Have you tried giving a massage using silk instead of oil?

We massage therapists love our helpers, be they oils, warm stones or essential oils. Lately I’ve come to totally enjoy something I at first thought would be a bust.

Massage on silk is a method of gliding the hands across skin or clothes without the use of oil. Silks provide glide, like oil, but without the drag or irritation.

My first acquaintance was with an educational video on chair massage by Boris Prilutsky a Massage Hall of Fame member and long-time instructor and therapist.


Prilutsky notes that silks have been used in ancient Chinese massage not only for glide but also for positive energetic properties. Interested now?

My own experience was highlighted when I began looking at how to make workplace chair massage easier on the therapist and recipient. A silk square tossed over the back gave me not only additional leverage but also the ability to effluerage as if using oil.

Since then I have introduced a few therapists to silks as a means of chair massage, much to their delight. Instead of using only rolling compressions or static pressure, the silks provide the glide that clients crave and that we love to provide.

Here’s a quick primer on using silk: Buy a yard at the fabric store. It can be cut and hemmed into at least two back-sized squares. I went to the alterations shop to have my silks done.

There is also a commercial product on several of the massage supply websites that is already for use.

But I like finding my own nice massage color: healing green, warm blue, healthy pink, patterns, whatever strikes my energy and disposition. If you have a favorite silk shirt that has snagged or is somehow on its way out, you can cut out the back and use it as a massage silk.

Silks don’t have to be washed much especially when used over clothes. Cleanse in warm, not hot, water and hang dry. I like to keep a couple of silks handy, especially when I know I may be faced with an area that needs its facile touch. Enjoy!

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