WELLNESS FOR MAKERS: HAPPY HEALTHY HANDS!

POSTED: 26 Dec 2017 | BY: MISSY GRAFF BALLONE

Photo credit: Eyespy Photography

Do you experience pain or discomfort in your hands or wrists? Ouch! Here are some techniques you can use to develop a well-rounded "Healthy Hands Routine" that works for you!

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Photo credit: Monica Zaldivar

Stretch Your Hands

Stretching is a great way to exercise your range of motion, which can help to improve mobility. Here is a simple stretch for you to try:

1) Interlace your fingers in front of you. Turn your palms forward. Raise your hands over your head.

2) Breathe.

3) Hug your arms in towards each other. Reach toward the sky.

Photo credit: Reset

Strengthen Your Hands

Strengthening exercises increase muscle tone, which is important for the overall health of your carpal tunnel region.

I’d like to highlight a tool called the Cat’s Paw. The Cat’s Paw was designed to restore biomechanical balance to your hands, wrists, and forearms. Using a Cat’s Paw regularly to strengthen the muscles of your hands and arms can relieve tension and help to prevent the strains that develop from overworking muscles through repetitive motions.

Photo credit: Monica Zaldivar

Massage Your Hands

It is important to incorporate massage techniques into your routine in a safe and productive way. One of the first things a professional massage therapist learns during training is to avoid using their already overworked thumbs to apply pressure. I recommend using a soft foam ball instead. Here is one technique to try:

Roll and compress a soft foam ball between your hands for a minute at a time. This will help to hydrate your connective tissues and lubricate the joints in your hands. Use a large foam ball to cover more ground and a small foam ball to pinpoint tight areas.

Set a reminder to do this every day. Trust me, your hands will thank you!

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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.