Massage is a physical labor so ideally you warm up before the massage and cool down after the massage just like exercise. I have to admit I haven’t been very diligent about it but as I age I feel more and more and I feel it’s very important.

This week I will show you how to warm up my hands and fingers before I do the massage. These will help with mobility, circulation and literally warming up the hands because nobody wants to be touched with cold hands during massage.

Finger Shake – Simply shake each finger several times. I learned this from an acupuncturist long time ago to loosen all the joints in your body. Since then, I’ve been doing this before any exercises.

Finger Stretch – Stretch each finger by bending it backward. The length of time I hold depends on how much time I have. Here I’m holding for a count of five on each finger. Repeat on the other side.

Finger Squeeze – Weave the fingers and from the bottom I move up by squeezing the fingers of the moving hand. Repeat on the other side.

Wrist Roll – Roll the wrist 10 times in one direction. And 10 times in the other direction. Or weave the fingers and roll the wrists together in one direction. And in the other direction.

Wrist Stretch – Bend the hand backward and stretch the inner wrist. Repeat on the other side. Bend the hand forward and stretch and outer wrist. Repeat on the other side. I sometimes do it with the arms straight too.

Or to save time, I do this to stretch both at the same time. This stretches the inner wrists. And for the outer wrists, cross the hands and weave the fingers like so and bring them towards you.

Forearm and Wrist Stretch – On the massage table I sit with my hands next to me with the palms facing down and inner forearm facing the front. This stretches the inner forearms and the wrists. I bend the elbow to deepen the stretch. Here’s a side view. And I turn the hands so the back of the hands are facing down and outer forearms facing the front. This stretches the outer forearms and the wrists. Again, bend the elbow to deepen the stretch.

Bounce and Shake – Bounce and shake your hands and arms. This helps to get the circulation going to the hands and fingertips using the centripetal force and really warm up the entire body. Jumping Jax would work too but this is more quiet and requires less space.

Massage Monday #545 How to Warm Up before Massage http://bit.ly/mm-545


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