Since reopening Perfectly Kneaded, the practitioners and I have been thrilled to see our “regulars” and to welcome new clients! Before the COVID-19 lockdown began, we noticed that clients would often come in with similar issues and exclaim, “Fix me!” Now, after being open again for just a few weeks, we’re seeing a common trend among virtually ALL of our clients. And – spoiler alert – we can’t say we’re surprised.
This may sound a bit crazy, but during the past few months I could empathetically “feel” the high level of stress coming from clients who reached out to us – even though I wasn’t in the room with them. The mental stress of their overall lifestyle change would ultimately have an impact on their physical well-being. And I knew that, once we got the go-ahead to reopen, the practitioners and I would have our work cut out for us.
As I have been seeing clients old and new, my intuition is they all need a good full-body massage – even if they are feeling tension and pain in specific areas. Each client’s body has felt like a suit of armor as a result of limited regular moment and mind-body stress. It is not unusual to feel the body in this state, as everyone can experience a flare-up during a particularly stressful time. But it seems that everyone’s body has reacted to this crisis in exactly the same way.
Because of this, we have been recommending that most clients consider receiving bodywork more often than in the past. This might mean once a week or every other week for the first two or three sessions to loosen up the muscles, followed by maintenance bodywork once a month. (PK’s Membership Program can support you in staying proactive with your wellness.)
We realize that receiving bodywork or other relaxation treatments regularly may not be comfortable or financially feasible for everyone right now. So we’re sharing some of the ways we’re encouraging our clients to relieve stress and tension at home:
1. Move It!
If you spent most of lockdown on your couch, in front of your computer, or were simply more sedentary than usual, your body is likely to be stiff and tense from that alone. Add in the mental stress – and your body needs to release all of that. Stretching, yoga, or using some resistance bands will help relieve tension and even help your body relax. Think of movement as the oil used by the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz!
2. Give Trouble Spots Some TLC
Once you’ve started moving your body, you may notice that certain areas are more sensitive than others. Feel free to use a foam roller, hot pack (heat helps loosen tight muscles), or self-massager (there are so many to choose from!) to work on those troublesome spots. Whatever feels good and gets the job done!
3. Recognize the Mind-Body Connection
As someone who has experienced this first-hand while working on very stressed-out clients, I believe in the mind-body connection. Your mind, especially when it is feeling stress, will resonate within your body and create tension. So not only is it important to deal with your body’s aches and pains, but you need to focus on staying as mentally relaxed as possible. Try lighting some candles, soaking in an Epsom salt bath (which also helps flush out inflammation), diffusing essential oils that promote relaxation (lavender is a favorite), reading an enjoyable book – anything that helps you decompress mentally in order to keep your body relaxed.
In addition, Perfectly Kneaded continues to offer virtual guided bodywork and stretch sessions for clients who are not able to come to our studio. We can customize these techniques to your individual needs as well as offer additional recommendations to reduce tension in your body until you are able to see us in person. Please don’t hesitate to reach out – we are happy to help!