The capacity to efficiently use one’s body during massage practice is essential to the long-term success of one’s massage therapy career. Injuries that could have been averted with better body mechanics cause the premature retirement of far too many massage therapists. A practitioner who uses correct body mechanics can apply more pressure with greater efficacy.
The need for “deep tissue” services from clients will be met. To have a long and successful career as a massage therapist, it is essential to maintain good body mechanics. This article provides seven expert recommendations for maintaining excellent body mechanics.
1. Position Yourself
You’ll establish a sturdy base by firmly planting your heels and toes on the ground. When one’s feet are securely planted, one can stand tall and walk confidently. Many massage therapists complain of back discomfort at the end of the day because they are shaky on their feet while working. This instability causes the hips and spine to work harder, straining the muscles in those areas.
2. You’ve got lights on your hips
Think of your hip bones as the headlights of a car and your hips as the front of the vehicle (anterior superior iliac spine landmarks). These pelvic spotlights should point at your upper limbs as you receive a massage. This protects the spinal column and simplifies transmitting force from the shoulders and arms to the hands.
3. Kneel and Get Close
It is possible to relieve strain on the sacroiliac joint and maintain proper spinal alignment by bending at the knees while giving a massage. You shouldn’t put unnecessary stress on your knees by bending over too far. You need to lean back far enough to put some pressure on something with your legs.
4. Maintain a Straight Back
Visualize a hook at the top of your head, gently tugging your hair back into place. This will limit the extent to which your head can be cocked forward. Having a straight back improves one’s ability to use their weight. If your head is in the right place, the rest of your body will be too, and you’ll be able to exert more pressure without risking injury to your muscles or joints.
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5. Relax Your Shoulders and Straighten Your Wrists
When administering massage, avoid injuring these bones by keeping your wrists straight. The eight bones in the wrist are built to transmit movement. The switch is effortless when the carpal bones are in the right place. Subluxations and bone injury to the carpals can occur if the bones aren’t properly aligned, which causes uneven force distribution in the carpal region.
6. Incorporate Equipment
A. Do a massage with your own high-tech equipment. Beginning massage programs typically introduce students to the concept of a spectrum from “basic” to “advanced” manual massage instruments. Simple manual massage tools are sufficient for providing generalized strokes with little pressure. Finger pads, palms, forearms, and the back of the hand are all included. More complex manual massage instruments are needed for massage strokes that call for more precision and pressure application. Your elbow, knuckles, gentle fists, thumbs, and fingers are all useful tools.
B. Compound force using mechanical aids. In cases where you find the client’s tissue to be too tough to work through, auxiliary equipment can be used to increase the effectiveness of your pressure. For instance, cupping can cause an opposing pressure force, which can be used to separate tissue layers. Myofascial adhesions can be broken up and tight tissues loosened with the help of scraping tools. Foam rolling can generate a forearm-like positive pressure force to facilitate tissue release.
7. Examining General vs. Intended Stress
Hand instruments like soft fists and forearms can be used to apply widespread pressure. These instruments are capable of spreading the force over a larger area. Many customers, especially those with chronic pain or sensitivity to touch, may respond well to this contact method. Fingertips, knuckles, and elbows are a few of the manual tools that can apply targeted force.
These instruments are directed so that your efforts can focus on one specific area. Trigger-point therapy and other forms of deep tissue instruction typically emphasize the need to apply localized pressure to a targeted muscle area for a predetermined period.