And I have a confession – occasionally my right thumb hurts too. So I’m writing this post for myself and for all of you texters, emailers, Facebook and Twitter fans. Because I get a feeling we’re going to need it..
When I was studying, we spent an afternoon on self-care; how to keep our hands and arms mobile and sensitive enough to do this type of work. The thumb mobilisation is a key part of this. It is done by taking hold around the meatiest part of the base of your thumb with the other hand and slowly and gently rotating it to get some movement through the joint. You can also massage into the web between your thumb and index finger with the bent thumb of the other hand. You might be surprised how tight and sore this is – especially on your main texting hand!
The real challenge though, and the most important thing is to cut down on what is causing the issue in the first place. If you have this sort of discomfort, could it be possible that it has come on, albeit gradually, since you had all of your digital needs right at your finger (or thumb!) tips? Amatsu is all about tackling the cause not just relieving the symptom so I can’t ‘walk the talk’ if I do anything else. But how do we tackle this in our increasingly digitalised world where we are expected to be responsive and connected at all times? Well, we can start by asking ourselves if every message is urgent and could we consciously cut down on time spent in this way? Could our messages be shorter and more to the point? Would it be nice to call instead and have a chat? Could we use the train journey or the time waiting in a queue in a more nourishing and useful way than scrolling through Facebook?
I think the important thing here is awareness that the thumb, like any part of our body, can become strained by overuse. Try not to carry on regardless, ignoring tightness or twinges if they come. Instead of being logged in or hooked up, connect into your own creativity, imagination and resources instead. Allow yourself to daydream, ponder, wonder or reflect. It won’t only be your thumbs that feel better if you do!