ChatterTip of the Month March 2012
Tips for Healthy Hands
Coffee bean image © Adrianna Mullen
This time last year, we brought you tips for Healthy Feet because the sign of Pisces rules the feet. So what shall we talk about this time? Well, over the last couple of years we’ve pretty much covered most of the body but as I am writing this, we have a Full Moon in Virgo, and Virgo sits opposite Pisces on the Zodiacal Archetype. And where Pisces rules the feet, Virgo rules over our hands – so here are some tips for maintaining Healthy Hands!
Exercises for the Hands:
Chinese Baoding Balls
Traditional Chinese hand and wrist strengthening exercises include the use of both Hand Balls and Massage Rings. Chinese Baoding or Hand Balls (sometimes called Chinese Health Balls or Qi Gong Balls) have a long history in China that dates back at least as far as the Ming Dynasty. Two or more balls are rotated repeatedly in the hand to improve manual dexterity and strength. These simple tools not only strengthen your hands, wrists, fingers and forearms, they also improve your hand coordination and stimulate the flow of vital energy and blood in your body. They are also said to assist in injury recovery, and with all of the carpal tunnel issues that we now encounter due to being on the computer or hand-held devices all day, this is a great way to work the muscles of the hands. They are available in various sizes and are made of different materials such as steel, bronze, jade, glass and marble.
Stretches for the Hands:
When I was living in Paris and studying Corporeal Mime with Etienne Decroux some years ago, we learned how to articulate each and every part of our bodies, and we repeated endless exercises for this, much like a musician practices their scales. For the hand exercises, we were each given a small wooden board, on which we would place one hand at a time and repeat the following words out loud as we moved from one of the five hand positions to another – palette, trident, coquille, salamande, marguerite – hours and hours we would do this, working the muscles and the finger joints all the while reciting – palette, trident, coquille, salamande, marguerite…. It sounds so much prettier in French too! However, here are some perhaps less challenging hand exercises for you!
Finger & Thumb Stretch
– One hand at a time, one finger at a time – gently extend the fingers back towards the wrist. Then do the same with the thumb and gently stretch it towards the wrist.
– Then take all fingers together and stretch them back so the entire palm of the hand gets a good stretch as well as the fingers.
– Open and close the hand from a tight fist into a wide open hand position and keep alternating from one position to the other several times with each hand – open and close, open and close, open and close.
– Place your hands with palms together in the prayer position, fingers pointing upwards. Keep pressing the fingers and palms together as you slowly lower your hands until the forearms are horizontal. Take the hands down further still, keeping the fingers and upper palms together. You should feel the stretch on the insides of your fingers and wrists. Go gently – never force it!
Remedies for the Hands:
I could do an entire section on skin problems, so here are a couple of natural remedies for healthy hands. Interestingly, they say that Eczema or Dermatitis for example, can be brought on by stress, and that Massaging the Hands can help to relax the sufferer. Eczema is simply an inflammation of the skin that causes itchiness and redness and is the feature of many skin disorders.
– The Aloe is certainly one of nature’s most wonderful healing plants and one we’ve mentioned before, and if you don’t have your own Aloeplant, you can easily purchase Aloe Vera Gel from the health food store. Rub the cooling and soothing gel onto the patches of dermatitis to relieve itchiness and aid healing.
– Make your own Hand Scrub with 3 tablespoons finely ground Cornmeal, 1 teaspoon Cornstarch, and 2 tablespoons Honey, store in a small jar and use as you would hand soap. It cleans, softens and smoothes the hands.
– An unusual folk remedy for Dermatitis on the Hands is to take the leftover Coffee Grinds, yes that’s right, Coffee Grinds, and rub them onto the hands to relieve the symptoms.
Some of you may be familiar with the Homeopathic Cell Salts. What you might not know is that each cell salt relates to one of the 12 signs of the zodiac. And although we are talking about the Hands, as I mentioned earlier, Pisces rules the Feet. The cell salt for Pisces is Ferrum Phosphate, or Iron. Why? It is said that a deficiency in Ironcan lead to Nail Problems, thus an increased intake of Iron is recommended. And last I checked we have Nails on both our Handsand Feet! But wait, I’m not done yet. White Spots on the Nails are often a sign of a deficiency in Zinc or Vitamin A, and the cell salt that actually governs the nails, as well as the hair, is in fact Silica, the cell salt for Sagittarius. Silica helps to prevent white spots and nail deformities.
Another interesting note on the Cell Salts and reminiscent of the fact that Pisces is the sum total of the all the other signs of the zodiac, it is recommended that whenever taking any of the other 11 Cell Salts, one should also take the Pisces Cell Salt, Ferrum Phosphate, to ensure proper absorption.