Tracing the Hand: A Relaxation Practice

March 14, 2022

Eileen Yager, MD
July 28, 2022 / 5 mins read

When you are frightened, in pain, unable to sleep, or anxious, this simple practice really helps calm you down. Great for children and adults!

Start by spreading out your left hand and with the index finger of your right hand, start at the outside base of the left thumb and gently trace the outline of the thumb, touching gently.

BREATHE IN SLOWLY as you go up to the tip of the thumb, BREATHE OUT as you go down the other side. Breathe IN as you go up to the tip of the index finger and breathe OUT as you touch it downward. Continue with all 5 fingers and end at the left wrist.

Then do same for the spread right hand, using the left index finger to trace. Same breathing pattern: IN as you slowly go up to the tip of the finger, OUT as you slowly go down the other side.

You will feel connected to your body and calmer. Useful for insomnia, anxiety, stress, and also pain. Can repeat if needed. Adapted from Center for Healthy Minds.