Unfortunately, it is quite common for Massage Therapists to suffer from injuries in their wrists, hands and arms due to the constant physical demand put on their bodies each day.
A big part of being a massage therapist is maintaining a good physical condition by implementing a personal injury prevention strategy. This should include a range of exercises to help strengthen your hands, arms and wrists. It is recommended that these exercises, along with some general stretching exercises, be performed before every massage.
Incorporating the below self-care exercises into your daily routine can help prevent injury. Give them a go, and let us know if you find they make a difference.
Clasp your hands together with the fingers of each hand ensuring your fingertips touch the backs of the opposite hands. Turn your hands so that your palms are facing away from your body. Keeping your fingers pressing together, straighten your arms and press your hands away from you. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.
Bend your left wrist forward so that it is positioned at a right angle, with your palms pronated (facing towards the ground). Push down lightly on the back of that hand, using your free right hand. Keeping this gentle pushing pressure, extend both arms out in front of you. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, then switch and repeat on the other side.
Hold a tennis ball in your left hand and place your left forearm on a table or bench. Squeeze the tennis ball for 5 seconds and release. Repeat this 10 times and then do the same with your opposite hand.
Sit on a chair next to a table. Hold a small dumbbell or weight with your right hand and place your wrist hanging off the edge of the table with the palm facing down. Ensuring not to move your elbow, slowly turn your palm up toward the ceiling. Hold this stretch for two seconds and then slowly turn your palm back towards the floor. Do this 10 times and then repeat with your opposite hand.
In a seated position, place both of your hands on your thighs, with your palms pointing upwards. Close both hands into fists ensuring not to clench too tightly. Both forearms should also be resting on your legs. Raise both fists towards your body by bending your wrists. Hold this stretch for 10 seconds and then release and open your fingers wide. Repeat 10 times.