Your hands are your major tool as a massage therapist so it pays to take care of them. Preventing injury should therefore be your primary objective.
The injuries most common to massage therapists fall into two categories: muscle/tendon injuries and nerve impingement injuries. Left untreated, these injuries may affect your ability to continue practicing massage so we’ve put together a little list of Do’s and Don’ts to help you.
- Understand the injuries that massage therapists are prone to so you are aware of any symptoms early
- Practice good posture
- Start the day by massaging your own hands with a heat rub
- At the end of the day stretch the hands and if sore, an ice hand bath can be soothing
- Use massage tools to take some of the strain from your hands
- Ignore symptoms, treat straight away
- Don’t fully extend the thumb or bend it back repetitively
- Massage clients too deep too soon, warm and loosen the area where the deeper work is needed to reduce undue pressure on the joints of the thumb
There is a wide range of massage tools on the market designed to either support or replace the thumb when doing pressure point work. Try a therapist thumb, knobbler or press bar. Another popular item is the reflex ball which is perfect to easily massage your own hands at the end of a busy day.