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Wellness for Makers: Energize the Mind, Body and Spirit with Massage

Wellness for Makers: Energize the Mind, Body and Spirit with Massage

 Fiber Artist Jillian Zoltner Wolf "Hit the Spot". Photo credit: Monica Zaldivar

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About Wellness for Makers:

The mission of Wellness for Makers is to motivate and empower artists through education and mindful living. Wellness for Makers was created to make self-care, stretching, and massage techniques more accessible to artists everywhere. We strive to make it easy to find good resources, including interviews, articles, videos, and links to valuable organizations. Our workshops provide hands-on training in stretching and massage techniques that are easy to incorporate into an artist’s daily studio routine. These techniques are designed to help boost energy levels, alleviate pain, reduce the risk of injury, and improve posture. We collaborate with artists who have professional backgrounds in yoga, ergonomics, massage therapy, occupational therapy, and more, to provide a range of perspectives. We believe that by working together as a community, we can create more productive and sustainable studio practices that improve the longevity of our hands and bodies.

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Photo credit: Monica Zaldivar

Let’s talk about our muscles and the benefits of massage! As many of you know, I am an artist as well as a Licensed Massage Therapist and I strive to make massage techniques more accessible to makers everywhere. It is beneficial to incorporate massage into your daily routine, and you can do it without leaving the comfort of your own studio. These simple techniques will help you work out knots, increase blood flow and circulation, and get you energized!

Benefits of Massage:

  1. Increases blood flow and circulation
  2. Increases flexibility
  3. Hydrates the connective tissues
  4. Lubricates the joints
  5. Increases energy
  6. Relieves pain

I recently visited artist Jillian Zoltner Wolf in her studio. Jillian is a fiber artist, so she spends a lot of time at the loom. We discussed some issues that she experiences as a result of her studio practice, and a couple of self-care tools and massage techniques that could be beneficial for her.

Bongers. Photo credit: Monica Zaldivar 

Shoulder pain: Bongers

Weaving can create a lot of strain on the shoulders. I recommend that she uses a “Bonger” to work out the tension in her shoulders. Bongers are a hand-held percussive massage tool that makes it easy to massage yourself and others. This tool increases blood flow and circulation. It can help to alleviate tense muscles, backaches, stress, and more.

Hit the Spot neck massager. Photo credit: Monica Zaldivar

Neck relief: Hit the Spot

Jillian’s head juts forward while she weaves, which creates strain on her neck and shoulders. The Hit the Spot neck massager provides an easy way to address this issue. This tool helps massage away knots and relieve headaches.

Rist roller. Photo credit: Monica Zaldivar

Forearm/wrist pain: Rist roller

Working with with your hands all day can increase your risk of developing a repetitive strain injury. A Rist Roller is a mini foam roller that helps to elongate muscles and relieve tension in the wrists, forearms, and elbows. Simply roll back and forth to work out knots and reduce tension in the carpal tunnel and elbow regions.