Power to the Pinky
Consider the humble Pinky.
The shortest of the lot. The last feather on the hand traced turkey art project.
Mine are a piece of work.
My right Pinky veers inwards at the tip, towards the ring finger. Radially deviating at the distal end of the phalangeal joints. Too many times getting jammed by a basketball back in the 70s. Nobody paid much attention to Pinky injuries, or fingers injuries in general, back in the day.
My left Pinky doesn’t like to extend fully. Maybe because it was involved in the injury I had as a baby when I rolled onto a stove. There’s a skin graft there that’s a little taut.
Or so I thought.
Two weeks ago, I spent the week-end manipulating modeling clay (3D anatomy class). From 9-5 Sat & Sun & on Mon, when I was doing the thing I do with my hands, my left Pinky was totally straight.
The thing I do with my hands, to warm them up, is to gently, very delicately, put them together. Then I let them come to meet each other, their counterparts, in such a way as it allows them to lengthen into each other & up.
But my left Pinky would always struggle to straighten into length. That is until my recent weekend Claymation vacation.
Oh yeah, exercise is good.
But even without any extra training, this shortest finger may be one of the most valuable. Consider experimenting for yourself. For instance, if you are able & as you are able, try a push-up or a modified push-up, two different ways. One with your Pinky on the ground. The other without your Pinky; keeping it lifted up out towards the side. See what I mean?
Now try reaching for a tea cup by letting your Pinky take the lead. Feel easier? Better control? Pinky can be the initiating link of the kinetic chain that goes up, uP, UP to/thru the Ulna, Humorous, & Scapula to help you reach what you want.
If you enjoy a light cup of tea your Pinky may stick out politely, but if you grasp something wider it gets down to business. Try holding an iPhone, for instance, with & without Ms. Pinky. You may find you miss the Pinky’s ability to create a sort of ledge for you to rest the phone on. The phone is wide enough & bulky enough that the little finger jumps in instinctively to help support.
Makes me think my little finger deserves more appreciation. In fact, if you lost your Pinky, god forbid, “You’d lose 50 percent of your hand strength”, according to Laurie Rogers, OT, CHT. at National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, DC.*
Duly noted. I’ve read that Pinky likes to team up with the ring finger to provide power. But I’m guessing she may be wanting a ring of her own. Time to put a ring on it? Pinky deserves a pink stoned signet ring.
Julie Pauls 4 ATLAS Posture®
*Dana Scarton. The Importance of the Pinkie, Experienced Firsthand. NYT, 12/16/2008