Topical ointments for pain relief

Anything topical is, well just that – topical.
There are definitely ointments, gels, creams etc. that will distract you from your stiff joints and sore muscles, but they’re not gonna fix you.
These are a few of my favorites:

Tiger balm is mildly effective and only costs as much as 2 family size Kit Kat bars. No tigers were harmed in the making of this product. In fact, there are no animal-based ingredients at all.

I have personally never felt the benefits of using arnica, but it’s one of the most popular topical treatments for both tight & sore muscles.
Arnica is derived from a plant and  has been used for medicinal purposes since the 1500s and is still popular today. Applied to the skin as a cream, ointment, liniment, salve, or tincture, it has been used to soothe muscle aches, reduce inflammation, and heal wounds.

Aveda’s Active Composition is, in one word, delicious (not literally) and doesn’t evoke memories of visiting grandma in the nursing home. It’s $21 and worth it.

Biofreeze is my favorite, but it is usually only sold as a professional product available in beauty supply stores and massage companies. It is a green gel that goes on cold and is rubbed in thoroughly for best effect. The product contains menthol to ease muscle soreness and lessen discomfort by drawing blood away from the wounded area. Wow. I just learned that they now make it colorless! Genius! And although I get the whole green/menthol philosophy, it’s about time. Now it is a perfect product.

Thermacare wraps from the drugstore are a pretty intense distraction from pain and stay hot for about 8 hours. You can wear them under your clothes, and they are perfect for times when you can’t stay home and rest with a heating pad because god hates you and those burgers aren’t going to flip themselves.

This article is a good one for when to ice or heat.

Contrary to everyone who knows nothing – YOU WILL NOT DIE A HORRIBLE DEATH if you use ice or heat incorrectly.  You just won’t feel better.

Anyone have any additional recommendations to add to this list?


Neck & eye pillows

Buckwheat neck pillows feel fantastic, especially when they are warm & scented.  And NOT shared.  Buy one, take it home & do what you’d like with it.  It’s yours – you can lick it, pee on it, jack off with it, etc.  However – when you use it in the spa, keep in mind that right before you take that item out of the hot towel cabi and put it on your sweet clean skin, 12,000 people have also used that same pillow.  The ‘Turban Guy’, the ‘Herpes Client’, and even ‘Abu’ have most definitely enjoyed the same sweat, bacteria & fungus you are now basking in.  Enjoy.

And I’m not a big fan of the eye pillow at all.  They are annoying & boring.  They fall off your face if you turn your head, and the scent lasts for 3 days if you’re lucky.

*Therapists – if you would like to use a heated neck pillow on your client while they are face down on the table, place it on top of the flat sheet covering them so it doesn’t directly touch their neck.
*Important tip for keeping your neck pillow infused with aroma for as long as possible – store it in a large ziploc bag when not in use.

Take a bath

I am constantly advising clients to take hot baths.  It’s similar to telling someone to drink more water.  Everyone knows it’s good for them but no one does it.  Why? Because it seems too cheap & simple to actually have any true, beneficial value.  It also requires a small amount of labor.  People don’t like that part.  I’m pretty sure if you came home from work (or in my case – nothing) and someone had cleaned your tub, went to Duane Reade and bought their Eucalyptus or Lavender Epsom Salts (not the ‘W’ brand/the Duane Reade brand-$5.99), filled a bath with hot water & lit a candle – you’d be able to undress yourself and get in.
Epsom salts are a cheap bag full of miracles.

I promise you that sitting in a hot bath for at least 15 minutes will change your day.  I give you my word; a genuinely FREE guarantee.
I’ve had days where my body felt completely broken, a wreck, a pathetic tragedy, but after forcing myself to get into a hot bath I got out feeling remarkably repaired & rejuvenated! (enough to judge myself for not doing it more often)


I don’t wear a lot of make-up anymore.
I already have a boyfriend. (yes, I am kidding) (not about
having a boyfriend but about the absence of self-care I still
attempt to uphold)
I do, however, wash my face occasionally and have developed
an insane obsession with beauty products.

I find the best way to afford to keep my cabinets
filled with high-end skincare is to keep in touch with
co-workers.  Those  who work for spas that sell my favorite brands,
will share their employee discount with me.
I don’t even have to like them that much, which doesn’t trouble
me, because I would gladly reciprocate.

If you are not fortunate enough to have friends you can
exploit;  this website will provide you with reviews of
the best products from absurdly expensive to the downcast little drugstore
brands that are remarkably comparable (if not superior).

In a perfect world nothing but SkinCeuticals would touch my
face.  But alas, a friend who worked there
quit his job selfishly without a thought to my skincare needs.