Eagle Claw Hand Strengthening Liniment is a traditional formula for training the seizing power of the hands in Eagle Claw Gong Fu and Qin Na (capturing and seizing techniques). This description might lead one to think that this liniment is only useful for a small number of martial artists who practice these very specific skills. To the contrary, I have found this liniment to be one of the most useful and versatile of the many martial arts training formulas. It is an extremely important liniment for protecting the tendons and ligaments of the hands when they are regularly being physically taxed or systematically trained. Some examples of its wide application are listed below
- Any hand and grip strengthening regimen
- Eagle Claw and Qin Na training
- Working with your hands in construction or home improvement
- Rock climbing
- Grapping arts: Judo, Jiu Jitsu, Sambo, Wrestling
- Body workers – particularly those who do deep tissue work.
When regularly engaged in these types of activities, it is essential to protect the health, flexibility and strength of the hands. Damage to the soft tissue of the fingers through overuse can create a host of problems. According to traditional Chinese medicine, damage to the fingers can cause blockages in the meridians, that in turn can lead to damage to the internal organs. Traditionally it is thought that damage to the very tips of the fingers – the place where the yin and yang polarity of the meridians of the arms changes – can cause blindness which results from clots in small blood vessels of the fingers. This kind of damage, as well as movement limitation, trigger finger, tendonitis, arthritis, and nerve damage to the hands can be prevented by proper use of a liniment like Eagle Claw Hand Strengthening Liniment.
In my experience as a Chinese Medical practitioner, I have found this liniment to be critical for those involved in practices like grappling arts and rock climbing, two activities in which hand injuries are common and often debilitating. One rock climber describes his experience as with Eagle Claw Liniment as follows.
“I’ve been a climber for over 15 years. I love it. Those years have, however, taken a toll on my body. While major traumatic injuries have been thankfully rare, the accumulation of tweaks, aches and endless variations of pain continued to detract from the joy of climbing. My discovery of Chinese Medicine was, in fact, directly due to the cumulative pain of minor injuries topped with a major one. Now I too am a practitioner of this ancient healing art, meaning, I use my hands to make a living as a Massage Therapist. Many of us have accepted the reality that climbing hard involves endless minor injuries. When Tom recommended the “Eagle Claw Liniment” to accompany my climbing training, I figured it was worth a shot. I ordered and used a bottle. Then I ordered a half dozen more. Eagle Claw Liniment is truly a blessing! Strong hands and sinews means no more nagging tendonitis, no more achy finger pulleys, no more second guessing whether the next hold will be the one that ends my climbing for another 6 weeks, and dramatically affects my practice! I use a little on my fingers, and a little on the flexor and extensor attachment bundles near the elbow, both before I warm up, and after I finish climbing. I am truly grateful.”
Eagle Claw Hand Strengthening Liniment
土蟞蟲 Tu Bie Chong 24 grams
膽南星 Dan Nan Xing 18
青蒿 Qiang Huo 9
當歸 Dang Gui 15
血竭 Xue Jie 15
沒藥 Mo Yao 24
乳香 Ru Xiang 30
龍骨 Long Gu 12
白芷 Bai Zhi 15
石菖蒲 Shi Chang Pu 9
紅花 Hong Hua 15
螃壳 Xie Ke (crab shell) 12 pieces (螃蟹壳 pang xie ke).
防風 Fang Feng 21
升麻 Sheng Ma 21
川芎 Chuan Xiong 18
川烏 Chuan Wu 18
桃仁 Tao Ren 18
桂枝 Gui Zhi 18
續斷 Xu Duan 15
Instructions for making the liniment:
Break the herbs up into small pieces and put in a glass jar with 1.5 gallons of vodka or Chinese Bai Jiu (White Alcohol). The alcohol content should be between 40-60%. Seal the container and store out of the light in a cool, dark place for at least 3 months. Shake the container as often as possible. Pour some of the liquid out into a smaller glass container for regular use and let the rest brew for another few months or even up to two years.
This unique formulation warms the meridians, dispels stasis and promotes the free flow of qi and blood to the forearms, hands and fingers. This liniment also contains ingredients that are said to strengthen the sinews (tendons and ligaments) and bones of the hands: Xie Ke (crab shell), Long Gu (fossilized bone) and Xu Duan (literally: “reconnect what is broken “).
Directions for Use:
Take a small amount of the liniment and massage it into the joints of the hands and wrist as well as the tendon attachments of the flexor and extensor muscles of the hands located at the medial and lateral epicodyles of the humerus. The liniment should be applied before and after any activity which stresses the sinews and joi9nts of the hands, wrists and forearms.
- Do not use if pregnant.
- This liniment is not for acute trauma – jammed, or smashed fingers, broken fingers, torn ligaments in the hand. It is a training formula that directed toward lessening the likelihood of injury from repetitive use of the hands, and therefore is preventative. If you have had an acute traumatic injury to the hand, see a physician and follow up with traditional Chinese medical treatments if appropriate. These may include the use of liniments and poultices that are specifically for trauma.
Where to Purchase:
This liniment is currently available from Kamwo Herbal Pharmacy: