3 Ways to Relieve Wrist Fatigue and Stiffness

Stiff and fatigued wrists are increasingly common these days as we spend more time at computer keyboards. Our lack of upper body exercise also makes us more prone to injuries and inflammation of the wrists. It is useful to know that the energy channels or meridians that nourish the wrists pass through the shoulders, and when we keep the energy, or qi, moving through our shoulders, we are increasing the flow of qi and blood through our wrists.


The following three movements can be done sitting at a desk in the middle of your work day, and can relieve (and may help prevent) inflammation in the wrists and other joints of the upper body. They can help stimulate movement of qi through the Small Intestine, Large Intestine and Triple Heater meridians, all of which facilitate mobility in the neck, shoulders, elbows and wrists.


1) Elbow circles:  Bring your right hand to your right shoulder. Keeping your attention on the tip of your right elbow, draw circles with that elbow. Begin with small circles and gradually increase the size of the circles. Draw circles going clock-wise first before drawing several circles in a counter-clockwise direction. During this exercise, maintain a deep, smooth breathing pattern, completing a minimum of five full inhalations and exhalations as you trace the circles with your elbow. Relax the right arm and repeat on the left side.


2) Wrist rotations: Extend one arm up toward the sky. Keeping the arm extended so your arm pit is getting a good stretch, rotate your wrist so that your hand is tracing circles. Maximize the size of the circles, rotate several times in clockwise circles, then counter-clockwise. Maintain a deep, smooth breathing pattern for a minimum of five breaths in and out. Relax the arm and repeat with the other arm.

3) Yoga Mudra Arms: In yoga, this stretch for the upper body creates a lot of immediate relief for the neck, chest, upper back and shoulders – resulting in increased flow of blood and qi in the wrists. Reach your arms behind you and clasp your hands together. Lift your chest and squeeze the shoulder blades together. If you are able to straighten your arms in this position, lift and lower your arms several times, keeping your hands together. If it is uncomfortable to straighten the arms, focus on the opening in the chest and shoulders. While holding your arms in yoga mudra, breathe in and out slowly and completely a minimum of five times.