A great way to relax and energise the whole body
While the other four senses (sight, hearing, smell and taste) are located in specific parts of the body, our sense of touch is found all over.
Our hands are one of the most precisely designed and sophisticated parts of the human body. There are a huge number of proprioceptors in our hands in relation to their size and many acupressure and reflexology points related to various internal organs of the body which begin or end at the tips of the toes and hands.
The sense of touch originates in the bottom layer of the skin called the dermis. The dermis is filled with many tiny nerve endings which provide information about the environment with which your body comes in contact. The nerves carry the information to the spinal cord, which sends messages to the brain where the feeling is registered and interpreted.
Through our hands we sense hot and cold, pain and pressure. We grasp and manipulate tools and objects from the fine motor skills of writing to the gross motor skills of throwing and catching a ball.
We rarely think about our hands until we suffer a cut or burn or an injury. Many occupations and daily work involve excessive use of hands, wrists and arms, for example computer use, which can generate tension and pain elsewhere in the body as well.
Regular self-massage of the hand can be a great maintenance tool for the Massage Therapist. To read a previous article about self-massage click here.
Hand and finger massage can provide beneficial effects from a sense of relaxation and well being to positive impacts on the circulation and nervous systems.
A hand massage can be incorporated into a whole body or seated massage.
For the elderly, bedridden or people in palliative care who may not be able to access a whole body or seated massage, a 10 minute hand massage is a great way to help them relax.
A hand massage can also be a subtle, non-invasive way to introduce someone to massage and its benefits for the first time.