Human grooming Grooming hand
with both hands

If you watch the videos, you can see I use my two hands most of the time.
Here are a few techniques I employ:
• Ambidextrous grooming
• Two-handed grooming
• Helping hands
• Underpinning



Left and right hand

All the places on your body are reachable with both hands.
It makes lots of sense to be competent with each of them.
Though if you'll be using your writing hand and fingers for most of your grooming, in many situations it is not your best tool.
Even if there can be a great difference in the ability and sensibility of your non-writing hand, your efforts to overcome these deficiencies will be well rewarded.
The orientation of your fingers is the deciding factor.
Your right hand is not necessarily best suited to groom the right side of your body and vice versa.

Finger angle

Your choice of hand depends on what finger has the best angle to reach a given location.
Often, both hands can get there, so have a look at how curved the fingers would be.
When the fingers are straight, you have to push to apply pressure.
When they are curved, you pull.

One finger pushing, one finger pulling

Pulling is much easier and you can put more force.
Both angles have their advantages and inconveniences.
Often, using one hand to groom a specific location will result in an uneasy or uncomfortable position. Try your other hand.

Hands taking turns

Grooming is a physical effort.
It takes its toll on the performing members.
You get tired.
The pressure you put, the repetitive movements and the awkward positions all contribute to your discomfort over time.
Grooming sessions can last hours.
Using only one hand, your forces would weaken after a while.
Simply alternate your work in two different areas, each accessible with the other hand.


Two-handed grooming

Grooming with both hands at the same time is a normal, though rarely used, procedure.
This is an extension of ambidexterity.
Both hands work simultaneously.
Most of the time, one hand mirrors the actions of the other (symmetrical), but sometimes, each hand can act independently.

Symmetrical two-handed grooming

Since your body is symmetrical, it makes sense to groom similar locations on both sides at the same time.

Hand on each side

Often, four finger scraping stokes are used on both hands, but single finger ones function just as well.
This works best for non-critical areas where big resurfacing jobs are needed.
Your scalp is a good example of where this technique can be applied.
With your four nails digging on both sides of your head, simply move both hands back and forth simultaneously.
The grooming strokes on both hands are synchronized and their movements are almost identical.

Comparing sides

One interesting aspect of symmetrical two-handed grooming is that you can feel the difference in the skin condition between your left and right sides.
•Place one finger from each hand at corresponding locations on the right and left side of your body.
•Groom synchronously.

Hands comparing sides

You can spot problems this way.
If a crossing or fold has grown abnormally, the same location on the opposite side may not present a similar transformation.

Double grooming

Grooming two different areas of your body simultaneously is quite rare.
It still happens occasionally when you are already grooming a region and you feel an itch or urge to groom another.
Your attention wanders between both actions and the results are dubious.
Still, it works for a while.


Helping hands

The idea is to use your non-grooming hand in support of the on-going action.
For example, if you want to groom your forehead, raise both hands to the location.
One hand starts grooming, while the other assists.

Holding the skin in place

You can groom some areas easily because your skin is already held tight to whatever is beneath.
But if you try to groom areas where it is loose or where it covers a thick layer of fat, you will find that the skin’s flexibility prevents proper grooming.
Your nail caves into the skin as it moves along with it.
When this is the case, use your other hand to pull the skin tight.
We can separate helping duties into two categories:
•Stretching and holding the skin.

Stretching the skin
with one finger

•Place the nail of your helping hand's finger close to the grooming location.
•Apply some pressure and pull on the skin in order to stretch it.
•You can now groom the stabilized skin with your other hand.

One grooming hand, one stretching hand

The left finger stretches the skin
while the right one grooms

You can change your pulling angle continuously in your quest to keep the skin from moving.
Both hands move in concert, one grooming, the other holding-up the workspace.

Stretching the skin
with two or more fingers

Each finger on the helping hand can have its own action
Some may just hold the skin in place, while others may be pulling on it.

Stretching en both sides

The two fingers on the right stretch the skin
so the one on the left can groom

If you use two fingers to pull in opposite directions, you can stretch the skin on both sides of your grooming finger.




Underpinning is the action of pressing one finger onto the skin and using the stability this produces to groom with your other hand.
It's a pity to put such an important technique at the bottom of this chapter, but where else?
I use underpinning close to 50% of the time.
My grooming would get nowhere without it.
It is not an easy procedure to develop. It took me months to gradually master it.

How underpinning works

You use underpinning in your everyday life when you put something hard beneath a material you want to work on.
This is necessary because it lacks the rigidity needed to resist your moves.
Putting a mass behind it makes working on it possible.

How to perform underpinning

•Place the finger you want to use for underpinning just below the location you wish to groom.
•Press it into the skin, with a slightly upwards motion, so that it serves as a solid workplace.
•Put a finger from your other hand where you want to groom.
•A piece of skin is trapped between the fingers of each hand.
•Your grooming hand can now put pressure and work.

One grooming hand, one underpinning hand

A band of skin is captured and squeezed
by this action.

Where and why use underpinning?

On some places on your body, the skin is so slack or loose that your grooming finger can't move on it.
The wobbliness may be due to a thick coat of subcutaneous fat.
Some areas, such as your buttocks and cheeks, are almost impossible to groom without using underpinning.


Menu Previous page Video: Human grooming rediscovered Human grooming Video: The pain is in the skin Next page Daniel Laberge website