Palm Reading Perspectives

Multi-Perspective Palm Reading: About Hands & how to make a Hand-Diagnosis

Archive for April 2011

The History of Palm Reading – How the Indian Vedas relate to the latest Scientific Publications!

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 The earliest known written reference to palm reading in the World literature are found in two writings in the ancient Vedic literature of India: ‘The Laws of Manu’ and in the ‘Vasishtha Rules’ – which include a list of rules given to guide the ascetic in the correct way to lead the religious life. But what are the origins of the ‘idea’ of  palm reading: what is described about how it must have started?

First of all, while the world literature started around 3000 BC (written on clay tablets),  we have to be aware that the printed written literature on paper dates from about 400 years ago. 

Around that time an Indian Sanskrit text, titled: ‘Sariraka Shastra’, was published which includes Vedic stanzas that describe how ‘Hasta Samudrika Shastra’ (translated: ‘body knowledge of the hand’) has evolved in the early days of human kind. The text was translated by an Indian palmist (V.A.K Ayer) and published in 1960 under the title: “Sariraka Sastra – Indian Science of Hand Reading based on Kartikeyan System”. The book describes how long ago when Lord Vishnu was enjoying his ‘yoga nidra’ in the company of his consort Lakshmi, the sea-lord Samudra showed up and began to write down the auspicious marks on the bodies of the divine couple – for the guidance of humanity. This story explains how classic Indian Palmistry became an art of reading signs via the hand!

 

 The Laws of Manu:

“Manu was the legendary first man, the Adam of the Hindus.”

(Quoted from sacret-text.com)

Chapter X in “The Laws of Manu” describes as a guidance for the ascetic:

“21. ‘Neither by (explaining) prodigies and omens, nor by skill in astrology and palmistry, nor by casuistry and expositions (of the Sâstras), let him ever seek to obtain alms.'”

 

Inborn hand markers vs. Indian hand signs:

And in a way, the modern academic science of studying ‘minor physical anomalies’ is basically not really very different from how the Indians used palmistry to speculate about their future.

While the ancient Indians studied body signs to know the future of individuals (with a speculative philosophic purpose of course), is modern science basically interested in studying body signs to understand the etiology of diseases and disorders. And while the Indians formulated theories about ‘dynamic’ signs (which may change or even disappear in time), is modern science more focussed on inborn body markers.

So, while Indian palmists typically focuss on tiny little marks of the hand (lines, spots, moles, etc) – are modern hand researchers much more interested in relatively stable hand markers such as: the fingerprints, palmar dermatoglypics, simian crease and the so-called ‘digit ratio’ (= the finger length ratio between the index finger and the ring finger).

The new Palmistry?

Over the past few years quite a few academic researchers have published interesting studies which suggest that the hand can be used as prognostic marker for certain common diseases.

And the new Multi-Perspective Palm Reading represents a direct result of the many (tousands) studies that have been perfpormed so far on 100+ hand markers – read more about these developments via: What is Multi-Perspective Palm Reading?

But typically, these studies have been welcomed with a considerable dosis of scepticism. A few of recent examples of these reviews are presented below:

• April 2011: The New Palmistry?

• July 2010: Digit ratio: A measure of two hormonally-based temperament dimensions

• June 2010: Reading the Body – Finger Length Ratio predicts Athletic Ability!

• April 2009: Palmistry’s Digital Analgue?

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Written by martijnvanmensvoort

April 30, 2011 at 2:11 am

Hands, Minor Physical Anomalies (MPA’s) & Behavior!

The relationship between hands & behavior had already been notice in the early days of the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) – who e.g. debated the cause-and-effect relationship in the hand’s development and the emergence of the superior human intellect. Later the Roman physician Galen (129 – 199) became known for advocating the view that physical features could reflect inner characteristics of behavior. And more later the concept of the ‘physiognomy’ suggested that deviant behavior could be predicted from certain physical characteristics of the head and hands.

 
During the 2nd half of the 20th century a new development became manifest. The so-called ‘minor physical anomalies’ (MPA’s) became a study object for medical researchers in order to study the cause of various behavior related disorders – featured with a significant role for the most differentiated extremities of the human body: the hands & face.
 
The current state of research indicates that the etiology of these MPA’s is usually associated with two factors: 1 – genetics (sometimes they are described as congenital physical abnormalities), and 2 – insults to the fetal neural development towards the end of the first trimester (due to: infections, lack of oxygen, diseases in the mother & other prenatal traumas).
 
It became also appearant that MPA’s provide an important clue to specific malformation diagnosis, brain pathology and timing of pathology.

 

Hands, MPA’s & behavior disorders:

In the past few decades MPA’s became associated with etiology studies for a wide range of function & behavior related disorders in newborns & school-age children, such as: autism, Down syndrome, hyperactivity, inhibition, learning disabilities, psychoneurotic behavior, schizophrenia, speach- & language problems.

And especially the ‘Waldrop scale‘ (Waldrop & Halverson, 1971) became a popular tool to study the MPA’s in these populations. And various studies have indicated that the MPA’s included in the ‘Waldrop scale’ are much more often seen in certain groups of youngsters. While the average prevalence of items is usually low in controls (1.10-2,32), studies have reported much higher values in various populations, e.g.: Down syndrome (17.04%), schizophrenia (4.83%), Tourette syndrome (5.45%).
 
And the results typically show a much higher occurence of multiple MPA’s among the patients than in the control populations.
 
 
Hand markers in the Waldrop scale: 
 
Interestingly, various items in the Waldrop scale relate to the hands, including: clinodactyly, nail hypoplasia, simian crease, single flexion crease on the 5th finger, Sydney line & unusual length of the fingers.
 
But the studies so far have also indicated that in the Waldrop scale individual items can not serve for reliable diagnosis. And few details are available regarding the possibility that specified combinations of MPA’s (within one body part or multiple body parts) could serve as a reliable diagnostic marker.
 
Other fascinating related reports have been made where hands become a significant specified marker when combined with other body markers. And these can even play a significant role in the explorations & identification of new syndromes.
 
The illustration below represents an example taken from a study where the missing of fingers (oligodactyly) combined with a disorder on the right eye lid, became a marker for a (new) syndrome that relates to chromosome 21qter (associated e.g. with congenital fibrosis of the extraocular muscles – Tukel CFEOM syndrome). Though there were no behavior problems reported for that syndrome, this example does show hand markers can be recognized as clues that relate to problems in the other extremities (in this example the eyes).
 
Read more about the most well-know MPA hand-marker:


The simian line (a.k.a. single palmar transverse crease)

 

In ‘hand diagnostics’ the role Minor Physical Anomalies significant!
 

Written by martijnvanmensvoort

April 27, 2011 at 11:58 pm

Guidelines for ‘hand diagnostics’ in the DSM IV – diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders!

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Hand biting can signal anxiety & autism.

DSM IV: Hand biting can signal e.g. anxiety & autism.

Can the language of the hands serve as a ‘diagnostic indicator’? This question should not be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. First of all, most people are aware of the significance of body language. However, it is not a public secret that body language can also be misleading. Therefore it is interesting to focuss a little bit more on the role of hands in the DSM IV – the international academic system for classifying psychopathology & mental disorders.

Interestingly, the book ‘DSM IV diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders‘ presents quite a few passage which describe how hands play a significant role in the classification of various serious mental disorders.

A few examples:

1 – Hand biting can signal AUSTISTIC DISORDERS (page 71);
2 – Hand tapping can signal HYPERACTIVITY (page 86);
3 – Inabilities related to the touching of objects can signal DEMENTIA (page 149);
4 – Trembling hands can signal SOCIAL PHOBIAS (page 451);
5 – Cold, clammy hands can signal ANXIETY (page 452);
6 – Sleeping on the hands can signal BREATHING-RELATED SLEEP DISORDERS (page 619);
7 – Wringling of the hands can signal AGITATION (page 819).

Needless to say, of course one should be aware that such hand behaviors should not associated in isolation of other significant clues with mental disorders!

For example, if you haven’t eaten for quite a while … it might just be perfectly normal if you observe that your hands are ‘trembling’. In that situation ‘trembling hands’ will typically  indicate: ‘time for a meal’! And generally, no reason at all to get woried about your social life, or to associate it with autism or anxiety.

Additionally, hand-behavior experts like psychologist Susan Goldin-Meadow are generally more focussed on the question ‘why do people use hand gestures?’ instead of answering ‘what is the meaning of a specific gesture?’ Because context is usually decisive regarding the motives why people start using body language.

So reading the ‘language of the hands’ may not be as easy as palm reading books may suggest. 

Read more about the work of Susan Goldin-Meadow via:

Hand Gestures Help Grade School Children Solve Math Problems


In ‘hand diagnostics’ context always matters!

Written by martijnvanmensvoort

April 27, 2011 at 12:52 am

Palm Reading Perspectives!

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This ‘Palm Reading Perspectives’ blog will serve as new channel to explore the new perspectives that are rising from the rather unusual combination of ‘hand reading’ & scientific reports about hands (where certain parts of the hands are explored for etiological considerations, diagnostic purposes or serious prognostic speculations).

Therefore the word ‘palm reading’ is used here in the perspective of serious hand research, not used here in the context of the future prediction theories as described in traditional India palmistry.

Greetings from The Netherlands!

Written by martijnvanmensvoort

April 26, 2011 at 11:12 pm

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