Last year, I returned to Africa to nurse my mother through the last few months of her life. By that time, she was confined to bed, struggling with the debilitating effects of a brain-stem tumour. One particular day, she had an intense headache and I decided to do a healing on her. I closed my eyes and said a prayer. I let my hands move to the areas of her body to which they were most drawn.
I stayed there with her for about 10 minutes. Afterwards, she slept deeply for three hours. Dad was worried because it was unusual for her to sleep during the day. I made myself some lunch and then went back to check on her. Without any instruction from me, I found her lying very peacefully with her hands in ardi mudra.
It was this very mudra (thumbs folded into the palms of the hands and fingers wrapped around the thumbs) that I was intending on show her later that day. It’s a mudra that directs energy specifically to the brain. When mum came out of her three-hour journey, she was particularly relaxed and peaceful. It’s often said that our bodies know what they need and what to do to heal themselves. The problem is we often get in the way with our intellectual diagnosis and interrupt the natural healing process.
Mudras have long been recognised in Eastern cultures for their ability to assist in the healing process, whether it is physical, mental or emotional. Each area of the hand corresponds to a specific part of the body system. Each finger, transmitting its own unique frequency, is able to direct energy flow and so, by curling, crossing, stretching and touching the fingers and hands together, we can talk to the body and mind. Through this silent conversation, we are able to alter our mood, attitude and perception and deepen our awareness and concentration.
When I asked my mother if she had any recollection of her hands being in a certain position, of course she didn’t know what I was talking about. It seems the unconscious healing benefits of the mudras needed no conscious permission from Mum before they could do their talking.
In more technical terms, mudras provide a means to access and influence the unconscious reflexes and primal, instinctive habit patterns that originate in the primitive areas of the brain around the brain stem. They establish a subtle, non-intellectual connection with these areas.1