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Blissful Body Blog

By Stephanie Bish

Numbness and Tingling in the Arms and Hands

In my massage and bodywork practice, I see a lot of people who have some numbness and/or tingling in their hands and arms.  Sometimes it has been an issue for some time, and can cause problems both during the day, and at night when trying to sleep.

Carpenters, dog sledders, desk jockeys, musical instrument players, bicyclists, and gardeners can have this problem, to name a few. Generally, the problem is worse in people who rely on the use of their hands and arms for their living.   

Though the term 'carpal tunnel' is commonly used for this kind of issue, the real culprit can be more complex.  Carpal tunnel is a condition where tendons that pass through the retinaculum of the wrist become inflamed and painful.  The inflammation causes the nerves to be pinched within the retinaculum, leading to numbness and tingling in the hands.

Though this can be the cause of the problem, it can also be caused either completely or in combination with other areas of nerve impingement along the path from the spinal cord at the neck, through the arm, to the hand.  

The first area is where the nerve leaves the cervical, or neck vertebrae.  Next is an area at the base of the neck where muscles that are strained and knotted can impinge the nerve.  Third is an area near the elbow.  Fourth is the carpal tunnel area of the wrist.

From a massage and bodywork perspective, the goal is to relieve tension and knots in the tissue that is involved in the impingement.  Sometimes relief is found in one session, but often it takes a series of sessions to create lasting change.  

In fact, the structural integration 10-series is a great way to address tension like this.  By systematically working to relieve tension and create balance in the whole body, many symptoms can be relieved, including numbness or tingling in the arms or hands.  

Along with relieving the tension in the neck, arms, and hands, it is helpful to take a thoughtful look at the person's body mechanics and work habits.   Also, certain exercises can help to keep the tissue open.  

If you have numbness or tingling of the hands or arms, I would be happy to work with you to help relieve the tension in your neck, arms, and hands.  You can call to set up a preliminary session to see if you like working with me, and if you like the results of the work I do.  I'm looking forward to hearing from you.


About the author: Stephanie Bish owns 'Blissful Body by Stephanie' in Ely, MN; also serving Babbitt, Virginia, Tower, and the Arrowhead Region.   As a Massage Therapist,  Structural Integrator, and Reiki Master Teacher, she enjoys guiding people on their path to well-being.

 You can check out her website at  Call 218-235-1732, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to set an appointment. 

 If you would like to use this article in your publication, you may if you use it in its entirety, including the author information.

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