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:
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.