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Scientific Palmistry: Research-Based Things Your Hands Can Tell You About You

man shows pallm

By C.Masterangelo | Blifaloo

In the past, many cultures thought that hands had a prophetic value. Based on the structure and lines on the hand, they believed they could discover things about themselves and their future. This practice evolved into what is know today as palmistry, and like other forms of divination — it has not been taken seriously by science.

digit ratio diagramBut, what if there is some truth to palmistry?
What can science tell about us from our hands?

Over the past decade, research has found that the hand does have merit as an instrument to gauge heath, innate abilities, personality traits, and even sexuality.

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Digit Ratio

One of the most fascinating things discovered about hands is the ratio between the second and fourth digit and its link to levels of testosterone and estrogen. This has become known as the “Digit Ratio” or “2D : 4D ratio”, and is obtained when the length of the second (index/ 2D) finger is measured, and divided by the length of the fourth (ring/4D) finger. (see fig. 1).

This ratio has been found to be one of the only sexually dimorphic (different norms for men and women) characteristics that are fixed before puberty. Men tend to have longer fourth (ring) fingers compared to their index finger, while women have longer index fingers comparatively.

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Simplified, the fourth fingers length is positively correlated to testosterone, while the second (index) finger with estrogen. In Europeans 2D:4D ranges between 1.0 and 0.96, with females tending towards the higher values and males tending towards the lower. In other populations 2D : 4D may be different.

So what?

 Males with a lower 2D:4D ratios (greater fetal exposure to testosterone) have been correlated with being more fertile, more aggressive, and having higher music & sports aptitude.

 Men with higher 2D : 4D ratios have been found to be more at risk for heart disease.

 Male to female transsexuals were found to have a higher digit ratio than control males, but one that was comparable to control females.

 Lower digit ratios in women have been correlated (but not statistically significant) with lesbian/bisexual tendencies, along with with aggressiveness and assertiveness.

 While women with higher digit ratios are more at risk for breast cancer, and more fertile.

 Schizophrenic men and women were found to have higher digit ratios and a lower 2D:4D ratio has also been found more often in those with Autism.

Color of Hands

palm creases
palm 2

Beyond digit ratio, there are other medical clues we can gather from our hands.
The color and appearance of our hands can often be a good indicator of our general health:

 Poor circulation (a symptom for a variety of ailments) can cause hands to take on a blue-ish hue.

 Red hands may indicate cirrhosis of the liver.


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Diabetes is often accompanied with “Terry's nails” (half white, half pink nails).

 Blue fingernails can be sign of heavy metal poisoning, (very) poor circulation, lung or heart problems.

 Yellow or green finger nails can indicate a respiratory problem.

 Clubbing (nails curve over the fingertips) is often caused by low oxygen levels in the blood, and could be a sign of lung, liver or bowel disease.

 Spoon nails (concave shaped) may indicate an iron deficiency.


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12 Reader Comments

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  1.' Christine Weissitsch says:

    Meine Hand ist ein Teil meines Lebens

  2.' Jaya Dayma says:

    Stupid unscientific

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    Anndrette White

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    Rafael Gonzalez

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