The Hand at Rest: Developing Soft Hands
Before, the fingers curl because the muscles of the palm, digits and forearm are experiencing a moderate involuntary chronic contraction. The rider can easily override this chronic curling with attentive flattening of the fingers, but at rest or with inattention, the curl-shape returns. (Try it with your hand, there is a good chance you have a similar “hand-posture”).
After a series of 7 brief Somatics for the Rider exercises, this riders hand is able to rest in a more neutral and open position, because the muscles of the hand, wrist and forearm are able to relax closer to TRUE NEUTRAL. This is possible because the riders brain has recognized that it was contracting the muscles unnecessarily, a residual compensation for old barn-work injury or habit from gripping the reins, stick, or even the handle of a rake or strings on a hay bale!
During a Somatics for the Rider session, we are informing the brain that certain muscles are receiving repeated signals to contract – causing the chronic contractions and distortions to posture. Via the Somatic Exercises, (and especially the slow releases) we trigger the brain to reset the resting level of those muscles, “letting go of the old pattern” and returning to a more naturally balanced and relaxed state.
This “re-training of the brain” happens as a result of the natural reflex called Pandiculation – and is extremely reliable, rapidly effective and long lasting because it is based in simple PHYSIOLOGY.
Imagine the increase in motor control, endurance, and soft feel that the hand in the “after” photo is able to express!