HOME CARE FOR HANDS
Hands Up Overhead:
  • Stretch your arms and chest up 
  • You can try interlacing your hands, palms to the sky.
  • Let the front and sides of the chest open
  • Lean a bit different ways to accentuate the feeling
  • Just move how you can, little by little, breathe
Chest Opening with the Foam Roller:
  (white, soft, 36" length, 6" diameter - see suggestions on toys)
To lay on it lengthwise, - start by:
  • Sit at the very end of the roller
  • Curl yourself down onto the roller, using your arms and legs to balance
  • On your back - sacrum at one end, and skull at the other
  • Knees are bent, feet flat, balancing
  • Arms can stretch out to the sides.  Rest them on pillows as you need, wriggle around, open the chest
  • Let the back of your head rest on the roller
  • Balance and play with moving your chest and arms
  • To get off the roller: simply roll off easy to one side.  Stay on your back but just lean a bit to slide off.  The roller will roll out from under you so you stay on your back.  Lay there a bit, pause to "feel the flat".  It is in this pause that the body "re-orients" to its new alignment.
Open Your Palm Chakras:
  • Basically, any time, ... instead of thinking to spread your fingers - try spreading your palms
  • Let your wrist and thumb open out too
Floating Hands:
  •  you can float them in a bath, a pool, or hot-tub
  • and you can float them in your imagination
  • let them get lighter and softer 
Finger Flick the Ball:
  • Place the ball between two fingers
  • Practice rolling the ball up and down the length of your fingers
  • Let yourself practice sensation and control
  • Then flick the ball up and catch it with those fingers, - easy toss
  • Play with spinning the ball
  • Try between different fingers
Wrist Shake-Out:
  • Dangle your arms and shake them
  • Let small movements at the upper arms and shoulders ripple out to the fingers, like a little whip
  • Relax and shake your hands loose
  • Try having your arms in different positions, overhead too!
Palm Press, Finger Stretch:
  • Palms together
  • Pair opposite fingers from each hand
  • One finger presses, the other finger gets the stretch
  • This works for releasing palm tension as well as a good therapy for trigger-finger
  • It's also fun coordination

These are called Baoding Balls; named for the city in China where they originated.  They are placed in the hands and rolled about.  They come in many sizes and materials.  These are hollow and have a pleasant chime.  Baoding Balls are known as a meditation aid, but their health benefits are also well described.  They are known to enhance general health by stimulating the acupressure points in the hands, and to enhance hand health by gaining increased flexibility and coordination.  I like them because they spread the palm, and are peaceful to use.  I recommend starting to use them lying down, where if they roll out of your hands they won't fall.  Move them about your hands gently, softy, and let them affect your hands, easily.  You can add balls as you wish.  You can also rest the back of your forearms on them while laying on a soft surface, serving as a trigger point release method.

Hands can get inflamed from general overuse or from repetitive use. They can get swollen overall, or specific joints can get swollen or painful, or fingers may not open or close smoothly. You may be experiencing numbness and tingling, pain, weakness, throbbing or impaired coordination which may point to nerve symptoms and/or circulatory compromise. 

Gripping and twisting with the hands or fingers can be the hardest on them. Also holding a sustained hand position can be challenging, like holding a phone, or hands at the keyboard/mouse. Pressure on the inside of the wrists can impair fluid flow and nerve impulses.

 

When there is problem the body initiates an inflammatory response. This is experienced as swelling and heat, and sometimes redness. This response brings specific chemicals and specialized cells into the area. During the inflammatory process the body lays down “repair fiber”. This extra fiber serves as a first-aid response to patch tissue, but it can get "sticky" as the fiber that is laid down is randomly organized, thus not letting tissues slide easily relative to each other. In the hand, swelling, as well as these fibrous adhesions can impair tendons from sliding easily when we open and close our fists.

 

The tendons lie along the palm side and the back side of our hands and run into our fingers. They are kept down in place with perpendicular bands of fascia (“retinaculum”) running across the palm and joint capsules that keep the tendons from “bow-stringing” when we curl our fingers. These tendons need to slide under this retinaculum - and when it gets sticky we get a “catch”. This is familiarly called “trigger finger”. The goal is to reduce the thickness, and stickiness of the tissue and promote more fluidity and elasticity thus allowing tissues to slide easily with respect to each other.

 

One of the important things to consider, is whether the arms are getting good blood supply and nerve conduction.  There are many places the fluid flow and the electrical flow can get compromised.  A common place that we can get restricted is at the exit of the "brachial plexus" (a channel and array of blood vessels and nerves interweaving from the neck to the arm) as it exits from the chest cavity down into the arm. This "outlet" is at the front/side of the chest above the armpit, traveling from the front of the shoulder into the tender inner side of the arm.

736 Kimbark Street   

Longmont CO 80501

JAYMI DEVANS  

 jaymi@mountainhands.com