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Why self-care is so important to a massage therapist

In my seminars on orthopedics and massage, which I hold around the world, I always put emphasis on the importance of taking care of one’s own health in the life of a massage therapist. After all, attention to yourself is the key to a long career and the absence of professional injuries. I recommend to all my students to stretch during the working day and strengthen muscles, doing sports in their free time – only this way of life will allow you to approach your work with clients as efficiently as possible.

I myself realized the value of taking care of myself three years ago. Unfortunately, I came to this through pain – I developed the syndrome of the upper chest aperture, and the pain was so strong that it was difficult for me to even hold a pencil in my hand – I immediately dropped it. I could not hold the plug in my hand, and I showed all the techniques at my seminars mainly with my left hand and the back of my right forearm. I developed this syndrome due to the fact that I did not pay attention to problems with posture and constantly performed repetitive movements during the massage, not realizing that in the end my body would make itself felt, since it is a huge job for him .

I went to the doctor and he, in addition to the upper chest aperture syndrome, revealed a serious problem with the cervical vertebrae. The first solution he proposed to me was arthrodesis (fixation) of the cervical spine. I refused the operation and decided to resort to the fact that I myself preach – to massage and manual therapy. I made an appointment with a chiropractor, began to go for manual therapy sessions, namely, a muscular-skeletal alignment technician, for orthopedic massage and lymphatic drainage massage, and also engaged in an isolated stretching of my problematic muscle groups – scalene muscles, sternocleidomastoid muscle, pectoralis minor muscle and flexor muscles of the wrist.

Within a couple of weeks, I felt that I could again fully move my shoulder, wrist and hand. After a month of therapy, I again went to the doctor, and he confirmed – surgery on the cervical vertebrae is not required. My chiropractor was able to align the position of the C7 / T1 vertebrae and relieve pressure on the nerve roots in this area. In the future, the condition of my neck depended only on me – the therapist told me that I should regularly develop and work out the muscles of this area in order to prevent over-exertion and changes in the position of these vertebrae again, and I still adhere to the recommendations.

I finally solved the problem with numbness and tingling in my hand, starting to develop and strengthen the most lagging muscles of my body – the rhomboid, trapezoid (especially their middle part), extensors of the wrists, as well as the muscles of the posterior group of the rotational cuff of the shoulder. I decided not to stop on this and engaged in an active insulating stretching of constantly strained muscles of the front of the neck and shoulders working at the table. In addition, I regularly performed neck extension with elastic bands to strengthen the weakened muscles of the back of the neck and shoulders.

Surprisingly, all these exercises took me no more than five to ten minutes a day!

Thanks to these exercises, I was able to relax my most active muscles, and all the symptoms that bothered me were gone. The thing is that with chronic overstrain of any muscles in the place where they are located, the blood supply to tissues and nerves deteriorates. Regular physical activity improves trophic tissue and provide an influx of nutrients to them – what every massage therapist needs!

Just a couple of minutes of taking care of yourself a day is the key to life without pain and effective work with clients.

I determined that the main principle of training for a masseur is the following: stretching tensed muscles, and then strengthening and antagonist muscles.

I take care of myself every day and recommend that you do the same. Five, ten, and even thirty minutes a day is nothing compared to a long life without injuries and pain.
Within a couple of weeks, I felt that I could again fully move my shoulder, wrist and hand. After a month of therapy, I again went to the doctor, and he confirmed – surgery on the cervical vertebrae is not required. My chiropractor was able to align the position of the C7 / T1 vertebrae and relieve pressure on the nerve roots in this area. In the future, the condition of my neck depended only on me – the therapist told me that I should regularly develop and work out the muscles of this area in order to prevent over-exertion and changes in the position of these vertebrae again, and I still adhere to the recommendations.

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