Utilizing proper body mechanics is imperative to having longevity in the massage industry. Proper mechanics makes the therapist techniques more effective. This helps to increase the quality of massage that you provide to your clients while producing safe movements. Improper body mechanics can result in injury and burnout. Taking the time to practice proper body mechanics will reduce stress and strain on body structures, reduce the possibility of personal injury, and encourage safe movements.
Here are a list of proper body mechanics to incorporate while practicing massage therapy:
1. Do not hyperextend your wrists
Forcefully bending, flexing or twisting your wrist can lead to hyperextension. Practicing improper form can lead to soreness, stiffness and even a sprain in your wrist.
2. Use body weight to apply deeper pressure as opposed to muscle strength
Using only muscle strength to create pressure during a massage will leave you with sore and tired muscles. Body weight allows you to avoid injury and keep your body in good shape on days or weeks with many massages.
3. Keep good posture
While sitting on the stool, make sure both feet are on the floor and the body is in an upright position, not slouching. This will help keep your back, shoulders and neck from getting sore.
4. Keep your thumbs in mind
Be mindful of how much the thumb is being used. When in use, make sure to reinforce and support the thumb with the other hand. Reinforcing your thumb takes some of the pressure that can lead to strain and sprains.
5. Make sure your body has correct positioning
Face the direction of the stroke with your toes, hips, shoulders and head aligned, and remember that your back foot should remain on the floor. Use the arm that is associated with the direction of the stroke, with the forward foot matching the arm being used.
Following these body mechanics will ensure you are keeping your body healthy and ready to take on your massage therapy career. Certain injuries can keep you from practicing massage therapy so it’s always important to keep your body’s wellbeing a priority as a massage therapist.
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