3 Massage Therapist Stretches Every Massage Therapist Should Know
Release Your Daily Stress and Tension
Without a doubt, massage therapy is a rewarding and fulfilling job. As therapists, we get to relieve pain and tension in multiple clients daily. With our continued clientele, we see them benefit from our recommendations relating to their self-care and injury prevention. However, we all too frequently forget to pay attention to those warning signs of tension in our own bodies. If you find that you are carrying around your own tension (which may lead to your own injuries), it is difficult to continue giving 100 percent to your clients. Whether you are currently working and providing your massage services to your own clients or you are out performing massages as the practical portion of your interviewing process, the massage therapist has some common areas of tightness from repeated motions.
Neck tension and shoulder tightness can contribute to massage therapists finding themselves with forward heads and rounded or medially rotated shoulders. The average massage therapist sees about 5 massage clients per day. This means that we are spending roughly 5 hours with the head tilted forward and arms flexed in front of your body. We know that it is a problem because we address it daily for our clients. Since we can’t always get our own weekly massage to address these areas, here are three basic stretches that can easily fit into your daily routine either between massages, or (at the minimum) at the end of your massage day.
To relieve massage therapist stress and tension, you can use these three stretches below can be done in small spaces, so they work well in any treatment room. It is recommended to hold each stretch 10-30 seconds and repeat 2-4 times working to accumulate at least one minute per stretch. This means if you just set aside 4 minutes, you can avoid some unneeded tension and pain and will be able to continue offering your healing touch to your clients.
Lateral Neck Stretch
Bring one arm down behind your back, flexing at the elbow—this is just to stabilize the shoulder. Then bring the opposite ear to the shoulder, stretching the entire lateral portion of your neck and shoulder.
This stretch can be done facing a corner of your massage room. Raise both arms so that you are creating 90 degree angles with your elbows allowing the forearms to lay against the walls and your fingers facing the ceiling. Keep your feet in a staggered stance so that you are supporting the body and the stretch with your legs rather than your arms. Press forward, towards the corner, until you feel an adequate stretch across your chest and anterior shoulder. This is a wonderful stretch that also opens the shoulder rotators and works against the rounded posture we spend so much time in during massage.
Stand next to a wall with the arm closest to the wall fully extended towards the ceiling as if you are a clock hand pointing to 12:00. Slowly work your way towards 9:00 (or 3:00 if your Right arm is being stretched). To decrease the stretch, simply turn your body towards the wall. Or, if you need a deeper stretch, turn further away from the wall. Move around the clock and find where you feel the greatest tension.
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Article written by:
Shannon C. Mulhearn
Owner & LMT
Repeace Therapeutic Massage
[ Get More Information on Author Shannon C. Mulhearn ]