10 Must-Do’s in a Massage Therapist’s Week

10 Must-Do’s in a Massage Therapist’s Week

Massage Snacks10 Must Do’s in a Massage Therapists’ week:

  1. Eat Breakfast!  We use approximately 200-600 calories per massage!
  2. Eat snacks in-between massages
  3. Use good body Mechanics…this is not a myth, it will make or break you
  4. Get plenty of rest
  5. Deep breathe during and between massages
  6. Stretch: your neck, forearms, back and legs
  7. Learn to protect yourself spiritually with prayer or other (watch for my upcoming blog on Massage Energy Zaps)
  8. Keep clear time-boundaries with clients
  9. Maintain a clean, organized workspace.  In my opinion, keep your massage table made with clean sheets and ready for your next client
  10. Stay strong: exercise regularly, 3x/week, focusing on hands, arms, back, legs and core

Is there anything I missed?  What do you find most beneficial as a Massage Therapist to keep you going?

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

Kid’s Sports: Finding the Happy Medium

I grew up playing soccer and played into my adult life.  For many years I’d have practice 6 days a week with little rest.

Now, in my sports massage office, I see plenty of athletes of all ages with chronic pain from whatever sport they played growing up and in college and beyond.  Now there is the new generation of athlete, in middle school or high school, playing their sport 6 days a week without much rest.

They show up in my office in pain.  Chronic Pain.  At 12.  Really?

What is the goal, parents, of sports?  Is the goal to have chronic pain and ulcers from the emotional stress?

I understand, and often pursue & encourage, that paying for college with a sport, or playing professional whatever sport is the American Dream.  But, realistically, how many of our children will do this?

Given the obesity problem in our country, exercise and sports are a great outlet and can be very healthy.

There has to be a happy medium.  Maybe if we could encourage sports as a fun daily activity that ADDS to life….instead of BEING our life.  An activity that we can do into our 80’s without surgeries and joint replacements in our 40’s.

Our kids watch us limp around, exercise in gyms and then drive to buy coffee.  We don’t take care of our bodies in America, and I really hope to remind us to, including myself, to be more mindful of our healthy limits.  If we could remember to hydrate…really hydrate, to stretch, add massage as a monthly or weekly part of a self health insurance program of preventative maintenance.

Our kids don’t need to have the same battle scars of their parents.  My own 2 blown knees, broken neck and broken sternum from years of soccer show their ugly whining as I get up from a restaurant table or can’t run with my daughter more than a 9 minute mile and she is running circles around me, literally. Our kids can be smart, notice their physical limits, how to de-stress their own bodies with breathing, stretching, massage, ice/heat and rest.  Lets teach them healthy habits, not the idea of getting used to pushing their bodies, emotionally and physically, past a healthy point of return.

Our kids can play hard and still stay healthy, with rest, hydration, massage, stretching, better nutrition and WARM DOWNS.

My goal for sports in my athletic children’s lives:  to give them an emotional outlet, to create fun & team work, great friends, good sportsmanship, family fun and strength/speed.

What I hope NOT to do, even though I lived this, is NOT to put their sport above their health, above their schoolwork, above family time.