8 Tips for Healing Massage Hands

8 Tips for Healing Massage Hands

Hand AcupunctureThe massage profession is hard on our hands.  Be good to your hands.  Have tools around to soothe them.  Make your hand health a priority.  Here are some tips that have healed my hands after they were sore, and several massage therapist buddies of mine use some of the same tips.

Microwavable Hot Packs

1.  Keep your hands warm  Truly.  It really helps.  Do what ever it takes to keep them warm, especially right after you last massage of the day.  When your hands start getting sore, this is the #1 helpful tip!  I use a bean bag warmer to keep my hands warm: one of those bags that you put in the microwave for 2 minutes.  It’s awesome!

2.  Ice your hands after sessions  This seems counter to “Tip 1”, but it’s helpful.  Ice forno more than 10 minutes.  I use a ziplock bag of ice and usually no longer than 3 minutes at a time.  Soon after icing, I get my hands warm again.  For example, I get my hands warm after a massage: and by “after”, I mean, after saying “bye” to your client, changing the sheets, etc.  Get your hands warm again, and then ice them for 3-10 minutes, then use the bean/rice bag to warm them up.  I do this contrast therapy several times

3.  Use a paraffin hand bath often  Another “warming” option is the paraffin bath.  I have my machine on all the time.  Dip your hand in 5 times in a row and let it stay of for 5-10 minutes.  Because I’m
the only one using my paraffin bath, I put the wax back into the machine to reuse the wax.  If you’ve just iced your hands, let them get to room temperature before dipping into the wax.

Hand Acupuncture4.  Have Acupuncture on your hands!  This really helps!  After having a cyst in my Acupuncture for Handpalm, Acupuncture got rid of it in 5 sessions.  I went 5 days in a row.  1 hour session each day.  And I took the herbs they suggested.  A hand surgeon told me that surgery wouldn’t work and that the cyst would just get bigger and massage as a career was over.  Acupuncture worked great.  I used Acupuncture again when my thumb was sore and it helped that too… in 2 sessions.

Hand Stretch with a drum stick5.  Have a hand & body stretching routine  Here are some pictures of what I do.  I have a drumstick close by to stretch my hands/forearms and to show clients how to stretch theirs.  Stretch all the w
ay up to your neck, then also your back and side.  I roll my wrists, use the drumsticks for my forearms, a doorway to stretch my pecs, and an exercise ball to stretch my back, obliques, neck and triceps.

6.  Get Chiropractic adjustments  Sometimes the pain is coming from your neck…just like we tell your clients.  When I get an adjustment, it really helps my hands.  I try to see Dr. Marrich on a regular basis.  When you find a good chiropractor, it really helps to stay “pain-free” in such a physical job as massage therapy.  Often, my wrists, elbows and clavicle all adjust.

7.  Foam Roll under your arms  This really help my arms relax.  Get the teres major, minor and your lats.  Do this by putting your arm above your head and foam rolling the area under your arms.  Email me if you need some ideas with the foam rolling. When my hands are sore, I add this to my routine to soothe them.  It’s not always the obvious areas that make the most difference.

8.  Rest  Have rest days.  Make time to recover after a certain number of massage hours.  And then really rest your hands: no opening of cans, no pushups or weight holding at the gym on your rest days.  If you go to the gym, use the “hand rest days” as days for legs & core.  Do exercises where “gripping” isn’t needed.

I have many things I do daily to take care of my hands so I can continue to do deep tissue massage.  Email me if you want to chat about ideas to help if your hands hurt. 🙂 info@athletictouch.com

To My Dog, Fred

IMG_1834Freddie Fred Freddie, you do really try and I truly appreciate that.  It’s quite unfair to you, but I’m trying.

It’s not your fault that no dog could compete with the dog that came before you.  He was awesome.  You would have loved him, but not as much as I did.  He was my best friend, ever.

He was so athletic and strong: he could jump up onto my saddle as I sat on my horse; he could bounce off my chest from a full sprint and leap into the air to catch a frisbee.

He defended me from a thief who broke into my office while I was working and held him in a corner until I called him off.  He defended me against a stalker just after your human sister was born and I could barely walk. There are many adventurous stories I could share about him. He could have taught you so much.  He was good to younger dogs.

It’s very unfair of me to compare your manners to his majestic ways.  Or to expect you to stay by my heel without a leash, to never run away or after any animal ever.  If he were sitting in my car with all the windows open and dogs walking by and he wouldn’t leave his “Stay”.  You’re not quite there yet, little Freddie. But I’m trying.

I’m not really yelling so angrily at you when you chew through my seatbelt, get the steak off the counter, drag all bread outside to the backyard or chase the neighbors cat.  It’s not that I’m so mad at you or expecting great things from you when I haven’t even taken the time to know or train you.

It’s not you.  I just miss him so much.  I expect you to be like him, to behave like him, behave like I’m used to my dog behaving.  Immediately.  Without the 24/7, 10 years without anybody else around to train you.

You don’t understand the expectant looks I give down the hallways because I still hear him coming.  I still feel for him next to me, still wait for him around the corner, still expect him to be waiting in the car, at home or under my massage table.

Even after all these years… July 3rd, 2008, when he slipped running on a wooden floor to slide into a corner wall and broke his back.  A freak accident, even for a geriatric dog of 15 and three quarters years old.  It was my fault.

Thats why I won’t let you run in the house after your beloved ball, Fred, especially on slippery floors. It reminds me and scares me of the awful days that followed of trying to save him with steroids that made his stomach bleed from his mouth and anus.  Sleeping with him on the floor and holding him in my arms as he couldn’t move except to lick me and raise his eyebrows and ears.

He had just gotten an A+ from the vet the week before: “He’s doing great!  For a 15 year old Dog, you couldn’t tell it by looking at him. He is well loved. All he might need is some doggie aspirin if he seems sore.”   That’s also why I don’t take you to the vet very often.  I hate it there. They took him overnight to give him those steroids to “reduce the swelling in his spinal cord.”  It back fired, badly.

I should have said no.  I should have taken him to an acupuncturist or a doggie chiropractor.  At least, I should have taken him home to just be quiet and together.  The look in his eyes when he realized I was leaving that God Awful place without him… For the first time EVER, leaving him somewhere besides at home… Instead, what I chose made him suffer, not just to be paralyzed, but to bleed internally as well.

There was no “goodbye hike”, “farewell frisbee game”,  or “hang your head out the window one last time.”

I miss him, Fred.

Why can’t some very mean people live only 15 years and the good pets live 80??

You are living now, Fred.  Right here, by my feet, every day.  Trying Soooo hard to be good.  I know.  I’m trying, little Freddie, to give you a chance.  To let you learn and be the best you can be.  You are so loving and playful.  You love the kids and they love you.  I love how you hide your toy and then find it, or how you throw your toy and chase it.  You are a good dog and I love you.

My logical mind knows this and tries to notice you.  But my heart is still breaking and I’m mad at you that it’s YOU here and NOT HIM.

But it’s time to accept you as you. I’m working on it.

Wanna go for a walk?

Your Person

Plans for my Hand

I want to keep you posted on my hand progress. I’m going to try many different routes to get my hand back to 100%, so maybe one of these therapies, stretches, remedies, medications or salves could help you with chronic pain. I’m trying to update my “Recommendations Page” to have all the numbers and contact info of those doctors and therapists I’m seeing.

Here is what I’m trying first:

1. Massage
2. Chiropractic
3. Rolfing
4. Accupuncture
5. MRI, Talk with a Hand Surgeon on June 7th

First, I saw my Chiropractor, Larry Marrich. 889-3333. I had a massage earlier in the day from my officemate, Sharon. Larry adjusted my neck, wrist, thumb and the rest of my back. He suggested a supplement to support my adrenals which he had there at his office. (I’ll look up the name) He also prepared some Homeopathic Hypericum for nerve pain/damage.

I also started taking Homeopathic “Ruta Grava” for ligament and tendon support.

Tomorrow I will see Robert Younger, a Rolfer, to see if he can break up the scar tissue around my tendons. I will post soon about how that went.

Thanks for your support and prayers.

Love
Ruth