Friday, May 29, 2009

Angels of Relief for Demons of Hand Pain

Seeing the Angels & Demons movie trailer motivated me to read the book for a second time. The 569 page paperback is hard to put down as I couldn’t stop running along with the labyrinth plot through the streets and cathedrals of Rome. In the first reading, I stayed up all night and read almost the whole book. This time, I’ve spread it out over four nights—a great read. However, I’ve noticed that my hands are very sore from holding a book open for three hours every night.

As a structural integrator and massage therapist, hand pain isn’t new to me. I have a solution, the Octopus Undulation, which I do every night after work. It works like this:

Start by slowly moving the tips of your fingers of just one hand in a wave-like motion. Use the movement to explore and wash away the stiffness in the first knuckles. Let the movement creep up your fingers, massaging each knuckle in turn with the movement. Then continue into the web of the hand. See if you can move your palm so it is as fluid as an octopus. Gradually incorporate your wrist, forearm, elbow, upper arm, and shoulder into the movement—as though you don’t have any bones.

Now feel the difference between your two hands. You’ve just given yourself a massage!

Normally I can wash away my hand stiffness with just one minute of this undulation. However, after holding a paperback for several hours, I need about three minutes on each hand. This exercise is useful after knitting, pruning or computer mousing—anything that requires repetitive motion of the hands.

You can view additional Undulation Exercises here.

I’m looking forward to watching the Angels & Demons movie. I hope it lives up to the majesty of Rome and thought-provoking ideas in the novel.

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