10 Tips to Save Your Massage Hands

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Didn’t get enough sleep last night? And you haven’t eaten enough today? Big plans tonight that you are looking forward to??

These 3 scenarios are the perfect recipe to hurt your hands during your last massage of the day.  Even with one of them going on, here are some ways to keep your hands healthy:

1. Focus   on the massage, not tonight’s activities. It’s when we are most tired that we get unfocused with our posture and pushing from the core that we hurt our hands. Try not to daydream.

2. Stretch  your hand, wrist, neck, waist and legs right before you walk into the session. Sometimes during a massage, you can put one leg up on the table and stretch. Also, gently shake your hands out during the massage between areas.

3.  Straighten Up  your back, neck…don’t slouch.  You know this, we all do while massaging or living, but when it’s the last hour of the day, you have plans, your hungry and tired, it’s very easy to start pushing from your wrists, elbows & shoulders instead of your core and legs.

4.  Breathe  when you ask your clients to breathe, do the same.  When you are about to make a long stroke on the legs or back, take a nice deep breath. A nice deep breath also helps our focus to be more on the client and not what’s for dinner.  Keep breathing deeply after work.

5. Rotate Fingers to rest them one at a time.  This is a huge help!  When you are working on one area, lift your pointer finger up and allow your middle finger to do the work, then the ring finger, and for just a second or 2, your pinky.  Do this on Trigger Points too and Myo-facial work.  This has been a hand saver for me.

6. Bend Your Knees and push from your core.  “Yes Mom!” But seriously, keep it in mind.  It’s so easy to forget and to bend from your waist and then hurt your lower back.  Bend your knees and wear good gripping running shoes for support.  When you are tired and unfocused, bending your knees brings you right back to using your core to push with and your hands will thank you.

7. Keep your Wrists Straight when massaging and while doing other things around the house.  If your wrists are tired, even after gardening or weight lifting, try to keep them straight.  It’s the sideways stroke down the back or legs that can kill the hands.  A common stroke for me when I’m tired. So, remember to keep your wrists straight for the long strokes.

8.  Be Intensional After Work to rest and take care of your hands.  Gently massage them, use ice or heat or both.  If you are out to dinner, hold the ice water with both hands.  Don’t grip things too hard, like the steering wheel. Be mindful of your body and the rest it may need.

9.  Sleep with Your Hands Flat, not curled in.  This is a big one, especially when you are first starting, or for other people when they start getting hand/wrist pain, that their hands are flat when they sleep.  Get a pillow and hug it with flat hands.  Another smart sleeping position for side sleepers, is to support your knee and your top elbow so that your arm doesn’t pull down on your shoulder.

10.  Synchronize Your Fingers Tonight  one finger at a time.  Apply your toolbox of healing styles to your own hands.  Core Synchronism is my favorite way to heal my hands.  You could also use Myo-facial Release, Lymph Drainage, or simply light Effleurage with one hand while the other hand is above the heart.

 

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