the friction. Just cut the friction. When using an oil literally just coat your fingertips. You don't need to put a lot onto the client. 

 

0:02:35.7 DD: The next step up in my opinion are lotions in terms of a little bit more... Well, first of all, they're probably... Lotions, I would say, are probably the most popular lubricant in the massage field in my experience from what I've seen in the 30 years I've been doing this. And there are also a variety of lotions. There are some lotions that are extraordinarily what I call hyper glide or very, very... That could even be very greasy, down to things that are a little bit drier and less slippery on the skin. You also have scented and unscented which is another whole other category we can talk about. 

 

0:03:11.7 DD: Gels are relatively new category in the field. Most of them, frankly to me are really closer to lotions than what I would call, what we think of as a gel in the sort of, if you go to a drugstore and get a gel product. But it's... But they're basically a more slippery version of lotion in my opinion. 

 

0:03:31.7 DD: And then creams vary as well because there are a lot of creams that are very thick and can go tend toward the very almost greasy end of the spectrum. That doesn't mean it has to be that way when you use it. If you use it sparingly, you can get what you want. They have a very thick texture and a high viscosity. There's also other creams that are extremely light and thin and almost are like lotions in essence, but they are, you know, people that are presenting them as creams. It's very confusing for some massage therapists to know. 

 

0:04:09.2 DD: And because massage therapists are primarily kinesthetic, what I always encourage them to do is bring in a lot of samples and try them one at a time. It's like having all the colors in your palette, in your paints and you want to do watercolor or you want to learn how to paint and you can't just have them all mixing together 'cause you're gonna end up with that nice gray, you're not gonna get anything that you really know. Also you have to test... Sometimes it's worth investing in like an eight ounce or a four ounce or a small size of a variety of things because you have to test it on different skin types. 

 

0:04:47.0 KC: Absolutely. That was a perfect overview. Thank you so much for that. And we're gonna spend most of our conversation talking about the different lubricants and how they affect our glide, but also our body mechanics. But before we dive into that, I wanna reach out to our expert client here on the podcast team, Darren Buford, and ask you, I'm curious, do you think as a client you're able to tell what type of a product the practitioner's using and does it affect you and your session experience in any way?  

 

0:05:16.5 DB: Yes and no. That's the long story. Yes, because it depends on the type of session that I'm receiving. Right now I am eight sessions in to the 10 series of Rolfing, and Rolfing tends to use less lubricant because you're breaking up fascia or more deep work. The strategy is different for the session, so there's a lot less lubricant there versus a Swedish massage, traditional Swedish massage or a deep tissue massage in which more lubricant would be used. So at the most basic level that's the thing I'm gonna notice. Yes, as Dianna already mentioned, I have been a recipient of hyper glide of when there's too much lotion or too much lubricant used in the session and I can feel myself being slippery and sliding around. Again, it depends on the strategy that the practitioner's using. But as a recipient I'm probably most keen, not necessarily on the glide, but on the fragrance because my eyes are gonna be closed typically, or I'm going to be face down on the table. And that the wafting through the room will be probably the first key component unless it's unscented. 

 

0:06:30.4 DD: And a lot of massage schools don't, I think, don't give people guidance on the scent, whether it's natural or fragrance oil or essential oils, etcetera. Because in the schools it's 99.9% of the time it's strictly unscented for obvious reasons, just makes sense in a large room with lots of people learning product, learning technique, you couldn't have all of those different scents bombarding, and that would be really cacophonous in terms of... And also allergies and so forth. But that said, then people get out into their practice and I get these calls a lot or emails where, and I do little videos sometimes just to give people permission to try something that is gonna be, it's going to have a scent, but it's gonna have a therapeutic value. 

 

0:07:17.4 DD: For example, we have an essential oil called Tulsi, which is holy basil, and it's wonderful for... Basically it's great for just soothing the nervous system, which of course these days very, very important. It's a great tool. It's not a super strong scent. It has almost a woody herbal aspect to it, but people either use too much or they don't know how to use it. It's almost like they need permission to say, I can put one drop, which is really all you need, one or two drops of this particular item into one ounce of oil, lotion or cream, blend it. And I can use that throughout my session and I'm not gonna worry, I'm not gonna be worrying about it overwhelming the room because the treatment rooms are hot, they're always, always warm but everything expands in that heat in the treatment room. And I'm in the northeast, I'm in Massachusetts, so we're running space heaters in the massage room a lot of the year. And even with a heated pad underneath the client, which helps, but you got keep that room pretty warm. And older buildings here, drafts, things like that. 

 

0:08:31.4 DD: But when that heat expands the fragrance, it can be very, very overwhelming. And what happens is you can't put that genie back in the bottle so to speak. So a lot of therapists just go completely unscented because they're afraid. What I often encourage them to do is to get some education and just basic education that is specific to body work because a lot of times you go online and they have aromatherapy formulas and recipes but they're for somebody who wants to put it in a diffuser in the corner of a SPA, a thousand foot SPA, that's a whole other situation versus putting it right on the skin which is going to absorb it. 

 

0:09:09.2 DD: But basically to get some ideas of what they wanna do, and then I always tell them, cut it by at least half, if not, take only a quarter of what they recommend. Use a very minimal amount and then work on other therapists with it because they're gonna give you real feedback. There's not a therapist alive who wouldn't be a practice body like we will get naked in the parking lot and lay on the ground. I've seen it. I've been to enough trade shows and things in the past where people are on top of a car hood fixing their shoulder and stuff. So use massage therapists, no massage therapists, you have people who will help you and you'll get that direct feedback and then you're a little more confident. 

 

0:09:56.9 DD: Same thing even with other product whether it's scented or not. If you really wanna bring some things in and play with them. Yeah, play with them with the professionals because that's... Most clients can't articulate very good feedback in terms of the textures and things like that. They will tell you they went home and they broke out from something. They will tell you they had to go take a shower because they felt very... The skin felt really occluded. But that's not helpful really for what you wanna learn. 

 

0:10:25.4 DB: Take me back, when you're in massage school and you start in the classroom, what's the process of choosing your lotion, gel or cream? And is that decided for you by the school? Is that a relationship that the school has with the product manufacturer? How does that happen and how may that actually affect your lifelong use of that product? I'm kinda curious. 

 

0:10:43.3 DD: Yeah. Well most of the time the school has usually, they will usually supply some product at least for the... If you have a clinic component. And if not, if somehow the students are responsible for it, they will have a very limited number of things. Typically they'll have one single oil that is relatively hypoallergenic, like a 76 degree coconut oil or even I've seen people even go as simple as sunflower oil because you have some people who need neutral, that's like your safety type oil. And then there are some schools that won't bring oil in at all because they're concerned... Becomes a big issue with the cleaning and the rancidity when it's spilled and so forth. They'll make exceptions if someone can't use creams or lotions. 

 

0:11:30.6 DD: One of the things that people don't understand about creams or lotions is they're just emulsified oils, vegetable waxes and water. Those are the three major components that make a cream or a lotion in different ratios. However, the second you put one drop of water into a product, water gives you that wonderful gushy cushy, wonderful lotion feeling. However, water is life, so you have to preserve it and so you have preservatives in lotions and creams. Even the more natural ones like I make, it's just the law of physics. It's just the way it is. And a lot of the advertising is very confusing to people 'cause they play games with ingredients and say preservative free or there's that, but the bottom line is if there's water activity there's going to be potential for pathogens down the road if you don't preserve it. 

 

0:12:17.3 DD: Some people, I've seen this and these are my people, I tend to get them. They cannot tolerate any preservatives on their skin, they just can't, they're super sensitive, chemically sensitive. In that case, you're gonna have to go with an oil. Some of the schools will accommodate accordingly. But most schools I've seen are mostly using lotions. Lotion is easy because it's very pumpable, easily dispensed, easy for them to take large amounts of it and fill the, depending on the size of the school, however many clinic bottles they have. Some of the schools are quite large, they have maybe a 100 bottles running around the school at any given time. And so they have to line those up and they're using pumps or funnels and refilling. Lotion is just like an easy sort of middle of the road product that you I tend to see the schools using for the most part. But like I said, a lot of them are bringing in some of oils for a safety product or a skin sensitive product. 

 

0:13:13.2 DD: They don't tend to use the creams too much because a lot of creams are very thick. They don't pump very well and it's a cross-contamination temptation as I call it. In your own practice you have a lot more control, you're in your own office, but in a school it's like double dipping and you just don't wanna have to try to worry about that. Right? And also from the dispensing standpoint from the school it's a lot to try to move the creams into the containers and so forth. That's typically what I've seen. Most people start with lotions, sometimes they'll move into creams as they get a little more advanced. 

 

0:13:48.4 DD: A lot of people like lotions and creams because they do wash out of the linens more easily because they're emulsified. That said they are still vegetable oil based. Depending on the type of oil, it can be more difficult or less difficult. A lot of people love grapeseed oil, for example, and grapeseed oil is very dark in color. It's just crushed grape seeds, very clean, great, it's nut-free. They use it for infant massage. It's a great oil, but it is tough on your linens. So there's always tradeoffs when you're working with any of these products. What I would say to people is find at least four things that you like to work with and you'll probably have one or two that are your primary and then you have two or three, three or four for these other types of skin or other types of clients or maybe you have something you just use for the face. A lot of people like lotion for the face because it is very, very light and clean. 

 

0:14:42.0 DB: Kristin, were you affected at all by... Was the choice of lubricant hoisted upon you in massage school?  

 

0:14:50.3 KC: Darren, I love that you used the term hoisted, which is great. But yeah, no, in our school, very similar to what Dianna was saying, they had a product available to us that we could use in the classrooms, but they encouraged us to try other products and get a sense of what we liked. A lot of people were very influenced by the instructors, our technique instructors and what they preferred to use so we kinda all tried that. Now I'm gonna be honest with you, I sometimes think it's a miracle I'm out living and breathing in the real world because I have so many allergies, I should probably be living in some sort of a bubble. So for me, this whole let's try different things and see what works journey was brutal because I have contact dermatitis and eczema and my hands really went through it until I found an unscented hypoallergenic lotion that works beautifully for me and my clients. It has the right glide I like so I feel like I've settled into my happy place. But for those of you who don't have these challenges I love the fact that we're gonna talk today about Dianna, about how using different lubricants affect your glide, which then ultimately affects your body mechanics, which actually let's transition right into that. 

 

0:16:02.5 KC: So tell us, Dianna, at the core level, how does the lubricant we choose affect our body mechanics? We think about glide, we think about viscosity, but talk to us about body mechanics. 

 

0:16:12.6 DD: Yeah. One of the things I try to emphasize to massage therapists is that their health, their comfort is so important because they're so focused on the client's comfort often to their detriment. And I try to say to them, there is no massage without you, you are the massage as far as the person doing it. And I think body mechanics are of course the most important thing and I often tell therapists even to go and get a tune-up. Like if you've been working for five years, go and find an Alexander teacher or, which is a wonderful thing. We had Alexander teachers in the technique rooms when we were learning or other therapists who you think could literally observe you working and give you that feedback that you need or make some corrections on your body, like while you're working. 

 

0:17:06.5 DD: But one of the things that I have seen that connects to issues with body mechanics is that over the years, the massage products in general have become what I call hyper glide. They've gotten very, very, very slippery compared to even 10, 15 years ago. They're using a lot of different chemicals and ingredients. And I think that is someone coming in, like whether it's a chemist or someone coming in from another space that's not massage therapy and they're thinking, oh, well massage is hard. You have to work hard with your hands, you have to push hard, massage surface get injured. We should make this thing so that it's like just flying. You're not gonna have any resistance at all. The problem is that it's like trying to ice skate on ice with water on top of it. You're too slippery. And when you get to the top of the shoulders, you are going to start shutting down your pecs when you're at the top of that stroke and you're going to start tightening and contracting because you don't wanna go flying off the top of the shoulders and possibly into the neck or something like that. So you don't even realize that every massage you're doing, you're actually doing twice if not more than the work in terms of controlling your strokes. 

 

0:18:23.1 DD: Basically you wanna have comfort in what you're doing. You don't wanna have to be worried about skidding off the track so to speak. And the other thing is palpation. Most therapists who've been therapists for more than five years know this, that people often want to talk about having a deep massage or working more deeply, and those sorts of things tend to be bandied about. But palpation is your secret magical gift because when you have really good palpation, you have depth because you're feeling absolutely everything. You're slowing down the stroke and you're feeling every single undulation of the tissue underneath. And that is inherently a deeper massage, not deeper as in grinding into the client's muscles or something, it's deeper as in the effect of the massage is going to be longer lasting, more relaxing, more beneficial to the muscle, and a deeper experience. And I think you lose a lot of that palpation if you have a huge layer of super slippery products between you and the skin, because again, part of it is you showing up, and part of it is you don't even have the full palpation that your palms and your hands or even your forearms could give you, because there's like a huge cushion in between you and the client's skin and musculature. 

 

0:19:50.0 KC: Let's take a short break to hear a word from our sponsors. 

 

0:19:53.3 KC: Anatomy Trains is excited to invite you to our latest in person fascial dissection workshop, April 10th through 14th, 2023 in Boulder, Colorado. Join Anatomy Trains author, Tom Myers, and master disesctor, Todd Garcia, on this voyage of discovery. Visit anatomytrains.com for more information. 

 

0:20:18.9 KC: Pure Pro Massage Products are created for discerning massage therapists who care about the quality of their lotions and creams. Pure Pro's Arnica Relief Lotion is perfect for clients with arthritis, fibromyalgia, muscle pain, and spasms, and gives you the right grip and glide with a clean, non-sticky texture. Clients experience more relief and less soreness, and your own hands and arms will feel great too. All Pure Pro products are nut-free, gluten-free, cruelty-free, and made by massage therapists for massage therapists with natural ingredients in the USA. Listeners receive $10 off your next order of $59 or more at purepro.com by using the code ABMPpod. Shop now at purepro.com. 

 

0:21:09.8 KC: Let's get back to our conversation. 

 

0:21:13.4 DB: Dianna, what led to your lubricant epiphany, as you write in the magazine, with matching lubricants to kind of situational massages? Can you tell us a little bit about that?  

 

0:21:23.6 DD: Yeah, that's a great question. Well, first of all, I always have had sensitive skin, so I've always been like an ingredient nerd and always looking at everything. So I was using pretty limited materials, but yeah, what I found was a lot of times I would have to stop, especially when I was early on in my career, I would have to stop and take a small towel and actually remove lubricant because I would start working and I would realize that my body mechanics were going out the window because again, I'm pulling, I'm collapsing down, or I'm not bending my knees enough, I'm not getting low enough. 

 

0:22:01.5 DD: One of the things massage therapists will say, particularly if they're talking about a client that needs deep work is to say low and slow, low and slow. And that is really the message to the massage therapist to get your, really bending your knees, really almost in a squat, lowering the table, getting super, super low so that your force is coming right from your feet directly up through your body and across the table or across the client. I'm simplifying this, but these are things that you learn and that the low is mechanical in terms of the table and your position, but the slow is really, I think the lubricant is the key to slow. 

 

0:22:42.4 DD: And what happens is it's a lot like when you eat a lot of sugar and you stop eating a lot of sugar. And so when I give people samples sometimes, or even any... There's some other products in the market that are also along these lines, when they start trying some of these less slick products or less viscous products, the first month is horrible. Like they're not thrilled with it and they... So I just say to them, just keep trying things. And I often give people stuff 'cause I'm just like, just try this. And then at the end of that two, three-week period, they go... I always tell them, go back to what you were doing. And I would say nine times out of 10, they're like, whoa, okay. And then they could really, that's when they get it. So it takes a practice. 

 

0:23:26.9 DD: I was trained to do a lot of cross-fiber friction. I was dealing with a lot of injury type treatments, massage treatments which are very different. It's not a head to toe effleurage situation. You're gonna be working just on the pecs or the upper body for... It's on maybe the whole time, the actual work might only be 35, 40 minutes. So relatively short strokes as well. Another thing when you're doing short strokes, you don't want a lot of slip. You wanna be able to do that short stroke and stay on target and stay on track. 

 

0:24:02.3 KC: Dianna, can you talk to us about using different lubricants situationally? So maybe a different lubricant with an elderly client versus a high stress client versus an athlete. Tell us a little bit about why someone might wanna have multiple options. 

 

0:24:17.1 DD: Sure. And also layering a product is really important because a lot of people think, oh, I can't go from this to that. So I'll start with the elderly client if that's okay. And again, the hydration is, and obviously you can encourage the client but it's an issue. So often with clients, I start with very, very light oil. I don't know if I can mention my products. I don't wanna make it advertorial, but I have a product called Ultra which is a very, very light blend of oils and it's almost like a liquid lotion. So I start with Ultra, or you could use 76 degree coconut oil, but a very, very thin, light oil. And why do I start with an oil with the elderly client? Because again, their skin is papery. It's generally thinner, drier, and they're in need of that external hydration. 

 

0:25:10.5 DD: But I don't always stay with that because one of the concerns I have when working with elderly people is slip and fall, and you don't wanna have them too greased up because it's not gonna really absorb, like you're gonna push it. I put enough on the leg and push it in. And then I very, depending on the body area, I will go with usually a very good cream on the heels and feet because they often can't take care of their feet very well, so you wanna get the cracked heels and bunions and things of that sort. You wanna sort of soften that area. Obviously making sure that at the end, their feet are okay for them to stand and not be too slippery. 

 

0:25:42.7 DD: And then I often will just then switch to a lotion because the lotion over the oil is like, it's just perfect because you're just gonna be pushing the oil further in and the lotion further in. And at the end, they're pretty much very supple. The skin is very supple and they feel really good. And a lot of times they live alone. They don't have anybody to help them. So often their back is like really dry and so it's just helping with that sort of thing as part of the work that we're doing. 

 

0:26:10.4 DD: And if I'm dealing with an athletic client, it's kind of the opposite end of the spectrum typically where you don't wanna use, again, too much product, but I might use a massage therapy cream or because it's, let's say I'm gonna be trying to release the pectoral, the pec and the shoulder girdle. I am going to be holding their arm and I'm also gonna be using my soft fist in my hand against the pecs, pulling across the chest, maybe even into the armpit. And I wanna be able to not be pulling that skin and sensitive skin or I could be releasing a hamstring or the iliotibial band. Whatever it is I'm doing, these are usually more compressive, more vigorous type of moves so I would wanna have that little bit more cushion in there. But again, I would use it sparingly. And we're talking a difference between pre and post athletic work as well, of course. 

 

0:27:11.0 DD: Most of the athletic work I did was injury oriented. It was usually typically they came to me because they had torn their pec or torn a hamstring or something of that sort. And okay, high stress clients, yeah, which is these days most people. So yeah, with the high stress clients, I really try to read the, what's going on for them with their body. And it really depends again on the client. If I've got somebody, depending on their skin type and how dry their skin is, I might do something similar to the elderly where I start with oil and work over with lotion. But I'm typically going to work a lot on the neck and the jaw and things of that sort of, do some facial and head work with these people. So in that case, I would use a lotion in those areas because I'm going to be there for a while. Sometimes I will go again, I'll go in with a little bit of oil first and then go over with the lotion because particularly in the neck, if you are doing... If you're going to spend a good 15 minutes on the scalenes and really working the neck and all of the occipital area and so forth, you're gonna, you don't want to be roughing up the skin. You really want to be able to keep moving and gliding and you're going to build up some heat as you do it as well. 

 

0:28:38.2 DD: But I do a lot of range of motion integrated into my techniques. So that's another thing for therapists. If you have something that is slip and slide-y, it makes that range of motion very difficult on you because again you're going to really be compressing your musculature to even just moving a head, you might be seated, but I like to do a nice smooth roll with the head and so forth, and you just need to have that control. But yeah, that's typically what I would do. It depends on the client, but I would like, I like to integrate Arnica as much as possible. I've got a number of Arnica extracts and oils and obviously testing it out with a client. These are regular clients I'm using this on, so I know it's okay but I do like to... And for me, I like an Arnica oil. And again, just a little bit and then work over it with your cream or lotion and it just gets pushed right in and it's fine. But obviously, I think everybody can benefit from Arnica. But with stress, a lot of times people are holding their muscles so tight for so long and you'll see the masseters on the jaw are just really just so tight. And so that's another thing, that's another tool that a lot of people wanna, I suggest that people use. 

 

0:29:57.2 DD: I like to bring essential oils in too, because like I said, something like the holy basil which has anti-anxiety and anti-depression characteristics. If the client is open to it, I like to integrate those as well, because I think it really does help. But the number one thing is when you're doing this work, whether it's the athletic client, an elderly client, a very stressed client, is we're so focused as therapists is what our hands are telling us. It's like the hands, we're like listening to our hands. So I guess the best way to put this is to have your hands as lightly lubricated so that you can hear every nuance that's coming through or feel every nuance that's coming through. So you wanna pick as little lubrication as possible and as, I think, as light as possible, as light in terms of texture. But again, different techniques require different things like when I deal with Lomi Lomi practitioners in Hawaii, it is a whole different ballgame, so I do understand that. But overall, for I think with the kind of work most people are doing that's the best parameter. 

 

0:31:01.9 KC: Dianna, I'm sure that our listeners' curiosity has been piqued by all of this talk, really deep discussion really about lubricants and the different options and how it affects not only your glide, but your body mechanics and how you're working with the clients. So my guess is what's going through their brains right now is now what, what do I do? I've got all this information. How do I put it into practice? How do I look at what I'm doing and think about making change? How do I incorporate change? How do I test things? Give people a takeaway, something they can start doing to investigate and see what's best for them and their clients. 

 

0:31:37.9 DD: Well, the first thing I would recommend is hopefully you have some colleagues in the area, other massage therapists, and they are willing to come and be in your office while you work on either a client who's comfortable with that or another therapist. And you want to get them to do that at least twice, if more, if you can, using the products, the ingredients, the products you're currently using. So whatever it is you like, your setup, just don't change anything. Just have them observe you working and observe your body mechanics, not anything else about product right now. It's like, make them your critic in essence, and even to the point where you could say, make some corrections, and they may come down and push on your shoulders and get you to bend or whatever. Or they may come back and say, your neck, you're doing this, you're doing that, on the long strokes. Get somebody who's very kinesthetic, who's on the ball, who can give you that constructive criticism. Then work on the body mechanics just with what you have and see how it goes. 

 

0:32:39.9 DD: If you're finding that it's really, you're still, it's just not quite right, or you know you want to make changes in product, then make one change at a time. Let's say if you're using lotion and oil, just change one of those two and again, phase it in. But even if you have to pay that colleague to come and spend that time to observe you and help you because you can't watch yourself. I mean, even if you video yourself, it's not the same as a massage therapist who's going to just catch it. Right? And see what's going on and be prepared to... If you're bringing different things in, then maybe something is going to really click and maybe something's going to be worse, but you just have that sense of like, okay, this is what I want to try. It can take like probably five or six treatments for you working. And if you're working on a massage therapist, it's even better because they're going to give you great palpation feedback as far as how it feels to them on the recipient end. So I think it's a great thing to get amongst colleagues and do this for each other. And then it's just a benefit to everybody. 

 

0:33:47.0 DD: And then you'll still have the little bit of experimentation within your practice with the different skin types, different client types, but most of us can usually use a tune-up on our body mechanics anyway. And as you're working on that, you're working on your product at the same time, which you're discovering new products and new options. So that would be my suggestion to get started. And then don't be afraid to say something isn't working and try something else 'cause it's like, you didn't learn massage overnight. You don't learn, things don't change, you can't make changes in a snap of a finger. It's not how it works. And this is something that is as important to your practice as the office, the types of linens you use, the type of table you use, the workshops you take to improve your modality skills. This is like the lifeblood of the actual massage. 

 

0:34:42.1 DB: I want to thank our guest today, Dianna Dapkins. To find out more information about Dianna, visit purepro.com. Thanks Dianna and thanks Kristin. 

 

0:34:52.0 KC: Thank you, Dianna, so much for that really interesting and deep dive into lubricants. Something we often probably just take for granted and could absolutely look at through a different lens. That was great. 

 

[music] 

 

0:35:13.3 KC: Members are loving ABMP Five-Minute Muscles and ABMP Pocket Pathology. Two quick reference web apps included with ABMP membership. ABMP Five-Minute Muscles delivers muscle specific palpation and technique videos, plus origins, insertions, and actions for the 83 muscles most commonly addressed by body workers. ABMP Pocket Pathology created in conjunction with Ruth Werner puts key information for nearly 200 common pathologies at your fingertips and provides the knowledge you need to help you make informed treatment decisions. Start learning today. ABMP members log in at abmp.com and look for the links in the featured benefits section of your member homepage. Not a member? Learn about these exciting member benefits at abmp.com/more.

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