To complement the MASSAGE Magazine article, “The Auth Method of Forearm Massage: Massaging the Hips,” , in the February 2011 issue. Article summary: The Auth Method of Forearm Massage teaches an effortless technique for massaging the hips. Because the hips are some of the largest and strongest muscles in the body, they are no match for the massage therapist’s comparatively smaller and more fragile thumbs, fingers or hands. Big jobs require big tools. The forearms are perfect for working the vast terrain of the hips and the many layers of tension that can develop here. This is probably the most important area to work with the forearms. The tissue is the thickest here, and the bigger the tool, the better.
, L.Ac., L.M.T., N.C.T.M.B.
- More leverage. Massage is a laborious profession; it’s very physical. To maintain a busy practice, it is essential to work efficiently. One way to do this is to use your body weight instead of muscular force to massage your client. By using your forearms, you’ll have a steady, strong base of contact to lean onto.
- Increased career longevity. Many massage therapists leave the profession because of wrist or hand injury. By using your forearms, you’ll be able to protect the fragile joints of the hands.
- Greater surface area. With an increased surface area of contact, you can work on more of your client in less time, making your practice more efficient. Your clients will feel like they are getting more for less.
- Increased durability. A stronger tool lasts longer. The forearms are larger and less fragile than the fingers or thumbs, so your massage practice will thrive longer.
- Effortless deep-tissue work. Because you’ll have more leverage when working with your forearms, the deep-tissue work you do on your clients will be less demanding. You’ll be able to work deeper on your clients, with less fatigue.
- Satisfy the needs of larger clients. The forearms are a big tool capable of doing a big job. This makes them ideal for working the larger muscle groups of any of your clients.
- More contact. Clients come to massage therapists for contact. By using the forearms, you increase contact with your clients. This contact is comforting to your clients.
- It feels good. Forearm massage is just as soothing as massage with the hands. It might take time to develop sensitivity in the forearms, but the sensitivity is there. Listen to your client’s body; it will tell you how fast and how deep to go.
Shari Auth, L.Ac., L.M.T., N.C.T.M.B., is creator of the Auth Method of Forearm Massage and the instructional massage DVD, Auth Method: A Guide to Using the Forearms. She is also certified in the Rolf Method of Structural Integration. Auth teaches continuing education workshops for massage therapists, has a full-time practice in the healing arts in New York City and has been practicing since 1995. For DVD and workshop information, visit http://authmethod.com. For information on her practice, visit http://shariauth.com.