Massage Magazine – Save Your Hands
Being a massage therapist is hard work.
We push ourselves to make sure our clients get the deep massages they desire, but we often do this to the point of risking injury to our hands and fingers.
It’s in our nature to be givers in our chosen line of work. We have a great desire to make people happy and feel better. But how do we do that without injuring ourselves? We all know of fellow therapists who had to stop massaging due to injuries.
I know many massage tools are available; but I’ve never been a big fan of tools because I believe the human touch is so important, and I never want my clients to feel like a “thing” is on them, or even worse—not feel my hands at all.
Golf Ball Massage gives you the best of both worlds. An ordinary golf ball is an excellent massage tool, the perfect size for both cross-fiber and deep trigger-point work, but using it for deep pressure can hurt your palm. I use a special tool I created, the SPAball Kaddy, to control the ball and protect my palm when giving deep pressure. It’s sized so that your hand glides on the client at the same time.
Often when I use this tool, clients aren’t even aware that I’m using a tool at all. They just think I have amazing fingers and thumbs. They can relax, blissfully unaware that I’m using a tool to deliver that wonderful pressure.
Golf Ball Massage Therapy for Trigger Points
The deep pressure of a golf ball in the rhomboid/upper trapezius area is a huge relief for clients, since this is a common area of complaint. Before I used golf balls, I used my elbows, fingers and thumbs.
Using a golf ball for massage gives pressure that is smaller, harder and more focused than using an elbow does, and it is much easier to accomplish this pressure with the ball rather than the fingers or thumbs. I use both palms to push down on the golf ball into the trigger points in the upper trapezius and hold for 10 to 20 seconds.
Another of my favorite areas is the tibialis anterior. This muscle is so tight that often it’s not worked very well. Although I still use my thumbs and fingers during massage, it’s quite a relief to have this golf ball tool as an alternative.
I usually warm up each muscle group with effleurage and compression before introducing the golf ball. Then I roll the golf ball in a circular motion for cross-fiber massage, and pause on the trigger points. (Make sure you experience this yourself first before trying it on someone else, because you can accomplish very deep pressure with very little effort.)
You can use the golf ball for any of the trigger points on the body, but I like to use my thumbs for the neck area. I still use the golf ball there, but since it’s such a delicate area I need to use smaller, focused pressure.
Read the full article here: massagemag.com