Hand Strength

Discussion of reflexology techniques, both generic and modality specific.

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Hand Strength

Postby Sole_Purpose on Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:31 pm

Hi,

Curious about the hand strength and stamina necessary to successfully practice Reflexology. I have seen some seriously tough feet on my table, with the bottoms being like a leather strap.

I am considering adding Reflexology to my practice, or changing the direction of my practice altogether. I enjoy working on the feet, as well as receiving foot work. To me, as I mentioned before, a Reflexology session is as beneficial as a full-body treatment. I am also someone who gets a great deal out of Shiatsu. We learned the Ingham method in massage school...totally amazing outcomes (including the onset of a peer's menstrual flow), but the inching along really seemed to bother my joints.

My concern regarding stamina and strength has kept me from pursuing Reflexology until now. Would love some input!
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Re: Hand Strength

Postby MarionFM on Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:55 am

Some people who practice reflexology go very hard and deep. I am not and never have been convinced that this is necessary or even beneficial. Fascia generally responds very well to gentle sustained pressure (as in Craniosacral Therapy or Myofascial Release). I find the reflexes on the hands and/or feet are just the same.

That said, a lot of thumb walking can be hard on the thumbs, so matter how light or deep you work!

Next time you do a foot massage on someone, hold the foot gently and apply light compression. No, it's not reflexology but most people will love it and give one of those wonderful sighs that shows they are letting go. Now imagine doing that on real reflex points. Whoo hoo!
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Re: Hand Strength

Postby Sole_Purpose on Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:37 pm

Thanks, Marion! I share your perspective. In general, I have what could probably be considered a medium-pressured touch. Do you use any tools, like tumbled stones if your thumbs get sore?

And, I'm drooling over the idea of holding the foot gently and applying light compression, lol. *insert drooly smiley* :razz:
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Re: Hand Strength

Postby MarionFM on Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:52 am

No, I don't use stones or anything similar but on the other hand I do a lot more MFR than I do reflexology these days.

To help protect your hands, make sure you use them evenly - don't always use the same hand - and treat them to gentle finger pulls and massage at least once a day or between clients if you can.
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Re: Hand Strength

Postby Sole_Purpose on Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:31 am

Okay. I've never used a stone or tool either, as I always figured it would be tricky to figure out how much pressure was actually being used...and sometimes the client thinks more is better, to add confusion to the mix.

Thanks for the self-care tips!
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Re: Hand Strength

Postby MarionFM on Fri Jun 25, 2010 8:58 am

Clients tend to think more is better because they have been trained to believe no gain without pain. I ***love*** retraining my clients! Once they begin to feel, then watch their face!
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Re: Hand Strength

Postby Sole_Purpose on Thu Dec 09, 2010 7:59 am

Update: I have found my concerns for hand strength were unfounded.
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Re: Hand Strength

Postby Sole_Purpose on Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:32 pm

Sole_Purpose wrote:Update: I have found my concerns for hand strength were unfounded.

Almost 2 years into reflexology and I'm happy to report that my hands still do not hurt. When I first started, my whole hand was sore muscularly...but no joint issues (which was my main concern in transitioning from massage to reflexology). As a whole, I would consider my pressure to medium - changing to lighter or sometimes but rarely deeper (not bruise-causing) when called for.
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Re: Hand Strength

Postby Rozax on Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:07 pm

I use an NSD Powerball to work on my endurance.
There's also the Dynaflex brand, if you need more variety.
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Re: Hand Strength

Postby Sole_Purpose on Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:52 am

Sorry, Rozax, just seeing your post now...that's awesome, will definitely check them out - thanks! I do a lot of hand/wrist/finger (and forearm) stretching. I know that I need to include hand strengthening, too, which I honestly rarely do. And, what is the subject of this thread? ...Hand Strength, haha.
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