Of the many hand gestures, from the encouraging thumbs-up to the vulgar V sign, there is one that drew me to the history of the Popes; the sign of benediction. With the hand held aloft, palm forward and the thumb, index and middle fingers extended, and the little and ring fingers curled into the palm, the priest intones the benediction and blessing. See the diagram below.
The three-fingered sign of benediction and of damage to the ulnar nerve.
Strangely the same hand posture is also a sign of damage to the ulnar nerve. The ulnar is one of two main nerves supplying the skin and muscles of the hand. It is usually damaged the elbow. Most of us have banged our ‘funny bones’ and experienced unpleasant tinglings in the ring and little fingers. That is a temporary bruising of the ulnar nerve. [Read more…] about Hand Gestures