I had an interesting experience with this in college--a roommate, marathon runner, had run for 18 miles that morning and come home to a gigantic hamstring cramp. I massaged that muscle for an hour and nothing seemed to help. She was in such pain! Finally I had the thought to search for a reflexology chart. I pulled one up for feet, found the corresponding area on her foot, and dug my thumb into the spot. Her hamstring came unclenched immediately and everything was fine.
But there's more to the hands than that!
The lines of the hands are formed when a child is just three months old... in the womb. At twelve weeks' gestation, the lines of the hands are already created. As we go through life, our handprints change along with our personalities. That is why fully trained chirologists and handanalysts can be so accurate. A person I know had his palm read by a hand reader about 30 years ago, and his analysis was apparently freakily accurate--down to what this guy's future wife looked like, where she was from, how many kids they would have, general life arc, etc. In my personal studies, as I have practiced handanalysis I have been happily surprised at how many of my practice subjects have been happily surprised at the accuracy of it!
But what I actually wanted to write about today was not the microcosm of the hand and physical body, but the microcosm of the hand and spiritual body.
One of the many modalities I practice is called jin shin jyutsu. It is a great modality. One thing it really relies on his hand "mudras," or postures, for healing. It works because the fingers contain so many nerve endings that directly connect to the brain. Each finger directly correlates to a particular emotion, so if you are struggling with a particular emotion, pinpointing the corresponding finger and applying a hand mudra to it can clear up emotional trauma fairly quickly.
Here is a chart of the fingers and their corresponding emotions:
The acronym for the fingers, as you can deduce from the picture above, is Worry-FAST. The thumb corresponds to worry, the index finger to fear, the middle finger to anger, the ring finger to sorrow, and the pinky to preTense, or trying too hard to be something you're not.
The yang/masculine side is the right side; that would be the side relating to things that you do. Action. The yin/feminine side is the left side, relating to things that you are. Being.
So if you have an issue of, say, anger over something someone has done, you may find relief in wrapping the fingers of your left hand around the right middle finger and breathing deeply for a while. It usually takes about 5-10 minutes to get the energy flowing, and a really heavy-duty clearing would take place in under an hour. My experience is that 45 minutes is typically more than adequate for clearing stuff from the fingers.
I will tell the story of one of my first practice sessions with this modality--I wrapped my hands around the client's index fingers, and immediately, the person startled. Their hands were suddenly buzzing, throbbing, jerking around. It was all I could do to hold onto them and all the person could do to let me continue. There was a LOT of pent-up negative energy in those hands! I only worked on each finger for about fifteen seconds that time, but even that released a lot of stuff. If you have a lot of pent-up energy, using hand mudras this way, even on yourself, can be very effective.
If you have an issue of grief or sorrow, say you've lost someone you love, wrapping your right hand around the left ring finger for half an hour while breathing slowly can help release the energy of that grief.
At the same time, finger injuries can be very telling as to what is going on in the psyche of the afflicted. The more severe the injury, the more severe the emotions at play. Sometimes knowing this can be helpful; sometimes not. A lot of times our emotional ecologies are so far under the surface, it doesn't help to even guess at what they are deep down--because sometimes we don't even consciously register our true emotions. But I mention this phenomenon anyway in case anyone who has experienced trauma to the hands finds it enlightening.
I myself sustained two minor hand injuries while gardening a few days ago, right at the base of my left index and middle fingers. Sure enough, at the root of my feminine/dependent nature, I have been dealing with some minor feelings of fear and anger relating to a person I depend on. My feelings have not been enough to be a big deal, but big enough to leave a literal mark, apparently!
Holding the fingers while breathing deeply can be an effective way to release energy associated with negative emotions. I recommend doing it while watching a relaxing TV show because that can lower your brainwaves into an alpha state, one of the more effective brain states for releasing emotion. The hands are connected in powerful ways to the brain and when we are aware of this and use the connections wisely, we can benefit in so many ways!