A cool-down sequence for wrists and hands after practising complimentary therapy -How often do you take the time to “cool down” after giving a complementary treatment? Whether it be sports massage or reflexology, our hands and posture are affected post-treatment. Without a proper cool down routine, muscles will tighten and our joints can stiffen.
It sounds obvious but in order to enjoy a long and healthy complimentary career, we must take the time to invest in our wellbeing. Mechanics clean their tools, oiling them to keep them working. Do we do the same? Most of the time – probably not. Our hands are our tools and it’s important to incorporate a thorough cool-down sequence into your practice. This is just as important as warming up and can help prevent repetitive strain injuries (RSI).
Finding “neutral” after giving a complementary therapy is important in the long-term as it will avoid burn out. Going through a series of movements and stretches post-treatment can also help to remove any mental or emotional attachments to the therapy just performed.
Cooling down not only reduces muscle soreness but stretching parts of the body that have endured repetitive movements will encourage better blood flow, increase flexibility, and reduce tension or resistance in muscle tissue.
We have put together some stretching exercises for the wrists and hands to help cool down these areas after a complementary therapy treatment.
Try including these into your existing cool-down routine and see if you notice any changes to your wrist and hand health the following day.
Movement 1: Wrist circles
Circle both wrists in one direction and then the other 5 times, breathing slowly.
Movement 2: Wrist stretching (underside)
Pull back on the fingers to stretch the underside of the forearm and wrist. Hold for two deep breathes and then release and shake out the hands to bring back blood flow.
Movement 3: Wrist stretching (top)
Pull your fingers gently into the underside of the forearm to feel length on the top of the forearm and wrist. Hold for two deep breathes and then release and shake out the hands to bring back blood flow.
Movement 4: Dynamic wrist stretching, elbow & shoulder work
Press the back of your hands together firmly. Trying to keep the back of the hands together, push your hands down and then back up, lowering your elbows, so that your wrists gently stretch. Repeat x 5 times, moving up and down slowly with a focus on your breath. Release and shake out the hands to bring back blood flow.