Massage & Bodywork

JULY | AUGUST 2021

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L i s te n to T h e A B M P Po d c a s t a t a b m p.co m /p o d c a s t s o r w h e reve r yo u a cce s s yo u r favo r i te p o d c a s t s 51 Notes 1. High Mowing School, "The Hand to Brain Connection," accessed May 2021, www.highmowing.org/using-your-hands. 2. Dacher Keltner, "Hands On Research: The Science of Touch," Greater Good Magazine (September 29, 2010), https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/ item/hands_on_research. 3. J. Matt McCrary, Bronwen J. Ackermann, and Mark Halaki, "A Systematic Review of the Effects of Upper Body Warm-Up on Performance and Injury," British Journal of Sports Medicine 49, no. 14 (July 2015): 935–42, https://doi. org/10.1136/bjsports-2014-094228. Heath and Nicole Reed are co-founders of Living Metta (living "loving kindness" ), a CE company now offering touch therapy tools and self- care practices in their online community. They also lead workshops and retreats across the country and overseas, and have been team- teaching touch and movement therapy for over 20 years. In addition to live classes, Heath and Nicole are life coaches offering home study, bodywork and self-care videos, and online courses that nourish you. Try their community free for 30 days at livingmetta.com/trial. DYNAMIC STRETCHING Studies show that preparing your body daily with dynamic stretches can prevent injury, increase blood flow to the muscles, and improve muscle power and strength. 3 Dynamic stretching is movement based and uses active movements to create a stretch, as in a walking lunge. We can do the same for our hands and wrists. Stretch to Strengthen To perform this stretch: 1. Sit with your palms together in a prayer position and rest your elbows on a table. 2. Engage and press into both palms. Then press more firmly into one hand as you stretch the back of the opposite hand closer to the table. Then move the opposite direction as you alternate between wrist flexion on one hand and wrist extension on the opposite. 3. Repeat back and forth several times until you feel warmth building in your wrists and hands. Our hands are evolutionary marvels, hosting 29 major joints, 123 ligaments, 34 muscles, 48 nerve branches, and 30 arteries, and they are complex and flexible instruments evolved over 70 million years. Our hands are like an extension of our brain, and they are such a highly intelligent sense organ that they can perceive and communicate without words, interpret others' feelings, and act as superhighways of neurological awareness and relaxation. Successful therapists understand the power of their hands in giving and receiving, emitting and sensing, and energizing and healing. Nurture, train, strengthen, and take care of your hands; treat them like the invaluable professional tools they are.

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