3 Ways to Incorporate CBD into Your Self-Care Routine

Working as a massage therapist can be a rewarding career with endless opportunities to help clients suffering from a myriad of ailments, including chronic pain, stress and anxiety. However, providing this service affects the therapist’s own physical and mental well-being.

Even with extensive training in body mechanics and ergonomics, and careful attention to providing that care in the best possible way, this work can affect the physical health of the therapist.

Common TM pain complaints

Back pain, fatigue, hand pain, and chronic inflammation are just some of the common physical ailments massage therapists experience. Therapists can also experience mental fatigue or even burnout from working so closely and constantly with those in pain and illness.

The nature of a massage therapist’s job requires you to spend most of the day on your feet, which leads to swollen feet and legs, stiff neck and shoulders, and an increased risk of back pain.

This work often leads to repetitive use injuries, making them quite common in this industry. This type of injury can affect the elbows, shoulders, wrists, knees or other joints. It can also increase the risk of osteoarthritis.

In fact, a study published by Health SA Gesondheid reported: “Due to the stress and strain placed on the massage therapist’s hands on a daily basis, there may be a possible relationship between massage therapy as an occupation and the premature symptoms of osteoarthritis of the hands”.[1]

The Therapeutic massage foundation also reports that many therapists working in this industry have been forced out of their jobs due to injury. These injuries can cause chronic inflammation and pain.

Because of the many ways massage therapists can experience physical and mental stress and pain, a self-care plan is essential. Incorporating CBD into this self-care plan can significantly improve the ability to limit and manage some of the most common stressors, pain, and even injuries experienced by massage therapists.

While most of you are probably familiar with CBD and its powerful yet gentle plant components, let’s review why CBD can be such an important part of a self-care plan.

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) regulates and controls many of the body’s most critical functions, including pain control and inflammatory and immune responses. Therefore, it plays a vital role in the human body. It comprises a wide network of chemical signals and cellular receptors, including a high concentration in neurons in the brain, immune cells and throughout the body.

The ECS plays a crucial role in maintaining stable and effective functioning (homeostasis) throughout the body, including the brain, immune, and endocrine systems. It has a wide range of influence due to the abundance of cannabinoid receptors found throughout the body.

There is almost no biological or physiological system in your body in which endocannabinoids do not participate.

The ECS effectively acts as a master center to help create balance throughout the body. CBD interacts with your ECS by influencing receptors in that system, engaging enzymes and enhancing your natural levels of endocannabinoids, thereby allowing your ECS to function more effectively.

Clinical studies1 also confirmed that CBD helps control inflammation. It does this by reducing levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, inhibiting T-cell proliferation, inducing T-cell apoptosis, and reducing immune cell migration and adhesion.

All of this makes CBD a great tool to help massage therapists manage many of the detrimental impacts on their health and well-being that they experience in their careers.

3 ways to use CBD for personal care

Because CBD has been so effective in helping with various forms of stress and pain, massage therapists around the world have added CBD to their self-care routine to manage pain and expand their careers.

When choosing your CBD product, it is especially important that you choose a high quality product to ensure that you maximize the substantial benefits of using these products. All CBD products are not created equal.

It’s also helpful to know that CBD comes in a variety of forms, including topicals, tinctures, gummies, capsules, bath bombs, and bath salts. The reason for use, including the physical or mental stress the user is under, may affect the form you choose. However, the variety of products available makes adding CBD to your self-care routine a breeze.

1. Topical creams and ointments

Your skin is the largest organ in your body and has many cannabinoid and endocannabinoid receptors. It is a multifaceted homeostatic regulator of your body. Using topical CBD oils and creams for pain management can improve the skin’s ability to perform these functions more effectively.

Topical pain relief creams and ointments are specifically formulated for effective absorption, providing penetrating short-term pain relief from minor arthritis symptoms such as joint pain and stiffness. High-quality CBD topicals often combine the pain-relieving power of over-the-counter ingredients like menthol and camphor with the natural pain-relieving benefits of CBD.

According to Jen Palmer, ND, Director of Education for Charlotte’s website“Not only is using a cream intuitive and familiar, but it’s also a highly efficient way of administration because it bypasses a process known as first-pass metabolism. When you take something to relieve pain orally , it has to pass through the liver and digestive system first, which means it loses a lot of its effect before it even enters the bloodstream to address where it hurts.

“That doesn’t happen with a topical cream,” Palmer continued. “So applying the cream directly to the skin can make the ingredients more effective because the active ingredients don’t need to enter the bloodstream, instead going to work at the point of pain.” [Disclosure: The author of this article is the key opinion leader for Charlotte’s Web.]

Therefore, rubbing a high-quality CBD topical directly onto areas of pain, especially pain caused by inflammation, can help reduce that inflammation and lessen or eliminate pain. This has been proven not only by the clinical studies mentioned above, but also by the fact that many massage therapists say that while using a topical CBD cream to treat their client’s pain, they also enjoy the pain relief benefits.

2. CBD-infused bath salts or bath bombs

When a massage therapist feels stressed or tired after a long day of seeing clients, a hot bath may be just what they need to help them feel better. This experience can be enhanced by adding the relaxing and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD.

Our skin is full of CB2 receptors, which eagerly receive the cannabinoid CBD, maximizing the healing and calming experience of bathing. It’s the perfect way to help you relax and unwind after a physically demanding day.

Additionally, CBD-infused bath salts and bombs often contain other ingredients such as trace minerals and essential oils. Examples include magnesium chloride and magnesium sulfate, two forms of magnesium commonly found in bath salts.

Our bodies use magnesium as building blocks for more than 300 internal reactions that help improve our mood, muscles and well-being. Magnesium deficiencies can lead to cramps, fatigue and mental health disorders. Soaking in a CBD bath salt with high levels of magnesium can help your body overcome its deficiency.

CBD bath bombs and salts can also have essential oils that increase their effectiveness. So the stress-relieving benefits of CBD could be further enhanced with terpenes like lavender, which can also help promote a relaxing environment to let go and relax. In addition to the many benefits of CBD bath salts already discussed, they can also relieve skin conditions such as rashes, eczema, and psoriasis.

3. CBD gummies

Gummies can be a great alternative to CBD capsules and oils when you’re interested in trying to add a CBD consumable to your routine. Gummies are often combined with other quality terpenes, vitamins and minerals. This powerful combination can help solve some difficult obstacles that challenge massage therapists.

For example, a good night’s sleep is critical for a busy massage therapist to manage the physical demands of a full client schedule. Give your body a chance to rest and renew itself.

When CBD is paired with a reliable sleep aid like melatonin and other natural hemp phytocannabinoids, it can help give you the support you need for sleep, quality sleep, and regular sleep cycles .

Other additives like ginger and turmeric combined with CBD in gummies can target pain caused by inflammation and give you relief to get you through a physically demanding day of seeing clients.

Help your body with CBD for personal care

Your body is your tool and your most valuable asset. It helps to remember that your tool needs regular maintenance and personal care, just like any other machine. Pain, anxiety, stress, and insomnia can significantly limit your ability to enjoy a long, healthy career to the fullest and accomplish your important work.

However, by adding CBD to your self-care routine, you can minimize pain and maximize your well-being, allowing you to feel better while doing the work you love!

Pamela Heavner

About the author

Pamela Heavner is the owner of Proactive Massage & Bodywork and the author of “CBD Massage: The Step-by-Step Guide to Increasing Your Massage Therapy Practice’s Income.” She serves as a key opinion leader for CBD company Charlotte’s Web. Heavner is also the founder of Hand to Heart, a volunteer organization that provides free massage therapy to those struggling with grief and the loss of a loved one.

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