Your hands are essential for work. You take them for granted and assume that your hands will not let you down. Performing treatments is physically demanding on your entire body. You need a lot of strength in your hands, arms and upper body, as well as good posture.
The constant pressure you put on your hands, fingers and thumbs during a massage, reflexology and beauty treatments will take its toll and you need to start looking after them and start investigating alternative techniques to relieve the stress your hands are under every day.
During massage treatments the use of your elbows can be as effective and sometime more so by being able to apply more pressure without this force being focused through your thumbs/fingers. This takes a little practice to develop the same sensitivity through your elbow as your hands and it is a good idea to use the other (free) hand as a guide.
To help prevent straining the wrists, try using your forearm for effleurage strokes, your forearms are ideal for these long sweeping movements and you will cover a larger surface area and this feels amazing for the client to receive.
For other intricate beauty treatments for example: electrolysis, facial treatments, manicure and pedicure treatments you need to keep your wrists, hands and fingers strong, flexible and supple. You need to make sure you exercise, stretch and relax your hands and fingers on a regular basis to help prevent fatigue and strains. Constant over use can result in conditions such as: arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, Tendinitis, RSI to name a few. At the first signs of discomfort or an issue do seek medical advice straightaway.
Try to include a regular yoga workout into your weekly regime, this stretches and strengthens your shoulders and arms and helps with relaxation. Yoga also gives you a time for yourself too.
Make sure you book yourself a treatment too. This will give you time to relax and some valuable me time!
Between performing treatments give your own hands and arms a massage to relax them after the previous treatment and warm them up for the next. Just like after an exercise class stretch out your hands, arms, shoulders and back. After all performing a treatment can be like an exercise class
If you are a freelance therapist and there is someone strong willing to help carry your kit to your car – let them. Trust me, your body will thank that person in about 10 years from now!
Make you your number one priority.