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Season 1 - Episode 14

Hand and Wrist Joints

10 min - Practice


Patricia shares a series of gentle movements designed to create more spaciousness, mobility, and strength in the hands and wrists. Deepening our relationship between the heart and hands, we create warmth and energy in the joints, and rest in the magnificent results.
What You'll Need: Mat, Chair

About This Video


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(tide gently crashing) In this practice, playing with the hands, we're going for spaciousness and a little greater mobility comes with this practice. This can be done seated on a chair or standing. When I sit on a chair I like to come towards the front because it helps me stay upright. If you need to sit to the back, go right ahead. You need a little elbow room.

The first one I call finger thrumming and it's another Qigong movement. So with the hands out in front of the body like this, palms facing up, when I say thrum I mean that kind of thing where you used to go (mimicking drumming) you know, it's that thrumming. So little finger, fourth finger, third finger, index finger, thumb, thrum. And the movement can be fairly small at first and you can kind of keep your eyes on your hands or not but you can see that I'm moving my wrist and my elbows already. Once you get comfortable with the thrumming you can reach a little, it's like you're pulling energy towards your heart with this thrumming and you can let the elbows go out a little more and it's giving you internal and external rotation in the shoulders.

It's the meridians of the heart and the lung being mobilized and fed. Your breath is full and deep so that you stay grounded. Just a couple more. Pulling it into the heart. Feeling that and then let the hands rest on your lap.

Close your eyes just for a few moments. Feel into everything from the shoulders all the way down the arms and elbows and hands. Yes, my hands feel a lot larger than they did before. That's a good symptom for spaciousness. Okay, now we're gonna be doing some wrist stretches.

Be gentle with your wrist stretches. I start with a elbow close to my side and the palm turning gently down, whatever degree my wrist will easily bend. And then I bring the left hand across the palm and the area of the palm where the fingers join the palm. Not pressing from the fingers, the fingers will get a little stretchier, but you can overdo that, the tendons that connect to the fingers come all the way up into the elbows. You don't want to overstretch.

Inhale, exhale, reach out and pull the hand down, come back exhaling. Actually inhale here, exhale come out. Fingers are pointing down, inhale back, soften. Exhale, come forward again. And back, you can use your thumb on the back of the hand to help pull the hand down if it feels good.

Now if it doesn't feel good, be gentle. Okay we're gonna do two more times reaching and coming back and then we'll hold a few seconds. Inhale here. Exhale, coming forward, stretching. Can you feel it come all the way up to the elbow crease?

Come back, inhale. Exhale, come forward. Spread the thumb if it's comfortable. If it aches too much, don't. Come back, and this time we'll hold a bit longer.

Inhale, exhale, come forward, fingers point down. Thumb reaches, inhaling into exhaling as you hold. So we're holding the position, not the breath. Shoulder down. Soft neck.

And that's probably long enough. Rest your hands in your lap. Palm up or palm down. I can feel a great deal of difference between the sense of spaciousness that I talk about in the right shoulder versus the left. Okay, so second side, rather than having the hand finger to finger it's palm to palm.

Inhale in place with the arm right down by your side. Exhale, come forward. Oh now, see I felt a little crook there, so if that happens to you, you stop. And I'm gonna do the first reach without using the other hand. Okay, now that feels okay.

Really have to listen to your body and not push through those kinds of things. Inhale coming back. Exhale, reaching and pointing the fingers down. I can feel a stretch coming across the wrist without the other hand. Exhale, I reach forward.

And down with the fingers. I'm gonna try it with the hand here, but I'm gonna be really gentle, not too pushy. Exhale coming forward. Okay, this time it feels fine. Exhale back.

Inhale, exhale forward, you can take a breath here, in. Exhale back. Exhale forward. The inhalation is implied, exhale come back. This time we're gonna hold it for a few seconds, inhale.

Exhale, reach forward. Just a little tugging, not too much. You can use the thumb on the back of the hand or not. And then come back, rest the palms on your legs. A little finger thrumming might feel good after that.

It does. So allow yourself to feel spontaneous if your body says, oh, finger thrumming would feel good after that. Go right ahead. So our next piece is claw grip. It's an isometric and it's about increasing muscle strength of the tiny little muscles of the hands and at the same time creating stability in the ligaments.

So there we go, you imagine holding a ball. And you then tighten the fingers for just five seconds. And then you let go. And then make a shape again as though you're holding onto a ball, you can open the wrists this way as you're doing it if you like, five seconds worth of tightening. Let go.

And then five seconds worth of tightening into that shape. I tighten with a sense of expansion in the hand as opposed to, release now, as opposed to tightening with a sense of gripping onto something, it's very different if you imagine gripping onto something, let go now. And then make the shape and this time as you tighten, imagine that you're expanding the hand like our expanding universe. And then let go. Very nice.

Always be taking a few moments to feel into what the practice has given you. If it's a correct practice for you or not. And then the final one is gonna be thumb pressing into the web with the other hand and stretching, you're gonna stretch the thumb away from the other fingers but instead of doing it from the end like this, the fingers are going to press onto the pad of the thumb. And the other thumb is gonna be right into the web of the stretching hand so first thing is positioning the fingers, the thumb and the fingers. The second thing is to widen all the other fingers away from each other, including stretching the thumb away from the palm.

This thumb that you're working with, stretches away from the palm. And then I add the grip where index finger and thumb are moving towards each other behind the flesh. And I would say just hold this as long as it feels good. Generally five to 10 seconds is enough. I'm also gently pulling the thumb away from the little finger side of the hand so that it doesn't have to do the reaching.

Ah. And then release the pulling and the pressing. Let your hands come down and rest for a moment, feel into. Just compare both hands, the mind loves to compare, so let it, and notice. Okay, second side.

The index finger, maybe the side of the index finger, you find where it's comfortable, you're pressing into the hollow of the palm partly into the pad of the thumb. Your other thumb goes right into the web positioning and then the little fingers curl around your acting thumb. Fingers spread, thumb spreads, keep the fingers spreading, pull the thumb away from the midline of the hand and press thumb and index finger towards each other. (deep breathing) And as you breathe out, imagine that out breath not only comes out your lungs but it's traveling from the center of your heart down your arms and out through your fingers. And the ends of the fingers have little light bulbs on them and the lights, they're lighting up.

Okay, release slowly. (deep breathing) Just a little soft, gentle movement of the fingers. And then again feel into it. Palm up or palm down, because often times palm up allows for a little more sensitivity, and where else do you notice it in the body? Probably a few places that you'll feel it in other places of your body.

(deep breathing) So that's it for this session, and I hope you feel that greater mobility and spaciousness. Namaste.


Silke S
1 person likes this.
I never did this kind of hand movements. I could feel the spaciousness. Great!
Jenny R
1 person likes this.
Feels great! Will practice this each day...great for sore wrists
Patricia Sullivan
I'm so glad to know these stretches gave you relief. They're so simple, but sometimes simple is very effective. Enjoy! Patricia

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