Flexible Fingers - ATM #3

ATM #3 - Use this exercise to release tension from your fingers.

To do this lesson you will need a tennis ball or a ball of similar size. If you don’t have a ball handy you could use a rolled up sock.
People with osteoarthritis find that inactivity contributes to increased stiffness and pain. This happens because synovial fluid, which lubricates the joints, is only produced when we move. The gentle pleasurable movements in this lesson stimulate the production of synovial fluid in the finger joints and ease tension and discomfort when using your hands. 

You will discover through this lesson that it takes a minimal amount of effort to make a substantial change in your level of comfort. Starting with small easy movements that are pleasurable and pain-free, you can increase your range and ease of movement significantly in a short period of time.

1. Sit towards the front of your chair with your feet flat on the floor a comfortable distance apart and hands resting on your thighs.

2. Open and close your hands a few times. Notice which hand is more restricted in its movements. This is the hand that you will work with first.

3. Put a tennis ball on your thigh and drape your hand over it. Let you hand be completely passive with the center of your palm resting on top of the ball.
4. Initiate the movement from your shoulder and arm, and roll the ball slowly towards your fingers. When you feel the ball touch the back of your fingers, roll it back to the center of you hand.  Repeat the movement in a leisurely fashion a few times.

5. Are you remembering to breathe? Holding your breath creates tension in the body and movement becomes more difficult. Let your breathing be ease and unhurried as you continue to move the ball.

6. Now roll the ball in the other direction, towards the heel of your hand and back to the center of the palm a few times.

7. Rest before continuing with the lesson.

8. Starting with the ball in the center of your palm, slowly roll it towards your thumb and when the ball touches the back of the thumb roll it back to the center of your palm.  Next, roll it slowly towards your index finger and back to the center of your palm.  Continue in the same fashion until you have done this with each finger.
9. Take a short rest.

10. Now slowly roll the ball in a clockwise circle three or four times in the palm of your hand and then repeat the movement in the other direction. Remember to let your hand be completely passive and move from your shoulder and arm.

11. Lift your hand from the ball and rest for a moment.
12. Now, open and close your hand noticing how your fingers feel.
13. Replay the lesson doing the sequence with your other hand.


Thousands of people have benefited from Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement® lessons; however, we cannot anticipate the needs and/or limitations of individuals. The material contained in these lessons is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. Consult your doctor or physiotherapist if you have any concerns. Responsibility for the lessons is strictly that of the user.

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Feldenkrais®, Feldenkrais Method®, Awareness Through Movement®, and Functional Integration® are registered service marks of the Feldenkrais Guild® of North America. Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner ™ and Guild Certified Feldenkrais Teacher ™ are certification marks of the Feldenkrais Guild®.