How Massage Therapists Take Care of Their Hands
Posted on: November 6, 2017
Hands are the tools of a massage therapist’s trade. Since the personal physical contact with their clients’ skin is very intimate and unavoidable, professionals in the massage therapy field must prioritize their own skincare.
Self-care Habits to Adopt
Investing in a high-quality, non-greasy, unscented product to moisturize their hands is a wise decision. A specially-formulated cuticle cream may also prevent dryness and cracking. It may be a matter of trial and experimentation to find products that provide the most beneficial ingredients. The desired result is to seal in moisture without leaving the fingertips greasy.
Frequent professional manicures are also recommended to shape and smooth fingernail edges and keep the cuticles soft. However, a manicure should never include cutting the cuticles because of the risk of infection.
The massage therapist’s hands are constantly in use. The skin, muscles, and tendons of their hands are often stressed. Gentle stretching and self-massage may help to relieve fatigue and prevent repetitive motion injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. A good skincare routine may include a brief hand massage and moisturize between clients.
Optimal Job Performance
In addition to the technicalities of the massage therapy techniques, the massage therapist must take care not to injure or irritate their clients’ skin. Rough skin and hangnails can cause abrasions and scratches on the client’s skin that may go unnoticed until much later. Clients who may already have medical issues won’t appreciate even the smallest scrapes and nicks. Any compromise of the skin’s surface is an opportunity for infection to take root.
Some massage therapists may opt to wear gloves, but this is uncommon and difficult to pull off. Latex gloves, if worn, may still dry out the skin and should only be used when necessary.
With or without gloves, the massage therapist must practice proper hygiene between clients.
The most likely causes of rough and dry skin are antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers. They have become a necessary evil. Even if the therapist uses a mild soap followed by a good moisturizer, the routine of frequent hand-washing sometimes takes a toll. Seasonal weather changes, heating, and air conditioning are also to blame.
The essential elements of a hand and skincare routine for massage therapists should include regular hand massages, stretching, moisturizing and careful manicures.