• Taking Care of You

    Laura WestDo you ever suffer from neck and shoulder pain and headaches? How do your wrists and hands feel at the end of the day? Professional skin and body treatments can be physically demanding. Stress in our neck, shoulders, wrists, lower back, and legs are all part of the occupational hazards that we can experience as professional skin therapists if we do not take care of ourselves. Practicing self-care, with correct body mechanics and keeping ourselves hydrated inside and out, are key to maintaining a healthy body and longevity.

    Taking care of you is about incorporating a combination of several elements:

    • Reduce the risk factors with ergonomics.
    • Develop proper body mechanics.
    • Balance your self-breath.
    • Maintain a healthy diet.
    • Exercise.

    The term ergonomics means the “study of people and their work environment,” including work space, equipment, tools and the demands both physically and mentally. The goal is to achieve comfort, health and productivity. To achieve an ergonomically efficient workspace, ergonomists look at people and draw on disciplines from anatomy, physiology, physics, and engineering.

    In the treatment room, this would mean looking at our equipment – specifically our treatment bed, stools, and trolley.

    Treatment Bed: Ideally you need to be able to have the client’s head at the height of your abdomen to perform skin treatments. For waxing and body treatments, you need to be able to work and move around the bed in a relaxed lunging manner – without causing stress on your back.

    Therapist Stool: If sitting is your preference then an adjustable stool is ideal, as it allows you to work at a height that gives you support while your feet are still on the ground.

    You want your trolley to be sturdy, and on wheels, so it can be moved closer to you, especially if you are performing a full leg wax (you don’t want to drip wax on the floor!).

    An ergonomic treatment room is the foundation of good body mechanics. Body mechanics means using proper body positioning and movement to prevent and correct posture problems, reduce stress and enhance physical capabilities, which helps ensure that all of our clients, from early morning to end of the day, are receiving the same energy from us.

    The way we position our bodies and hands are important not only for the energy we are giving the client but also for the health of ourselves. We connect with our clients through our touch and energy. If your body mechanics are incorrect you will lose the connection with the client and suffer from body stress.

    When standing to give a skin treatment, your body should be relaxed with knees slightly bent. Bend from your hips and move your body as one.

    If sitting is your preference, ensure your back is supported, you are sitting up straight, and both of your feet are firmly planted on the ground.

    Tips to Reenergize Yourself Throughout the Day:

    Shoulder Roll Exercise: You can perform this exercise while in your treatment room to alleviate tension and help keep good posture. Simply lift and roll the shoulders up and back slowly. Repeat three times.

    Spinal Roll: This will help to bring some oxygen back up to the brain. Starting with your head, tilt down and slowly roll down one vertebra at a time with your hands hanging down by your feet. Take a deep breath in, and then exhale out. Slowly roll back up, one vertebrae at a time, inhale and raise your arms up over your head, then on the exhale, bring your arms back down. Repeat three times.

    If you’re really feeling adventurous, do a head stand – that will get the blood flow back to your brain!

    As we always say at The International Dermal Institute, you can’t give what you don’t have. The connection we create with our clients and the energy with which we balance them must start from us. Keep yourself in balance by practicing good body mechanics and using functional equipment. We live our life to take care of others; it’s take time to take care of you!