Massage & Bodywork

July/August 2013

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best practices Business side | Q & art | table lessons | savvy self-care Pre-Massage Hand Stretches Warm Up to Prepare for Your Session By Anne Williams Make your hands into fists and squeeze them for 5 seconds. Photos courtesy of Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 40 massage & bodywork july/august 2013 Stretching can be performed throughout the day to ease tension and relax the body. You can stretch in the morning just after waking, after sitting or standing in one position, before or after physical activity, or anytime your body feels stiff. Massage therapists and bodyworkers should practice good self-care by stretching before and after massage sessions. During massage, tension builds in the hands, forearms, upper arms, back, neck, chest, and legs. Pay particular attention to form and posture during stretching so as to achieve the maximum benefit without injury. Ease into stretches by moving your body to a point where you experience mild tension. Think about relaxing your muscles, and take a deep breath into the area that feels tension for a count of 10–15 seconds until the tension decreases. Repeat the process again, moving a little deeper. Bend fingers at the knuckles so that they look like claws for 5 seconds. Straighten and separate your fingers for 10 seconds.

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