Joe's Blog

Pain in the Thumb. Solution Five: One Hand Helps the Other

January 26, 2018

Example: Right Hand Playing a C Major Scale Upwards.

Let the right hand play the scale alone.  Use the tips of the first and second fingers of the left hand to take hold of the right thumb – in the vicinity of its first knuckle.

As the right hand plays the scale, the two fingers of the left hand do two things.  1) It helps us take notice of exactly how the right thumb “wants” to move, both in general throughout the scale, and more particularly when the thumb is passing under other fingers.   2) But more than this, as soon as the helping hand has an inkling of how the thumb wants to move, it can shift from a passive role of observation to a leadership role.  It can help propel and guide the right thumb in its motion.  If. at the same time the right thumb becomes passive, and accepts the control of the two fingers from the other hand, a state of relaxation will occur in the right thumb that should help eliminate any pain in that finger.

The objection arises of course that we play  simultaneously with both hands.  The “helping” hand is simply not available to help the “target” hand.

There is a solution.  It lies in the body’s ability to mimic a motion once that motion has been impressed on it through an outside agency.  I quote from Google.   “A mirror neuron … is a neuron that fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another.  Thus, the neuron ‘mirrors’ the behavior of the other, as though the observer were itself acting.”   In our case, the right thumb, having experienced, or felt internally, an action performed on it by the outside agency of the other hand, can now repeat that action in the same way.  And this new motion will often be different in its details than if there was no model presented to it first.  It is in these differences that we often find the solution to the causes of any pain or restrictions in the thumb, pain that was experienced before the ‘mirroring’ process.   The right thumb has been shown the more correct way of moving its own muscles.

Solution One, Solution Two, Solution Three, Solution Four

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