Have you noticed how much we communicate with our hands? We play peek a boo with our babies, blow a kiss to our toddlers, give a thumbs up to our preschoolers, a heart hand to our grade-schoolers, a high five to our teenagers, and a peace sign to our “too cool” 20 year-olds. We shake hands with a new acquaintance and hold out our hands to pick someone up. We pray with folded hands and place our hand over our heart in respect for our country. Our hands are so much more than function. They act as an unspoken language between one another.
The COVID19 pandemic has threatened to diminish some of our daily hand gestures by asking individuals to avoid shaking hands, holding a hand, or giving a high five in celebration. I am hopeful we will get back to a time where we see human contact as an act of love and respect for one another and not fear. Sometimes when you have no words, a touch of a hand speaks so much more. I am optimistic that we will get there!
Axes Physical Therapy Until then, here is a virtual air high five or an elbow tap to a safe re-opening country and the celebration of Hand Therapy Awareness Week 2020!
About the Author: Julie Freiner, OTR/L, CHT is a graduate in Occupational Therapy from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis in 1994, Julie received her prestigious certification as a hand therapist in 2000. Since then, Julie has worked in several outpatient settings managing acute and chronic injuries to the hand, wrist and elbow.