Massage & Bodywork

MARCH | APRIL 2016

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And don't forget that personal accessories like eyeglass frames also offer a great way to define your own signature style. If you think you can pull it off, why not opt for the leopard print or rhinestone encrusted frames next time? Paired with an all-black outfit, they can add a spark of spunkiness to your look. Arrieta is a fan of using baubles and other fun accessories to add a touch of flair to her work outfits: "I infuse my personal style into my work wardrobe by adding a wrap or light jewelry, or in the way I do my hair." Hair Accessories For those of us with long hair, the way we tie up our tresses can help us express our sense of style. Sparkly, jeweled hair clips; ribbons or scarves woven through braids; headbands; or even vintage brooches pinned into our up-dos can become individualized ways to express our style. Securing long hair is a practical and sanitary necessity, and an opportunity to express our individuality. La Cour is a fan of using hairstyles to inject some personality into her look. "Princess Leia buns? Check! Plaited pigtails and flowers in my hair? Check!" Funky Footwear While comfort and ergonomics must be your primary concerns when it comes to shoes, footwear can provide another fun area to put your own individuality on display while maintaining professionalism. I have a fun collection of Birkenstocks in every pattern from gold lamé snakeskin to aboriginal cave art. I have a pair of metallic gold Keds sneakers (as well as a polka dot pair), metallic silver Vans, and all manner of other fun, functional footwear dwelling in my closet. These funky kicks really add a shot of pizzazz into my otherwise conservative ensembles. HAVE FUN PERFECTING YOUR STYLE We've talked a lot about the practicality, functionality, and professional appropriateness of your massage wardrobe. But what about fun? Don't we all desire to inject a little playfulness and individualism into our clothes (whether for work or recreation)? While we may be somewhat limited about how we can express our own individuality in our work environment, there are always ways to put our own signature stamp on any outfit. Jewelry and Such I wear a lot of jewelry. Most days, I wear earrings, a necklace, at least a couple (if not a big stack) of bracelets, my wedding rings, and a watch. I choose earrings and necklaces that won't interfere with the bodywork I provide (pieces that aren't too long or dangly so as to avoid them touching my clients when I lean over). I leave those pieces on while I'm massaging, and I have a bowl in which I deposit my rings, watch, and bracelets prior to each session. I'm careful to choose stretchy bracelets and solid bangles that can easily and quickly be slid off as I ready myself for each client. C h e c k o u t A B M P 's l a t e s t n e w s a n d b l o g p o s t s . Av a i l a b l e a t w w w. a b m p . c o m . 91 Wearing wacky socks can also inject a little whimsy into your wardrobe. They can even be a fun, subtle way to acknowledge holidays and seasons. Tattoo or Taboo? Not all, but some corporate work environments may require MTs to cover their ink with bandages, wristbands, or even makeup. Being self-employed means you can flaunt your body art appropriately and proudly (or keep it concealed if you choose). Linden says, "I'm very heavily and artfully tattooed, which is my personal self- expression." PROMOTE YOURSELF Every time we get dressed, we have the opportunity to promote our professional identity—our brand—as well. Many MTs choose to have shirts, aprons, or smocks printed or embroidered with their company's logo, even if their company consists of only them. This approach can lend an air of professionalism to your uniform, and wearing these promotional items can be a great way to meet new clients and strike up conversations with folks about what you do. So, even though we have to be mindful of practical and even legal restrictions on our wardrobe choices, there's no reason we shouldn't have some fun and show our clients what makes us creative and unique! Susan Epperly works with her MT husband, Shane, in their East Austin clinical massage therapy practice, Tiger Lily Studios, LLC. Together, they create a variety of educational products in both digital and physical formats (audio books, ebooks, videos, and more) for wellness practitioners, which are available for purchase on their website, www.tigerlilystudios.com. CLOTHES ENCOUNTERS

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