It is 3 weeks since I temporarily closed Alison Aherne Soft Tissue Therapy due to COVID 19. I could go into the detail of the wide range of emotions I have experienced but that isn’t what I want to focus on. I want to keep true to my values and the reasons I became a soft tissue therapist – I want to help you. How can we experience the benefits of massage when we are unable to have our usual treatments? Like many things at the moment it will have to be a DIY approach. So, here is the first self-massage routine I have developed to help us through these strange times.

Self-massage is the future (well just for now)

One of the first noticeable impacts this pandemic had on me and my body was how dry and sore my hands had become. The combination of regular handwashing, cleaning with alcohol and a compulsion to scratch my wrists when stressed had taken its toll.

What are the benefits of a hand massage?

Similarly, to when I work with clients, I identified what my needs and goals were for my treatment.

• Relieve the dryness and eczema on my hands and wrists
• Relax and ease tense hands (as well as hand washing I ‘ve spent a lot of time at the computer and on my phone)
• Improve my sleep with an effective switching off, ready for sleep routine
• Have some me time

Therefore, I didn’t use my usual favourite massage oil and opted for E45 instead, this treatment can work with or without lotions or oils. The techniques I used are simple yet effective for releasing the tension in the hand muscles; I spend a long time on the base of the thumb on the palm side (especially good if you’ve been typing on a mobile phone). The work demands and stress were having a big impact on my well-being and sleep quality. Therefore, I set aside a specific amount of un-interrupted time before bedtime just for me. I put my phone in another room, record 3 things I am grateful for, complete the following massage routine and then read before turning off the light.

Massage routine for the hands

1. If you are using lotion spread this over both the back and palms of the hands and as far up the wrists and forearms as you like
2. Treat one arm and hand in full
3. Use the tips of the fingers to make broad circular motions over the lower arm and use the thumb to create smaller movements around the wrist bone.
4. Use the thumb in a circular motion to massage the whole of the back of the hand
5.  Trace between the grooves of the bones of the hand with the thumb using circular motions
6.  Repeat the circular motions form the base to the tip of each finger and thumb
7.  Bend the index and middle finger of the opposite hand and glide along each finger and thumb

8. Turn the hand over and use the thumb in a circular motion to massage the whole of the palm

9. Start at the base of the hand near the wrist and slide the thumb up to the base of the little finger apply circular movement to the base of the finger and then continue this movement to the tip of the finger

10. Repeat step 9 on all fingers and thumb

11. Use the whole of the opposite hand starting at the base of the hand sweep along the palm and along the fingers and repeat to complete the treatment

This routine is flexible as it can be used at any time of the day and can take as little as 1 minute or last for 10. It is entirely up to you and what you want to get out of your massage just the same as when you visit me for a treatment! There is a video version of this treatment on my Facebook page, please click the button below to view.

I have also produced a newsletter with further tips and support.

Take care and Keep safe