The Hand

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By: Anders Nawroth

"In another way the whole human being in his functional threefoldness is depicted in the hand. The finger rays with the sensitive ends are the part in which the soul-astral element expresses itself. The point-like action belongs to the astral body and produces consciousness. The nerve-sense pole is reflected in it.

The palm which we can open and close, which permits us to produce systole and diastole, is related to the rhythmical system. Massage movements made with the palm can be given a special "breathing" quality. With the thumb we enter the field of the will, when we put it in opposition the hand becomes space. Thumb gestures are will gestures, they may have a rough, indeed, almost brutal effect.(13)"

It is this threefoldness within the hand and its meaning for massage which is of special interest. Every massage movement is a gesture. It derives its basic direction from the part of the hand applying it. A massage movement applied with the fingers will draw its effect from the form-giving dynamic of the nerve-sense pole. If the massage is carried out by the thumb, the effect emanates from the releasing dynamic of the metabolic pole. Massaging with the palm of the hand brings the benefit of the balancing dynamic of the rhythmical system.

The next step is to see how the effect of the form-giving dynamic influences the human organism. This will lead us to the correct way of massaging with the fingers. In order to find the right massage movement for the thumbs we have to investigate how the releasing, mobile quality acts on the various parts of the human organism. The same applies to the balancing processes and massage movements using the palms of the hand.

Different regions

Under the heading "Massage and the nature of muscles" is discussed the different regions of the body and the connections between head and calves, lungs and thighs and so on. In massage it can be especially fruitful to get to know the relationship these parts of the human organism have with the four elements.

Take, for example, the alchemist terms Sal, Mercury and Sulfur. The Sal process relates to the elements water and earth, the Mercury process to air and water and the Sulfur process to air and fire. This offers a perspective where, for example, the head belongs to the earth element, whereas the intestines at the opposite pole belong to the fire element.This means that for a massage of the calf muscles acting through the astral lemniscate the massage therapist needs to derive the quality of the movement from the earth element. This can be further elaborated by using the three parts of the hand to work in different directions. The same applies for thighs and the water element, upper arm and the air element, lower arm and the fire element.

Developing the quality of each element in three directions we arrive at the twelvefold nature of the zodiac. Getting to know the zodiac we can put the above into practice.

English by Ulrike O'Callaghan.


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