By a Conshohocken Yoga Studio Owner & Instructor
Unfortunately, I know all too much about this topic. It started for me when I went thru my yoga teacher training back in 2003 at Power Yoga Works. I was waitressing at the time and freelancing spending hours on the computer using a mouse. I had just been laid off from my job as a graphic designer so it was the perfect time for me to get certified to teach yoga and get my personal training certification. Both things I wanted to do so it was time since my schedule had just opened up! So waitressing, yoga, alot of yoga with training, my wrists really started to hurt. They were getting weaker. I found that holding a plate at the restaurant was suddenly a challenge as I started to feel like I was going to lose my grip and drop it.
I started looking into a couple of options as I was frustrated. Not practicing as I was going thru my teacher training would be a challenge. I remember looking into those magnetic bracelets that were big at the time. They help bring blood to the area to help it heal. I got a really expensive one. I think it helped a little.
What I found in my search to heal was that massage was the key! Massaging my forearms was what released the pain. It makes sense right? Planks, crows, downdogs, handstands, whatever it is we are doing is shortening the forearm muscles! Obviously over time, a couple of times a week those muscles get tight and stop the wrist from doing what it is supposed to do.
So I started getting half hour upper body massages, twice a week. $30-$40 bucks a pop and realized that the wrist pain started to go away! That was back in 2003-2004, and since then still practice 3-4 times a week. Whenever a wrist issue comes up or I feel tight or not strong in my wrists, I schedule a forearm massage. And it has been great! It really helps!
I use massage not for luxury but more for pain management. It is fascinating as we hold alot of tension, knots and stress in our bodies. It’s usually the daily activities that we do repetitively that add up. Standing, walking, driving, poor posture, bending over, sitting at a computer all day. The list goes on. All that stuff adds up and causes tension. Think about what you do for work, 8-10 hours a day. For me it was waitressing where I started to notice I held a 10-15 lb platter with my left hand for 3 years. Over time, it threw everything off. And just like everything else, we need balance in every aspect of our lives.
So if you are having wrist pain, instead of stop practicing yoga and hoping it heals on its own, I suggest scheduling a forearm massage. And the key is going deep. My massage therapist goes really deep and I use my yoga breathing to get thru it. You have to break up the tissue so it can rebuild and heal. I just wanted to share because in my experience it has been the only thing that has released wrist pain. Even after almost 14 years have passed, it is still my go to when my wrists start to bother me. Yoga will definitely strengthen the wrists but shortening the forearm muscles without stretching them or massaging them will definitely build up over time and will gradually cause pain.