Self Help Exercises for Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI)

I have recently received emails with questions about how to alleviate the discomfort of Repetitive Strain Injury.

Many occupations are a health hazard to our hands. Massage therapists, secretaries, carers, chefs, hairdressers, piano players, IT professionals…you name it, are required to perform repetitive activities, putting strain on our hands and wrists. Over time, these repetitive actions can result in shooting pains, numbness, and a ‘pins and needles’ sensation in the hand, which often can become unbearable at night.

It is very important to give the hands a break if possible, and to keep the energy moving through the arm, wrist and fingers.

When my hands act up, I also make a blend of Aloe Vera gel and Lavender essential oil (Lavandula Angustifolia), or if you can purchase essential oils from a reputable source, then Roman Chamomile (Anthemis Nobilis) is a good helper as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory. These two oils are very safe, so unless you have a skin condition, mix a tablespoon of Aloe Vera Gel with 10 drops of the essential oil and massage into the hands, wrists and arms (elbows). (If you do have any skin issues, then do a skin test first! I know someone who is not able to put Aloe Vera on her skin, but can use Almond Oil as a base).

Here are a couple of self help exercises that I have found very useful over the years to ease strain, pain and RSI in the hands and wrists:

For the right arm/hand
Step 1 (see image)
Put your left hand over your right shoulder
Put your right fingers on the base of the right thumb (palm side)
Hold for a few minutes, then

Step 2
Left hand stays over right shoulder
With the right thumb, make a circle with the right index finger
Place your right thumb over the right index finger nail (as shown in the image)

After a few minutes, do the same with the thumb and middle finger, then the ring finger, then the little finger.

Do each step for a few minutes.

If you can, do the left side as well by putting your right hand over your left shoulder while doing the finger positions with your left hand.

Self Help Hold to Relieve Headaches

Over the years, I have used this hold many, many times to relieve headaches. Sometimes, at the first sign of a headache I place my fingers on the base of my thumb and within seconds it’s gone. Sometimes, if a headache has taken hold, I realise that my body is trying to tell me something, and the first thing I will do if I can is drink a glass of water and do the hold. That usually works.

I remember a few years’ ago when I worked in a rather toxic office environment in the city, a colleague of mine came over to ask me something and she commented that she’d had a headache for days that wouldn’t shift. She’d taken over-the-counter drugs, but nothing seemed to work. So while I was talking to her there in the corridor, I showed her how to do the self help hold for headaches, by placing her fingers of one hand on the base of the thumb of the other hand.

So she did this hold while we continued chatting. A couple of minutes later, she stopped dead in her tracks of what she was saying and exclaimed ‘It’s gone!’ as she realised that she no longer had a headache.

I always feel like smiling when this happens – it’s just so cool to see people’s expression of wonder. Believe me, after all these years, I am also still full of WONDER at the power and effectiveness of these self help holds.

It doesn’t matter which side you choose to hold – hold until you feel relief!

Note: the position of the hands in the image is for illustration purposes. For best results, place all your fingers of one hand at the base of the thumb of the other hand and then RELAX your hands.

Donna Eden Energy Work

I love Donna Eden. It’s great to go back and revisit these exercises and incorporate them into our every day lives. I do them regularly, then forget them and then when I feel the need for them again, will go back and have a look at the videos. After doing the exercises I really feel like I have had an energising shower!

Donna Eden – 5 minute energy routine

Donna Eden – Trace your meridians
Part 1

Part 2

Self Help for FAST relief of Leg Cramps

Ooohhhh the pain. Ooohhh the agony. Most of us have woken up at some time or other with cramp in the leg. A few nights ago it was my right calf muscle that seized up. Thank goodness I knew what to do. I immediately dug my fingers into the backs of my knees and held on for dear life. Within 10 to 15  seconds, I promise you, no more than that, the cramp eased and disappeared. It was a pretty bad one, so my lower leg felt sore for a while but I could go back to sleep.

Remember this GEM of a Jin Shin Jyutsu Self Help Hold when you have cramp in the leg, or muscle cramp anywhere in the body for that matter! It WORKS!

Self help that works: How to Overcome FATIGUE

Fatigue colours our world and affects how we feel.  There are many reasons why we might feel fatigue, but the obvious thing is that the body is crying out for rest and re-generation. Jin Shin Jyutsu is one of the most powerful ways to overcome fatigue. I say this from experience. Time after time, I have tried and tested these holds and it is absolutely amazing how my whole world can change in 20 minutes – purely because I have energised myself. I say: make fatigue a thing of the past. I can, and you can too.

The Spleen energy governs our energy levels and this exercise is very powerful for vitality and calm (one needs energy to stay calm) – 20 minutes minimum every day.

In Jin Shin Jyutsu, a sequence of HOLDS is referred to as a FLOW. The following self-help flow can be used to revitalise and re-energise the whole system, and to be ‘happy and content where ever you are’. Use it to regulate the body’s temperature (to warm the body when it’s cold, to cool the body when it’s hot), and to balance the nervous system (to calm).

Hold each step for a few minutes or until you feel you want to move to the next position.

(Right energy pattern)
Step 1
Place Left hand on base of spine (coccyx)
Place Right hand on right inside of heel
Step 2
Move Right hand and place on left base of rib cage and hold
Step 3
Move Left hand and place on right above breast area
Step 4
Move Left hand and place on left center of collar bone