Six Mudras to Heal Common Ailments

mudras and hand gestures
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mudras and hand gestures “When reflex points of the fingertip are pressed, these healing substances are released and one can rebalance any diseased area of the body.” ~ The Healing Art of Mudras, Deborah Nasca

Mudras are hand gestures or simple formations of the fingers and hands which stimulate specific energy pathway that can unlock higher levels of awareness and bring about healing when held with focus for extended periods of time.

Each finger represents an element of nature and when that is brought into contact with the thumb, it brings about balance in that element and helps cure the disease caused by the imbalance. Mudras start electromagnetic currents within the body which balance various constituting elements and restore health.

Deborah Nasca in The Healing Art of Mudras said, “Mudric finger positions tie in with healing arts such as acupressure, acupuncture, hand and foot reflexology, and massage therapy, as all of these work with the release of the human body’s own natural biochemical healing substances endorphins and dopamine that assist in the healing process. When reflex points of the fingertip are pressed, these healing substances are released and one can rebalance any diseased area of the body. For example it is a common response to clench the fists when experiencing stress or tension. This reaction actually creates a mudra, which activates certain reflex points, thus helping the individual to calm down.”

Let’s look at six mudras that can be practiced to cure common diseases and ailments:

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Gyan (Knowledge) mudra for stress

gyan_mudraHow to: Join the tip of the thumb to the tip of the index finger to form an O shape, while all the other fingers are straight & relaxed. Imagine the thumb and the index finger to be one and not detached, uniting the Brahma (thumb) and individual consciousness (index finger).

Why to: This hand gesture works with the air element in the body, and is often used during pranayama and meditation. It helps in managing stress, increasing concentration levels and calming the entire nervous system. Activating the pineal gland, Gyan mudra helps with headaches and keeps you calm.

Duration: Practice the mudra either for 45 minutes at a stretch or distribute it to 15 minutes three times a day. You can start with 5 minutes and extend gradually.

Linga (Phallus) Mudra for cold and cough

How to: Interlock your fingers and keep the left thumb straight and upright. While the right thumb should encircle the left thumb from the outside.

ling_mudraWhy to: Linga mudra is known to increase the fire element or bodily heat in the body. It is often used to overcome chills or cold due to increase of kapha element or cold weather. It reduces overproduction of phlegm due to cold, sinusitis and other respiratory disorders. Although it is suggested not to overdo this mudra and stop using it when cold leaves the body, as it can cause excessive heat in the body.

Duration: Practice the mudra either for 45 minutes at a stretch or distribute it to 15 minutes three times a day. You can start with 5 minutes and extend gradually.

Shankh (conch shell) Mudra for immunity and throat-related problems

shankh_mudra
How to: Place your hands just before your chest. Use your left hand to grasp the right thumb with your fingers wrapped firmly around it. Now bring the remaining fingers of the right hand into place so that they make contact with your left thumb. The shape of your hands will now resemble a conch shell or shankh. Maintain this formation with your hands at chest level and keep your eyes closed for as long as you can.

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Why to: Shankh Mudra is effective to treat problems related to the throat chakra. It also relieves speech-related issues like stammering. It also balances the Thyroxine secretion from Thyroid gland. Working with all 72000 nadis, this mudra strengthens the entire body and increases immunity levels.

Duration: Practice Shankh mudra either for 45 minutes at a stretch or distribute it to 15 minutes three times a day. You can start with 5 minutes and extend gradually.

Prana (vital energy) mudra for eye problems

prana_mudra
How to: Join the tip of the thumb to the tip of the ring finger and the little finger while keeping the rest of the fingers straight.

Why to: As the name suggests, Prana mudra increases the vital energy in the body. It brings a sense of clarity in our aural field, creates inner focus, greater clarity and is beneficial for eye problems. Apart from this, it increases the energy levels in the body, reduces fatigue and nervousness.

Duration: Practice Prana mudra either for 45 minutes at a stretch or distribute it to 15 minutes three times a day. You can start with 5 minutes and extend gradually.

Shunya (sky) Mudra for ear ailments

shunya_mudra
How to: Gently bend the middle finger and press it against the ball or mount of the thumb. Now, with the thumb, press the first phalanx bone of the middle finger by the tip of the thumb. Keep the remaining fingers straight up and loose without any tension.

Why to: The Mudra of Emptiness reduces the space element in the body, and is known to help hearing problems, ear aches and pain. Also it cures numbness in any other part of the body. It is suggested to stop doing the mudra as soon as the symptoms of the disease vanish.

Duration: Practice Shunya mudra either for 45 minutes at a stretch or distribute it to 15 minutes three times a day. You can start with 5 minutes and extend gradually.

Agni (fire) Mudra for indigestion

agni_mudra
How to: Bend the ring finger and place it at the base of the thumb and place the thumb on the second phalanx bone of the ring finger. All the other three fingers will remain straight.

Why to: As the name suggests, this mudra works with the fire element of the body, so it increases the heat in the body, and speeds up the process of digestion. It reduces the Earth element, which is responsible for weight gain and lethargy. Agni mudra increases metabolism and relieves digestive issues.

Duration: Practice the mudra either for 45 minutes at a stretch or distribute it to 15 minutes three times a day. You can start with 5 minutes and extend gradually.

Come into a seated position, either cross-legged or Lotus pose, whichever is convenient before you perform any of the above mudras. An ailing person can perform the poses in a lying down position as well. Practice these hand gestures to experience the healing power in your hand.

(Please consult your health care professional or an experienced yoga teacher before starting this, its not a substitute for proper medical care in case of pre-existing conditions.)

Image source
Mudra Artwork by Miles Toland

References
Mudras
The Healing Art of Mudras
Hand gestures
Mudras and health

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