Initially, the therapist will apply a small amount of natural oil to the palm, and gently, but firmly massage the entire area to include each finger, back of the hand, wrist, and forearm. This soothing technique dramatically helps those who suffer from the discomfort of repetitive motion, helps improve circulation, increases blood flow, and provides a sense of deep relaxation.
History of Hand Massage
The belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit, and its primary goal is to promote good health, not fight disease. But treatments may be geared toward specific health problems.
Ayurvedic hand therapy helps to alleviate tiredness, aches, pains, and promotes increased circulation and better blood flow while leaving hands feeling light and refreshed. The Ayurvedic Indians used an infusion of medicinal flowers, and herbs massaged into the hands and arms to alleviative stress and tension, and restore suppleness to the joints.
Marma points (the physical and energetic centers of the body) were stimulated and intensified in the healing process. This treatment also helped to improve inflammatory disorders such as arthritis and rheumatism. The tradition of Ayurvedic Hand Massage is effective and is widely practiced today, helping to alleviate these ailments as well as painful joints and repetitive strain injuries.
What Are the Benefits of Hand Massage?
Studies have shown that having a therapeutic hand massage just once a week, along with self-massage once a day, may help reduce pain associated with many conditions, such as; arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and neuropathy, as well as help to improve circulation and blood flow.
Repetitive motion causes damage to your hands over time. A hand massage can help loosen up the muscles in your hands and keep them healthy. Massage, in general, has a whole host of health benefits, and many of these apply to specific areas of the body, like your hands.
Having a regular hand massage is a benefit to everyone, though particularly beneficial to those who work in an office, and who are most likely to spend many hours a day typing or doing other repetitive tasks.
Manual laborers may also benefit from this application, as they work with their hands daily and may have muscle stiffness, soreness, or injuries.
A hand massage has excellent potential to improve your health and well-being in many ways. For example; a regular hand massage can:
- reduce hand pain
- improve circulation
- reduce anxiety
- improve mood
- improve the quality of sleep
- improve range of motion
Massage For Pain Relief
Research also concluded that those who received regular therapeutic massage on their hand(s) once a week and also performed self-hand massage daily, could reduce hand pain and increase grip strength up to 57 percent.
Those without arthritis can benefit from the pain-reducing effects of hand massage too. Overuse of the hands and wrists can cause the muscles, tendons, and nerves to become painful, sore, or tense. This type of pain or discomfort typically results from carrying out very repetitive or high-intensity activities for long periods of time. Holding the hands in awkward positions for too long can also lead to overuse injuries.
Common causes include:
- typing or using a computer mouse
- using tools
- lifting heavy items
- prolonged use of cellular/gaming devices
- playing, or training for sports
If you use your hands for repetitive tasks, and regularly experience pain or cramping, consider the techniques of Gentle Touch Therapy, a relaxation therapy massage for your hands. Your therapist will be able to provide relief to overused muscles and tendons, decreasing your pain and allowing you to continue your work in a pain- free state.
Massage For Improved Circulation
Frequent massage therapy can improve circulation to these extremities by bringing more nutrients to the area and remove harmful metabolic by-products that tend to accumulate in the tissues.
The use of massage therapy for diabetes has been growing drastically in the last few years. Various studies have shown that patients who have diabetes use massage therapy in conjunction with their regular medical treatments. Gentle massage improves the blood circulation in the hands and feet, thereby reducing the ill effects developed due to diabetes such as hardening of arteries. When blood circulation within the body improves, more oxygen and nutrients are provided to the cells, and thus improving the utilization of insulin.
Massage To Reduce Anxiety and Improve Mood
A gentle hand massage can produce a positive result in the treatment of stress, anxiety, and depression. The techniques used to relax the muscles and tendons help reduce tension, lower heart rate, and elicit a feeling of calm and deep relaxation.
Hand massage therapy can work wonders to manage the stress reaction present in people who suffer from anxiety disorders.
While your doctor will be able to assist you with conventional treatment options such as medication and, or alternate therapies, scheduling a therapeutic hand massage is a wonderful complement to this plan.
Hand massage treatments are one way to provide the body with a calming effect, also affecting various other points within our bodies.
By allowing the body to relax through decreased tension, we improve our mood and our overall sense of well-being.
Massage to Improve Quality of Sleep
Let’s face it, your hands work hard every day. Repetitive movements can play havoc on muscles and tendons making them feel sore, tired and achy. Gentle massage targeting specific muscles to the hands, wrists, and forearms encourages relaxation, thereby increasing serotonin, which increases melatonin and helps circadian rhythms to reset. Gentle hand massage can cause the body to respond in two ways:
- Relaxation response – an overactive nervous system slows down involuntarily.
- Mechanical response – physical effects such as pain and headache relief, decreased blood pressure, muscle relaxation, serotonin production, and a reduction in stress hormones are all shown to occur.
By taking this personal time to relax, you help your body handle stress and decrease the symptoms associated with it, thereby helping you sleep more soundly.
Massage For Improved Range of Motion
People whose work or hobbies require repetitive gripping actions are at higher risk of developing trigger finger, or those who suffer from conditions such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, trigger finger occurs when the ability to flex the tendon that opens and closes your finger is reduced, thus causing your finger to lock or catch when you extend it. Although the cause is unknown, it occurs more frequently in women than men and affects people between the ages of 40 and 60 years of age.
By working on muscles, connective tissues, tendons, ligaments, and joints, a regular hand massage can improve your flexibility and range of motion, while helping to keep your joints more fluid and making them less injury-prone.
As you can see, a hand massage is a great way to relax stressed muscles, stimulate blood flow, and improve flexibility.
Massage to Help Ease Carpal Tunnel Symptoms
Usually, symptoms occur on the thumb side of your palm, and often the pins-and-needles feeling or numbness extends to your thumb and first two or three fingers. Generally, the effect is only on your dominant hand, which makes movement especially awkward.
Many people assume that those who work on the computer are more susceptible and have a higher incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome. The truth is hundreds of professionals use their hands intensely at work and are prone to contract this debilitating hand/wrist condition.
Hand massage therapy for carpal tunnel is the most non-invasive, cost-efficient and effective long-term treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. This therapy addresses the inflammation, pain, and numbness by gently softening and lengthening the muscles and tendons of the forearm, wrist, and hand. Regular hand massage can help treat and prevent carpal tunnel syndrome by promoting circulation, relieving inflammation, aiding in the removal of metabolic residues, and soothing the irritated muscles and tendons.