In spa therapy, a profession dedicated to looking after the wellbeing of others, it can be easy to overwork, overstress, and neglect yourself, but as a therapist, taking care of your own overall health and wellness is just as important as taking care of your clients!
Making self-care a priority will help you reduce the stress that goes hand in hand with a career as a spa therapist, as well as reduce work-related injuries. It allows you the time to centre yourself and move forward the healthiest, happiest you can be.
Things to focus on whilst at work:
• pre and post stretching-
• consistently good posture
• break times
• You time- Work/ life balance
Pre and post treatment stretching
Being a therapist can be physically demanding on the body so it’s vital that we do our best to prevent injury and help to sustain a long-lasting career.
We can do this by practicing good posture during treatments and performing simple stretches before and after treatments.
With wrist injuries being one of the main issues for therapists, performing strengthening exercises are a vital part of self-care!
1. Place your palms together at chest level. Press one hand against the other, moving back and forth. Repeat the presses ten times for supple and strong wrists.
2. Kneel down and extend both your hands in front of you on the floor, ensuring they are shoulder-width apart. Place the back of your palms on the floor with your fingers facing inwards towards your knees. Apply gentle pressure and hold this pose for 30 seconds. Release and shake your hands.
3. Place your arm straight out in front of your body with your wrist stretched and your palm facing the ground. Use your other hand to put a small amount of pressure on the back of your downward-facing hand, extending your fingers and wrist as far as you can. Hold for 20 seconds, then change hands and repeat.
4. Put your hands together in a position of prayer, then spread your fingers as far as you can while pushing them together, so that your palms are pushed away from each other. Do these two to three times per side and perform every hour or so.
Some of the key points to consider when thinking about our posture include:
- Keeping your feet flat on the ground while working
- Distributing your weight evenly
- Getting in the habit of checking your posture every 15 minutes
- Suitable and comfortable footwear
How do you spend your break times? Why not take a brisk walk in the fresh air every once in a while to boost both body and mind during your break? Not only will get some fresh air and have the opportunity to stretch your legs, but you can also catch some much needed Vitamin D. In many spas it is quite common to have limited access to natural day light throughout the day.
As we all know getting enough sleep is vital in everything we do, affecting us not only physically but playing a big part in maintaining a healthy brain function.
The optimum amount of sleep is seven to eight hours a night. To ensure the best quality of sleep, try to avoid using devices with a blue light around 2 hours before bed time as well as drinking caffeine after 3pm.
Sticking to a regular pattern of when you go to bed and when you get up can prevent sleep being disturbed throughout the night.
Essential Hydration – Keeping hydrated helps with fatigue, joint pain and is essential to support the immune system and flush toxins from the body. Such toxins are generated by the constant muscle contractions involved with providing massage therapy.
Complex carbohydrates – Compared to more simple, refined sugar carbohydrates which provide a spike in energy followed quickly by a low, complex carbs are high in fibre which means a slow release in energy is provided throughout the day.
Omega 3 – You’ve probably heard that omega-3 is good for your joints, brain and heart, however, it can also help with improving your sleep quality, lowering blood pressure, easing PMS and even boosting your memory!
Magnesium – low levels of magnesium lead to an increased risk for muscle cramps, fatigue and high blood pressure.
Physical activity is proven to boost mental health and self-esteem, so make sure you build regular exercise into your routine. Even if you don’t think you’re the ‘keep fit’ type, exercise can be fitted in to your daily routine by taking the stairs rather than the lift or walking part of your commute rather than taking transport.
Maintaining a work life balance
Taking time for yourself is vital in maintaining mental wellbeing.
Ignoring your own needs can lead to catastrophic consequences, such as increased risk of injury, greater chance of illness, and not to mention the emotional toll that increased stress levels will take on you.
We urge you all to do something today or make a conscious effort this week to do something that is for YOU!
Your body and mind will thank you in the long run and even if that only hits the re-set button for the next 24 hours, then you’ll be a lot better off for it.
Whether that means taking up a hobby or a sport you enjoy or simply enjoying a bath or reading a book, if we can all become more accustomed to preventative self-care, then ultimately it will result in less flash points cropping up.
Why not make your own work life balance pie chart to help you figure out if your priorities and ensure you are spending your time on what is important to you? How much time do you spend on each activity each day?