Self-Massage: Hands & Arms
Oh, our under-appreciated arms and hands... Gripping a steering wheel. Working a mouse. Hovering over your keyboard. Lifting the supermarket bags. Folding the laundry. Busy, busy, all the time, squeezing and clenching, tweaking and writing, they hardly ever rest.
We put our hands and forearms through muscular stress every day; and yet, when I start to massage somebody's hand and forearm, I so often hear, “I had no idea my arms were so tight!” It’s a common surprise, but when you think about it, not really a surprise.
Arms and hands get sore. And when they get really overworked, quite a few of us can end up with more debilitating issues like carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis or trigger finger.
The upside here is: it’s pretty easy to massage your own hands and forearms for some relief. Here’s how:
Start at the top. Using the opposite hand, gently squeeze the meaty, fleshy areas just below your elbow. Squeeze on the inside of your arm then on the outside. Gently is the word here, don’t be poking your thumb in there too hard and causing yourself pain. It should feel good, and if it doesn’t, back off a bit.
If you want to get all fancy, roll your wrist around and wiggle your fingers while you squeeze. Do that nice light squeezing all the way down to your wrist, and do it a few times, up and down the forearm covering all the territory there.
Then move to the hand: Using a light pincer grip, squeeze that meaty area at the base of your thumb. Lightly squeeze up and down all those finger bones through the palm, and up each finger. When you find a good spot, stick around it for an extra minute.
Whatever feels good to you is just fine. Then, switch hands and do it again on the other arm.
If you’ve got carpal tunnel or tendonitis, or just aches and pain that you can’t figure out, you may need even more attention to keep those issues from developing further. For this, I suggest you see a massage therapist. That's me! I can work on those issues for you and teach you some self care techniques to practice at home, too.