We often take our hands for granted, but just think what it would be like if you couldn’t use one of them, or even just a finger, for a day. Often it’s only when we sustain an injury that we realise how much we rely on them – our hands have many functions and can undertake the most dextrous, detailed tasks but are still susceptible to injury from overuse, whether from your yoga practice or from all the mouse miles they have to complete on your computer.
Here are some easy to do techniques which can ease the aches and pains you may experience in your hands and wrists and help keep them in good shape. You can also use these as a preventative measure: warming up at the beginning of each day and as part of your relaxation routine in the evening can support your hands longterm. You can also use cream or massage oil as part of the treatment, giving you a different experience.
1. Rub your hands together
Rub your hands together vigorously – create some heat and energy.
2. Washing your hands
Now rub your hands together in a ‘washing’ motion – as if you’re washing your hands! You can use this as a linking action between each technique.
3. Acupressure points
There are six acupressure points along the centre of the palm of the hand.
1 and 2 – Next to each other, just under the heel of the hand.
3 and 4 – Next to each other in the centre of the hand.
5 and 6 – Next to each other just above the knuckles.
Press your thumb down vertically on point one, making sure you support it with your other fingers, and hold for a count of three. Repeat on each point to six, then go back to point one and finally repeat until you get to six again.
4. Thumb press freestyle
Now thumb press all over the palm wherever you like: it’s a freestyle technique, so just do what feels right.
5. Thumb circle the back of the hand
Thumb circle the back of the hand, between the tendons, from the wrist to the thumb. Now thumb circle the thumb using ‘trigger fingers’, between the thumb and crooked index finger, and pinch the end. Repeat on each finger.
6. Rotate your thumb
Press the hegu point (between the base of your thumb and index finger) with your thumb and the heel of the hand with your four other fingers. Now rotate the thumb clockwise and then anti-clockwise.
7. Pinch the heel of the hand
Pinch the heel of the hand and then rotate the thumb clockwise and then anti-clockwise.
8. Wrist stretch
Extend your right arm forward with your palm open; fingertips pointing upwards in a ‘stop’ position and the wrist in extension. Place the palm of your left hand over it, fingertips pointing downwards and gently lever the hand back – stretching the wrist as you do this. The moment you feel resistance, don’t stretch any further.
Stretch the other way by turning the fingertips of the right hand downwards, placing the wrist in flexion. Place the palm of your left hand over the back of the right hand and gently stretch it and the wrist.
Now repeat with the other hand.
9. Puppeteer hands
This technique was shown to me recently by a student who was a puppeteer. Holding your arms out and rotating your hands and wrists round and round is a good exercise that many of us know – however you can go deeper. First make ‘claws’ with your hands and then rotate your wrists round – you’ll probably feel it getting in to every part of your hands and wrists. Don’t forget to go the other way as well.
Extend your arms out and make fists with both hands. Fling the hands open as if you were saying ‘shazaam!’ (I can’t think of any other way to describe it 😁) Keep doing this several times – it’s another puppeteer technique.
11. Figure of eight
Interlace your fingers and rotate your clasped hands in a figure of eight pattern, now rotate them the other way as well.
12. Activate your hand chakras
You may not know it but your hands have chakras in them as well. To activate them, extend your arms forward with your palms open; fingertips pointing upwards in a ‘stop’ position and the wrist in extension. Clench your hands in to fists and open and close them rapidly 26 times, keep your arms extended and now turn your hands to face upwards, repeating the same action 26 times again.
Regularly repeat these techniques as often as you like – every day is ideal.
All these techniques are tried and tested methods to help alleviate aches and pains in your wrists and hands. If you need the input and care of an expert, here are some styles of massage and how they can help you, both with aches and pains and other common conditions:
Deep Tissue Massage
This is an intense treatment that’s great for restoring elasticity to the deeper structures of the musculoskeletal system by relaxing and lengthening muscles, increasing circulation and reducing generalised tension brought on by stress or overuse. Firm strokes and compressions are applied with the hands, elbows and forearms.
This helps treat common sporting conditions but is great for anybody who is physically active: by preparing and maintaining body tissues, stimulating circulation and helping promote a faster recovery, it enables you to train or perform again as soon as possible. A variety of techniques including deep tissue, trigger point work, muscle energy technique and soft tissue release are selected and tailored to your individual requirements.
Thai Yoga Massage
Traditional Thai Yoga Massage is both preventive and therapeutic. It can help support the healthy functioning of the immune system, increase energy and reduce stress. It can also be used to alleviate headaches, back pain, and stiffness in the shoulders and neck. It is a holistic treatment that restores vital energy and helps balance our mental and emotional wellbeing. Often a deep sense of calm and peace is experienced during and after a treatment.
Indian Head Massage
This is an ancient treatment which is focused on the back, shoulders, neck, head and face. It’s great for helping alleviate headaches, neck, shoulder and back pain. It boosts the body’s ability to fight infection by stimulating the lymphatic system and can also relieve anxiety and stress.
Louis Divine is a professional massage therapist and teacher specialising in Deep Tissue, Sports, Thai Yoga and Indian Head Massage. He’s highly skilled with a confident, relaxed approach that immediately puts you at ease – helping you to overcome the aches, pains, stresses and strains of modern life. His massage treatments tend to stiff and aching muscles, alleviate the symptoms of stress and anxiety, help maintain a healthy immune system and stimulate the natural flow of energy – bringing a sense of balance and harmony to your whole being. See his full schedule at triyoga here.
If you’re not sure what type of treatment you’d like, just book in for a general massage and we can discuss it during the pre-treatment consultation.