|Hands are amazing tools for us to use,
but when they hurt, we’re miserable!
Do you ever get achy tired hands? Most people are using computers and phones frequently, which is adding to the problem of over-use syndrome. As we tap away on our keyboards and texting, our small muscles and joints in the fingers, wrists and forearms start to become grumpy. Just being alive for more than 40 years, can come with it’s own set of issues regarding over use. Without specific therapeutic exercises and stretches done on a regular basis, this achy tired feeling can become a painful sensation that doesn’t seem to want to go away. If this is happening to you, consider a “hot bath” of sorts for your hands to soak in.
I can remember in my teen years back in the 1980’s an elderly lady that I knew who loved to regularly play the piano at her church. One day I was at her home and saw her dipping her hand into a container of liquid and pulling her hand out covered in a film that quickly hardened. She explained to me how it helped with her severe arthritis that she had developed over the years and kept her able to play the music that she loved for her church. Years later I was sitting in a nail salon ready to get my manicure when the lady working on my nails said that I had very dry skin and cuticles and that I should try a paraffin wax treatment to moisturize. I immediately remembered my old friend with the arthritis and decided to give it a try. Not only did it feel amazing on my joints and muscles in my wrists and fingers, but it did actually deeply moisturize my hands like never before! From then on I was a believer that paraffin treatments are awesome!
Jump ahead a couple of decades and I now find myself as a massage therapist offering paraffin wax treatments on client’s hands to help them with their aches and pains. They enjoy both the benefit of pain relief and the nice, soft moisturized hands.
How it works:
Basically, paraffin wax dips are an intense heat therapy, which like other heat therapies, increase blood flow, relax muscles and decrease stiffness. The added bonus is that the wax hardens creating a shell that traps the heat in with no place to go except down into the surface below. Heat also opens the pores in the skin allowing topical products to penetrate deeper into the skins layers, which make the products more effective.
What to expect the treatment to be like:
After applying a customized moisturizer your therapist will have you dip your hand into the wax several times allowing the layers to thicken. Then a plastic glove will be slipped over it. After 10-15 minutes the wax will be slid off your hands and additional moisturizer will be applied.
Paraffin wax can be purchased with different kinds of essential oils such as lavender or eucalyptus to enhance the experience. At our massage practice we offer this treatment as an add-on to a massage, but we always use unscented wax to avoid sensitivities to certain products. Instead of using various kinds of wax, we can add essential oils to the cream or oil being used.
If you haven’t tried this treatment before, I encourage you to give it a try! It’s great for anyone with over used hands including athletes and those with arthritis. It is also wonderful at deeply moisturizing dry skin and cuticles.
San Diego Tennis and Racquet Club