Finger Massage to Unlock Tension
Muscles and Tendons of the Hand
Massaging the hand can often release tension held in the neck, upper-back, shoulder and arm. Without the need for a treatment room or even a massage table, a hand massage can be very effective as a treatment for aches and pains in these areas.
As the muscles enter the palm of the hand, they become much more developed. Due to their lack of muscle, the fingers are often overlooked when it comes to massage - in fact this is often true regarding the hand as a whole. However, what is important in the fingers is the connective tissue as it serves as a link to the arm and hand muscles. To understand the body in a truly holistic way, it is not enough to give a cursory massage to the hands and think this will suffice.
To release tension in the hand and the arm and indeed the upper body, it is important to start with massaging the fingers from their tips. Without this you are missing out on a crucial starting point in the treatment process.
When treating pain in the shoulder, simply massaging the shoulder will only provide limited relief to your client. It is necessary to look for and treat the root of the tension first in order to begin to help them heal. It is therefore important to start your hand massage work with the fingers.
It doesn't matter which finger you start with but it is helpful to start on one side of the hand and work to the other to ensure you don't miss any out. Begin with a warm up of the finger by rolling it between your own forefinger and thumb - making sure you roll each section of the finger too. This rolling movement may feel like "crunching" where the small uric acid crystals found in the capillaries have built up. As you continue to massage the fingers, this graininess should begin to diminish as the crystals are flushed into the bloodstream and ultimately out of the body.
Learn More for Less $
Unlimited access to all courses for just $19.95/mo
Save $ on Top Rehab Tech
Scraping, a manual, ancient practice where pain points are worked with a gua sha (smooth-edged tool), reportedly increases blood flow by up to 400 per cent more than foam rolling and massage guns. By breaking up old, damaged blood vessels to promote new growth and healing, these tools are useful for getting into the nooks and crannies of a pain point, especially in delicate areas like along the shin muscles and under the foot.
Tim Tian has taken the scraper idea and supercharged it, creating a manual, triangular tool that blends heat and vibration therapy. “Cold blades stiffen muscles, blocking a deep release,” he says.
The heated scraper device takes just three seconds to reach 50ºC. This helps muscles soften, making it easier to massage away tension, increase blood flow and promote healing. The scraper is specially great for alleviating delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) in the quads, and provides a relaxing switch-up from the foam roller slog.