How to "Green Clean" Your Massage Practice
For those of us who experience all four seasons, it's only a matter of time before we start seeing evidence of spring. As we observe the high-pitched chatter of nesting birds and vibrant pops of color on burgeoning trees, it's easy for us to think about our own spring transformations. These transformations usually take shape in some form of spring cleaning, or as some call it, "clutter cleaning."
Spring cleaning the home is an annual ritual for many, but what about spring cleaning the workplace? Maybe we should take a lesson from Mother Nature this year and not just spring clean but "green clean" as well. We may not be sustainability experts, but we can all try to focus more on earth-friendlier alternatives.
From practices to products, here are a few ideas that touch on a variety of areas:
Replacing incandescent lamps with energy smart light bulbs, such as LEDs, is quick and easy. LEDs last longer (30,000-50,000 hours versus 1,000 hours), are more energy efficient, produce very little heat, and unlike CFLs, they contain no mercury. The Department of Energy notes that, "LED lighting products are still more expensive than their conventional counterparts, but when the costs of energy and maintenance are included in the total cost of ownership, LED-based products can have a distinct advantage."
Time to swap out those worn sheets! Flannel and poly-cotton sheets are standard choices, but today's linens have advanced, more luxurious look and feel—at about the same cost! For example, Sposh® Microfiber Sheets are elegant and peachy soft, but durable, affordable, and wrinkle-resistant. They're also lightweight so your clients don't get too hot. Microfiber also dries in a flash; the average microfiber massage sheet can be dried in 10 minutes, which results in less energy consumption.
Hand, Foot, & Body Treatments
Tried and true paraffin is warm and soothing, but in addition to being derived from petroleum, it's not very versatile. However, a product like plant-based Eco-fin® can be used as an easy to use, sanitary alternative to paraffin and as a massage lubricant. So while keeping sanitation in check, you're using one product and minimizing the amount of paraffin residue going into landfills. And the average cost per treatment is less than a dollar.
We all have our favorite massage products—ones we trained on and have used for years. But have you looked closely at the ingredients? Sometimes they don't complement the healing benefits that our massages provide. Look for products that feature high quality plant-based ingredients and avoid parabens and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives. Some good, "clean" performance brands include Pure-ssage®, Soothing Touch®, SacredEarth Botanicals®, and as stated above, Eco-fin.
If you offer stone massage, you probably know that typical stone warmers can use a lot of electricity during the course of a business day, not to mention a good amount of water usage. Self-heating stones are an excellent alternative. They're made of crushed stones and clay so you do not lose the traditional benefits of stones, but require less energy and water usage. A 60-second charge can last 60 to 90 minutes. However, be aware that self-heating stones cannot be used as placement stones and must stay in motion.
When cleaning your workspace and equipment, consider disinfectants like Rejuvenate. Rejuvenate disinfectants are gentle and contain no harsh chemicals, odors, or fumes. It's an EPA and FDA registered hospital grade disinfectant that's non-toxic and irritant-free. Their fast-acting products break down into oxygen and water to be more environmentally friendly.
For those of you who are dual licensed, there are great alternatives in the waxing world as well. If waxing is a part of your daily services, there are plant-based products that offer the same results as traditional microcrystalline wax. Also, with energy efficient heaters and lower melting points, this makes for a great energy saving alternative. Some brands even offer a wrap to go around the canister that plugs in and heats the canister—a perfect solution if you only use wax some of the time. Some plant-based waxes include Plum Smooth® Cold Wax, Plum Smooth Naturelle-Vous, Satin Smooth® Soy Soft Wax, and Cirepil® Vegetale.
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