The importance of self-care for a esthetician’s most important tools—their hands—can’t be overstated. Here are some stretches you can use to combat the fatigue.
With the arm bent at a 90-degree angle, and your hand extended palm-down in front of you, use your opposite hand to grasp the outer (pinky-side) edge of your hand. Gently rotate the hand toward you (pronate it) to stretch the tissues. Hold for 1–2 seconds, release, repeat. Make your movements slow and deliberate and change your active hand’s positioning to find the best stretch.
With the arm bent at a 90-degree angle, and your hand extended palm-up in front of you, use your opposite hand to grasp the outer (thumb-side) edge of your hand from underneath. Gently rotate the hand away from you (supinate it) to stretch the tissues. Hold for 1–2 seconds, release, repeat. Slow and deliberate movements are necessary here.
Begin with your arm fully outstretched in front of you, and your hand palm-side up. With your opposite hand, grasp your outstretched fingers and hand and gently pull down toward the floor, extending your wrist. Hold for 1–2 seconds, release, and repeat. These are slow, fluid movements.
Fully stretch your arm in front of you, elbow straight, and hand extended, palm-side down. With your opposite hand, grasp your outstretched fingers and back of the hand to gently pull them down toward the floor, flexing your wrist. Hold for 1–2 seconds, release, and repeat. The movement should be slow, gentle, and rhythmical.
Don’t Overstretch the Nerves
Stretches are for nerves as much as for muscles and connective tissue. The ulnar nerve, for example, needs to lengthen nearly 2 inches for your hand to touch the back of your head. If you feel tingly sensations when stretching, however, you could be overstretching the nerves.
Let gravity help you recover from the achy forearms you might have after a long day working over clients. Stand straight; holding a 2-pound weight in each hand, let your arms extend downward toward the floor, letting your arms “rest” there. The weight helps to create space and fluidity in your underlying connective tissues and to undo the day’s damage.
Try Hot and Cold for Pain
Heat can loosen hand stiffness and cold is great for hand pain that is the result of activity or overuse. From submerging your hands in a bowl of uncooked heated rice to holding small, freezable gel pads, find the remedy that works best for your pain and be faithful in utilizing it.