We’ve Got The Whole World in Our Hands… All The More Reason to look after them…
Hand care is a topic that affects every single one of us whether therapists or not.
The Basics: Your hands are a vital tool for interacting with the world around you. As a guide, we all have 27 bones and 29 joints in each hand, along with at least 123 ligaments, 34 muscles, 30 arteries and 48 major nerves that branch into a more sensitive neural link between the fingertips and the brain than from the eyes. Imagine that!
But it’s not just about the power of touch here – it goes much deeper. Who can tick any of the following as an important part of their business and/or home lives –
• Keeping their hands clean and/or soft
• Keeping nails short or well manicured/presented
• A confident handshake to reassure a new client
• Reiki healing or energetic exchange
• Using a keyboard/tablet/mobile
• The need for strong, steady and/or warm hands
• Handling jars, bottles or equipment with repeated usage (hygiene)
• Last but not least, massage or hands-on techniques (when allowed)?
Yes. The health and longevity of our hands is essential. So here goes with upping the self-care…
Firstly, on the outside. The necessity of constant washing/sanitising, along with our UK weather, stress/busy lifestyle, nutrient depletion, cleaning our therapy rooms, offices and houses with detergent-based products (and 70% ethanol) will eventually take ia heavy toll.
What can we do?
1. Keep hands exfoliated to remove dry skin – look for natural products with ground rosehip seeds and/or fruit enzymes
2. Invest in a good manicure at least every other month (yes, men too) – once allowed
3. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise, especially overnight when the skin heals – ethical products containing shea butter, avocado and/or coconut oils are good ones to look out for. Include your nails as they will benefit too.
4. Try to get plenty of zinc, iron, vitamin C and B group vitamins in your diet – all proven to alleviate brittle nails and enhance skin health.
5. Get those Marigold gloves out for washing up, gardening or cleaning the car – and your fingernails weren’t designed to remove staples!
What about cold hands?
With the Winter months upon us and ecouraged to stay well-ventilated indoors, we can find ourselves with constantly cold hands. But is there any self-help available?
1. The most important single factor is to keep your room warm enough. If possible, you still need to make sure the air temperature is comfortable. Your body closes off small arteries in your skin if you’re too cold.
2. Layer up! Dig out those thin cotton layers/leggings and wear as an extra layer during chilly days.
3. Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that helps blood flow (found in oily fish and green leafy veg). Ginkgo Biloba supplements also help blood flow to extremities.
4. Ditch the caffeine – it is a vaso-constrictor – and up the water and herbal teas to re-hydrate.
5. If largely sedentary, do keep active – have a 2 or 3 minute walk, or go up and down the stairs a few times. You need to encourage the blood flow back into your hands by getting the heart pumping.
6. If all else fails, buy some re-usable hand warmers! A Google search will bring up many affordable choices.
There’s nothing better than having your own hands and arms regularly massaged. This should ideally be monthly via a professional (once safe to return), a therapy swap or alternatively, you can treat yourself to our brand new Hand & Arm Care Kit – only £22!
The contents include –
1. A 3 minute video giving simple techniques to strenthen your hands/wrists and increase flexibiity.
2. A separate 7 minute video showing you how to give a loved one a gentle hand and arm massage.
3. A 10ml bottle of our professional skin Toner Concentrate
4. A 15ml jar of our award-winning Massage Creme.
5. A full-sized bottle (150ml) of our brand new Gentle Hand & Nail Salve.
And finally… a lovely treat just before bedtime is to rub a few drops of pre-blended (German rather than Roman) chamomile oil into each pulse point on the wrist and over the base of the thumb where we can store tension. To make your own blend, simply add about 4 drops of chamomile oil to 1 teaspoon of rapeseed oil. Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties as well as soothing muscle pain and spasms. Its calming aroma is legendary and perfect to also help a good nights’ sleep.