Hands; the unsung hero of daily accomplishments. Our hands are the most over utilized and often under-appreciated tool in our body’s arsenal. For seniors that can mean years of constant usage with little or no upkeep. Our hands are icebreakers (in a metaphorical and literal sense). Due to our hands constant usage, it’s not uncommon for the skin on our hands to be coarse or dry, and the nails to be chipped or jagged. Seniors can rejuvenate their hands or feet with a manicure or pedicure.
Manicures and pedicures are a relaxing and enjoyable way to recoup damage to our hands and feet and beautify fingernails and toenails. They make us feel good about our appearance and help us maintain healthy hands, feet and nails. Whether we do them ourselves, have a friend or family member assist us, or seek the expertise of a professional manicurist; a good mani-pedi can have immediate and long-term health benefits.
And, gentlemen, manicures and pedicures are not just for the ladies. Due to the joint and overall health benefits associated with manicures and pedicures, it’s not uncommon for men to take part. If you don’t have time to visit a spa, or you’d prefer to take care of business yourself, check out this 5-minute manicure tutorial.
Here are five reasons why women – and men – should make manicures and pedicures part of their regular grooming routine:
Clean, Soft Hands
Even with regular hand-washing, dirt and grime can accumulate beneath our nails. A professional manicure can help keep your hands and nails clean and healthy. A manicurist will usually start with an exfoliating cleanser to slough off dead skin cells and dirt. After that they will trim and shape your nails, and follow with a lotion or soak in oil to soften your cuticles and moisturize your skin. The final step is to apply your choice of nail polish, or none at all.
Walking on the soles of our feet constantly can create callouses and other foot conditions, particularly among seniors. A professional pedicure includes exfoliating your skin and removing callouses on the bottom of your feet. The benefits of smoother skin on our feet are more than skin deep; it can also help distribute your weight evenly across your feet, reducing leg and back pain after standing for long periods.
Increased Blood Flow
After exfoliating and shaping your nails with an emery board, your manicurist will rub moisturizers or oils into the skin and cuticles of your hands or feet. Not only is this very relaxing, it also increases blood circulation to extremities, which can reduce pain and help your body better distribute heat – a very nice benefit during colder months.
Pedicures are a great way to maintain the health of your toes. Since we wear socks and shoes for long durations most days, our feet and toenails are exposed to excess moisture, which can lead to fungal infections and sore toes. While it usually takes a few weeks for fungal infections to become noticeable, a professional manicurist will be able to identify one even in its early stages, when it is most easily treated. The American Podiatric Medical Association offers several tips to help you keep your feet healthy and looking fabulous, whether you seek out a professional or prefer to go it on your own.
Improved Mental and Physical Health
During a manicure or pedicure, the manicurist will massage your hands and arms, feet and legs. Part of the massage includes pressing on trigger points in your hands and feet. This is known as reflexology. Your hands and feet contain many acupressure and reflexology points that correspond with organs and other parts of your body. According to reflexology-research.com, massaging these trigger points has immediate and long-lasting health benefits, including:
- Pain reduction
- Improvement of health concerns, such as allergies and asthma
- Improved post-operative recovery
- Improvement for those suffering from mental health issues
- Overall positive influence on the physiological measures of the body (e.g., blood flow, cholesterol, kidney function)
As you can see, there is a plethora of benefits associated with manicures and pedicures that are more than cosmetic. If your senior living community features a spa, make an appointment soon and get happier hands and feet today!