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Top tips to look after your thumbs

We all do it, by being so focused on the client and trying to give them the best treatment you can give we forget about ourselves!

These top tips will help to give your thumbs a break and hopefully save them before they start screaming at you to stop!

  1. Warm up. Simple stretches and movement of the hands and arms before giving a massage is not only good for clearing your mind before meeting your client but also helps to keep your arms and hands relaxed. Its good for your whole body. Make sure to stretch again at the end of the session.
  2. Neutral thumbs. Make sure your not hyperextending your thumbs and that the thumb is inline with your forearm so your body weight can travel straight though. 
  3. Posture. Remember to apply pressure by leaning with body weight rather than pushing with your arms or hands. Keep your shoulders relaxed. Your body should be centered, that is your not leaning over your client or reaching. You should feel comfortable when giving a massage.
  4. Consider using a tool. This can be a physical tool that is sold as massage aids to save the thumbs. These can be great for working deeper without damaging your thumbs but you won’t be able to feel the tissues, so remember to go careful and keep checking in on your clients. You will need feedback to know when the tissues are released.
  5. Don’t keep picking on the thumbs. Thumbs are great for finding where in the body needs work but they don’t need to be relied on as much as you think. Try using other parts of the hand, maybe knuckles or fingers or the side of your hand. Try using your elbow, this works great and with practice you can increase the sensation in your elbow to really feel the clients tissues.
  6. Hot stones. Think about expanding your knowledge. Learn to use hot stones or lava shells. This will give your thumbs a rest and give your client a different style of massage to choose from.
  7. Acupuncture. Medical acupuncture or dry needling is a great way to release muscle tension. Once qualified you can use the pins to do half the work for you. Muscles will start to ease and the massage after will be easier on your hands as majority of the muscle will have eased already.
  8. Practice. Remember practice makes perfect. Keep reminding yourself to think about the above points and eventually they will become second nature. Get a couple of friends involved, one can watch while you massage the other and can give tips on improving techniques. Its easier to help each other than doing it alone.

Good luck massage stars, hope these tips will help your poor thumbs to have a break – don’t forget swaps with another therapists is always a great idea and will help with practicing these techniques.

Don’t forget to like and share this blog to spread the love and help other massage therapists to stay well.