To complement “Body Mechanics Makeover: Avoid the Crumple Zone” in the March 2015 issue of MASSAGE Magazine. Summary: By making small changes in body mechanics, massage therapists can work on clients’ inner arms in a way that reduces the strain on their own bodies.

You learned the basics of body mechanics in school, and have developed your own—good or bad—habits as you have practiced massage. Along the way, you have probably developed your body awareness and learned some new techniques.

I want to help you go beyond the basics, and fine-tune an area of poor body mechanics that may be breaking your flow. Here’s a better way to work on a client’s inner arm.


Inner Arm—Before

Inner-Arm-Before_with captionAn area fraught with endangerment sites, such as the inner arm, requires a lighter touch, and effleurage is shown here. The therapist’s wrist is slightly bent, indicating too much pressure. The head and torso are both forward. This means you are working harder than you need to be, and in a way that is possibly injurious to the client’s endangerment sites. 

Inner Arm—After

Inner-Arm-After_with captionFlipping the working hand over to use the back of the knuckles ever so lightly is all that is needed in an endangerment-site-laden area. Take advantage of the chance to lighten up, lift up and exhale. There is no need to work harder than indicated.

About the Author

Mirra Greenway, L.M.T., is owner and director of Greenways Wellness ( in Sarasota, Florida. She owned the Massage Therapy Institute of Missouri for 18 years, and celebrated her 40th year of practicing massage in 2014. She maintains a private practice, and offers continuing education classes in ethics, treatment and sports massage.