Favorite massage products?
December 6, 2010 7:46 AM   Subscribe

Tell me your favorite products to have around the house for massaging your partner. Oils, candles, sheets, music, etc.

I’m putting together a massage kit for my wife, along with a coupon book for a weekly massage given to her by her loving husband. We already have a table (bought it about five years ago and only recently started using it regularly) but our oil is running low and I’d like to restock.

So I’m looking for the following:

Oils. I think we use some sort of lavender oil now. We like it a lot but we’re open to new things. Nothing nut-based, please. I just don’t like the smell. Oils with a romantic scent (whatever the hell that means. Bacon, maybe?) are especially welcome.

Music. Non-cheesy jazz, classical, folky, whatever. So far the stuff that has worked has been Norah Jones’ Come Away With Me (don’t judge me) and Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue. Please, no new age-y Yanni Windham Hell stuff. It should be something you could also put on on a Sunday afternoon or during dinner without wanting to stab somebody with a spork.

Other stuff. A good set of sheets for the table, your favorite candles, creams, towels, table warmers, oil warmers, books, whatever else. I'm pretty new at this so I'm not even sure what there is.

No electric massaging devices, thanks.

I’d prefer specific product recommendations rather than “check out Massage-o-rama.com or Good Vibrations for this sort of thing.”
posted by bondcliff to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I have been using Justin Bieber via paulstretch with my massage clients. I am not kidding. I want to do some paulstretch with other silly pop stuff too, because something about the high voices and pop sound stretches out into lovely ethereal atmospheric stuff. I highly recommend a heated pad for the table (the flannel sheets at that site are pretty good too). I don't use oil, I use a basic cream that you can add essential oils to, but that's a personal preference. If you have a massage therapist that you know, see if he/she will come to your house and give her a massage while you "watch and learn" and he/she gives you some pointers. It will cost you, but it's worth it IMO. Have fun, what a great gift!
posted by headnsouth at 8:00 AM on December 6, 2010

A couple of face towels - for the usual wiping excess stuff off but you can also run them under super hot water, hopefully having the asbestos hands to wring them out and then putting them on a spot on the massagee that is especially tense.

(Or you can dampen the towel and microwave it... that is less punishing.)
posted by spec80 at 8:01 AM on December 6, 2010

Legit massage cream - not the stuff they sell at Target or Ye Olde Sex-ateria - is WONDERFUL. I got my hands on a tub of Biotone once, and it was AMAZING while it lasted (haven't been able to find a brick-and-mortar source for it since).
posted by julthumbscrew at 8:06 AM on December 6, 2010

We've been using the jimmyjane massage oil candles, though the consistency of the oil they melt into varies. Some are a little thicker and greasier than others. I especially liked the bourbon-scented one.
posted by corvine at 8:09 AM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

I love the Lush massage bars - they're perfectly formulated for a good massage. Not too oily and doesn't dry out quickly. I've tried a few scents and my favorite was the "Each Peach."
posted by brandsilence at 8:15 AM on December 6, 2010

Have you ever used a soy candle for massage? We do all the time. They're fantastic. Make sure you buy a candle made with essential oil as opposed to manufactured "candle scent" additive, which is usually chemicals. Just ask the maker. Soy wax is not actually wax, it's solid oil. And it has a low melting temperature, so the wax is not burning hot like paraffin, but rather, just very warm. It's a perfect temp to drip onto someone's skin, but please test first.

So, light a candle with a nice, aromatherapy scent, like lavender or lemongrass sage. Let it burn for about 20 minutes or until you have a warm little pool of melted soy. Blow out the candle. Pour a little onto skin, and massage. Since it's actually an oil, it's very easy to massage with and will be mostly absorbed. There are tons of soy candles on Etsy. These candles are very nice.
posted by iconomy at 8:19 AM on December 6, 2010

Are you familiar with the use of stones in massage? (Since you have your own table, I bet you are.) My massage therapist seems to use a giant crockpot (like, buffet-sized) to heat them. She uses them on their own during a "regular" massage as sources of heat and comfort by placing them in, say, the small of my back, in my cupped palms or under the sheet on either side of my neck. And what's REALLY fun is when she warms them in oil and then uses them in her hands allllll the way along my body to really dig in.

This place (no personal rec, but they seem to know what they're doing) looks like they have a nice selection.

Disclaimer: although I'm sure you could easily incorporate this into your routine, I'm sure there's a bit of study/trial and error involved before you're really comfortable with doing it safely. Heating rocks and oil can probably have some not-so-relaxing consequences if you don't know what you're doing.
posted by Madamina at 8:35 AM on December 6, 2010

Seconding Biotone, especially the dual purpose cream. Goes on very nicely, has a mild but fresh scent, and doesn't stain the sheets. You can order it at Amazon.
posted by cocoagirl at 11:07 AM on December 6, 2010

One of my favorite oils is a lavender oil that's a bit more floral than true lavender essential oil - it's a brand called Sun's Eye, you can buy online or typically find it at a local metaphysical-type store. You say no nut-based scents, but the Lush Soft Coeur massage bar smells like toffee and chocolate and honey and it's gorgeous. It does have a shea butter base, but hey, you never know.

If you use your own carrier oil, you can blend your own massage oils and have any scent you want, including any light perfume oil you might both already love. The big bottle in my medicine chest is grapeseed oil, but there are lots of neutral carrier oils you can use. I shop a lot with Mountain Rose Herbs for these kinds of things. Oh! Sun's Eye makes a peach scented oil and another that's orange, and blending them together is happy and lovely.
posted by ersatzkat at 2:32 PM on December 6, 2010

A heated mattress pad with nice sheets.
posted by Nickel Pickle at 7:11 PM on December 6, 2010

One of those rice/cherry pit/flaxseed bags that you heat up in the microwave. It's really easy to make them yourself to your own size specifications. You can put them on the small of her back or on her neck while you're working somewhere else. Larger ones should be made with channels. For some reason I loved having one placed on my feet when I was getting a massage.
You can also buy them
Bongers seem kind of silly but they feel really good & they give the massagers hands a little rest too.
posted by BoscosMom at 3:09 AM on December 7, 2010

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