Our stenography skills are nothing short of amazing; but there is no denying that perpetual, repetitive movements can cause muscle tightness, which then can cause the connective tissue in our hands to dehydrate and become less responsive. This can ultimately lead to stiffness, not just in the hands, but all the way up the arms to the shoulders and neck, and may take a toll on our body’s ability to function efficiently and stay pain-free. The constant, repetitive use of our fingers, especially our thumbs, is dehydrating this tissue, compressing the joints, and causing stiffness and aches up the chain of the body.
We all know we can do hand exercises or get physical therapy, but have you ever considered MELT? A month ago I stayed at a wellness resort and discovered MELT for hands and feet. MELT was developed by Sue Hitzmann, MS, CST, NMT, to keep her hands in top condition, but she found it changed her entire body, including her neck and shoulders. At the beginning of the MELT class we were handed small and large soft balls and were shown how to assess, glide, and shear the hands. The MELT instructor guided us through the exercises and then at the end we “reassessed.”
Surprisingly, these simple exercises did improve the strength in my hands (and feet). Sue recommends doing the self-treatment techniques three times a week — even better, every day — to get immediate relief by rehydrating this tissue and reacquiring space in your joints. Why not keep a small and large soft ball in your machine case and incorporate these exercises into your workday?