Exercise #17 – Bird’s Feathered Hand


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“See the world as your self.
Have faith in the way things are.
Love the world as your self;
then you can care for all things.”

Tao Te Ching, #13, Translated by S. Mitchell


While you practice this exercise, try to imagine the molecules of air passing between your fingers.  As you close your your hand, picture those molecules of air as a piece of solid matter that you are trying to press flat when you make a tight fist.

Exercise #17 – Bird’s Feathered Hand

Benefits: This exercise will strengthen the muscles of your forearms and your hands while increasing the power of your grip.

Posture: Sit in your usual postion with your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart.  Remember to sit up straight, shoulders pressed down, neck elongated, and head perched lightly on your neck.  Be comfortable and relaxed but don’t slump.

Illustration by Jane Ramsey

  1. Fist your hands loosely in front of your shoulders.  Take a deep breath in through your nose.
  2. Extend your right arm to the side as you breathe out and tighten your arm muscles.  Then begin spreading your fingers like a bird opens its feathers.
  3. Now close your hand into a tight fist and hold for a moment.
  4. Relax your arm and hand muscles as you begin breathing in.  Return your arm to the front of your chest.
  5. Change to your left and repeat to the left side for a total of 9 times with each arm.

 Try the acupressure point called Outer Arm Bone  to increase the effectiveness of Bird’s Feathered Hand.

  • Locate this pressure point by moving your fingers down the outer part of your am about a third of the way down from the shoulder to the elbow.  You will find a band of muscle attached to the bone on the outside of the arm.
  • Hold your finger at this point on either arm for 30 to 60 seconds. 

 Benefits – Use this point as often as necessary to relieve sore arms, shoulder tension or a stiff neck.


 Don’t forget to replenish your fluids with a glass of water at the end of your exercise session.  A word of caution…if you have or have had kidney problems, please consult your physician regarding the amount of water appropriate for your condition.


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·      http://www.post-polio.org

·     http://www.bottomlinehealth.com

·     http://www.dsusa.org

·     http://www.americanheart.org

·     http://www.msassociation.org

·     http://www.padcoalition.org

·     http://www.diabetes.org

·     http://www.arthritis.org


~The exercises in this blog are intended for educational purposes only.  Always consult with your health care provider before beginning a new exercise program.~














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