I went through a brief o.c. (obsessive-compulsive) moment of googling Ines de la Fressange, who is of course the epitome of Parisian chic, a while ago. What totally fascinated me....actually everything about her fascinated me....but in particular, it was the expressive way she has of waving her hands around as she talks. It's quite mesmerising, & of course, everything about Ines is indeed mesmerising.
My Ladylike Hands
I was taught to speak The Queen's English, & to be ladylike with it. And of course, there is no hand waving involved. This does have it's advantages. It enables one to appear to be quite composed, even when one actually isn't. Very sneakily helpful when one is dealing with a difficult person, or situation. It can denote an air of quiet confidence, which, for a shy person like myself, is very helpful. One can even appear to know what is going on, even when one is feeling quite clueless. Ah, yes, definite advantages.
So I would never be expressive with my hands...because, well, I just wouldn't. I might like to...but I wouldn't. Because I don't know how. And also, because I have not been blessed with exquisitely long fingers. I have medium fingers, with very short nails. As I am a healer, it just would not do to dig my nails into a client, nor would it do to accidentally scrape them with my talons. So short nails it must be. And I don't wear nail polish, so that's another reason for not waving my hands around as I talk.
But my hands & fingers are very supple. I don't have joint pain, & my wee wrists are strong. These are great pluses. As a yoga teacher, I have regularly done hand exercises, over the years. Making a loose fist with your hands, & then rotating them around the wrists, one way, then the other, is an excellent exercise. We need to be able to move our wrists!
How To Have Supple Hands
Touch your palms & fingers together & push them against each other, then do the same with the backs of the hands touching each other. Bend each thumb & finger forwards & backwards. And shake your hands & fingers often...it releases tension. Such easy little ways to keep good movement in your wrists & fingers. It is far more important to me to have flexible & useful hands, than stiff hands with nail polish. (I secretly would love to have beautiful hands with manicured & polished nails, though)
Special Care For Our Hands
And I do look at yoga clients' hands as I am teaching. If there is damage, or arthritis, there are so many poses that won't be good for them. If I had arthritis, I would gently stroke my hands & fingers, often. This releases oxytoxin, the love hormone, & damaged hands surely would appreciate this.
Some of the other ways to look after your hands are: wear rubber gloves when washing anything (except when washing people, of course), & when using cleaning products. If you can, put oil, lotion, cream or vaseline on first, & do this too before putting on any gloves for any reason. Use hand cream, or indeed, any cream, often, massaging it in well. I often do this just before sleeping. I feel most virtuous doing this. And I feel absolutely pompous when I use balms or vaseline under cotton gloves as I sleep. You wake up with soft beautiful hands when you do this.
When I rub in kawakawa balm, from my friend Carolyn here, my hands just drink it up! Kawakawa is so restorative for skin. (When I go to her place & there is a tester in sight...then, as her friend, I do feel that I must test it....)
If you use any creams rub them well into your cuticles too. That way, you won't need to buy cuticle oil/cream. And any face scrubs are good for our hands too. I often feel than some body scrubs are a bit much for the delicate skin of our hands.
You can also rub in bits & pieces of food...eg the inside of an avocado skin, or the inside of a piece of fruit skin, a touch of your fresh juice, a dab of milk, or a few drops of oil. It's like feeding your skin, giving your hands a beauty mask. Leave your rub, or dab, on, for a wee while, then rinse off