Medical Palmistry

Medical Assumtions through Palmistry
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Praying Hands  is a famous pen-and-ink drawing by Albrecht Dürer. A close look at the drawing makes several medical assumptions possible.

The person is middle-aged or older.

The hands have been used to manual labour.

The person is diabetic or will shortly become so.

Diabetes produces changes in the structure of the hands so that when they are folded, as in prayer, a small gap is visible between the two little fingers.

As people walk, they unconsciously move their arms. Watch to see the position of the thumb. If it is rotated inwards, the person has a body mass index (BMI) over 29 and is already obese or heading there.

The creases and lines on our palms, formed when the foetus is 12 weeks old, are genetically determined. Normally, three lines are formed. If there are only two lines (single palmar crease), the child must be followed up for Down’s syndrome, or other genetic abnormalities. It is rare for normal people to have a single palmar crease but some do have it only on one palm, a trait shared by many in the family.

Some people are prone to chronic infectious diseases such as tuberculosis. They too tend to have only two lines but their single abnormal line is situated just above the thumb.

Hormone levels in the uterus influence finger length. A person (irrespective of sex) whose index finger is shorter than the ring finger will have had more testosterone (male hormone) in the womb and a person with an index finger longer than the ring finger will have had more estrogen (female hormone). The difference in the lengths can as little as two or three per cent but is important. Professional women and female scientists tend to have higher levels of testosterone relative to their oestrogen level, while the converse is true of men in the fine arts and social sciences.

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Marfan’s syndrome is a genetic disease in which the person has abnormally long fingers (arachnodactly), like that of a spider. Congenital hypothyroidism, certain renal diseases and some forms of dwarfism are associated with a tripartiate hand where the index, middle and ring fingers are of the same length. Palmar creases, tripartate hands and archnodactly can be picked up on ultrasound examination after the 12th week.

All of five fingers are essential for the hand to function properly. The thumb is the most important as it helps us to grasp something securely. If there are extra fingers, they need to be surgically removed. They may be associated with internal organ abnormalities, particularly of the kidney.

The tips of the fingers have loops and whorls, some closed and circular, others open ended. No two individuals have identical fingerprints. Strangely, people with mental illnesses have more open loops and fewer whorls.

Smokers have yellowish brown nails. In chronic respiratory ailments or congenital heart disease, nails bulge with a convex parrot beak appearance and are blue in colour.

The skin of the palm may be yellow. Jaundice causes this. It can also occur because of excessive consumption of yellow vegetables and fruits.

Hard labour can make the fingers gnarled and knotted; housework, which involves dealing with harsh detergents, makes the skin rough. Office work makes the hands soft and smooth. Regular manicures keep the hands looking good. The occupation and financial status of a person can be determined by looking at the hands.

Fingers may get fixed in the flex position with sudden painful release, the “trigger finger”. The tissues of the hand may get thickened, causing them to contract. These conditions need to be seen by an orthopaedic surgeon.

Osteoarthritis sets in with age and is commoner in women. The fingers become painful and work becomes difficult. This is a localised condition and other body systems are not affected. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs in younger people. The joint deformities give the fingers a spindle shaped appearance. This disease can affect other organs as well. Treatment is long drawn and includes medication, physiotherapy and regular exercise. Most joint pains, whatever the cause, respond well to immersion in hot salted water and underwater exercises.

Involuntary shaking movements called tremors can be first seen in the hands and may be associated with tingling. Sometimes these are familial and harmless. Tremors can also be the result of too much coffee, medication induced or the manifestation of a neurological disease like Parkinson’s. Tremors need to be evaluated by a physician.

Hands reveal a great deal if observed carefully. No wonder palmistry is a successful profession!

Source :The Telegraph. May 21.2012
Written by Gita Mathai

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