Let's Get Physical
Remember the cheesy 1980's Olivia Newton John Video? With her in that head band and those chubby sweaty guys she was whipping into shape as she sang and danced around in her blue shiny work out outfit...oh the 80's.....when my elbows and knees and shoulders and well I could get physical and not cry about it when I got home...,
Grooming is a physical job. Most people don't understand how physical it really is. The longer we are I this business the more taxing it is in our bodies. It is a labor of love for us.It is not uncommon for groomers to suffer from tennis elbow. Yeah, you read that right, tennis elbow. Like we have time to lob a few over the net at the country club with Muffy and Ted on the weekends. No we don't, we get it because it is a repudiative motion injury to the elbow.
I was diagnosed with acute arthritis of my left shoulder and rotator cuff damage . Frozen shoulder, AKA groomers shoulder.Wow a tally named after us! We get carpal tunnel , bad knees, hearing loss, groomers lungs, chronic sinus infection and more. Put a bunch of groomers in a room together and inevitably we all start to compare scars, aches and pains.
Young or old we need to take care of ourselves in order to maintain any longevity in this business that we love.
Bending and lifting properly are very important. Lift with your legs, not with your back. If you
We are known to be I got this myself kinda people, but we need to utilize those around us for help lifting heavy and difficult pets. Even holding pets can strain and injure one groomer when two people can make things safer for the pet and the groomer.
There are so many wonderfully helpful products out in the marketplace to make our job safer for both us and the pets we groom. Here are just a few you should be incorporating into your grooming;
• The Groomers Helper www.Groomershelper.com
• Grooming Hammock or Sling (search it , so many to choose from)
• Muzzles for the pets safety as much as ours: Research all the different styles available
• Grooming stools; learn to sit and groom ( a skill I am still trying to master)
• Facebook groups :Groomers groups ;There are so many great groups with amazing money saving DIY tips and tricks, projects and hacks that will blow your mind! Who knew that putting a gallon of shampoo under a sitting Golden Retriever would save your arm from having to hold him up! Network with your fellow stylists and share the knowledge with each other.
Lastly, exercise, I know I hate it to, especially after a day of grooming. Why would you want to be more physical ? Because we were certain muscles all day long we do certain things certain way and And repeat that movement over and over and over again and this is how we get injured. My exercising other than that we don’t normally work and help them around in the morning stronger. If we are stronger we can last longer. If we can last longer than we do we love long. You don’t have to have a personal trainer at the gym. Don’t even need to belong to the gym. You do need to stretch and move in ways that are different than how we do at work. The internet is full of weight routines and stretches you can look up even search by your age and impact level like low, medium or high. Since I have shoulder issues I always try and work my shoulder muscles to keep them stretched and strong.
Most groomers are the good hearted lovable people that take care of everyone first before themselves. We need to make sure we put ourselves fist when it comes to our health and safety.Take care and Groom on!