Why appreciate and protect your amazing hands?


Think of all the things you do in a day with your hands.

Without them you would have great difficulty in performing even a fraction of the tasks you do.

Like most people, you probably take them for granted, giving little thought to how marvelously they are designed.

But just pause for a moment and take a close and thoughtful look at your hands.

Notice how attractively designed they are, being well balanced.

See how smoothly the fingers move and how easily you can grasp objects with them.

Think how expressive they are when used in conversation, gesturing in ways that add immensely to what you say.

In Hawaiian dances the graceful movements of the hands play an important part.

In the Far East, such as in Thailand, the position of the hands tell some of the story acted out in the dances there.

Our deepest emotions can be revealed by the hands.

Love and warm friendship are revealed by a warm clasp of hands, and anger is shown by clenching the hands into fists.

But what is even more impressive is the way the hands are designed.

The powerful muscles that operate the fingers are not located on the fingers,as that would have made them so thick with muscle tissue that they would have been large and clumsy.

Instead, the muscles are wisely located in the forearms and are connected with the fingers by means of strong, slender cords called tendons.

When the muscles attached to the tendons, called flexors, are contracted, the fingers close, but when the muscles that are called extensors are contracted, the fingers are extended.

These two muscles in the forearm flex all the fingers except the thumb, which has its own set of flexing, muscles.

Superb engineering of the hand makes it possible for the fingers to move swiftly, smoothly and easily through a great variety of precise movements.

Unity of action in the hand is aided by fibers and bands that interlace the muscles and tendons of the hands, binding them together.

The marvelous thumb

A most remarkable part of the hands are the versatile thumbs.

They are wisely designed in such a way that they can function independently of the other fingers, and this is essential for the hands to be the useful instruments that they are.

You can better appreciate how important a thumb is by holding it motionless against the side of your hand.

Now try to pick up a small object such as a pin.

It is not easy, is it?

But, having the ability to operate independently from the rest of the fingers, the thumb makes it possible for you to pick up small and large objects with ease, as well as to give you a firm grip on things.

It is this independent operation of the thumb that makes it such an important part of your hand.

Because of its exceptional ability to move by itself and to cross over and touch any one of the other fingers, it is the busiest part of your hand.

You can get along without one of your other lingers better than without the thumb.

In fact, if you had only one other finger and the thumb, you could get along better than if you had all four of the other lingers but not the thumb.

Of all the characteristics of the hand, the opposition of the thumb to the other fingers makes the thumb distinctly peculiar to the human hand.

It is one of the many features that place humans above all other animals on earth.

In two extraordinary ways the human thumb is different from that of the monkeys and apes.

First, it is strikingly different in its length as compared with that of the apes and monkeys.

Secondly, it can work independently of the other fingers because the thumb’s metacarpal bone, the bone between the wrist and the finger, is not on the same plane as those for the other four fingers.

The human hand designed in such a way as to give it the dexterity necessary in the execution of the most delicate work.

Apes and monkeys have no necessity to hold a pen or a needle or to use instruments for making complex things.

In the ape the hand can be considered a locomotive organ.

This is an organ that gives the animal the power to move about, and it varies with the type of animal.

The human hand is much more than an ordinary locomotive organ.

Although it can help you move about, it is essentially an organ for grasping things and an organ of touch.

The sensitivity of the angers is truly marvelous.

As is evident in blind persons, the sense of touch can be cultivated to a very high degree, but even with those who rely more on their eyes, it can be remarkable.

A highly polished tabletop might look spotlessly clean, but when you gently move your fingertips over it, you will feel many small particles of dirt.

They can also detect small variations and nicks in the surface.

Two pieces of paper that stick together may appear to the eye to be just one piece, but to the person familiar with the feel of one sheet of paper, the difference in thickness is immediately noticeable to his sense of touch.

Put your anger under a water tap, and its sensitivity to temperature changes will inform you when .. the water is warmer or cooler.

Even slight variations of temperature in the water can be detected.

Great sensitivity of touch is possible because of the remarkable way fingertips are constructed.

A small piece of finger skin that is no larger than a moderate sized coin, contains several million nerve cells.

These pick up the great amount of information that your sense of touch conveys to your brain.

Size and shape

Surprising as it may seem, the size or shape of your hands or fingers does not necessarily prevent you from taking up any particular profession.

There have been outstanding and accomplished musicians with stubby fingers and large hands.

Any type of human hand can be trained to perform many amazing feats.

The skilled fingers of the champion typist can type more than 150 words a minute.

Delicate artwork in metal, lace or other materials can be produced by skilled trained hands of almost any shape or size.

Your hands, however, can be affected by the type of labor you do.

The hands of a Newfoundland fisherman, for example, reveal the effect of his trade by being thick and calloused in the palms.

As his strong hands grip the oars of a small boat that he rows to shore, the skin on the back of his hands gives under the strain, stretching almost half an inch.

His hands take the strain and the friction with no difficulty.

Protecting his hands from injury as he goes about his work is a thick skin and a buffer of fat on the palms that protect tendons and blood vessels.

These same hands that do heavy work on a fishing vessel are capable of making an intricate fishing net.

Thus it is in all types of work.

The hands can perform a wide variety of tasks.

Protecting your hand and fingers

If you are one of the many millions of persons who live in cold climates, you may have wondered why your fingers require more protection in cold weather than does your face.

This is due to the fact that your fingers receive less blood than your face does.

The greater part of them is made up of bloodless joints, and the temperature in them drops more quickly than in the blood filled muscles of your face.

They are, therefore, more susceptible to the cold.

Unless you give them proper protection in very cold weather, they are in danger of becoming frostbitten.

In severe cases of frostbite fingers are amputated.

Your hands being the most used part of your body, they can easily be injured if care is not exercised to protect them by not putting them in dangerous places.

The loss of fingers and hands accounts for a high percentage of industrial accidents.

Even in a home there are many ways that hands are injured because of thoughtlessness.

Do not take your hands for granted, whether you are at home or at work.

When something gets stuck in a machine, turn the machine off before you try to take it out.

Machines can be repaired or replaced if damaged, but lingers cannot be replaced.

When operating power saws, do not foolishly use your lingers to push small pieces of wood through them.

It matters not the number of times you have done it without injury.

Only one slip is needed to lose one or more irreplaceable fingers.

Protect your fingers by using a stick to push the wood through the saw.

If it slips, nothing is lost.

It has been rightly said that our hands are vehicles of our minds, partners of the brain.

We should, therefore, use our heads when we use our hands so that the hands will not be injured by foolish mistakes.

Thoughtfully protect these marvelous instruments of your body that make it possible for you to do such a great variety of things.