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Pinkie Power — 6 Comments

  1. I am reminded of an interesting correspondence with weight bearing through the ulnar side of the hand.. A precisely located, pea sized touch of pressure to the pisiform (for example leaning this part of the base of the palm on well designed float handle bars of a bike) will elicit a total system of reflex support in the extensors of the arm via bony receptor stimulus. Something I made use of a lot in my past life as physiotherapist, when offering my hand to support to patients who needed gait re-education. Now that my wrists are a little sensitive from decades of cycling and piano playing, I reach to support my body weight with more care and notice that I weight bear through the ulnar side of my hand…. Reaching with the pinkie side….. Which leaves my fingers light and available. It is also possible to lengthen through hand, wrist, shoulder neck. How lovely! I will experiment with this kind of reach in upward arm movements.

  2. PS there is also a cunning spot on the underside outer border of the heel bone, which facilitates perineus longus and deep postural muscles of the calf. …. reciprocally subduing the kind of hypertonicity that comes with upper motor neurone dysfunction…. Stroke, multiple sclerosis, etc.
    I have found myself wondering if this can be useful in the context of Alexander work, as it is very effective to be aware of this in the sensitive handling of “jumpy legs”
    I would be interested in any comments.

  3. This about the benefits of using the little finger in these ways was taught to me in the early 1990s by an AT teacher so it’s been known a long time.

  4. Hi Robert, you blogged on this topic a few years ago, and I’ve been using Pinkie Power to open heavy doors since, as it also gives a wonderful push.

    This detailed update is welcome, and I can relate to almost everything. But I don’t understand the leading pinkie when walking. When we raise our arms to reach up or outwards, there’s a rotation that brings pinkie to the fore. Above my head, pinkie is definitely in front. Swimming freestyle, leading pinkie opens my back and increases my power (my first AT teacher semi-articulated this in 1988!). In walking, maybe it’s my habit, but with my arms hanging down, it’s my knuckles or thumb edge that seem to want to lead my hand movement. To ask my pinkie to lead involves a deliberate and straining rotation. Or is it “just a thought” – one of those incredibly powerful thoughts that changes everything?

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