Sep - Oct 2017

Benefits of Hand Massage

By Pamela Shenk, CHt

 

Sure... a massage feels good. But are they actually good for you?

 

For most of us, when it comes to getting a massage, we automatically think of our aching back, our tense shoulders, or our stiff neck. But anyone who has ever had their hands massaged will be happy to tell you that it feels delightful. And it turns out, a hand massage has benefits beyond feeling blissful.

 

Did you know, your hands have more than two dozen bones that are connected by many joints? Why does this matter, you ask?

 

Think about it. If you work in an office or perhaps job that requires using your hands such as a surgeon or laborer, your hands and fingers are doing repetitive tasks all day. This most certainly could cause muscle stiffness, soreness and sometimes injury over time. In addition to this, many people suffer from arthritis in their hands.

 

The two most common types of arthritis that affect the hands are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. For those of you who may have some form of arthritis, you know that it can limit everyday activities. But, studies have found that by having regular hand massage (which includes your wrist), you can reduce your pain.

 

For those who do not have arthritis, there are other benefits of massage. For instance, if you type all day or text or do any repetitive task with your hands, it could eventually lead to a condition like carpal tunnel syndrome. But by being proactive and taking care of your hands, you may not have to deal with the usual pain, tightness and stiffness.

 

The Journal of Clinical Nursing published an article in 2010 with their findings that a ten-minute hand massage significantly improved relaxation in their elderly patients.  The study went on to say that therapeutic hand massage can be incorporated into a nursing regimen to improve the psychological mood of the patient, decrease stress and help improve sleep.

 

Why It Works: Massage gets oxygen rich blood flowing into areas that might become stiff or sore. Plus, regular massage can bring attention to parts of your hand that may not be functioning properly.

 

Try it with other beneficial activities like exercise and you can make progress in your overall health as well.