Awareness of Forearm Bones - Sensing Spiraling

By design the forearm bones spiral over each other. One forearm bone, the ulna, lies on the little finger side of your forearm. The second forearm bone, and the smaller of the two forearm bones, is the radius. This is the bone that spirals over. You find this bone on the thumb side of your forearm.

One cannot help but wonder about the effects of spirals on the art of moving and dancing in a body. I first learned about the power of spirals in Aikido. Coming from a Tae Kwon Do background, linear moving toward conflict was more my training. In Aikido everything is about harmonizing conflict. To master this art, you quickly learn how spirals and circles are the most powerful ways to move energy.

Just look around you at the number of petals around daisies, how the density of branches increases up a tree trunk, how a pinecone's scales and a rose’s thorns are beautifully arranged and you’ll see the Fibonacci Sequence. The Fibonacci Sequence is the spiral arrangement of elements where each successive number is the sum of its two preceding numbers. A logarithmic spiral, equiangular spiral or growth spiral is a special kind of spiral curve which often appears in nature. Chi, life-force energy, also moves in spirals throughout your body.

You have two forearm bones, the ulna and radius.

I was amazed to discover these are the only two bones in the body that roll and spiral over each other. Once I learned the action of spiraling these bones, I began to safely use the design of the body, moving The Body’s Way. I was able to functionally direct the coiling and uncoiling flow of energy through my hands and fingers when moving my hands upward, downward, inward, and outward.
It doesn’t matter what movement form I am playing with, martial arts, dance arts or healing arts, once I learned to use the two forearm bones correctly, I gained hand and arm power, grace, and efficiency on and off the dance floor. You can too!

Here’s a simple exercise you can do to sense the spiral action of your forearm bones:

Rest your elbow firmly on a table with your fingers and hand reaching up to the sky. Next, loosely turn your palms in and out several times and sense your two forearm bones spiraling around each other. Now, reach up to the sky, coiling and spiraling the forearm bones by turning the palm of the hand out; and then pull down, coiling and spiraling the forearm bones by turning the palm of the hand in. The spiraling motion of turning your palms creates a magical move I call “turn the key in the ignition.” Learning to “turn the key in the ignition” before you use the hand/s is how you use the body the way it is designed. Use the body based on its design and your form will function properly and powerfully.