Using our bodies effectively while practicing massage is critical to the sustainability of a professional life. Many massage therapists end their careers due to injury that could have been avoided with proper body mechanics. For example, practicing proper body mechanics will allow the practitioner to apply deeper pressure more effectively.
This will fulfill clients’ requests for ‘deep tissue’ sessions. with proper body mechanicsYou will be able to work anywhere in the field of massage therapy and enjoy a longer life in the work you love. This article offers seven professional tips for keeping your body mechanics intact.
1. Put your feet up
Keeping your feet firmly with your heels and toes on the floor will provide a solid foundation. Once the feet are firmly attached, the rest of the body can stand and move with strength and safety. Shaking feet during a massage creates instability in the hips and spine, which makes the muscles in those areas work harder and contributes to the back pain that many therapists complain of after a day’s work.
2. The hips are the headlights
Imagine the hips as the front end of a car with two headlights attached to the thighbones (the anterior superior iliac spine contours). These front hip lights should point toward your upper extremities during the massage. This ensures the integrity of the spine as well as easier distribution of force across the upper extremities of the hands.
3. Bend your knees and recline
Bending your knees while performing the massaging motions can help keep your back straight and take pressure off the sacroiliac joint. There is no need to bend too deeply to strain your knees. Simply bend down just enough to make sure you can use your legs to help apply the proper pressure.
4. Keep your spine tall
Imagine having a hook over your body pulling your head into a straight alignment. This will prevent you from bending your head forward too much. A straight spine allows you to utilize your body weight more effectively. When your head is aligned, the rest of your body will fall into better alignment, allowing you to safely apply deeper pressure and not strain your joints.
5. Straighten your wrists
Keeping your wrists straight will prevent these bones from getting hurt when the massage is applied. The eight wrist bones are designed to transmit force to and from the arms. With the wrist bone properly aligned, this transfer is easy. Without alignment, one side of the wrist area will gain more strength over time, resulting in subluxation and damage to the wrist bones.
6. Use the tools
a. Use your advanced massage tools. Initial massage courses at junior schools offer a distinction between basic manual massage tools and advanced manual massage tools. Indefinite massage strokes can be achieved with little pressure applied using basic manual massage tools. These include the paws, forearms, the dorsal hand and the cushions of the fingers. Massage strokes that require more precision and pressure require advanced manual massage tools. These tools include your elbows, knuckles, soft grips, thumbs, and fingertips.
B. Use the machine tools to increase the pressure. If you feel a client’s fabric is too hard to work with, consider using machine tools to increase the pressure. Some examples: Cupping can create a negative pressure force to lift the layers of tissue apart. Abrasive tools can reduce muscle fascia adhesions and smooth tough tissues. Rolling the foam can create a positive pressure force similar to the forearm to initiate tissue release.
7. Consider broad versus specific pressure
Extensive pressure can be created with hand tools such as soft grips and arms. These tools can spread physical force over a wider surface. This type of touch can be better received by many clients, especially those who suffer from chronic pain or sensitivity to touch. Specific pressure can be created by hand tools such as fingertips, knuckles, and elbows.
The tapered nature of these tools allows the pressure to be focused in a single point. Trigger point therapy and other deep tissue therapists often deliver a specific pressure for a certain period of time to treat a single point within the muscle.
About the author
Jimmy Gialelis, LMT, BCTMB, is the owner Advanced Massage Arts and Education In Tempe, Arizona. It is a national accreditation board for therapeutic massage and a certified continuing education provider, and teaches classes in pathology and many other subjects.
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