As a busy massage therapist, you diligently care for your clients’ soft tissues. It’s important that you don’t forget to take care of yourself, and that you get the rest and nurturance you need.

Body scrubs and body wraps are spa therapies you can use to relax, rejuvenate and stimulate your own body’s healing properties.

Body Scrubs

Body scrubs offer myriad beauty and health benefits, including dead skin cell and dirt removal from the outermost layers of the skin; moisturizing; and stimulating the skin’s natural oil production.

Body scrubs also stimulate the body’s natural healing mechanism, encouraging skin cell renewal and eliminating excess fluids and bloating while leaving your skin fresh and healthy.

Using a body scrub regularly will help your skin look more vibrant and youthful. Also, by removing layers of dead skin cells through exfoliation, moisturizer will easily absorb into the layers of skin

Choosing the right exfoliator depends entirely on the area of the body you want to target, in addition to finding the best texture for your skin type.

If the exfoliator has too fine a grain, when used on tougher skin you might not get the smooth results you want. If it’s too rough a grain you may end up with red, irritated skin. Fortunately, there is a wide array of non-abrasive natural scrubs for face and body.

Rice bran: If you have extra-sensitive skin or are concerned about premature aging, rice bran can be a perfect option. The ultra-fine powder may help soothe chronic inflammation, and is also rich in collagen-boosting phytic acid, which has UV-absorbing properties that can help prevent sun spots

Sugar: Gentler than their salt-based counterparts, sugar scrubs are ideal for dry complexions because sugar helps skin hold on to moisture. It also serves as a natural source of glycolic acid, boosting firmness by increasing the thickness of your skin’s deeper layers.

Coffee grounds: A coarse coffee ground scrub is the ideal exfoliator for cellulite and loose skin. Coffee acts as a stimulant that invigorates the skin with antioxidant properties. Caffeine helps increase circulation, leaving skin more toned.

Oatmeal: Oatmeal is ideal for red, irritated skin, including skin that is sunburned. Oatmeal buffs away flaky skin and soothes itchiness.

Sea salt: This exfoliator is ideal for the body, particularly for sloughing away rough patches on the feet, elbows and knees. Sea salt is good for moisturizing and nourishing the body while it soothes dry skin.

Body Wraps

There are several health benefits from body wrap treatments. Body wraps help remove excess water from your body, which reduces water weight and helps eliminate toxins. This makes this technique quite popular for its slimming effects and superficial fat reduction.

With just the right combination of herbs, essential oils, and mud or aloe, your body will naturally cleanse itself through your skin’s pores.

Body wraps can also restore minerals, tighten and tone the skin, reduce joint pain, and nourish and soften the skin. They are also a fabulous stress reliever and can help lower your blood pressure.

When deciding what products to use for your wrap treatment, you must first determine the treatment goal

Pampering wrap: A pampering wrap is chosen for deep relaxation. This type of wrap is wonderful for moisturizing the skin and helping you to de-stress.

Moisturizing wrap: A moisturizing wrap is used to hydrate and repair dry, damaged skin by applying thick, nutrient-rich moisturizer.

Dehydrating wrap: The result of a dehydrating or detoxifying wrap is similar to what could be obtained through spending time spent in a sauna: It draws excess water from the body tissues

Algae: Algae, or seaweed, wraps use a paste that is warmed and applied to the body to detoxify and nourish the skin. This product contains iodine and shellfish. Be aware of any allergies before you use this product.

Clay: There are several types of clay that can be used for a body wrap. These include French green, red, sea, bentonite and Dead Sea clay.

While each of these types of clay offers different benefits, clay is primarily used for detoxification and reducing cellulite due to its ability to rid the body of excess water.

Essential oils may be added to the clay mixture to add a relaxing aroma and provide additional benefits to the treatment.

Mineral/compression: Compression is the most popular type of body wrap used for inch loss goals and is also known as a mummy wrap. This type of treatment uses elastic bandages to create a cocooning effect with the body wrapped tight.

Mineral compression body wraps use elastic bandages soaked in mineral solution. Common mineral compounds used are: calcium, potassium and other minerals to aid in detoxification.

Herbal: Herbal wraps are used for softening the skin and for inch loss body wraps. Cotton cloth, muslin or elastic bandages are soaked in an herb-infused solution and wrapped firmly around the skin.

Common ingredients include alfalfa leaf powder, ground basil, chamomile flower powder, rose petal powder and rosehip powder. Common essential oils include: lavender, sage, lemon, sandalwood, lemongrass, rosemary and grapefruit.

Mud: Similar to clay, mud wraps help to pull impurities from the body while it is drying. Mud treatments are also used to help with water retention and might also alleviate symptoms associated with arthritis and minor skin irritations

Save Time for Yourself

Choosing the right body scrub and wrap for your self-care routine can help you relax after a long day of giving massages. Make sure you save time for yourself and your own self-care. You will have more energy and be more present when helping clients.

Sarah MacDonald is a native of Cape Cod, Massachusetts and co-owner of Cape Cod Massage. In 2005, she attended the Body Therapy Institute to study massage and bodywork therapy. She offers pregnancy, spa techniques, hot and cold stone, business and marketing, ethics and body mechanics continuing education courses that are approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.