8 Self Care Tips For Massage Therapists (and Others!)
I don't know about you, but here on the East coast the winter has been cold, beautiful and brutal! Thank goodness spring is just around the corner!
As I look forward to warmer weather, I'm trying to keep my spirits up and my energy levels high. Here are a few self-care tips and routines that I hope will re-energize you and improve your health. These easy routines are good for both those on their feet all day (massage therapists) as well as for those sitting at computers.
1. Multi-task during daily routines
Try rolling your head and neck in the shower, balancing on one foot while you brush your teeth. Stand up and stretch after checking email in the afternoon. Keep limber and strong.
2. Check your posture
When standing, be mindful of your alignment. Lower your shoulders and pull them back. Lift your chin.Don’t lock your knees. Stand with your feet straight ahead or slightly turned out. Pull your stomach muscles toward the small of your back. Remember to breathe.
Good balance helps you remain stable and strong as you age.
During the day try a quick balancing practice or yoga pose, like Tree Pose. Add balance training to your exercise routines by using a yoga ball or BOSU ball, or one of these exercises that doesn't require special equipment.
4. Take a Micro-break
An abundance of research shows that sitting still for too long is bad for your health, period. Take frequent breaks to stand, move, jump, wiggle, loosen those joints. "Lots of micro-breaks are the key here", says Paul Ingraham of SaveYourself.ca. His article on microbreaking is a great read for anyone who has a sedentary job:
"Micro-breaks are regular, small, meaningful breaks from being stuck in one position at work. It is a survival skill for every chair-bound office worker, student, computer user, or anyone at all whose work (or play) generally requires long hours of being sedentary."
5. Power pose
Body language affects how others see us, but it can also change the way we see ourselves. In her popular TED Talk, social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” -- standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident -- can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success. Check it out! It only takes two minutes.
6. Bask in the sun
After a long, dark winter the sunshine can be both comforting and restorative. You might get a few odd looks, but the next time the sky brightens, go outside and stand still in a ray of sunshine for a few minutes. You can't help but feel better! Soak up that vitamin D and relax.
7. Ice your forearms
In her guide Self care for Massage Therapists, Melissa Finley recommends that you ice your sore forearms to help with inflammation. This is especially helpful after a long day of performing massage therapy - or a long day of typing.
Walking is the easiest, most natural thing to do. Take a few minutes away from your desk or table to check the mail, grab a breath of fresh air, walk the dog, climb some stairs, or just take the long way to the restroom.
What are your daily self-care routines? Share them in the comments below!