Massage is one of the oldest forms of medical care — practiced in societies around the world. Ancient massage therapy traditions exist in Greece, India, Japan, China and Egypt. Thanks to modern-day communications and inter-cultural training, practitioners today have an array of techniques at their disposal to bring to bear on the stress associated with compulsive finger picking.
Constantly picking at the fingernails, cuticles, or other parts of the hand can actually overstress the tendons and ligaments of the other hand that’s doing the picking. Massaging the forearms, elbows and hands can alleviate this stress. Cracking the knuckles also can relieve stress in the finger joints — though since that can lead to a problem on its own (not arthritis ) its not recommended.
If you feel that your picking rises to an obsessive-compulsive level, or else a high level of anxiety is present right before you pick, consider the following self-massage regimen to calm your nerves when the urge to pick comes:
- Warm a couple ounces of olive oil
- Apply the oil to the parts of your body that are tense (neck, shoulders, chest, arms, etc)
- Work some oil into your scalp
- Work some oil into your forehead and face
- Use your palms when massaging — kneading your muscles isn’t required
- Massage along the long bones of your body using a circular motion
- Massage your chest, abdomen and back (as far as you can reach)
- Massage your feet, especially the instep and arch
- Wrap it up with a hot steam, bath or shower
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