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“I know it like the back of my hand”

Have you ever heard or used the phrase, “I know *blank* like the back of my hand!”?

How well do you know your hands though?

Or your palms?

What are the similarities and differences between your fingers and thumbs?

If you’re curious, here’s a 5-minute guided exploration:

You can be sitting at your desk, or on a plane. Actually, I love doing these kinds of explorations while I’m on the plane because my movements are small and won’t attract unwanted attention from other passengers.

We can use our visual, tactile, kinesthetic, and other senses to learn more about our hands but let’s use our sense of touch and movement for this hand exploration.

Start by gently feeling your knuckles and then moving to your fingertip on one finger. Let your touch be gentle, slow, and loving. Like how you’d stroke a sleeping baby’s hands or feet.

Let the hand/finger that’s being touched be limp, resting, or inactive.
Feel the top “back of the hand” part, the palm side, and the sides of that one finger.
What do you notice about your bones?
Where is it easy to feel?
Are the bones in your finger all the same shape or size?

Let your breathing be easy and uninterrupted.

Notice the quality of the surface of your skin: is it dry, smooth, or calloused?
While you keep your touch gentle and loving, do you notice any differences in how squishy, pliable, thin, or thick your skin and soft tissue areas are when you feel around your finger?

Slowly and lazily wiggle the finger being explored while the other hand keeps gently palpating that finger. How much of the hand gets involved when you wiggle one finger.

What if you make a gentle fist with the hand that’s being explored? Slowly alternate between making a light/gentle fist and then releasing the fist. Is it just your hand that’s active when you make a fist? Feel your wrist and forearm as you go in and out of that slow/gentle first.

Rest both hands/arms and take a moment to notice your arms, hands, and fingers.

Do you notice a difference between the finger that you spent the most time exploring and the other fingers? Do you notice any difference between your two hands or arms? If you don’t notice any differences, that’s ok.

Tomorrow, or whenever you have another 5 minutes, you can explore another finger.