Our arms and hands are tough, dextrous, and exquisitely sensitive. As bodyworkers, we often use our hands and thumbs as our primary instruments, and we use them intensively. But we receive little training on how to protect them (particularly the thumbs), setting the stage for pain, injury, and arthritis. In the first portion of the class, Rebecca Norton (OT, LMT, and Certified Hand Therapist) will review hand and thumb anatomy and common mistakes that massage practitioners make. You will then learn how to consciously use your hands and thumbs in a way that protects your joint integrity while increasing the potency and focus of your work. You will also learn exercises, stretches and self-care for the hands and thumbs, as well as treatment strategies for working with clients who have arthritis in their hands and fingers.
In the afternoon, we will focus on muscle-specific Deep Tissue techniques for the arms and hands. As massage therapists, they are perhaps our primary vehicle for sensation and communication, and we use them (and often overuse them) intensively. Our clients' hands and arms often take a beating as well, especially with so much computer use in the workplace and at home. For all the work that they do, our arms and hands seldom get the time or attention that they deserve.
In this class, we will focus on techniques for releasing the muscles and fascia of the hands, thumbs and forearms; increasing mobility in the corresponding joints; and 'deconstructing' forearm muscles that have become glued together. You will learn some simple but effective ways to make your arm massages more specific, potent and satisfying--and receive some good work yourself.
During the exchange portion of the class, Brian will monitor the effectiveness of your Deep Tissue techniques, while Rebecca observes and coaches you on your body mechanics and the correct use of your hands.
"This was such a great combination of information: getting a thorough understanding of hand mechanics, anatomy, and care; and then using this information to learn deep massage techniques for the forearms and hands. I learned valuable self-care techniques that will allow me to work without injury, and also exquisite forearm and hand massage the I can use with my clients." -Andi Pihl
"This class has not only improved the work I offer my clients, but given me better hand mechanics and bodywork techniques to use on my own hands and forearms, relieving pain and prolonging my career." -Rebecca Albert
Instructor: Brian Utting
CE hours: 8
Tuition: $180 if registered by March 22nd; $200 thereafter. Reviewers are eligible for a reduced price; see registration link below for details.
Registration: This class is sponsored by the Therapeutic Training Center. Click here to register.