The most valuable tool skin care professionals have to perform their job is their hands and that is what makes a difference when helping clients to relax, relieve, and restore their energy. However, hands, wrists, and fingers (especially thumbs) often end up taking the most burden, which is why it’s important to use proper massage techniques to help prevent injuries.
On the other hand, good techniques are not always enough. Skin care professionals are often required to have back-to-back treatments causing their hands to become stiff, sore, and tired. In the end, they can suffer from repetitive stress injury (RSI).
However, there are some stretching and strengthening exercises that can be done between treatments or during a break to release the tension in the hands and prevent RSI. Here are a few good (and very effective) ones worth learning.
- Finger stretch: Open and stretch all fingers as far apart from each other as you can. Hold for five to seven seconds and close to a fist for two to three seconds. Then repeat two to three times.
- Stretch out the hands and place the palms against a wall (upwards or downwards) and turn away, stretching out the palm and length of the arm to immediately feel relief of tightness or tension.
- Place the hands in the prayer position and push them against each other, lowering them until feeling a stretch. Keep the palms together. Hold this position for five to seven seconds and repeat two to three times.
- With straight arms, hold both hands in front and bend the wrists so that the palms face up. Now, embrace the four fingers of the right hand with the left hand and pull it up. Hold for 10 seconds and then rotate the right hand by almost 180 degrees and hold again for 10 seconds. Finally, turn forward as far as possible. Repeat this exercise with the other hand.
- A good strengthening exercise is to squeeze a sponge, a squash ball, or an anti-stress ball for 10 seconds and then release. This can be repeated as many times as desired.
- Massage each finger from the knuckles of the hands to the fingertips for five to 10 seconds. This will stimulate circulation and help keep the hands flexible.
Nikos Kouremenos joined Raison d’Etre in 2013 as the spa director of one of the biggest worldwide Thalasso & Spa facilities in Soma Bay, Egypt, whilst also managing spa operations in the area. Having a 25-year career in top managerial positions in the health and fitness industry, Kouremenos has worked on a series of projects in the sector and completed studies, business plans, and staff training, while running his own consulting company. Since July 2015, Kouremenos has been the education and project manager of Raison d’Etre.