As a spa professional, you work so hard to ensure that your Clients remain comfortable, relaxed and healthy. But what about you? How is a physically demanding job impacting your body? Depending on your role in this industry, the hands-on work in this field can be strenuous at times. When you have three back-to-back one hour massages or facials, you can start to feel it — the slight ache of your back, a tingling in your feet or the strain on your wrists.
We’re going to explore remedies for body aches and how you can take care of your body while performing spa services all day. The better you take care of yourself, the better you can take care of others.
What Happens If I Neglect My Body?
Working on your feet all day can really cause some discomfort on your feet, back and legs. And depending on your role as a spa professional, the hands-on work can also become physically taxing at times. In the U.S., repetitive motions are one of the most common causes of injury. These problems occur when you repeat one movement or motion constantly over a long period of time, like the fine motor movements of your hands and wrists. Since many Client treatments require these types of movements, you may experience repetitive strain injuries (RSI). Neglecting your body care long term can even result in unwanted medical conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome. To avoid these issues, Implement the following tips to relieve stress in your hands, wrists and body throughout the day. Read on for five body care tips to prevent and relieve aches and pains.
5 Tips To Get Rid Of Body Aches & Pains
1. Hand Care Tips
When performing work like manicures, facials or jobs that require you to put your hands on an angle for an extended period, try to keep your arms and wrists straight. Alternate the type of spa services throughout the day (as much as you’re able to). If you’re already experiencing tingling or swelling, apply an ice pack or cold compress to your wrists and hands. You might also consider wearing a splint at night, but it’s best to consult with your physician if you’re experiencing symptoms like numbness, aches, pain or tingling.
2. Choose Supportive Footwear
If you work in the spa industry, standing is built into your job. When it comes to footwear, forget strappy shoes, thin ballet flats or shoes with a heel. Support your feet with cushioned shoes or by adding in-soles for more support. Orthotics can also increase your comfort, improve posture and relieve joint stress. Additionally, little movements can help such as shifting your weight from side to side or bending your knees so they don’t lock. You can also rock up on your toes and down on your heels to minimize tension in your calves.
You might find yourself so invested in looking after your Clients, that you neglect yourself in the process. Book yourself in for massages, stretch or take baths, anything to relax your body and mind to prevent body aches.
Stretching has many uses. According to Ergonomic Trends, it relieves your body when staying in one position for extended periods. This can especially prevent common hand injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, a painful wrist condition due to compression of the median nerve. It also may prevent muscle fatigue, tenosynovitis (tendon inflammation from repetitive actions), or varicose veins (enlarged veins of pooled blood).
As Healthline states: “Muscles can become stiff and painful as you stand or walk all day. Stop every hour or so to stretch, relax, and lengthen tightened muscles.”
Healthline’s stretching recommendations include:
- Stand tall on the edge of a step or platform, with your abdominal muscles pulled in.
- Secure the balls of your feet firmly on the step with your heels hanging over the edge.
- Raise your heels a few inches above the step as you stand on your tiptoes, and hold for a second.
- Lower your heels back to even with the platform.
- Repeat 10 times.
4. Exercise & Movement Breaks
Paulo Ferreira, a back pain researcher and professor at the University of Sydney, states that over the long term, extended periods spent standing or sitting or bending over, combined with lack of exercise can factor into the development of lower back pain. When standing for prolonged periods, your body is yearning to regularly change position and posture, and the pressure on your feet. The long-term solution is to incorporate exercise that strengthens your lower body and back. A short-term solution is to transition from one posture to the next throughout the day. Between appointments, try and take brief walks which ensure you’re changing your posture.
5. Self Care & Massages
As you would already know, receiving a massage on a regular basis reduces stress, body aches, muscle pain and tension, while loosening knots and improving circulation. It can rectify your muscles from the stress they experience throughout the workweek. The question is, are you making the time to book appointments for yourself? It may seem like a splurge, but the benefits are clear, and you will enjoy a more relaxed, stress-free work life. Don't forget to use heat pads during your massage session to help relax the sore muscles that cause neck or back pain.
For stress and jaw tension, conduct a facial massage two to three times per week. Facial massages boost circulation, relieve tightness in the face and lift and tone your complexion.
Do you experience body aches and pains? What self care rituals do you practice at home? Share them with us in the comments below and join the conversation on social media. You can also find out how to become an Eminence Organics Spa Partner here.