Massage therapists work day in and day out using their hands, arms, legs, and other body parts to administer great massages their patients love. But without following proper massage therapy body mechanics, therapists can injure themselves, become fatigued, and waste energy.
Common Reasons Massage Therapists Feel Pain
Massage therapists can feel pain throughout different parts of their body for these reasons:
- Improper table height
- Technique is being done improperly
- Lack of enough strength in their muscles
- Poor body mechanics
Let’s address five areas of body mechanics that massage therapists should focus on following properly:
Massage Therapist’s Feet
Your feet can play a big role in giving a proper massage. Here are some proper massage therapy body mechanics for your feet:
- Massage therapists should space their feet wide enough apart to allow their stance to align their spine and other body parts properly. You feet should be shoulder width apart
- Massage therapists should point their feet in the direction they are traveling, or facing
- Massage therapists should properly shift their weight from foot to foot throughout the treatment session. This will create a swaying motion that will aid in giving the massage
Massage Therapist’s Knees
Like you feet, a massage therapist’s knees play an important part in aligning the body while giving a massage. Here are some tips for proper massage therapy body mechanics of the knees:
- Massage therapists should not hyper-extend, or lock their knees while giving a massage
- Massage therapists should bend their knees slightly, which lessens the stress put on their knees.
Massage Therapist’s Back
Massage therapists know the importance of having a properly aligned back without pain. Here are some tips for proper body mechanics of the back:
- While giving a massage, the massage therapist should not be twisting their back
- Massage therapists should keep their back strait and aligned
- Massage therapists should not reach extended distances
- Similarly to the direction of your feet, a massage therapist’s navel should be pointing at the area that they are working on
Massage Therapist’s Neck
A massage therapist’s neck, like their back, should be properly aligned to avoid injury. Here are some body mechanics massage therapists should follow for their neck.
- Massage therapists should keep their neck strait, not twisted
- Massage therapists should not have a forward head posture
- It’s important that your neck muscles do not become hypertonic – to avoid, breathe properly
Massage Therapist’s Shoulders, Arms, and Wrists
A massage therapist’s shoulders, arms, and wrists are very important to them. In addition to the other areas we referenced above, following proper body mechanics for your shoulders, arms, and wrists is vital to longevity. Here are some tips for your shoulders, arms, and wrists body mechanics:
- A massage therapist should use their palm to provide force, while their thumb and finger provide direction
- Arms should represent a 45 degree angle
- The angle of a massage therapist’s wrist should be angled at approximately 120 degrees
- Make sure that your shoulders, arms, and wrists are relaxed
Proper Massage Therapist Body Mechanics Conclusion
To Prevent injury and extend your massage therapy career, massage therapists should focus on proper body mechanics regularly. In addition to the areas we referenced above, other things like table height, stroke, and force should also be properly managed.
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