Before an infant
receives her first toy, she already enjoys playing with a pair of magical and entertaining
things attached to her wrists. Those are her hands.
As infants we can easily
put our hands in our mouth, move them wildly for personal entertainment, clap
them, and use them to grab at all kinds of items from food to toys to a loved
one’s hair. Ouch!
Then we grow and
learn how to hold a spoon or a pencil. These days, hands are often used to tap
on electronic devices.
As we age, we begin
to think about our hands from a different perspective. Do our hands show age
spots, callouses, and maybe a bulge of arthritis or a feeling of stiffness?
Caring for our hands,
both the outside and the inside, is a practice we must embrace if we want them
to look and feel healthy and strong.
I believe that the
three pillars of well-being are Movement, Nourishment, and Attitude. Let me
show you how those pillars relate to our hands. I also have a few tips that I
have studied and which have brought me successful results.
There are many
movements that strengthen our hands and fingers, give us extra circulation in
our hands, and provide higher flexibility. Try a few of these throughout your
- Shake your hands vigorously back and forth, side-to-side, and
in a circle.
- Make a tent with each hand and press your fingertips together
for 20 pulses.
- Make fists, then quickly open wide, outstretched hands
expanding the space between your fingers. Move from fist to hand as quickly as
you can for a minute or more.
- Flex one hand down at the wrist and press its rear side with
the other palm. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch hands.
- Press your palms together and lift the fingers away from each
- Gently twist and pull each finger.
- Rub your hands together to create some heat.
Here are some tips to
nourish your hands from the outside in:
If you use lemons
during the day, (I have a cup of warm lemon water every morning) take the
leftover rind and scrub your fingers to get them really clean.
Then rub the lemon
rind all over the backs of your hands. I’m convinced that this practice can
diminish and prevent skin discoloration due to sun exposure (also known as
Soak your hands in an
Epsom salt bath. In water, epsom breaks down into magnesium and sulfate, which
can then, in theory, get absorbed into your body through your skin. That hasn’t
been proven, but just soaking in warm water can help relax your muscles
and loosen any stiff joints.
Take a teaspoon of
any kind of oil, such as coconut, olive, or sesame. Place it in your palm and
add ½ teaspoon of salt or sugar, and maybe a drop of your favorite essential
Massage your hands
all over, leave on for few minutes, then rinse and apply just the oil or an organic hand cream or
Your hands, along
with your face, are most exposed to sun damage. Wear sunscreen to protect your
hands from the sun.
As a part of your
daily routine, keep your nails and cuticles clean, trimmed, and moisturized
with cream or oil. Wear gloves for gardening, dishes, cleaning, and whenever
they are exposed to harsh elements, such as in winter time.
Are you well
hydrated? Your hands can tell you. Pinch the skin between your thumb and
forefinger just in the fold with no bone or muscle. If the skin bounces back,
you are hydrated – good job! If the pinch stays indented, get out a bottle of
water and start drinking.
Attitude and Meditation
Being still and focused
can bring heat and flexibility to your hands. Follow these steps for best
- Sit comfortably and place your hands palms down to create a
sense of calmness. This is great in any challenging situation.
- Now, when you are feeling calm, turn your palms up to
receive. Allow the calm and loving energy you have created to be abundantly
- With your hands folded in your lap, left hand on top, let
your hands ‘hold’ your thoughts and your breath.
- Sitting quietly, focus on your hands and how you bring them
energy. Thank your hands with deep gratitude for all they do for you.
Give your hands the
tender loving care they deserve at every age.
How do you care for
your hands? What harsh conditions do you expose them to? Is there a practice or
routine you follow to protect your hands every day? Please share with our