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I f you massage the same way day in and day out, you could be setting yourself up for an overuse injury. That's what happened to me after 20 years of massage. At that time I was diagnosed with cervical radiculopathy, cubital tunnel syndrome, and an unstable shoulder. In other words, my body was falling apart, and I needed to resolve my pain issues in the massage room or find a new career. For a year, I experimented with different massage strategies and techniques. Eventually, I found new ways to press, squeeze, and glide that allowed me to massage pain-free. I'm going to share some of those techniques with you now. Let's start with pressing. KNUCKLE-THUMB COMBINATION REPLACES THUMBS Thumbs are perfect for focused pressure and palpating, which also means they get overused. An alternative to pressing with a lonely thumb is to press with a combination of body parts, like the knuckle-thumb configuration in Image 1. With the knuckle-thumb configuration, I direct pressure into the knuckle of the third finger of my left hand. The fourth knuckle on the same hand and the thumb on the left hand brace and support that third knuckle. In the picture, you'll notice the supporting thumb is bent to fit comfortably next to the third knuckle. This is not a mistake. In this case, that thumb's primary role is for palpation, not for delivering pressure. 44 m a s s a g e & b o d y wo r k j u l y/a u g u s t 2 0 2 2 NEW WAYS TO PRESS, SQUEEZE, and GLIDE BY MARK LISKEY 1 Pressure is applied primarily through the middle knuckle. The thumb next to the middle knuckle is a sensor and helps brace the middle knuckle.

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