Body Sense

Autumn/Winter 2010

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at Home YOUR MASSAGE By Marybetts Sinclair SHOWER EXERCISES A hot shower and neck-limbering exercises may be helpful for chronically tight muscles, stress, injury, soreness after exercise, muscle spasms, or arthritis pain. These exercises may be performed as frequently as three times a day. Do not stay in a long, hot shower if you have any of the following conditions: cardiovascular problems, diabetes, hepatitis, lymphedema, multiple sclerosis, seizure disorders, hypothyroid conditions, loss of sensation (lack of feeling), or any condition that might make you unsteady on your feet or unable to tolerate heat, including alcohol or drug use. If pregnant, reduce the temperature of the shower. You will need a water thermometer, bath towel, and bath mat. PROCEDURE 1. Turn on your shower to hot and get in carefully. 2. Adjust the temperature so it is toasty, but to your tolerance (about 105–115°F). Let the water beat on your neck for at least three minutes. Move your head as if you were drawing all 26 letters of the alphabet with your nose. This will release muscle tension and make your neck more limber. 3. Stay in the shower for no longer than 10 minutes. 4. Get out of the shower carefully so you do not slip. 5. Dry off and get dressed. Select a shirt that will keep your neck warm. B S Marybetts Sinclair has been a massage therapist in Oregon for more than 30 years. She is the author of Modern Hydrotherapy for the Massage Therapist (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2004). For more information, visit Hydrotherapy treatments can be a relaxing, healing way to extend the benefits of your massage. “ autumn/winter 2010 Body Sense 25

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